Fort Mill

April 2 through 8, 2017

On Sunday we drove to Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, South Carolina – about 20 minutes from Cortney’s parent’s home. We are very excited to be with family, seeing her parents in their new home and getting to visit our brand new nephew and kid’s cousin! Looking forward to lots of games and long overdue catching up!

Andrew Jackson State Park was established to honor the only South Carolina born president. It has a museum that showcases his boyhood colonial life, an 18th-century one-room schoolhouse, great little hiking trails as well as boating and fishing on a lake with an island out in the middle that is beckoning us for a water adventure.  We are excited to be here amongst such rich history, the kids have been studying Andrew Jackson as well as reading The Little House on the Prairie series. They are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder experiences in one-room schoolhouses, so this will be a great opportunity to experience more living history. We really hope they are storing all these memories away as history is brought to life.

We visited Cortney’s sister and met our new nephew Huntington, new babies are the best! We ventured out to a park near by that has an NFL Play60 Kidszone, a major highlight for Nolan getting to run an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course and time his 40 yard dash! Hadley enjoyed practicing her baby holding and feeding skills, she LOVES babies – a real life baby doll! 

On April 8th we had Cortney’s dad over to spend the day with us on the lake. Nolan is Poppy’s little fishing buddy, they casted, casted, casted and caught nothing! After a picnic lunch out in the boat we checked out the little island only to be scared off by Mother Goose who was using the entire island as her personal nest. We counted turtles along the shoreline, watching them dive and swim all over. It was a beautiful day!

After a day on the lake we ventured over the the museum and one room schoolhouse. Rooms throughout the museum showcased Colonial life, included a dining room, bedroom, textile room with a full loom, and early farming tools. The old log one room schoolhouse was complete with desks, potbelly stove, slates and hornbooks. Fun for the kids to see and touch all that they had been reading about. I’m pretty sure they gave the old school bell out in front more than enough rings to start the day!

April 9, 2017

We packed up the Winnie, now named Liberty Lucy and made a quick stop in Bill and Beth’s neighborhood where we enjoyed a community picnic and easter egg hunt! After working up a sweat hunting eggs we drove over to Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The Park is operated by the county her parents live in and is on Lake Wylie, a 13,443 acre lake that borders both North and South Carolina. We are staying here for 2 weeks, once again grateful to have a spot for such a long stretch so we can enjoy visiting rather than skipping around from site to site.

April 10 – 12, 2017

Mostly hung out, getting ready for Nolan’s birthday on the 13th. We are attempting to get our land legs back under us, spending lots of time at her parents house. It is funny the little things we’ve missed, like running water in the kitchen sink without concern of filling up the black tank or taking a shower in a nice non-cinder block shower with endless hot water! One day we visited Uncle Lin, who works at Costco, and stocked up on supplies – Austin, TX was our last Costco stop – nearly 2,000 miles later we were in need of more than a few items.

One day the weather allowed – with minimal sweat – an opportunity to fix the rear AC on the motorhome. This is the unit that started leaking when we were in Galveston. Up to this point we have not had the resources to repair it, after more than a dozen phone calls to RV repair shops from Texas to South Carolina, we have not been able to find anyone who was not booked out 3 months or more. Kind of hard to leave an RV for three months when you are living in it! After a little YouTube research, we ordered the $17 part off Amazon and the quoted $300+ repair was in the works with a little elbow grease and teamwork. Cortney’s dad came with some tools and to supervise, he is quite handy, and to help contain the kids while we disassembled the AC unit on the roof and replaced the gasket underneath. Let it be known we are not handy, this was a total boost in our confidence!

April 13, 2017

Nolan’s 6th Birthday! Nolan wanted eggs and bacon for breakfast, so that is what we had. He opened a few gifts at the RV before we headed over to Nana and Poppy’s for lunch and a small family birthday party!  His birthday requests were really ordinary:  a motorcycle (thanks, Mr. Wayne), $1,000 cash and an ice maker (a luxury he is missing in the RV)! This boy has no shortage of wild dreams! While the motorcycle and $1,000 cash were pretty much not an option, he did get that coveted ice maker- can’t wait to use that – love the practical gift Nolan!

That night, to celebrate a bit more, we surprised the family by taking them to Worship Night in America which was in Charlotte. I think Nolan was slightly disappointed that it was not monster jam or motor cross. However we enjoyed Chris Tomlin, Phil Wickham, Big Daddy Weave and Josh Williams. Great night, great worship!

April 14, 2017

Cortney and kids spent the day at Bill and Beth’s, the kids playing and terrorizing the neighborhood with the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe – that they insist they still fit in (questionable) and rolling down the hills out back in Nana and Poppy’s laundry baskets! Cortney and her mom finished prepping all the food for hosting Easter brunch. Later that day, Cortney and I headed out for a date night – our first and much needed in months! We went exploring in Rock Hill and ended up at a quaint French bakery. It reminded us of our college days in San Diego, as it was a total hangout for college students. Pastries, macaroons and French Press coffee. Mmmmmm.

April 15, 2017

We spent the morning hanging out, riding bikes, playing at the local park and letting the kids swing wildly in their hammocks, before cleaning up and meeting Bill and Beth for an early Easter Eve service 😉 Nolan managed to have an epic meltdown in the parking lot, over wearing shoes into church – I mean Jesus did say, come as you are – and Jesus did wear sandals right? After garnering the attention of every well meaning parking attendant, we managed to “drag” him into church. Kids, they keep you humble. No better way to make a good first impression than to be that first time visitor with the hysterical kid and discouraged and sobbing wife in the parking lot. Hey but we made a memory!

April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday. We were lazy getting up, before heading to Bill and Beth’s for a family Easter celebration. Egg hunt, food and games with Cortney’s sister, Katelyn, her husband Lin and his family.

As I write this entry I am on an airplane – heading back to California for our non profit, advisory board meeting, some work alongside my friend Adam in our California office, then a quick flight to Denver catching up with our staff there before heading back to Cortney and the kids in about a week. This is my 2nd of planned trips back to the Colorado – nice to have the peace of mind that Cortney is not alone, enjoying time with her family, and fortunate to have full hookups (sewer, water, electric), and a safe place to be without moving the RV.

April 17 through 21, 2018

While I was away – Nolan went to NASCAR with Nana + Poppy for a birthday experience. (He is still talking about it to this day). An incredible hands on experience for kids of all ages!

Cortney and Hadley enjoyed more time with Auntie and Huntington (girl loves all things baby!). They even snuck in some pampering, getting their nails done with Nana while I was away.

April 22, 2017

I caught a red eye back to Charlotte last night and arrived very early this morning. Bill picked me up from airport, I was glad to be back “home”. I slept at their place for a few hours – I  can’t sleep on planes, this was my first and hopefully last red eye! After catching up on some sleep we had Bill and Beth over to the RV for some Dutch Oven cooking! A tradition from Cortney’s childhood camping trips. It has been years since her parents had cooked in Dutch Ovens, it was a great night catching up, sharing old camp stories and breaking in Nolan’s new ice maker!

Tomorrow we leave the Carolinas and head North. Rain is forecasted overnight and all day tomorrow making packing up the RV bit of a challenge. Nana and Poppy helped us out, distracting the kids with some games while Cortney and I packed what we could of the RV, trying to get as much done in the dry weather before the rain comes.

We have booked a gig – as camp hosts – in Maryland starting May 1st – so onward we must go! Looking forward to getting back on the road. Bitter sweet for sure.

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