Tag Archives: family vacation

Home, Sweet Home!

Oh man is it good to be back home!!! Obviously we had a lot of fun while we were in Branson, but I was very ready to get back home and see my puppies! All of which we did. πŸ˜‰

We packed up the truck, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by about 1:30 pm yesterday. So we got home around 4:30, which wasn’t bad! But we ha d a lot to do when we got home! First we had to put the chickens outside (they were staying in our spare bedroom since it was so hot and I wasn’t going to be here all day to take care of them while we were gone) and start cleaning up the mess they made. That’s been a super long process that involved having to buy an air filter because all of the dust they created was really bothering my asthma.

But before we were able to do that we had to run to Tractor Supply to get more chicken feed, dog food, and cat litter. After that we made our way to the kennel to pick up the dogs. Haha for whatever reason the lady who runs it wasn’t there so we had to wait for a few minutes, but I was perfectly fine with that because I got to play with her goats again! But she didn’t take long to get there and get the whole dog situation squared away. Haha the dogs were sure happy to see us and didn’t even give the goats a thought as we were loading them into the truck! Pretty impressive for a group of border collies. πŸ˜‰

After we picked them up we had to run back home, drop them off (but in the backyard because they all smelled terrible), and then we were off to Walmart to get the air filter thing I was talking about and a few groceries since we basically had no food at the house haha. So after we got home from all of that, Luke bathed the dogs while I did more work on the bedroom. I felt like I was in there forever but didn’t get a lot done haha. But it was getting late and I still needed to shower, so I did that and then Luke and I went to bed.

Luckily today though I was able to get that room mostly cleaned out. There is still a bit of a mess in there, but it’s sooo much better than it was yesterday! Today I also had to unpack everything, do a ridiculous amount of laundry and just get the house clean in general. But I got all of that accomplished, and even had some time to dye my hair! Haha it’s been a busy and productive day. πŸ˜‰ But Luckily that means I shouldn’t have a lot to do tomorrow and will finally be able to relax a bit.

So yeah, just wanted to do a quick little update to let you know that we made it home in one piece and the dogs don’t hate us for leaving them in a kennel for almost 5 days haha. I’ve got a lot more to talk about for tomorrow though, so be on the lookout for that! Some exciting stuff is officially kicking off tomorrow. πŸ™‚

But for now, I’ll wish you a very happy Saturday and be on my way, because I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done tonight. Until tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 4

Today was our last full day here. Tomorrow, probably at some point in the morning we’re going to be heading bark home to Kansas. We’ve had a pretty good time here, but oh man do I miss my puppies! Haha I’m sure they’re doing fine, we haven’t gotten a call from the kennel or anything so that’s a good sign. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this morning I got to enjoy my breakfast and coffee on our front porch and hang out with Luke’s mom, before it got too crazy hot. We had a heat warning today and I believe it was the hottest day we’ve had while we’ve been here.

While we were hanging out Luke and my brother-in-law went to Walmart to replace the fishing stuff that got stolen yesterday. Honestly no one is too upset about losing the cheap fishing poles, it’s just my leatherman’s tool that literally everyone is upset about. Haha it kinda feels nice to know that everyone cares so much just because that thing meant so much to me. It still really sucks that some asshole stole it…

Anyway, once Luke and my brother-in-law got back from Walmart we got all of our fishing gear ready and then headed down to the river. I didn’t stay out long though. It was crazy hot out and we were under a heat advisory, and you all know how well I do in the heat. πŸ˜‚ So after like, 15 minutes I went back up to the cabin haha.

Pretty much everyone else went off to do their own thing, so I was alone for awhile. I kinda started to get our stuff packed but up and in order so we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow, and then I just kinda chilled by myself and read a book. πŸ™‚

Then this evening we had a big family cookout with like, over 20 people. Every one was grilling and hanging out and having a good time. But then a thunderstorm rolled in. Every one had to rush around to get everything off of the grills, put stuff inside, and round up all of the children. But once that was done a bunch of us just stood out in it and watched it. Hahaha we ended up getting soaking wet, but we stayed out in it the whole time!

