Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Dear Briggz,
            Our next stop was Lake Kissimmee. We chose this park because it was not far from our next BIG stop DISNEY!  This park was huge it had lots of water, hiking trails and campsites. While the park had many signs warning about alligator’s we never saw any in the park. 

Maybe they were all low in the water eating all the fish because despite trying many times we caught no fish.   

Along this trip we have seen many animals and as I wrote in the last post we have seen deer already in Florida. The deer at this park are so very use to people they almost walk right up to you.  One morning Dad was sure he heard one nuzzling the tent end right by mom’s head. 

We rested up here and planed our trip to Disney. It’s hard to believe that after Disney we will be on our way back to see you!

Love you

Manatee Springs

Dear Briggz, 
            Our next Florida stop was Manatee Springs. 
The Spring

We had high hopes of seeing manatee swimming in the water warmed by a deep underground spring but the government shutdown is still causing problems for us. By closing National parks we lost around 3 weeks and arrived to early to the springs for the manatee to be there. 

The only Manatee we saw

While we did not see any real manatee, we did see snakes, deer, armadillos, and BIG banana spiders. The spiders freaked dad out. They were bigger then his hand! 
A real armadillo who came to our site each night
The banana spider

While there we did some school work and made a big decision to head back north sooner than we had originally planed.

Be good and see you soon

Mom's Happy Place

Dear Briggz.
            I have found my happy place!!!! When someone tells you to close your eyes and picture a place where you feel calm and relaxed, I have found it in Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FL. 

White sandy beaches, blue green crystal clear ocean, & warm breezes this place has it all. The sand is so perfect that all the grains are the same shape so when you walk on it they rub together and squeak. Yes I said squeak, your brothers enjoyed running in circles just to hear the noise. (I may have to) We spent each day at the beach playing football, swimming, taking walks, eating lunches and watching sunsets.
A jumping off the sand bar
J playing a little football
C loved playing with the flying ring

J surf casting
 I wish we could have stayed there forever but the trip must continue.

Be a good boy
Love, Mom


Dear Briggz,  
            We left New Orleans and headed on our way to Florida. As we crossed the Mississippi border we saw signs for NASA’s Infinity space center. Dad and I looked at each other and agreed to pull off the highway and take advantage of this find. When pulling in we saw rocket engines and weather collection buoys.   

After paying our entrance fee we put our names on a list to take a behind the gates tour of the area where they test the rocket engines that NASA uses to send spaceshuttles and satellites into space.  

 Back at the visitor center we were able to explore space suites, a life size replica of the interior of the space station, and many other cool things.  While I’m sure we could have spent all day there we had to move on but it was a well worth 3-hour pit stop.
Miss you and be a good boy

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Big Easy

Dear Briggz

            The Big Easy or as some of us like to call it, The Big Sleazy…  Our voyage has now taken us to New Orleans, home of the Saints, Pelicans, a 24 mile long bridge that crosses lake Ponchutrain, the birthplace of Jazz, and of course the French Quarter. We stayed at a state park called Fontainebleau on the other side the lake from the city. A big reason to come here was to see our close friend Lily! She was our advisee at Groton School and of course you know her mom very well.. Paula has only been caring for you over the past few months. We wanted to spend a day with Lily and she wanted us to get a small tour of New Orleans.
            She is a teacher of Science and English in a program called teach NOLA. I think she is enjoying herself and will probably sign on for another year. While with Lily, we were able to meet a few of her friends who are also teachers.  
Enough about that though, with Lily as our tour guide she led us to a park where the mighty Mississippi River passes. The boys played a little imaginary football as we watched the cargo ships sail by. 
A and Lily trying to get the cargo ship to blow the horn
Mom and Dad have both been to New Orleans before, but we wanted to boys to see where Hurricane Katrina had done so much damage. The 9th Ward is still a very damaged part of the city. Many of the folks that could afford to repair their homes have placed them up high on stilts or cinder block pillars. You can still see dilapidated houses with spray painted X’s on them indicating that the house has been searched, whether or not a person was found living or deceased in it, and that is marked as uninhabitable. An interesting part of this story is that once you pass through the 9th ward to the other side you end up in St. Bernard Parish which is a big shipping town, it is like night and day. The homes are all new and businesses seem to be thriving.
            The day flew by and we were all getting hungry. Lily is a fan of this Hot Dog joint made famous by Guy Fieri from the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. They have any combination of hot dog you can imagine, and they are huge. Not only were the hot dogs delicious, but the fries were off the chain and the beer was ice cold!
We had a great day visiting with Lily and we were so happy to see her!
            The following day we remained at the park and explored a bit. We took in a couple walking trails including one that was advertised as a boardwalk over the marshland. All of us were excited to possibly catch a glimpse of a few alligators. Well little did we know that the boardwalk had been destroyed by the hurricane as well. No Gators! We made the most of they day and enjoyed the warm weather, sunshine, and a nice evening fire pit.

