We Moved (Pt. 4)

We are now on day 6 of our cross-country move. If you haven’t read about the earlier parts of our journey, go check them out now. Part 1 saw us leaving California. Part 2 brought us to New Mexico. We made it through most of Texas in Part 3. And now, we are headed to our new home.

Our goal for the day was to make it to New Orleans where The Husband’s older sister lives. Before heading to the highway, we had to make a stop at Shipley’s for apple fritters. We learned about Shipley’s in 2009 when we visited Houston to watch Navy play Mizzou in the Texas Bowl. We are rarely in Texas but we always try to stop for Shipley’s.

Once sugared up, we continued east along I-20 until we reached Shreveport where we hopped onto I-49 south. We got an early start and were able to make it to Alexandria, LA before we needed to stop for lunch and to do something fun.

It was stiflingly hot but the zoo looked like a fun stop for the kids. There were a few indoor areas where we could see snakes and other reptiles while remaining cool in the air conditioning.  We also rode the train and checked out their Australian Outback area.

We drove into downtown Alexandria after the zoo to grab some coffee and snacks for the kids. It happened to be the Burnt Weenie Festival the day we drove through town. Hilarious and very fun. They had a giant water slide set up in the middle of the street. There were fire hydrants spewing water. A band was playing under a pavilion set up in the street. We stopped in at Tamp and Grind which is an eclectic coffee shop in downtown. The kids enjoyed the delicious cookies (as did I) and and the coffee was great. The staff was really friendly. The barista and I learned we spent many years in the same cities. Overall, Alexandria was a great (and absurdly hot and humid) stop.

We continued on to New Orleans, arriving to The Husband’s sister’s house around dinner time. We called it a night after regaling childhood memories.

In the morning, we tried to take the ferry which is just a few blocked from my Sister-in-Law’s place but, as it was a weekend, it was running on a later schedule which we didn’t want to wait for. Instead, we hopped in the RV and drove the 10 minutes to Cafe Du Monde. After breakfast with a view and history lesson, we headed back to her house to drop her off and then set out for Pensacola.

We had a great drive until we reached Florida when it started pouring rain. We felt it was a nice “welcome home” from the state we so recently left. Before parking for the night, we stopped by the National Naval Aviation Museum. It is on base at NAS Pensacola but you don’t have to be military to enter. While The Husband was going through flight school, this was a favorite spot to take visitors. The boys loved checking out and sitting in a bunch of old planes and cockpits. They also rode in a simulator. It was a wonderful and free few hours where the boys could get out some energy while also learning about their dad’s career.

The Husband booked an awesome RV spot right on the water in Perdido Key. Since Florida was giving us a nice, wet welcome, we didn’t spend too much time outside but there was still a beautiful view out the back of the RV. When we woke up the next morning, there were clear skies as we look out over the bay.

We got another early start as this was the day. We were going to FINALLY make it to Jacksonville!!! By day 8 everyone was ready to be “home.” The drive from Pensacola to Jax is only around 5 hours without stops. You know how,when you really want to get somewhere it seems to take forever. That’s how day 8 felt. While the drive, including stops, only took about 7 hours, but it felt like 14. We were SO excited to see family.

Thankfully, the drive was uneventful and we were so happy to be with family once more. Keep following to learn about our adventures over the pas year in Jax. It’s been a fun ride!

What are your favorite spots in NOLA? What about Jax? We are always looking for fun places to visit and delicious spots to eat.

 

 

 

We Moved (Pt. 3)

Go back and check out Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 of our cross country journey, if you haven’t done so already.

Day 4 had us leaving New Mexico and headed for Texas. Leaving our AirBnB there were multiple hot air balloons flying. The pictures are of one landing as we were coming out of the neighborhood. Don’t mind the bug splatter all over the windshield. Blah!

 

 

Once on the road, there wasn’t a ton to see. We stopped at Cadillac Ranch. It was hot, dry, and dusty. If you are going, be prepared with spray paint and sun glasses. The wind was so strong it was blowing everyone’s hats off. It was a cool piece of Americana and I’m glad we stopped.

We continued ambling east along I-40 before shooting south on 287 toward Dallas. We booked a spot at Ole Towne Cotton Gin RV Park. This place was great! They had a small kids area, pool, little general store, community gathering place, and dog run. It was the perfect stop.