Once the storm past we were able finish up our festivities. After everyone ate we went down to the river and swam for a little bit. Now we’re back in the cabin and getting ready to play some board games!

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. 😁 I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. 😊

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley

Hello Kansas!!

Thank the Lord baby Jesus we are finally home!!!!

So Saturday/Sunday I rode in a bus with Luke’s mom’s family from Florida to Illinois. We spent 22 ish hours on a cramped, small, uncomfortable, bus. The ride was only supposed to take 14 hours…but oh well, we finally made it to our respective families houses in Illinois. So I stayed at my grandma’s house. That was really nice though, I always enjoy spending time with her. πŸ˜„

So last night I took my uncle’s new dog, Luther (who I’m 90% sure is part pit bull and maybe part border collie) for a walk last night. Haha I’m used to my 3 border collies who are all very high energy, in very good shape, and can go on very long walks with me, so it was kinda funny that Luther could barely make it a mile. I mean, he enjoyed the walk and he tried really hard, but near the end I kinda had to drag him to keep him going haha. My uncle doesn’t exactly walk him so I guess he’s not used to it. That’s alright though, we both had fun and he was nice and tired last night. 😁

But our short little walk, and drinking lots of water has helped the swelling in my ankles go down. They’re still a little bit stiff and swollen from the 22 hour bus ride, but they were much better this morning. 

Yesterday verses this morning.


So anyway, this morning I hung out with my grandma for a little bit, and then Luke (who was stayed at his dad’s house last night) came to get me at 9:30 am, and then we were off to Kansas! Except not really, because Luke forgot some stuff at his dad’s house and we had to stop back there before we could leave. But we did and it was all good. πŸ˜„

 After an uneventful 5 hour drive back home (which felt kinda short after the drive to and from Florida), we came back to a house of dogs who were very excited to see us (Finn wouldn’t let the other dogs get near me haha), a very sad garden full of weeds and dead and dying plants, and the house is a huge wreck and a lot of stuff seems to be broken…so I’m dealing with that right now. Fun times. But hopefully by tomorrow things will mostly be back in order. 


Until next time! 

~Ashley

Hello Illinois!!!!

I don’t I’ve ever been happier to be here! I also never ever ever want to step foot into another bus like that ever again. Haha I guess you’ll see why I feel that way by the end of this post. 

We left the rental house in Florida around 9 am yesterday. We drove for a while and took a slight detour once we got to Georgia. Luke’s mom wanted to stop in Senoia, GA because that’s where they film a lot of The Walking Dead, along with several other movies and TV shows. 

So we got out and walked around a bit. It was pretty neat to see some of the stuff from the show. We saw the walls and some of the houses and a church from Woodbury, the train tracks that led to terminus, and we saw The Walking Dead cafe (although it was closed when we got there). Plus the town was super pretty in general and it was kinda nice to be able to walk around and stretch our legs. 


(Sorry about how awkward and not so pretty this post probably looks with all of these photos. I didn’t bring my laptop with me, so I’ve had to post from my phone and obviously I have a lot less control over that kinda thing on mobile.)

Anyway, after we had seen everything that we wanted to see in town, we all piled back into the bus and we drove around to see a few other of The Walking Dean sets. We also saw the cemetery that was Pet Sematary. I’ll admit that was really neat, even if it was only a brief glance and I couldn’t take any pictures. I’ve officially seen that and the hotel where Stephen King wrote The Shining, so I’m on happy Stephen King fan. πŸ˜„

After our little The Walking Dead tour, we tried to continued on our way. After a while we stopped to get food and Luke and his mom switched out so Like cold drive for a while and his mom could rest. 

