Welcome to Florida!

We finally made it to Florida! 

Did you guys know it snowed here in Florida!?  I was pretty surprised...

Oh wait, no, that's sand... beautiful white sand. ;) 

After sailing over a thousand kilometers, the Pequod has finally reached the sea!  
We're excited to spend the next 2 weeks here in Florida on the Gulf Islands National Seashore!

January 28, 2016

Week On The Creek

We made it safely to our 3rd location, driving through rain and traffic... and this time, in DAYLIGHT!  We were pretty proud of ourselves. :) One thing that was noticeably different about arriving before sundown was the crowd our tiny house attracted.  I'm pretty sure every single person at the campground came up to us as we were setting up to meet us and ask questions.

We decided to stay a week at Foscue Creek Park (a park managed by the Army Corps of Engineers), north of Mobile, Alabama.  Our camping spot is just off the Black Warrior River which is at a state wildlife management area.

Aaron decided to let the kids pick out some new fishing poles so we can all go fishing together.  Aaron and I don't have much experience fishing, but our daughter has mentioned several times that she wants to try fishing.  So fishing we go...

Watch out for little brothers with fishing poles!!

Both kids got really good at casting, but you definitely wanted to be aware of Simon's hook! 

Simon was a having quite a bit of fun and being pretty silly... 

My favorite fishing photo of Selah, as she kept saying how much she liked fishing because it was so "peaceful".

I thought this was a perfect beer for the occasion, as Foscue Creek was exactly that, a side trip... which ended up being a really awesome place!

And I wasn't sure if we'd catch anything, so I went ahead and brought my own fish. ;)

We didn't end up having luck with catching any fish... but Aaron did catch something!  He was able to fish Simon's fishing pole out of the lake, after Simon casted a little too enthusiastically...

Across the lake from us was an old Marine that invited the kids to watch him process a catfish.  It was an eye opener for them, since we eat a lot of fish.

They even sent us home with some catfish to try, when I mentioned I'd never had any.

He also invited the kids for a boat ride, which of course the kids loved!

It's very tranquil here, and simply lovely with all the birds and nice weather.  I had a lot of fun photographing the beautiful birds!  I'm glad Aaron convinced me to park here for the week before we escape to Florida.

And finally a park that has several paved paths & roadways, so we can bike as a family!

Since we've been here in Alabama I've seen the southern hospitality that everyone talks about.  Everybody has been so nice and friendly!  We will definitely miss Foscue Creek Park and all the awesome people here!  This park is definitely one I would recommend to any winter campers!  

Soon we will be taking off to go even further South to the Sunshine State!  

January 27, 2016

Tiny Catastrophe

Late the other night, while I was in the loft, I heard some pretty colorful words come out of Aaron's mouth in a sing-song kind of way (his way of staying calm?).  I could tell it was something serious and a really big deal (to Aaron).  I jumped up and almost hit my head on the loft ceiling as I scurried down the wooden steps to see what in the world would have caused such an outburst.

Our bathroom and closet floors were soaked!  Our first thought was that the washing machine must be leaking, but we didn't find that to be the case, so Aaron took off the wall to see the piping.  

Sure enough, there was our problem.  A busted pipe.  A big ugly busted pipe...

Aaron has somewhat of a phobia of water/plumbing/flooding, etc. because of a childhood home that always flooded and kept his parents on edge.  Whenever water is present where it should not be, Aaron is very tense.  Anyway...

We came to the conclusion that the damage was probably done earlier when we were turning into the RV park.  The back right trailer tire slipped off the corner of the pavement and we think that's when the pipe cracked, because when we went inside to check on things the shower drain pipe had been pushed up a couple inches, which can only be caused by something hitting the drain pipe from under the trailer... the hazards of a drop axel trailer.  

So we got up as much water as possible with our bath towels, then propped up the wood floor, and turned on the fans and let them do their thing as we stood there and watched for several minutes before realizing there was nothing else we could do at that moment.  

