I’m Gus the female Boston terrier and I’m just along for another ride with my 2 Moms and 3 fur sisters. I'm in my 13th year of life and i've traveled more than the average human. We decided as a family to stop bitchin' and start a revolution. One that revolves around traveling the world in our 172sqft home on wheels, and feeding the souls of people with all things that we define as good.
Tuesday, September 1.
We are about a week away from closing on our home. Under the supervision of Gus, we've been slowly moving things into storage. (Since her retirement, we've had to give Gus small jobs to let her know that she's always needed. See below) Sunday, we will be moving the last of our things (canopy bed, vanity & Jeep) yep, the Jeep is going into storage. We are legit just playing the waiting game now, and since you all know Covid is a real thing, it makes the wait much more of a challenge. But, as always we manage. As true 80's kids, we always find something to do. We've done everything from go to the local beaches, take the pups to the local dog beach, had lunch at the beach, caught our dinner at the beach to virtual gatherings with the Wounded Warrior Project, side walk chalking a life size Monopoly game, to making multiple donations to local area food banks and shelters, and visiting our favorite local coffee shops. All while masked and socially distanced!
Thursday, September 3
Given a blank canvas, the possibilities are endless. How does one pick and choose what avenue they wish to explore? A person may say, "well what's the right thing"? What is the right thing and what is the wrong? Why? Our life is a blank canvas. There is no absolute right or wrong. Our lives are made up of decisions and only we can make them for ourselves. What works for one does not work for all. There are many who will tell you different. People may look at us, and go "they are crazy, this will never work, what are they thinking?" Others may say "right on! That's amazing!" Our journey is to feed our souls. One can only hope along the way we can feed the souls of others. Help people, the misunderstood, the misfits, the people who don't fit in the neat little boxes in some form or fashion or to inform and educate those who might judge, that it is ok. It is ok to love, to have justice, to have equality. That is what makes the blank canvas into art. The art of life.
Monday, September 7
Our home now echos with each and every word we speak, each bark, each step we take. Gus & Nala gave us a little peaceful protest of their own yesterday. “Heck no, we won’t go” It took many milkbones and not much convincing to get them to agree to this adventure.
This week we will be supporting as many local small businesses we can before we leave.
Thursday, September 10
While parents are sending their kids off to their virtual first days of learning, we are shipping ourselves onto an adventure, a journey, a mission! One that will feed our souls, hearts and minds with all there is to offer in this completely insane world.
The 6 of us sit here in Camping World Ocala and as in true Jai & EL fashion have hit some road blocks. The alarm clock went of at 0320, packed the last minute stragglers which you want to keep but really don’t have a place for. (First world problems!) That‘s how the junk drawer was invented. AND we all have one of those. It was roughly 0415, and as we were about to load up the car with the pups, Nala got super excited. For those that don’t know, Nala & Sammy are best good friends who both want to be Alpha in certain situations. When it comes to Juno. ALPHA. The excitement got the better of them and instead of doing one final walkthrough, we frantically rushed out (well I did, Jai‘s sense of urgency is that of a decaffeinated snail. In her words, staying focused) down the road 3.3 miles to the Animal Emergency room. Two hours, $500 dollars and a pink cast on a Sammy girl later we are hitting the road.
Saturday, September 12th
Thursday was the longest day. I still do not have the right words to properly explain to everyone reading what the hell happened. Needless, to say nothing went according to plan. We eventually made it to GA- at 10pm. Our first experience, our first campground, 5 seconds out of the car was someone complaining about our headlights- this person was up walking their dog. Not sleeping. I proceeded to set up everything in the dark with just my phone for light to be kind to the people who were so rude. I refuse to let other peoples negative attitude bitter us or make us cynical. Be kind. Period. The next day, yesterday, we went to the Georgia Guidestones. I will let EL tell that story- needless to say we were enraptured, left wanting to know more about this mystery.
Sunday, September 13
Gus & Juno woke us up at 0650 after an ok nights sleep. Sammy was restless yet again. Gus was in-between her 5 degrees of comfort the ENTIRE night. I started on the coffee. We have a percolator, oh and we’ve also been getting our coffee from black-owned small businesses from around the world. If you know of any we’d love to support them! I fed the pups, and got the interior ready for our 5 hour drive to Tennessee. Jai is becoming quite the pro at the exterior. She has picked up the whole RV thing pretty quickly. Bravo to her.
