Summertime Road Tripping
Since David and I started dating we've been dreaming about taking a road trip back east.
Although we've travelled quite a lot over the years for work, visiting family, and living on the road trucking for over three years, we surprisingly have been on very few actual "planned" trips.
The majority of the times we just found ourselves in a semi cool location and made the most of it.
We got invited to two weddings back east just a week apart, so we thought this would be a perfect time to make our road trip dreams come true!
Since we live in the far northwest corner of Montana, and in case you didn't know just how huge the state it, it literally takes about two days just to make it to another state!!
We decided to take our time and switch over to vacation mode, go with the flow, and not hesitate to take the road less travelled if we felt like it.
We went through Lewistown Montana, which is home to one of the largest freshwater springs in the world. Approx 131 cubic feet of water flows per second.
The water is so pure that there is no need to even purify it before supplying it to the city.
It's quite crazy how you can see the water literally just bubbling out of the ground!
William loved getting to take a break at such a fun stop, and to stretch his legs and play in the water.
Our first destination was Wisconsin. We have some good friends there that we haven't seen in a while so we spent a couple days with them. They have two little boys, Zion and Zander and so William loved having little friends to play with.
One place we went through when we were trucking was Redwing Minnesota. It's a cool historic town and also the birth place of the Redwing shoes. Years ago when we delivered a load there we put it on our list of places to visit again.
It's only about an hour drive from Wisconsin so we drove over for the day and visited the original Redwing shoe store and toured the museum. It was a lot of fun!!
Even if you're not quality leather shoe fanatics like we are haha, the Redwing boot museum is super cool and a must see if you are in the area.
From there we went to Ohio and stayed with some friends for a couple nights, and then headed to Pensylvania for the first wedding.
The wedding was held on a beautiful old plantation type property, and the ceremony was held in the remains of the stone foundation from an old wooden barn that had burned down.
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Since some of our friends were at the wedding as well, we stayed for an extra day to visit. We were staying in Harrisburgh which is quite a beautiful, quaint, and charming town.
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We went out to coffee and walked around downtown and even went to see the capital where there happened to be a MAGA rally going on there that day on the capitol steps.
PA is home to some old family roots in David's family. Snyder County is where David's grandfather was raised, and is where the great-grandparents are buried. Dan and Maddie Troyer. We had visited before about five years ago, but went back to see the old home, graveyard, and covered bridge. It was a very special time to be able to visit again and just reminisce about the stories we've been told about that place.
Next up on the traveling agenda was going to New York to visit David's Amish relatives.
For the first evening we were there we stayed with his grandparents, and for that evening they invited all the aunts, uncles, and cousins over!! It was quite the overwhelm of people, but definitely felt the warm welcome :)
The next day we made our rounds to all the aunt and uncles homes to visit with them for a little while one on one, and spent the night with David's uncle Menno and wife Susan. They are the sweetest family and made us feel so welcomed! After dinner we sat out on the porch, sipped coffee and just laughed and shared stories.
Their daughter Esther who is about 8 years old took a liking to William and decided that he was gonna be her baby for as long as we were there!! She carried him around on her hip all the time. They went out to the barn, the garden, the sandbox, anywhere and he loved it!! It was the cutest thing because he was about half her size.
I feel like often as a whole the Amish get a bad reputation of being extremely cultish, controlling, and bitter. While I know that is true for some communities, it's not the case with the community that the Troyer family is from. They are the most kind hearted people you'll ever meet and genuinely welcomed us and wanted to connect with us despite our lifestyle and religious differences.
It was nice to live off grid for a couple of days, no cell phone, no electric, no inside toilet or shower. But I sure was happy to be able to shower and get back into my "normal" clothes and wear makeup!! When we're there we try to honor them as much as we can so we dress more simply.
From here we went back to Ohio to spend more time with our dear friends Alvin and Crystal, and to also attend the wedding of David's cousin.
This was such a wonderful and restful part of the trip. Just hanging out and not having a whole of stuff to do or going on. Alvin got David into blow guns, so both of them were in the backyard whenever they got a chance to try and hit any unlucky robin or rabbit that happened to cross their path.
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This wedding was fun and beautiful as well. We got to catch up with some friends and family (that is David's great aunt Emma in the photos).
When the dancing started at the reception I took William out there and was dancing with him, well it wasn't long before he wanted down and that little fellow was on the dance floor the rest of the night!! I've never seen a baby love to dance and be brave enough to be out there with all the people before!!
Well this wedding was the end for the trip, so we spent one more day to rest up and then headed back to Wisconsin and spent the night with our friends again, and then we just had one more hotel in Eastern MT before making it home.
It's quite convenient how our friends are scattered just the right distances back east to where we were able to crash at their places instead of getting hotels!
For the whole trip which lasted just over two weeks, we only bought four hotels, and only ate out a handful of times and that was for social reasons. The rest of the time we cooked and I meal prepped food to take on the road. Thankfully our friends didn't mind me using their kitchens ;)
It's so much healthier to cook and take prepped food along instead of having to stop at restaurants, not to mention so much cheaper!!
(This was an old plantation home in Harrisburgh)
I also want to mention that for a week of the trip I was still doing my 28 day detox, which I will post a blog about very soon explaining in detail about it all!! I was a little nervous how it would go traveling and detoxing at the same time, but it forced me to think ahead and be prepared and honestly it was a breeze and a good learning experience about how to stay healthy while traveling.
And I'm sure you're wondering... with all this traveling how did William do?? He was quite the little champ!! I do believe traveling is in his blood and he did amazing. We stopped more often and got him out to let him stretch his legs which was also super nice for us. I love that about having a baby, it forces us in a good way to slow down and take time to enjoy moments that otherwise we might just breeze on past. He also learned that unless we were stopped the car seat was about as good as it was gonna get, so he decided to take advantage of naps and slept quite a lot which was also nice.
Well all and all it was such an amazing trip!! We returned home with lots of memories, hearts full, and actually quite rested despite all the long travels.
Now I'm looking forward to the next time we go on a road trip :)