So you know how I’ve been kind of a whinny mess the last few posts? You’ve all been very polite and not mentioned it…but it’s okay, I can admit it. I’ve complained about our pace of travel, the rain, the bugs, the pollen, the nagging feeling that we’re on the wrong side of the country, even the extreme slop of our campsite! And…I never even wrote a follow up post about the remainder of our time in Charlotte because it would have been nothing but more whining (the traffic! the constant rain! the absence of good hiking! wah, wah, wah). But here’s the thing. Despite all this incessant complaining, deep down I’m actually quite happy. You wanna know why? Family.
While it’s no secret that we’re in love with the western side of country, the fact is that all of our family lives in the east. The decision to come east this year was a direct result of our desire to reconnect with our family, some who we hadn’t seen in years. Over the last 6 months we’ve visited with more family then we have in the last two years combined. Since October we’ve seen nearly all of our immediate family members, and as we continue up the east coast this trend will continue. In the last two weeks alone we caught up with my cousin and her currently expanding family, spent a night with my dad and Katherine as they passed through on their way north, and then last week went back to my mom’s house for an entire week of family time, including a 3 day visit with Tim’s mom who flew down to be with us.
Tim was able to take a few days off work, and by some miracle the rain stopped and the sun came out allowing us to get out and enjoy some gorgeous North Carolina weather. We walked on the beach.
Went out on the boat.
And visited the North Carolina Aquarium in nearby Pine Knoll Shores.
One day we drove over to New Bern and toured the gardens at Tryon Palace. New Bern itself is a pretty fascinating port town full of history and stately old houses. We didn’t have time to see it all in a single visit, and choose to focus solely on the renowned gardens that surround the reconstructed palace and historic homes. Even though it was a little early in the year for some of the flowers to be in full bloom, it was still gorgeous. I, of course, took way too many photos. I tried my best to whittle them down to a reasonable amount for sharing.
After Carol left and Tim went back to work I had two more days to spend with my mom. We did things like plant flower pots for her front porch, sort through a giant box of embroidery thread that I just inherited from my grandmother, made homemade pizza, and went strawberry picking.
Strawberries in North Carolina are not only plentiful this time of year, but they are also incredibly cheap. I picked an entire flat for only $15 and ended up with 8 quart size freezer bags that I somehow shoved into our tiny RV freezer.
Throughout the week I couldn’t help but feel grateful that this lifestyle allows us the freedom to travel around and see our families. So the next time I find myself feeling down about the persistent rain, or annoyed by the bugs, I am going to to remember this week and all the wonderful family time we’ve had this winter. And I’m going to remind myself that happiness is sometimes less about where you are, and more about who you are there with.
Glad you’re enjoying all the visiting with family. We’re heading back to the Midwest this summer for family visiting and I’m already dreading the insects and humidity. But it’ll be worth it. Those strawberries look delicious. It’s goodness like that I sure miss a bigger frig and freezer.
Ughh..insects and humidity. Luckily we haven’t had either for the past two weeks (in exchange for some unseasonably cold weather) but I know they’ll be back. Just focus on the family visit and you’ll get through :)
What a lovely post, Amanda. So true, that it’s more about who we’re with than where we are. It looks like you’re finding some pretty beautiful places to explore — that garden is going on our list for next spring. Yummm, strawberries! I’m looking forward to our summer on Lopez Island, where we can pick strawberries and raspberries to our heart’s content.
Traveling has definitely given me a better appreciation for family. You would love the gardens. Even though many flowers were just starting to bloom it was still gorgeous! Hoping to find place to pick both raspberries and blueberries this summer :)
Can’t convince anyone to move out West? ;-) Family time is good time.
I wish. They seem to like the east. I’m convinced it’s because they don’t know any better :)
You didn’t sound whinny just giving a realistic account of good and bad. Glad you are having such great family times. I have to admit to being partial to the west also.
I always try not to complain too much here. I know that many people dream of living and traveling in a RV and I never want to sound ungrateful. But you’re right, it’s good to be truthful and realistic.
I do like the motivational side of blogs, but I also appreciate not having smoke blown you know where. I actually like blogs that show the not so great days too. Life isn’t all fun – no matter where you live (with or without wheels). I realize I am preaching to the choir. As always thank you for your insight, being honest and letting us come along for your adventures!
I was thrilled to read you blog about your North Carolina trip. My son and his family are moving to either Cary or Apex this summer. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Email us if you find yourselves in Western, Wisconsin. Our yard is huge.
North Carolina is a great state. I like that you have the diversity of the both the ocean and the mountains. It does get kind of hot in the summer though! Would love to make it back up to Wisconsin someday. We spent a tiny amount of time there a few years ago. Will let you know if we’re ever in the area :)