I ended up kinda in and out of sleep for most of the time that Luke drove. The bus we were on was super cramped, super uncomfortable, and not designed for long road trips like this, so sleeping comfortably was out of the question. I ended up leaning my pillow on the table in front of me, leaning forward at the waist, and sleeping like that. It was kind of awful. Anyway, I fell asleep a little after we passed Nashville and swhen I woke up we were pulling off the interstate to get gas and I saw a sign that said we were in Marion, Illinois. I swear I’ve never in my life been so happy to be in Illinois! 
After we got gas  Luke and his mom switched places and she drove the last 2 and a half ish hours back to our final destination. Except Luke and I never exactly made it there. We went passed Luke’s’ dad’s house and she ended up dropping us off there, and from there was going to drop off Luke’s step sisters and their whole group off at their mom’s house, and then she, her two remaining kids, and her boyfriend were finally going to their final destination (which was Luke’s grandma’s house). The trip from Florida to Illinois was supposed to take 14 hours ended up taking us closer to 21…

Anyway, I have no idea if any of them made it, but she dropped us off without our suitcases and just told us that later in the day we could all meet up at Luke’s grandma’s, get our luggage, and then help clean out the bus. I’m not sure when we’re going to do that, but I guess it’ll probably happen later this evening. 

Anyway, after we were dropped off at Luke’s dad’s house, we hung out there with him, Luke’s step mom, and his 2 other brothers for a while. The Luke dropped me off at my grandma’s house, and they all went to have Lunch at his other grandma’s house. 

So after I talked to my grandma for a little bit, I took a much needed shower (luckily I had a clean shirt in my carry on bag, but I had to put my dirty pants back on. Oh well.), washed my tattoos for the first time since Florida (although I did put a little bit of A&D on them in the bus), took a nap, and now she’s currently making sure I get good and fed. πŸ˜„

So yeah, my day has definitely improved, but it started off pretty rough. And while I was in the shower I noticed that my ankles were CRAZY swollen! Like seriously, it was bad. I guess I should have brought my compression socks with me on this trip, but I totally forgot…

Yeah, see that big lump? That shouldn’t be there…


Luckily the swelling went down a bit while I was napping, but their still pretty stiff, swollen, and uncomfortable. So right now my primary objective is drinking lots of water, and I’ll probably take my uncle’s dog, Luther for a walk tonight once it cools off a bit. Hopefully that will help with all the swelling. But for now I’ve got my feet elevated and I’m drinking lots of water, like I said. 


Anyway, that’s all I’ve got from now! I hope you have a great Sunday! 

~Ashley

On The Road AgainΒ 

Welp, we are officially on our way back to Illinois! 

This morning we did some last minute cleaning and packing, ate breakfast, and hit the road around 9:30 this morning. 


It’s now close to 6:30 pm as I type this, so we’ve been in the bus pretty much all day, and we probably won’t get to Illinois until around noon ish tomorrow (I’m hoping for earlier, but I’m being realistic). We drove through a pretty bad thunderstorm and have stopped several times for snacks and gas, and so far we’re making pretty decent time considering the thunderstorm we drove through. 

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. The next time I talk to you may be when I’m back at home in Kansas on Monday. 

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley 

Aaaand We’re Off!!Β 

I typed this in on my phone while riding in a van/mini bus kinda thing with 10 other people, so please forgive me if this isn’t the most thought out or well written blog post ever. But seeing as we’re going to be in this van for awhile I figured I might as well do some blogging. πŸ˜‰ Also, this is probably going to be a super long post, but I’ve got time to kill and a lot to talk about, so just hang in there with me, if you can. πŸ™‚

So today has basically been a whirlwind of pre-vacation excitement, anxiety, and general rushing around trying to get everything in order so that this crazy long (14-16 hour to be exact) road trip goes as smoothly as possible. But we’ll get to all of that in a minute. Because all of the pre-vacation excitement actually started yesterday. At least for Luke and I, that is.

So my day yesterday began with thunderstorms. More specifically, it began with me waking up at 6 am and then sitting around for 2 hours waiting out a thunderstorm so I could get one last pre-road trip run done. That didn’t end up going as planned though (does it ever though πŸ˜‰ ).

