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Terrifying...pretty terrifying...

Updated: May 20

How to put it? Like this: Stéphanie and I are terrified at the idea of returning to our routine: school, work, costco, rinse and repeat... Having spent almost a year enjoying the luxury of luscious freedom, we're stressed at the idea of getting back into the routine. We miss our home, of course, but are we really that sedentary? Not sure, as we're already planning our next adventure.



Reality wouldn't catch up so easily if it weren't for Francis and Christophe. They can't wait to get back. They've had enough of the RV, beaches, museums, exotic foods and the lack of stability of being nomads. Francis turned 13 today (May 19) and Christophe turned 11 on September 8. Roughly speaking, they have spent just under a tenth of their lives on the road.  Now entering puberty, they're looking forward to high school and all that comes with it: friends, activities, separate bedrooms, independence, but above all, spreading their wings at their own pace and in their own home.



Stéphanie and I are so proud and happy to have given our two sparrows this trip.  It will settle in their heads and hearts, and they will understand and realize later, in the months and years to come, how the trip has influenced their lives, values and ideas.  Stephanie and I also realize that we seized the opportunity at the right time, because who knows if our two sparrows will want to go back on the road with their old parents in the future.



There will be other adventures, but never as long as this one, at least until high school is over, and even then, they'll have plans in mind for what's next: college, university, work, love and tutti quanti. Which is perfectly normal.

 

So there's a touch of nostalgia in our hearts as parents, and we savor the last days. I caught myself watching Francis and Christophe sleep, both well "cuddled up" in the cabover. They'll soon be too "big" for such an arrangement!



These are the feelings that drive us in these last days on the run. We so enjoyed seeing some of our family in Costa Rica over the holidays, and our great Michel-André who had a front-row seat. It was great that Patrick, Jacinthe, Megan, Gabriel and Olivier as well as Yves and Nathalie decided to join us.  We can't wait to see them and the other family members and friends we haven't seen in almost a year.



It looks like this will be our last blog (and we'll be closing the website), because once we're back home, there'll be a lot to do. For this last opus, a few statistics in honour of the late Paul Houde.  In this trip, we'll have:

 

- spent 6 months in the USA, 4 months in Mexico, 1 month in Costa-Rica, 1 week in Panama;

- slept in 122 sites (campsites, hotels, AirB&B) during 349 days on the road in 5 different countries, with an average stay of 2.9 days at each site;

- drove between 36,000 and 37,000 kilometers in total;

- visited 30 US states and 16 Mexican states;

- visited 15 U.S. national parks;

- posted 44 blogs;

- stayed within budget;

- had zero traffic tickets!


We've just left Florida for Georgia and North Carolina. The Keys (which comes from the Spanish word Cayo, meaning "island") were wonderful, from Key Largo to Key West, a unique place that's a must-see. There's only one road in the Keys, Route 1, and it's a slow one to drive down. By the time we reached Key West, we'd toured the entire Gulf of Mexico.



We'll spend 4 days in Charleston to visit the National Museum of Racism and Slavery. This will be followed by two national parks, Great Smoky Mountain (Tennessee/North Carolina) and Shenandoah (Virginia). A quick stop in Pennsylvania as a nod to our first family trip in a tent-trailer in 2014, when we stopped at Hershey Park, and then we will head home.

 

Photos in order, Francis 3 years, Christophe 18 months and Dédé, almost 11 years.



So on June 7, we'll be heading back to the Outaouais region to take possession of our new car and move back into our home.

 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comments and for following us on our Facebook feed.

 

Sending you hugs and see you next time!

 

N.B. We were able to see a Falcon 9 rocket take off from our campsite at Cape Canaveral on May 17, and we're sharing it with you!




P.S. A word to my lovely Stéphanie, who lined up contract after contract all year long during the trip! Working with indigenous communities and federal departments. She has not been idle!



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