Yesterday started with rain. It was nice to have a morning chill in the air. We are not in Florida anymore! I found what seemed to be a cute local diner so I gave Jai directions and off we went. She didn’t know where we were going. This diner (Mama’s boy) was the cutest. Such an uplifting, fun vibe with delicious food! What we didn’t realize is that we were in walking distance to University of Georgia’s campus. It was beautiful but darn spooky. The place should have been crawling with students considering the time of year, but due to Covid very little humans were to be seen. The rain slowed down a bit, we hopped on our bikes down to the covered bridge and dipped our feet into the South Fork River. The Watson Mill bridge is the largest covered bridge in Georgia spanning 229 feet across the river. It was built in 1885 by Washington King, son of freed slave and covered bridge builder Horace King. I have a slight obsession with the dead so we stopped through the Old Fork cemetery which dates back to the 1700’s. Pretty neat. So much history.
Apparently it’s the end of Georgia peach season. We see one of those giant billboards off of I-75, you know. The obnoxious kind, that scream FIREWORKS. Well, in addition to fireworks this stand had peaches and pecans. First we stop for gas. I’m in our lovely tiny home making lunch as my wife frantically (now a caffeinated snail) runs in asking if I have the keys. nope. The.dogs.locked.us.out. Windows are up, car is off and Gus is looking at me like “bitch I’m off the clock. you retired me“ Jai goes into the gas station and calls 911. She’s now in full panic mode as we may have just sent our pups into heat exhaustion. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get Sammy our circus animal to hit the unlock button. It was an absolute shit-show. Three firefighters arrive from Calhoun Fire Station 3, Engine 31. Instantly, they were the pups’ hero’s.
Yes. We got our Georgia peaches.
Thursday, September 17
ONE WEEK! We wake up to deer at our site each morning and Nala girl adores them.
We spent the last four days just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
I’ll start off with telling you, we met a wonderful family from Colorado who is doing something similar. Instead of 2 humans, 4 dogs, they are 4 humans, 1 dog & 1 cat. Two of the humans being teenage girls. What a breathe of fresh air they were. This trip has already enlightened us in so many ways. In a poor situation, such as a pandemic this family has found a silver lining. Cheers to the Baurer’s.
There’s a ton of history in Tennessee with it being one of the thirteen confederacy states. On our first day, we did a free walking audio tour on civil rights. It focused on the sit-in movement which lasted from 1960-64. We visited landmarks such as Woolworth’s on 5th where peaceful protests took place at segregated lunch counters. We learned about the Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA), and the work (and I stress work) they did to gain rights for women of color. We are taking our own steps to educate ourselves on this very real thing that has never been resolved here in America. Do better people. Do better. Oh and how in the heck can someone fly an American flag AND a confederate flag together. Can anyone make logical sense of this? Besides the freedom of speech excuse? The tour lasted about 2 hours and 2 miles so the only thing to do at that point was go find some HOT CHICKEN! Omgosh, the pop of flavor in my mouth is exactly what I want out of each city we explore. We will definitely be going back to Nashville strictly for a hot chicken tour and a taste of @_elevatecoffee which reminded Jai of the cappuccino that her Aunt Carla would make for her as a child. We went to sleep with full minds and bellies that night. The following day we went on a 4 mile hike at Percy Priest (American teacher, journalist and politician) trailhead. We saw a man jogging with his 22 year old pet hawk.
Yesterday, we made our first trip to the laundromat. Good thing there was a step by step guide, otherwise the day would have went to shit. But it didn’t so we went on a whiskey tour at Nelson’s distillery. Pickle back’s are NOT on the menu but original Tennessee whiskey is! The mastermind behind the whiskey was the misses, Louisa. She found a way around prohibition and Nelson’s whiskey continued to thrive. Fun fact. One of the two horses on the label is named for the stud of all studs responsible for all 38 Kentucky Derby wins. That night we did a virtual scavenger hunt with Wounded Warrior Project and then decided to rearrange our clothes in super limited space. Small feats!
Onto Missouri and the birthplace of Mark Twain...