Gadsden -> Orange Beach

Today we made the trek from Gadsden to Orange Beach, to meet the Herrels and the Reagens for a previously scheduled vacation. We are all staying in a big house just a short walk from the beach.

Reunited. Back Row: Elliot, Andrew, Ian, Mari, Cameron, Hope. Front Row: Lucia
Erin, Rachel, & Susan

Parting Ways

Today was a long, sad, exciting day. I left early in the morning to pick up our RV at VRV in Indianola. We were hoping to get it earlier in the week, but the Excursion needed a fair amount of help, which it got.

While I was doing that, Susan and the kids were saying goodbye to the Reagens. We thought they would be saying goodbye to us, but it has take us so long to get on the road that they actually left for their vacation in Colorado before we left for our RV trip! I wasn’t there for the goodbye, but I am sure it was tough and I am glad that we will get to see them again in a few weeks on our previously-scheduled vacation. 

Liesland and Reagen Kids

Around lunch time I had everything we needed for the RV and I headed up I-35 for my first driving test. The plan was to take it to the church near the Reagens’, practice there for a bit, and then move to the Reagens’ driveway. Getting to the church went well, but the driving practice was tough, so we took a break and headed back to the Reagens’, leaving the RV just a few blocks away. 

Later in the afternoon we had success backing the RV up in the church lot AND getting it into the Reagens’ driveway. It was a very exciting accomplishment. The neighbors across the street, the Sullivans, were out to help us and make sure we were headed in the right direction and not running anything over. Just a few minutes after we got the RV in, the rains came. It rained off and on, with some strong storms that brought hail and some broken limbs. We just had to sit in the garage and watch the RV, hoping for no damage. 

By the end of the night we were enjoying disappearing marshmallow brownies with the Sullivans and we were ready for our first night in the RV!

 

2016-2017 New Year’s

As usual, we went to the Reagens’ for New Year’s Eve. We had a lot of food, fun, and spent the night. 

Cousins. The littlest girls had gone to sleep already.

This year also introduced a potential new tradition – Cupcake Wars. On New Year’s Eve we were checking out the Reagens’ new TV, watching some HD desert videos. Someone said it would be better if they were dessert videos, and next thing you know we were watching cupcake wars. We watched the first half of an episode, watched the ball drop in New Orleans, and then watched the second half. Everyone enjoyed it, except Nate who could not have cared less. 

Then, on New Year’s Day we were going to watch another episode, but it was removed from Netflix. . . . so we decided to have our own real-life episode. The teams were Erin and Ian against Susan, Hope, and Mari. They had 45 minutes to make gourmet cupcakes using some of the ingredients that we had laid out: limes, sparkling raspberry spritzer, and peanut butter. They were not allowed to follow any recipes!

Getting Started


 

Accusations

In the end, both teams produced some rockin’ cupcakes, and the judges deferred judgement until next year. 

The Final Products

Happy New Year!

This year we spent our New Year’s Eve at the Reagens’, where we are nearly every year! It is always a blast and the kids love to party.

 

Weekend Hikes

This weekend we got out for two hikes, to enjoy the nice weather. On Friday evening we went for our monthly hike with the Prairie Grass Guild. On Sunday we went with the Reagens to Brown’s Woods.




 

Jasper Winery

This evening we hit the Jasper Winery Summer Concert Series, with the Reagens (of course). The kids had a blast dancing up front!

The Lawn
The Lawn
Ian, Nate, Hope, Lucia, Susan, Mari
Ian, Nate, Hope, Lucia, Susan, Mari