Visiting the South, Gratitude, Ending Slavery


We made it out of Florida, baby! Woo-hoo!

All the way to South Carolina!

All is well, all is well.

We are staying at an RV park between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, so we’ve visited both places. Both are beautiful cities. We’ve been to Charleston before, but never to Savannah. We have more visiting planned this week, but here are some pictures of our adventures so far.

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In both Savannah and Charleston, the kids and I walked around downtown. We were able to see some historical sites, beautiful churches, gorgeous trees/streets, shop at Old Town Market, and enjoy an old time candy shop. In case anyone is wondering, it is SUPER fun to navigate a Suburban through downtown Charleston with four kids chattering away in the back. Super fun.  I highly recommend it.

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Last Sunday, Josh planned a really great activity for us. We went biking on Hilton Head Island. We had so much fun! It was a gorgeous day, mid 70s and cloudy. Hilton Head has miles and miles of biking trails and nice, hard packed sand to ride on, also. We rode about ten miles. As I am completely in love with the huge oak trees in this part of the country, I was literally smiling like a fool throughout the whole ride through the trees. The beach was pretty amazing, too. It was a really great day.

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Now, listen here, will you? This nomadic, RV living lifestyle is not all smiles, sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns, okay? There are moments when six people and a large dog living in 300 square feet is unpleasant. It is tight. There are also issues related to living in an RV such as black/grey water tank problems, small water heater (really short showers), small refrigerator/freezer, lack of storage space, lame RV parks, etc. that are unpleasant. I HATE doing laundry. Hate it. I hated doing laundry in a house with a washer and dryer at my disposal all the time. Doing laundry now is the worst. Grocery shopping is also generally unpleasant. The nearest grocery store right now is a Piggly Wiggly. And by nearest, I mean the Piggly Wiggly is about 20 minutes away and any other more pleasant grocery store is an hour away. I admit to being a grocery store snob. The Piggly Wiggly is unpleasant. And, of course, Josh not being here with us all the time is the hardest part of all. Josh and I need each other. We are better when we’re together. Additionally, a new unpleasant issue that has arisen since we left Florida is seasonal allergies. Oh my goodness! The pollen is flying here in South Carolina. There is literally a yellow film on cars, buildings, puddles, everywhere!! We have all been hit with allergies (some harder than others). Not fun.

All that being said (and plenty more I left unsaid), the positives far outweigh the negative. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I am so thrilled to have this opportunity. I’ve wanted to do this for so long and I am so thankful that we’re doing it. I have no idea how long it’s going to last or where the road will take us, but we’re pushing forward and making it work and we love it.

Saw this little? guy sunning himself during our bike ride on Hilton Head

Saw this little? guy sunning himself during our bike ride on Hilton Head

I also firmly believe that life is what you make it. I could choose to focus on the negative, but why do that? I have always loved this quote from Charles Swindoll:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.”

We are in charge of our attitudes. Yep. The attitude that I choose is gratitude.

So, when we decided to make this trip, I very much wanted to figure out how to tie in volunteering/giving back somehow. I’ve not really had a good plan for that aspect yet, though it’s been in the back of my mind the whole time. A few weeks ago, I read about an organization trying to spotlight the fact that slavery is still very much a part of our modern world. Say what? Yes, it’s true. If you would like to learn more, the organization is called End It. The kids and I have watched a couple documentaries regarding sex trafficking and slavery (in particular, child slavery related to chocolate production) and we decided to try and raise some money for End It. So, we put up a lemonade stand with proceeds going to End It. Our hope was that we would raise some money, but also that we would just be able to inform people of the problem. The problem can’t be fixed if people aren’t even aware that it’s happening.

We’re currently in a small, quiet RV park and we have had very little business at our lemonade stand, but we will keep it up as we move around and hopefully get some conversations going.

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As I close, I would just like to say (in my attitude of gratitude) how thankful I am for those family members and friends who are so supportive of this journey of ours. You make us so happy. We bring all of you with us as we travel. Thank you.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


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  1. Melissa
    Mar 25, 2014

    Jaten stands like Josh!! It’s weird to see my childhood so close. And sorry, but I wouldn’t last another second if I saw that alligator (crocodile?) Nope, you’d see a fire trail and lots of smoke but NO Melissa… Piggly Wiggly’s- I remember those. Ya, not a fan

    • Toni
      Mar 25, 2014

      Melissa, it’s funny what we pass along to our children, isn’t it? The way we stand, the way we move, the way we speak, smile, etc.

      And we were not close to that gator. I just have a great zoom on my camera. 😉

      Piggly Wiggly! No thanky!

  2. Mike
    Mar 25, 2014

    Fun, fun, fun! I love all the pictures. Keep ’em coming!

    • Toni
      Mar 25, 2014

      Ah, thanks, Michael! Love ya!

  3. christy and ranee
    Mar 25, 2014

    Glad u all have fun love u and miss u

    • Toni
      Mar 26, 2014

      Love and miss you, too, Ranee! Give Kaylee and Christy a hug from Aunt Toni.

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