Story has been on my mind lately mainly because most people ask us to tell them the story of why an RV, why a year, why such an adventure? How did and where did it start? We oblige all those who ask but what has turned into a story about us has turned into us learning about others, and their STORIES, and in turn changing ours!. How fricken cool!! In fact the word "cool" isn't remotely close to how cool IT is.
Since the last I sat down to 'story' we had reached Wisconsin, conducted my weekly business travel, kids visited capital and other sites, as we moved closer to Friday. Friday for all intents was a day-off leaving the state park and heading to the hotel La Casa Holiday Inn. When I entered our 'suite' I was firstly amazed by the size of...everything. Never noticed a hotel room could feel so large. Haha. Suffice it to say it was a nice break for the fam. The out-of-the-normal kid pool for a Holiday Inn was also a plus.
Again this holiday inn was the staging ground for my sisters' wedding the next day. upon arrival the Kids swam (all they could really do considering it was 11am - room would not be ready until 1pm) during which Evan (my brother) and I headed to the local liquor store [makers and some two-hearted], then best buy (for a second xbox one controller- necessary right?), gas station and then back to the RV. RV was in fact parked in the Holiday inn parking lot without all the electric, water and sewer-stuff. This is what you call boon-docking. The issue is that the weather for the next 2 early mornings was showing temps around freezing and nothing ever contemplated by us. To have the plumbing freeze now would set us on an undesired path. The solution? Dawson sleeps in the RV and keeps the generator and heat on.... oh the joys. More on that later.
Back to sisters evening. Rehearsal dinner. Was good to see familiar faces as well as new. I couldn't help but reflect that HaylieJo (the bride and my sister) was only 10 years old when Tiffany and I first met. Now I was looking and this mature and beautiful young woman about to change her 'story' forever. So so happy for her and Matt. Oh the tales they will build together. To say I was a bit distracted by the Royals game, first game of the ALCS (look it up if acronym confuses you), would be an understatement. Q and I continued to break-away to watch the game in the adjoining bar. At one point was so distracted I managed to have tabs at both the rehearsal dinner bar as well the adjoining...
night finished with some last inning royal watching in the RV with Q and brother Evan. Tiff and the girls slept in the "huge" hotel room while Q, Summer and I brave the RV. which in all honesty worked out pristine. Outside was cold however, with the generator rolling and the furnace pumping, Q, the dog and I knew very little the difference in sleeping arrangements.
Saturday rolls around with much to do with girls playing a significant role in the wedding, hair, nails, dresses and the ilk. My responsibility? Bringing the pet to the 'baby sitters' for the evening. No this holiday inn was not pet-friendly. But you know what...it was the best choice we could have made...because our story just got that much better.
Other than Haylie Jo, Tiff and I knew of no one in Madison who could potentially watch Summer for the evening. Yes we looked at doggy? however, part of my story, on an off between the years of 1992 and 2001 I lived in Colorado and where I had the pleasure of meeting life-long buds from the state of Wisconsin. Neenah, Appleton and Lake Geneva to be specific. Barts (jeff), Sweny(Chad) and Ebbers(Chuck). Who would have thunk the Vikes and the Pack could find common ground in frienship. Though we have all since moved on in our respective stories we stay in touch. Enough so for me to at least ask if some of them knew anybody close to where we would be and have the ability to sit summer.
Well Bartley came through in spades and in ways I trust he knew instinctually. His buddy Scott, and the Ahlman family, lived essentially 20 minutes from our stay at the holiday inn. Better yet they have a dog, 20 acres of land and two kids the ages of Franki and Q. Could it get better? you bet. I drive out early saturday morning, to meet Scott and his family, to hand over the family pet. The drive was really cool through farm-country, sun still low in the morning, and no one but myself, or so it seemed, on the road. honestly Wisconsin has such a feeling all over the state in my opinion. It was extremely enjoyable.
Turns out Scott is just one of those guys, at least in my case, where you feel like brothers from the git. Maybe its because we share common friendships and stories to tie all of us together tangentially speaking. Scott introduced me to his family- Wife Angela, Son Max, Daughter Mattie and dog buddy. Angela even offered me a breakfast burrito which happened to be off the chart delicious. I knew instantly, when we were to pick summer up the following day, the whole family had to meet this special one also. How much could we learn from their stories and vice versa.
I left feeling fully confident Summer was in great and caring hands. No doubt about it. I drive home down the same beautiful country road while patting myself on the shoulder having made the decision to stick with my gut, meet Scott and his family, and trust them in caring for our dog. What would have happened if I made a similar decision as my sister to change hotels, more dog-friendly, and missed out on such an opportunity? Not saying my sisters decision was of a lesser one, as I know they learned and enjoyed the decision and what it accomplished in their stories, but for us this choice will be transformative for our family in so many ways. Ways not yet known let alone contemplated. New Life-long friendships at the top of the list.
.....STORY to be continued...tomorrow..or the next day. Still so much left for Saturday. tired.