The weather was a little bit better whenever I hit the road, although it was still raining pretty hard and there was the occasional flash of lighting. But as I ran the wind started to pick up, it started raining even harder, and the lighting was getting much more frequent and a little more dangerous. I had planned to go for 6 miles, but by 4.22 miles I was back in front of my house, and I figured I had pressed my luck enough, so I decided to stop there. I mean, that was probably a good decision. Cutting my run short was definitely better than getting struck by lighting or hit by a falling tree limb or something. πŸ™‚

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I literally could have not been any more wet after this run. I basically looked like I had jumped into a pool, fully clothed, shoes and all. Haha it was fun though. πŸ™‚

After my swim…er, I mean run, I showered, ate, and got to work on all of the last minute things that I had needed to get done. I had basically checked out this week and got very little of the things that I had needed to get done until the very last minute. But in all fairness, it’s really hard to do anything when you know in just a few days you’re going to be on a beach hanging out with family haha.

First and foremost, I finished packing our suitcase. I swear that has been the most stressful part of this vacation so far! It’s just so hard because you can’t pack certain things like deodorant, or your tooth brush, because obviously you’re going to need those things before you leave. And then I spent a lot of time second guessing myself. Like, am I really going to need all of these shorts? Probably not, but then again, what if something happens and one pair gets super dirty and I don’t have an extra pair. Or am I really going to need these pants? I mean, we’re going to be in Florida, but you never know…After much debate, I finally got it done and I think we have everything that we’re going to need.

After that was taken care of I packed up my “carry on” bag for the drive down to Florida. Yeah, like 90% of what I packed is food, but I mean, what else was I supposed to bring on the car ride? And now I won’t have to worry about shady gas station food, so there’s that! πŸ™‚

Processed with Rookie Cam

Once I was 100% sure that Luke and I both had everything that we needed I started getting things in the house in order for my brother. He’s going to be staying here and taking care of our zoo while we’re gone. I’m so great full that I have people that I can rely on to take care of all of my critters while I’m away, but oh man I miss them already and I’m worried that they’re going to give my brother a hard time…I wrote him a list of everything that he needs to take care of and told him to text me if he has questions, but I’m still gonna worry. Haha jeez, you’d swear I was talking about leaving kids behind or something!

Anyway, when Luke got home from work he surprised me with a fancy new toy! I had been talking about how I wanted a Garmin Virb because they look so super neat, so he got me one just in time for our trip! So I spent a good majority of the evening messing around with that. 

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Alrighty then continuing on with last night’s shenanigans, my brother got to my house at around 11 pm (apparently he fell asleep in the middle of the day and didn’t end up leaving at noon like he wanted to. Haha but what else can you expect from an 18 year old, I guess. πŸ˜‰ ). So once he got to my house I explained what he needed to do, showed him all of the food we bough him and the list I made him, and then Luke and I were off to bed. Waaay later than we should have been, but whatever.

Except it wasn’t exactly whatever, because hearing Luke’s alarm go off at 5:45 am was literally the worst thing ever…but we had things to do and places to be, so it couldn’t be helped, I suppose. 

Luckily we had everything pretty much taken care of and ready to go, so we were on the road to Illinois at about 6:30 am. When we were about 2 hours away we had to stop for food and coffee, because we were both dying haha. We were good after we had done food/caffeine in us though. πŸ˜„


Anyway, we made it to my grandma’s house a little after 11 am. Luke went to his dad’s house to hang out with him and his brothers who are not going to Florida with us (this is an event for his mom’s side of the family) and I stayed with my grandma. She, my Uncle Ken, and I all hung out for a while, we played with my uncles new 7 month old puppy, and then we got pizza for lunch. πŸ˜„


Then at around 3 pm, my Auntie (my grandma’s sister, so my great aunt) and my Uncle Pa (my great uncle) showed up at my grandma’s house. That was a really nice surprise! I haven’t seen them in a while so it was really nice to be able to talk with them for a little bit. 

 

So they left a little before 4, and Luke got back to my grandma’s at 4:30, and from there we headed to his grandma’s house to load up the van. So we did that (and oh man that was an ordeal), ate dinner, hung out for a while, and then were finally on the road by 8 pm. 


 

Anyway, it’s about 8:40 pm now and we’re all already bored, so this is definitely going to be a long trip….

I’ll try to keep you updated on all of our Florida adventures, but I promise nothing! πŸ˜‰

~Ashley