The next morning, we packed up and headed out for another day in Texas. Our first stop was for coffee. There are few options on 286 between Amarillo and Dallas but we were lucky to be close to a newly opened coffee and art shop, Turquoise Coffee Stop in Chillicothe. The owners built the place themselves. The mister is an artist and Jack-of-all-trades. The missus is the barista and chef. We each got our favorite coffee and a few delicious muffins. While our coffees were being prepared, the mister showed us around. His art work was all around for purchase and decoration. They were both very friendly and loved showing off their hard work. If you happen to be driving along 286 through Chillicothe, make sure to check it out. It’s worth a stop.

Once full of apple muffins and awakened by coffee, we continued on toward Dallas. We planned to stop at one of the aquariums in Dallas but while grabbing lunch a local advised us to go to Cabela’s in Fort Worth where there was a small aquarium and it was free! The boys were in heaven climbing on boats, feeding fish, and checking out the animals. tKZ0P1kuR5uouqfUCw4Mrw

The rest of the day had us driving along I-20, past Dallas and through east Texas. We stayed at a motel off the highway for the evening and ate delicious BBQ. It was nice to rest up for our final days of driving.

Have you driven across the US before? What’s your favorite part of long road trips?

We Moved! (Pt. 2)

If you didn’t catch my last post, go check it out. It is the beginning of our cross-country chronicles.

Day three was awesome! After a refreshing night sleeping in our AirBnB, we headed to breakfast at my grandparent’s home.  It is so fun watching our boys interact with their great-grandparents. They are so fortunate to have 6 living great-grandparents whom they have been able to spend time with.

From breakfast we headed into Albuquerque to visit Explora! If you find yourself in ABQ with younger kids, this is a great place to go.  The boys loved the water exhibit. We spent the majority of our time on the water patio. They also enjoyed making giant bubbles, building with giant foam blocks, creating circuits, and designing marble runs.

After the museum, we stopped for lunch at the public library downtown. They have a cute and delicious sandwich shop.

We were hoping to stop at A Park Above in Rio Rancho on the way home but we were able to find someone to pick up our Pilot and drive it from NM to FL for us! Instead of the park, we headed to meet the car transporter. Once the transfer was complete, we headed back to my grandparents house to relax a while before dinner. And when I say relax, I mean my grandpa got the boys riled up with a massive pillow fight.

After dinner and goodbyes, we headed back to Casita de Sterling for the night. Day 3 really was perfect.

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Explora Museum
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Explora Museum
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Good Morning, ABQ!

Have you every visited Albequerque or Rio Rancho? What were your favorite spots?

We Moved! (Pt. 1)

In the middle of May 2018 we got word that The Husband would be stationed back in Florida at the end of his deployment. With a bunch of family in Florida, and none in California, we decided to make the trek across the country before deployment. This meant a quick turnaround. We had to pack our entire house ourselves and to move before he left for deployment in early July.

After a good bit of research, we decided to give U-haul’s storage boxes a chance. About a month after we got orders, we packed our entire lives into 5 storage containers and started the journey across the country with two kids and a dog in a Class B RV.

Oh, that sounds so easy. It’s never that easy. We ran into one little hitch, the person we contracted to bring our other car across the country never showed up! So, on moving day, we started driving the RV and the Pilot. It’s wasn’t ideal but it worked.

Day one had us leaving Coronado, CA (goodbye good Mexican food) and heading to Gila Bend, AZ. We didn’t head out until around 2pm as The Husband had to work that morning. Have you ever driven east from San Diego. It’s filled with mountains and deserts. It was an enjoyable, beautiful, and fairly short drive. We stopped overnight at the Gila Bend KOA. We didn’t pull in until after dark and left early the next morning so I can’t say much about the place but the few people we ran into were friendly.

Day two saw us heading northeast to Rio Rancho, NM. The drive, without stopping every two hours because you have two kids, takes about 8 hours. It was a FULL day of driving. We left around 6am and arrived at my grandparents house around 8:30pm. After a short stop, we made it from their house to our AirBNB for a good nights sleep.

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View from Casita de Sterling

Part 2 is coming soon. Have you ever driving across the country? What were your favorite places to stop?