But what felt like a big deal when it happened, turned into a very manageable situation.  When we finally went to bed for the night I told Aaron, "If this is the greatest problem we have, than we have it made!"  

The next morning, Aaron made a Lowe's run to get some fiber fix repair stuff, but we decided to put things back in place and take care of the broken pipe at our next location since we needed to get on the road before the weather turned for the worse.  So, right now, we can't use our washer/dryer... but not a big deal since our current location has both! :)

January 23, 2016

It IS Rocket Science.

I'll be perfectly straight with you... this stop was for me, Momma.  The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama was everything I always imagined it to be!  A childhood dream fulfilled!  I can't even describe how happy I was all day here at the museum... oh, and Aaron and the kids enjoyed it as well. ;) **I'll go ahead and apologize for the long post, but I'm about to nerd out on all of you.**

Besides the few groups of Space Camp kids, we were practically the ONLY visitors that day, which was amazing because I loathe crowded attractions!  Apparently Wednesday during school time is a great time to go!  We got to spend as much time at whatever exhibit we wanted to, like this "Mind Control" station that translated your brainwaves into the movement of the ball.  Essentially, it showed Aaron is MUCH more "calm" than I am.  No surprise there.

Crystal = Player 1... Aaron = Player 2

This eye reading/control station was really cool...

And there were several other awesome exhibits that we got to enjoy all to ourselves!

They had a rock wall, so we all had to climb it.  I hadn't climbed a rock wall in over a decade, or worked out in over a month, but I managed to make it to the top!  Woot!

 It was the kid's very first time climbing, and the both got about halfway.

 Aaron of course made it to the top no problem, and looked good while doing it. :)

The kids took the next portion of the museum pretty seriously, in that they got to play make believe with the best toys ever while their daddy and I got to enjoy the tour of the space station replica!

How did they even know that was a phone? ;) 
I wish you could have heard their dialogue, it was hilarious!

The space station's toilet reminds me of the toilet in our tiny house ;)

Aaron found the Stephen Colbert treadmill...

The next portion of the museum housed an entire Saturn 5 Rocket, as well as all the engines NASA has used for space missions.

This sweet old docent (below) reminded me of my Grandpa M., and I could just tell he had a wealth of knowledge just waiting to share with some curious mind.  He pretty much gave me a personal tour of the entire building!  During this time I learned that my docent, Bill, held 3 PhDs, did lots of work for NASA, and even hired somebody from Purdue back in his day!  I feel like Americans have a tendency to take our elderly for granted.  But just imagine 30 years ago, and how privileged we would have felt to hold this man's attention...

Here Bill was showing me an Apollo return module, and explaining how it gets so hot during reentry that it burns off some of the exterior.   I'm just so glad I captured his reflection.  You should have seen his eyes light up every time he would show me something awesome and I'd exclaim, "Wow"!

The mysteries of outer space have always fascinated me, as well as the magic of physics and engineering.  I also love learning about the great achievements of humans when they work together.  My own Grandpa was a manager of a research team for the first manned lunar landing amongst many other great accomplishments.

Here is the lunar lander...

And here is the Lunar Module Descent Engine...

And the Lunar Module Ascent Engine....

Outside is the Saturn 5 rocket with Aaron and the kids in the foreground for some reference for it's size.  I had to blend 2 photos together to capture the whole thing...

I'm sure Huntsville has other nice things to see, but we only stayed in town for 2 nights as we try to match our trip schedule with the weather to make sure we're traveling in safe conditions.  So far our plan has been working!  The day we left Kentucky, we got a local severe winter weather storm warning coming up for the next day.  We made it through Tennessee just before their winter weather advisory warnings, and we left Huntsville just as it was about to get nasty out there!  SOUTHWARD BOUND!  We've just now made it to SouthWest Alabama, where the forecast looks promising!  

January 22, 2016