Chapter 1, Rockford, IL June 14-15, 2014

Posted by  Brooke Tower on Saturday, July 19, 2014

Our ideal is to not travel too many miles at one time.  Rockford, IL seemed like a perfect place to spend our first night after traveling about 5 or 6 hours.  Illinois is "home" for me, and has been "home" for J., though now after living in Michigan for 9 years, those connections look and feel differently.  My Grandma Swanson lives in Rockford and found out that we could park in the parking lot of Fairhaven, her retirement community, for a night. Delicious and comforting foods made with love is a theme in my memories of visiting my Grandma and we were not disappointed. It was wonderful for us to play Uno with her before eating a scrumptious dinner that was even more of a treat after eating out way too much in the process of packing up and preparing to leave. All the food was great, but the dessert was especially good and it was fun to see my Grandma's excitement when Luke and Lauren asked for seconds. (Luke would have asked for thirds, if we had let him.)

It was fun to show my grandma our new home on wheels and was rather exciting to see how things had shifted in their cabinets and spaces after many miles on the road.  Many cans threatened to fall out of the refrigerator. After dinner, my grandma taught Luke how to play Rook, one of her favorite games. Luke didn't want to stop playing and I was just happy that the "Gals" were ahead of the "Guys" when we stopped. J. and I took turns being in the RV with the trying-to-sleep kids and taking a shower at my grandma's home. Fortunately, it was a cool night and we all slept fairly well.  Unfortunately, we had forgotten to put water in the freshwater tank and couldn't use our sink.

The next morning we were treated to another delicious meal.  Our breakfast of cereal, fruit, pancakes and bacon was a wonderful beginning for the next leg of our journey on our way to celebrate Father's Day with my dad J.  My grandma even sent us on our way with some grapes, homemade cookies, and chocolate for our road trip.  These treats did not last long!


  • btower

    8/4/2014 at 7:43 PM

    Thank you, Bobmac. We appreciate your encouragement and sharing the journey with us. There are a lot more pictures and shorter updates on Facebook, so I'm sorry you are missing out on those ;) Yes, it was wonderful to have Steve and Jan visit last week. Each kid got a turn sleeping over and they both spent the night Thursday and we got to celebrate our 15th anniversary at the Old Faithful Inn. It was fun to see new things and to explore this beautiful area with them. Kayaking and paddle-boarding were fun firsts, too :).

  • Bobmac

    7/30/2014 at 8:01 AM

    Brooke & J. It has been an absolute wonder to follow the trip along your path with you guys. The pictures are just awesome and sometimes too surreal. I love the commentary and the sharing of experiences at the places you have visited. We were both so excited to get a card from you guys. That was the highlight of the day. It made me remember when my grandparents toured the states and they sent postcards from the places they went. Obviously a little before cell phones and the internet was big back in the 80's. Brought back some cool memories. Thank you. I can't believe it has only been a month and you are so far out already. What your doing is so cool and the kids will have memories for a lifetime. We look forward to watching the journey you are on and continuing to pray that all is well where ever you are. I am sure it is a treat having Steve & Jan out there to visit. Hopefully the kids will stay with them for a night or two???? Have a great day and keep sending these updates. They are truly wonderful and fantastic to read through. Thank you again.