No Longer So Cal Residents

This military life has been great to us. We have been fortunate to continually get great locations and commands. That is still true now as we are back in Florida! We’ve actually been back for quite a while (almost a year!) but life has gotten in my way and kept me from  blogging about this big change. That stops now!

There are so many wonderful things about our town that I am hoping to share over the summer. I will also add a post (or two or three) about our cross-country move in our RV! It was a blast. I am back to teaching in a brick and mortar school which I love.

Teacher Life, Military Wife is back. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Doha, Qatar

I had the opportunity to join The Husband on a port call a few months ago!! They pulled into Doha, Qatar. Neither of us had been there before but we had a wonderful time.

I booked a room at the Intercontinental. There are two in Doha. We stayed at the beach resort, not The City. I became an IHG rewards member so I could book a club level room. It’s free and totally worth it. I paid about $100 extra for us to have breakfast each morning. Also included in the club level room is snacks from 12-2, tea with tea sandwiches and desserts from 3-5, and drinks and hors d’oeuvres from 6-8. The room was just slightly more expensive but we drank and ate plenty to make up for the difference.

The hotel was right on the water. We stepped into the gulf but was was about 95*F so we hung out on the beach and in the pool. The pool was large and rarely had anyone swimming. I loved that the pool, while not deep, was not super shallow. The deepest part was around 5.5 ft.

The room itself was nice with a comfortable bed. We had a view of some other hotels and a water recreation area. There was a well stocked mini-fridge. The shower, once we learned how to use it, was nice. The only thing we didn’t love was the toilet which was rectangular. Apparently I don’t have a rectangular behind because it was uncomfortable.

We weren’t able to do much sightseeing but I did go to the Museum of Islamic Art. I was fortunate to be able to travel with a friend to Doha. Since we landed around 2am we had a long time to wait before our husbands arrived. After a nap, we got up and headed to the museum. The art ranges from in time period, origin, and medium. It was pretty fascinating. I know very little about art but I really enjoyed the few hours we spent touring the museum. It is certainly worth a look if you happen to find yourself in Doha.

 

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Museum of Islamic Art
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Museum of Islamic Art

The Souk was another place we checked out. There were multiple sections, including an animal souk. We saw so many different types of animals! There is a falcon souk which we made it to but were late and most of the shops were closed. Bummer!

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Animal Souk
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Walking through the Souk
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Souk Architecture

I was only in town a three nights but we made our dinners count. We ate at a restaurant in the souk one night. It was fabulous with shimmering decor covering the walls and ceiling. The pictures do not do this place justice.

Another night we headed to Nobu Doha. MMmmm! I have no idea what we ordered. We asked the waiter to choose the courses for us. We liked everything we ate and loved 3 of the dishes. It was expensive but I’ll only ever be in Doha once!

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Nobu Doha

Overall, we had a great time. I don’t intend to go back but I’m so happy I made the trip. And – I’m closer to fulfilling my 40 before 40 list!

Have you ever been to Doha? What were your favorite things to do do there?

 

 

 

 

Weekly Workouts March 26- April 1

This week was spring break for my son. It made me change up my workouts but we had a great time. You can read about our week of fun here.

Monday: For Time:

  • 50 Wall Balls (10#)
  • 40 Deadlifts (Used 2 30# dumbbells)
  • 30 Box Jumps (18 inches)
  • 20 Toes to Bar
  • 10 Hand Stand Push Ups from a box.

Walk for 5 minutes then

  • 25 Wall Balls
  • 20 Dealifts
  • 15 Box Jumps
  • 10 Toes to Bar
  • 5 HSPU

First Round: 10:02

Second Round: 4:31

Tuesday:

Half a mile then 5 rounds of:

  • 7 Back Squats (50# from the ground)
  • 7 Bar Facing Burpees

Then another half mile.

19:30 total time.

Wednesday:

2 hours at the trampoline park. (Ouch! I’m not 13 anymore!!)

Thursday:

4 hours at the Safari Park.

Friday:

3 hours at the Zoo.

Saturday:

Much needed rest!

Sunday:

2 mile run. 4 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. I wasn’t feeling this today. It may be because I was up until midnight filling Easter eggs (and eating jelly beans!).