Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear Briggz,
                        On Saturday we arrived at Gibby’s house in Chicago, Illinois. We parked our camper, killing a few plants in the process. When that was finished we went in, said hi Gibby, had some really good Asian food a Stir Crazy, went back inside and feel asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. The next day we drove down town and walked for a few miles. We saw Sears Tower, the art institute, and an old fire station. The fire station had only one bay but lots of crew for the two trucks. The art institute is where Gibby’s mom works so we saw her office. We went back to Gibby’s house and had some Chicago deep-dish pizza. On Monday we drove to the Museum of Science and Industry. We saw huge exhibits for weather, technology, movement, air transportation, trains, and ideas of what the future may hold. We saw the worlds most energy efficient car, the only remaining Nazi U-boat, U-505, and one of the two remaining original boing aircraft.
The from the German U-Boat, U-505

Giant Tesla coil

One of 2 British "spitfire" planes left

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Briggz,

Before leaving the lovely state of Ohio, we had to grab a bite to eat. So I introduced the family to the infamous eatery of Steak ‘N Shake.

The following morning we focused on traveling through Indiana on our way to Winnetka IL, and the home of the McCullagh’s.  We made a stop in South Bend to visit and pay our respects to the legends of Notre Dame football. It was a quick stop to stretch our legs and take a few photos. We decided to spend a few nights in Plymouth Indiana at Yogi Bears Jelly Stone Campground.  It’s a little different camping experience than what we are used to, but the boys were able to enjoy the outdoor pool, mini golf, and a few girls were eyeing J from the campsite across the road. Over our three days there we were able to experience an electrical hook up which allowed us to pump the AC unit in the camper. Thank goodness because it was so damn HOT!! Now we head to Winnetka IL, to meet up with our dear friend Gibson. It should be a blast.
So a bit of “normal living over the next few days and then we continue on our voyage across the USA.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dear Briggz,
            On our way from VT to NY we stopped at Fort Stanwix. Fort Stanwix is a reproduction of the original fort that was there in the 18th century during the revolutionary war.  We walked around and went into places like the soldier’s bunks, officer’s quarters and his family quarters. If a soldier brought family with them the family had to stay out side of the fort in tents. Only officer’s families could stay inside the fort. Dad found the store/ tavern where each solider was given 4 oz. of rum a day as a pat on the back for a good days work.
Then last night we stayed at a free campsite Mom found before we left. Dad was nervous about going to a “ HIDE YOUR KID… HIDE YOUR WIVES” kinda place. When we found the park and where campers could stay, we found it to be a very cool place. It had fire tower that we all climbed to watch the sun set.  “ It was a lot of steps and my legs were sore but the view was amazing” Said A. On our way back to the camper Dad found a toad who did not like having his picture taken. You would have loved to play with it Briggz. When the frog was safe the boys played kick ball then we all played card games until it was bedtime. Dad woke up at 4:00am ready to go but did not wake Mom up until 5:00am and to save the boys from having to get up so early they went up the fire tower again to watch the sun rise, it was beautiful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dear Briggz,

Our second stop along the Sabbatical route was to Lake Placid New York.
First things first… LUNCH. A Visit to Tail of The Pup BBQ was definitely
in order. We experience outdoor dive dining at its best. Harley Davidsons
were everywhere, an oversized Lobster statue, pool table, and live band.
Need I note that all the waitresses were all European college students on
loan to the good olí U.S. of A. A few Pulled pork sandwiches and we were
back on the road. 
Imagine being in a place that held not one but two Winter Olympic game,
1932 and 1980. We began our tour of the Olympic Center viewing the Hall of
Fame photos. All good and dandy but we all know the reason I wanted to be
there…. “Do you Believe in Miracles?!” We made our way through the complex
and noticed the Flags of the countries that competed in the games. We
noticed a lot of Ironman sings as well. Apparently the Lake Placid Ironman
competition is one of the longest standing Ironmanís in the Country.
Alas we found what I had been waiting for. A group of doors, above them
labeled Herb Brooks Arena… “HOME OF THE MIRACLE ON ICE”.
It was awesome. To be in the same building as the 1980 USA hockey team and
standing next to the same bench area.  Okay I need to clarify a point
here. I was never a hockey player and will never be able to dangle or even
ring the crossbar of the goal, But my enjoyment of hockey began as a
little boy spending numerous vacations in Toronto, watching either family
play or viewing the blades of steel on the TV with my grandfather. I have
no clue why but as they were routing for the Leafs, I was busy emulating
the great net minder, at least in my mind, Grant Fuer. As we strolled down
the steps to the ice surface I could not help but imagine the crown during
that memorable game. A game that pitted boys against men, amateur players
vs. professionals, and with all the odds against them….well, you don't
need me to tell you how it all ended. We finished with a trip to the Lake
Placid Olympic Museum. So many photos and memorabilia from both the í32
and í80 winter Olympiad. Several uniforms and jerseys were on display.
Olympic torches were hung on the walls, even the bullwhip the Herb Brooks
received as a Secret Santa gift was immortalized. All in all this was a
fantastic visit to a wonderful place. 
That's all for now Briggz. I will wright again soon.


First stop VT

Dear Briggz,
            We started our sabbatical in Waterbury VT. Our first excursion was to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. The tour we took started by watching a movie about how Ben and Jerry started making ice cream. Our next stop was the production floor. We could see 7 of the 9 steps it takes to make their ice cream. The best part was at the end when we went to the sample room and were given scoops of a flavor called “Milk and Cookies”.  After the official tour we walked up to the flavor graveyard. We saw flavors that have stopped being made like fossil fuel and peanut butter cookie dough. Before we left we needed to eat more ice cream so J and C shared “Cookie Dough”, A and Mom shared “Fish Food” and even dad found one he could eat with no milk in, it was called “Mango Sorbet”.
            Our next stop was to the Cabot Cheese annex. They had samples available of all the cheeses they made. A tried everyone they had!! We bought 3 blocks of cheese before we headed back to the campground.
            The next day we stayed at the campground. We tried to catch some fish but had no luck. The boys all completed the Jr. ranger program and A and C went to a ranger class about animal footprints and furs.

We miss you,
Love Us All

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Dear Briggz,
             Saying goodbye is always hard.  We dropped you off at your grandparent’s house where you will stay for a few months.  We were all very sad to say goodbye to you. We also had to say goodbye to many dear friends and boy did the tears flow. You never know how special people are in your life until you have to say bye.
            Are house is packed and we are off on our adventure.  Our first stop is Vermont we are looking forward to getting a relaxed state of mind. We still can’t believe this is going to be our life for a whole year.

We all miss you
Love, us  all


Sad Briggz
                                    Saying goodby to great neighbors Thanks for the great gifts