            Next we wanted to check out the rest of the city. One more trip across the bridge and into the heart of NOLA and Who Dat nation. We walked the streets of the French Quarter, which was teaming with street musicians, antiques shops, bars, and gift shops. We took a stroll around Jackson Square where one can see a piece of history as well as several artists selling their lasted creations. Again our stomachs grumble… Time for Beignets, a delicious take on fried dough with mountains of powdered sugar and a fine cup of coffee. 

With our trip to New Orleans complete, we were ready for our next stop on the trip, Sunny Florida!

Be good, we will be home in just over a month!


and we WIN

Dear Briggz,

            THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!   And I am happy to say that we were able to watch game 6! Ok so we left Texas and traveled to Louisiana, but with the Sox battling We knew that we had to see the game. So what do you do with so much doubt in campgrounds not being in a location that would pick up FOX. You find a casino that has an RV Park attached. Oh yeah, need I tell you that the Cardinals may have the opportunity to move this series to 7 games…. Crap!!  We need to spend 2 nights at this park!!!.  So that is what we did.
We arrived that very historical night that also happened to be Halloween. Trick or Treating in Louisiana?,  NOPE, Trunk or Treating. A and C donned their costumes for what was a different take on the Halloween trek out through neighborhoods going door to door for candy.  Let me explain. We park at a church parking lot where numerous parishioners have popped the trunks of their cars, decorated them and sit in wait to hand out the goodies. Of course all of our thoughts are on the Sox game. Quick we got the goods, lets get back to the park to see the game!!!! GLORIOUS!!!! The better team won!!! Love the Boston Red Sox so much that I had to grow the beard throughout the playoffs.
A as an army guy and C as Mario
Growing it out for the Red Sox- Before

The next day as we come down from our World Series high we are faced with yet another obstacle. A series of strong storm are push towards our location. Storms producing tornados!!! A tornado warning was issued for our area and we are forced to abandon Gumby, our camper, and seek shelter in the lodge building of the RV park. After many games of UNO the storms tapper a bit and we decide to return to our home away from home to find that all is ok and the camper survived the strong winds and rain. We hear on the news that a tornado did touch down in the next town over. As evening drew near, a beautiful sunset was seen to end the day.
The sky after the storm

Bright sky

Much love from all of us!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Texas day of the dead

Dear Briggz,

            West Texas is a whole lot of nothing. The Shutdown continues so any thought of heading to Bing Bend National Park is out the door. The “Plan”, head east toward San Antonio. Grandma and Grandpa have a timeshare type of condo thing that we are going to take advantage of. It happens to be in “Hill Country" north of the city. The condo was a nice change apart from the phone calls from the folks there to urge us to buy into it a bit more.  You know how it goes, more money = Presidential suite.  No thanks. Plus the Sox are in the hunt for the ALCS pennant. That last sentence may give you a hint as to what we did for a couple of our days there. One day two though, we ventured into San Antonio. Mom and I wanted the boys to see the River Walk, which is pretty cool. There are a bunch of restaurants and shops that line the river walk set below the main streets of the city. The walkway follows the river a god ways from the hotel district to the convention center area. From there you can pop up to street level and go take a tour of the Alamo.  So that is what we did. The Alamo is a lot smaller than everyone pictures it in their head. It is an old mission and remains a religious building. Throughout the tour we saw artifacts from the Texas Revolution where the pivotal Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836. The Siege lasted only 13 days. The Texians were defending the Mission against the Mexican Troops who were retaliating against the Texians after being driven out of Mexican Texas several months prior.

The boys at the Alamo
            Because we can only stay at the condo for three nights at a time we packed up and headed a short jog north and settled in a place called Buchanan Dam. Buchanan Dam happens to be about an hour west of Austin Texas. We decided to set up shop and stay for five nights. Buchanan Lake has a few interesting features, the first one noted was the lack of water. Above the dam there has been a drought for several years now and the water level is approx.. 20-25 ft. lower than what it was normally. So you may ask, What there is to see? I mean, you camp near a lake you expect to see water… Well what you can do if you have 4 wheel drive, is head on out about ¾ to a 1 mile to the waters edge. There you can fish, or scour the lakebed for arrowheads. So that’s what we did. We actually found several arrowheads and could have spent even more time there but this stop was more to relax and to fill our days in an adventure.
            We did however take time to drive into Austin for a Dia de los Muertos festival. There were all sorts of crafts and music and face paintings celebrating the Day of the Dead. We also visited the Capital Building and got a nice glimpse of Texan history and the birth of the “Cowboy”.

Day of the dead cowboy!

That’s all for now. We will write soon.

Be a good boy!