A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Holy laundry, Batman! Six people + 1 week = about $20 in quarters! Yikes! Sure is fun to do ALL of your laundry at once, though! ☺️
How fun was THIS??!? I've always wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty--and we finally did it! It was amazing! Even cooler than I had imagined! I loved that we got to ride in the ferry to Ellis Island and then to the Statue. Ellis Island was incredible, too! How cool, too, that the kids got to get Jr Ranger badges at BOTH places??!? It was incredibly amazing and fulfilling to see--in person--this icon of America! The Symbol of Freedom! It lifted my heart and gave me hope; it made me proud to be an American! :)
I have to add an after story, too, though. As AWESOME as it was to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty--and even the New York skyline (from a distance)-- Driving through New York in a motorhome is HORRIFYING!!!!!!!!! Our next stop after the Statue of Liberty was Connecticut, and we had to drive through NYC to get there. Well, we were on a 'no tolls' kick, so I punched in our destination into the GPS to get us there with no tolls...and it came up with a TWELVE HOUR route!!!! What?!? I switched it over to include tolls, and it came to 3 hours. Huh. So, we decided that maybe it was worth it. Well, our first toll came: the George Washington Bridge. Those of you who have been to NYC know what I'm talking about and are probably cringing and nodding right now. Apparently this is the ONLY way through the city. Well, we got up to the toll booth, and it said, "Cars $15, Trucks $15 and up". I thought, "Ouch! It might be as high as $20!!" We got up to the window, and the lady said, "That'll be $42 please." WHAT???!?!?!?!?? &%%$#$%^&#$@@^@%#*@^ (Those are all the words that I had to censor that we were thinking.) Devin couldn't speak for a minute. Then he asked if he could back up! (ha ha) The lady didn't even miss a beat, "No sir. If you want to turn around, you have to go across then come back through." I think she's probably had this happen before. Well, after some ranting and raving, he finally gave in and we drove through. The bridge was pretty spectacular, honestly, but I really wonder how people can afford to live there if they have to cross that bridge on a regular basis! I kept looking at ALL of those cars and trucks driving across and wondering if they had to go without dinner that night because of the toll! Wow. Well, I switched the GPS back to "no tolls", and the time to CT was still the same, so it appeared we were 'safe'--but I can say I don't think either of us breathed again for the next 2 hours while we drove through New York!!! It was so scary! Most of the continuing freeways were for 'passenger cars only'--so we kept wondering: Are we a passenger car? Our vehicle was just for passengers, after all! But then we wondered if that was because there were low bridges? Well, eventually, we just had to jump on one of those 'passenger cars only' freeways, and we made it out mostly unscathed. We REALLY like Connecticut--probably because going through NYC was so jarring. I will never ever forget the $42 toll bridge. Ever. Next time, I'm walking through the Lincoln Tunnel like Buddy the Elf.
After we meandered our way through the statues of Gettysburg, we passed through Lancaster, PA--the land of the Amish! We were able to stop off at The Amish Farm and House to take a tour of the house and see how the farm worked. It was a lovely little place. The boys dressed up in the typical Amish outfits, and we learned about how they dress and some of the things they would do on a daily basis. Then we were able to go out back and pass through some of the shops. The first one we went to was a woodworking shop. The man there was so funny! He made us some bird ornaments out of cedar and talked about his life. He even let Josh try out his machine! Neat! We also saw lots of animals, buggies, and a guy who made wood carvings--some of the smallest wood carvings I've ever seen! He had a wood-carved rooster that was 1 mm tall! Oh my goodness! A very interesting way of life. There are times when I think it would be pretty nice to put away all the distractions of life, and live simply like that. Closest thing I get is locking myself in the bathroom with the lights off.
"On the streets of Philadelphia..." I think I sang this in my head the whole time we walked the streets of the city! :) And even when we drove through town in our motor home (which was a horrible, crazy adventure in and of itself!!)
We headed into Philadelphia after a lovely morning at the Amish Farm and House...unfortunately, we headed in during prime rush hour! :/ The freeways were STOPPED. Ugh. So, we decided to take some side roads--thanks to the GPS. However, the GPS doesn't know that we're a large motorhome, so we got into some pretty tight spots! Scary! Wouldn't it be nice if there were a setting on a GPS that could tell it what type of vehicle you're driving?? :)
Our first stop was the temple open house! We lucked out in that our first day in Philly was the last day of the temple open house! We made it there, but there was NO parking for a large motorhome! Ha! So Devin dropped us off, and he went off to find somewhere to park. Oh boy. It took him a LONG time, and we were so worried! But eventually, he came, and off we went. It was SO lovely! I loved being with my kids inside the temple--sitting all of us together on a couch in the Celestial Room! So awesome! Such a wonderful, peaceful feeling after a VERY stressful day. :)
We stayed at the funniest RV park--it was a parking lot right in downtown! It was the only one nearby, and they had a shuttle that would take you to a bus stop, so we took the shuttle the next morning to the bus, then we rode the bus downtown! What fun! We saw all the sites: Independence Hall, the House of Congress, the Liberty Bell, etc., etc.! The only downside to the day: It was HOT HOT HOT!!! WOW!! I felt like I was back in Sri Lanka! It was SOOOO hot and humid!! That did make it much harder, but we survived and tried our best to stay inside. We even ended our tour with a stop off at 7-11 for Slurpees! :D That was the highlight for the kids. The only thing they remember now was that Philadelphia has 7-11 Slurpees.
We took the back roads through PA. There were a few reasons for this: Number one, we like to avoid toll roads. Number two: we LOVE the rural views and all the trees and ups and downs! And best of all, you can really find some gems along the way! As we were meandering down Highway 30, we stumbled upon the memorial for Flight 93! I didn't even know this existed! It was impressive, and the kids really took this to heart. There are some courageous people in this world. It's wonderful to see real life every day heroes.
Our end goal on this highway was to hit Gettysburg. Wow. This place had more statues than anywhere I've EVER been, and I've been to a lot of places! There were statues EVERYWHERE! We camped inside the part area, and I went running in the morning, and there was not a dull moment in that run! Statue after statue after statue! Whew! It was pretty neat...and HOT! Wow! Felt like we were back in Sri Lanka! Hot and humid! We enjoyed seeing some of the battle sites and talking with some of the rangers about the area. I learned a lot about this famous place--the first is that it wasn't a deciding battle--it was just a little one!! Second, that famous speech by Abraham Lincoln? Did you know that he was only asked to come and speak as an afterthought? And when they asked him, they told him to keep his remarks very short! Hence the super 'easy' to memorize Gettysburg Address! But he was NOT the keynote speaker. That guy's speech lasted more than 2 HOURS--and notice that no one remembers that one? Yah. Short and sweet is where it's at. People like that.
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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