Year 2 part 3 

The great Smoky Mountains

Traveling north headed to “home base” generally has us stopping in North Carolina for a visit with daughter Shauna and her family. This year was no exception, and involved a very special occasion. After several years of  work and study Shauna was graduating  with her Ed.D. We were very happy to be able to attend the graduation ceremony. Our California kids flew in for the event, and we enjoyed some very special family times. It is a rarity when we can gather some family all in one spot!

well done Shauna!

gramps and the boys relaxing at the tiny cabin

Asher and Travis zooming around the track

an impromptu wiffle ball game in the backyard

The weekend came to a close on Mother’s Day. The Cali kids had a flight to catch. We said our goodbyes, and let them know we would be out to visit in California for winter 17/18.

Shauna and Josh treated us to a trip to the Sierra Nevada Brewery which had recently relocated near Asheville NC. We had been wanting to do this outing for some time and finally got the chance. The building and grounds, the food and, of course, drinks were amazing, and we will be back.

me and the boss

I love this beer!

always good to spend a day with these fine people

We had a few days left, and the kids went back to work, so we took a hike, a run or two, dusted off the old golf clubs, researched a new RV park, and I finally got my Cuban coffee, in Franklin NC, of all places, and it was worth the wait.

Nice view on the links

running on the greenway

sunrise or sunset, in any case its’s beautiful

The time had come to say our “til next times” I so dislike saying goodbye. There is too much finality too that phrase. And it makes me emotional. And as many times as I depart somewhere, I can’t handle all those feelings! It is indeed the hardest part of this nomadic lifestyle.

But, hellos, oh I like hellos. It was time to travel to the mitten for many joyous hellos.

We arrived in Michigan a couple weeks later than normal. It was about mid-May and west Michigan was in the midst of a glorious spring. Vicksburg was our destination, and we were again camping at Oak Shores Resort. A place we have pretty much termed our summer home. Location is the big draw here. Oak Shores is also the first place I camped as a child (see what you started mom and dad!), and it has tremendous sentimental value to me. I also camped here as a parent, and now a grandparent. It’s no wonder I consider it “home.” This year we were upgraded to a site with a deck of sorts that stretched the length of our rig. Such luxury!

our new site

generation #3 enjoying a kids life at the campground

Summer settled into it’s own special pattern of busyness. I resumed teaching a few fitness classes, and added a new class called Fitness in the Park. It is an outdoor free family fitness program offered by the Kalamazoo Parks and Rec Dept. I had a lot of fun designing and teaching those classes.

Sofia and Adelynn practicing drills for Fitness in the Park

Work coupled with visiting family and friends made the summer literally fly by. I really try hard to make sure I spend quality time with my “tribe” while in Michigan, but it never feels like quite enough. Perhaps I feel guilty for leaving them all behind in the winter months.

We had no large family weddings for the first time in a couple years, and it was just a really nice summer filled with family outings, the grandsons baseball, and later on football games. A nice 4th of July family camp out, a few rounds of golf, a 5k, sleepovers with the granddaughters, a trip or two to the big lake, helping out my mom and brother, sister, and son and daughter-in-law with some house projects. Nothing special, just a wonderful Michigan golden summer. And I’ll take that any day.

Kalob batting under the big lights

Jim, Claire, and our newest family member Walter

working on our rock throwing skills

Jami and Sara two of my lovely DIL’s

we learn to camp young in our family

4th of July fun

16 already, this guy and I share a birthday

a reader like grandma

a runner like mom

football already? where did the summer go…

Meggie and Jeremiah, our golfing partners and die-hard Lions fans

Claire has grandma’s fashion sense

future journalists practicicing at the museum

Early September passed in a whirl of activity. Once again readying the rig for travel and becoming homeless for a few days in the process. (A big thanks to Jim and Sara for letting us stay with them!) And another round of see ya laters with the tribe.

Saturday morning, amidst a few raindrops we hooked up and drove off full of enough tribal love to sustain us until December when we plan to return for the holiday season.

til we meet again

Next stop Lodi, NY and the Finger Lakes region…

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