The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home

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(Some links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)

Saturday morning we pulled out of Rapid City, South Dakota and made our way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The trip only took us about six hours or so. Our original plan was to take two more days traveling six hours or so a day until home, but that isn’t what happened.

You see, our travel trailer’s air conditioning system was experiencing some troubles and we are not that type of family that loves heat, and it was HOT. Plus after our last amazing day of exploring we all felt kind of in limbo. We felt like airline passengers waiting to get to our final destination but stuck in another airport–in our case Sioux Falls.

Our final day of our 22 week RV road trip.

The sunrise we enjoyed on the last day of our trip.

So my husband and I came up with a crazy plan–and I thought for sure we couldn’t pull it off. I even told him so, which seemed to light a fire under him to prove me wrong.  We decided to leave the trailer hitched to the truck and pull out of the campground at 3:30 a.m. and drive the entire 13 hours, not including stops, home to Marion, Indiana.

Even when my husband did indeed wake up to the sound of his alarm at 3:00 a.m.,  I thought for sure we would make it perhaps 2/3 of the way home at most and then call it a day.  That way we could get home by lunch time the next day and have the rest of the day to unpack.

After all, we hadn’t driven more than nine hours with stops the entire 22 weeks of our trip, and now we were trying a 13-hour drive, and that was without stops. The nine hour day was full of complaints from the entire crew so how could we ever succeed at what would be probably a 15-hour trip.

Fueling up during our last day of our 22 week RV road trip.

We went through a record breaking amount of fuel the last day of the trip.

But my husband was determined, and he had a few 5-hour energy shots to help him make it to the finish line, as well as a fair amount of his favorite caffeinated soda.

So I did whatever I could to help him make it through driving that far, which is very little beyond opening up snacks and cans of soda.

My feet on my sidewalk at the end of our 22 week RV road trip.

My feet on the sidewalk in front of my home for the first time in 22 weeks.

Finally over 16 hours later we pulled up in front of our “conventional” home. The drive was made a bit longer due to some strong headwinds in the first few hours of the trip which also made us burn a lot more fuel per mile. The fuel bill for our last day got so high I just stopped calculating it in fear that my “price ouch heart attack” would make our journey that day much longer than it already was.

We quickly grabbed our clothes, cosmetics, and pillows out of the travel trailer and then called it a day!

The end of our 22 week road trip.

This is about halfway through sorting the mail. We only kept the few pieces you see in front of my hubby.

We did decide that evening to go through a rather large bin of mostly junk mail that arrived while we were away.

Out of this enormous mound of mail, we kept what fit in a shoe box! That is how much junk mail we receive in 22 weeks! CRAZY!

Unpacking after a 22 week RV road trip.

My first thoughts after seeing this pile were, “How did all this fit in that tiny trailer?”

The next morning I was up earlier than the rest of the family, so I decided to get a jump start on unpacking.

I took everything out of the trailer that needed to go into the house and made sure what was being left in the trailer was cleaned and properly stored.

I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had stored in various areas of the trailer. Guys, this is after we had taken out clothing, pillows, and cosmetics. It also doesn’t include the food items I took directly to the kitchen.

Cheap milk and eggs! A winning combo.

My grocery budget is so thankful to be back near an ALDI.

With the trailer emptied I left my husband to clean it (he wanted to…he is weird like that) and my kids to put the stuff away (they didn’t want to–we made them).  I got to work making a menu and then a grocery list of all the items we needed to eat for the week. With a list in hand, I headed out to grab groceries and run some errands.

One of my major stops was ALDI. Oh, ALDI, how I missed you! Milk for $00.65 a gallon and eggs for $00.35 a dozen–this is one major reason why we live where we do.

Our hometown might not have beautiful beaches, gorgeous mountain views, breathtaking red cliffs or awe inspiring canyons, but it has $10,000 homes and cheap food! (plus the friendliest people you will ever meet)

First run with my running partner after a 22 week RV road trip.

These feet are running together again and love it!

Our hometown also has my redhead runner, and her friendship has meant so much to me during some of the darkest hours of my life so far and some of the happiest as well.

These feet have run beside me while I sorted out my feelings about my mother’s death, both my grandmothers’ deaths and my father’s death. Years of grieving loved ones, one after the other and these feet stayed beside mine the whole way.

These feet are now going to run beside me for the next 27 weeks as we train together for the 2018 Disney World Marathon. And by a marathon, I mean the 26.2 mile one! No half crazy–we are going full crazy this time.

This plan was born back in the Canadian Rockies, a time during the trip where I needed a new adventure ahead of me to help me adjust to the thought of my family’s current adventure coming to an end.

I am thrilled! And a bit scared. I am not in marathon shape at all. I haven’t run more than 30 minutes at one time in ages. Plus I am carrying 15 pounds more on my body than I was when I ran my last marathon, and I am wondering if that might put me at greater risk of an injury.

I have a training plan and a weight loss plan though so only time will tell if my fears are warranted.

Returning to our favorite restaurant after 22 weeks on the road.

If you are ever in Converse, Indiana–go here!

One other place in our hometown area that isn’t available anywhere else is a meal from Jefferson Street BBQ, the best BBQ I have ever tasted.

My husband and I missed this BBQ place so much that we have been talking about making sure we visited our first week home since we crossed back into the States from Canada back at the beginning of May.

So you can imagine our disappointment when we went to eat there Monday night and realized it was closed Mondays. But that didn’t stop us! Tuesday before noon we were back to get our fill of their amazing food for lunch.

Getting back to daily routine after a 22 week RV road trip.

First day back at work for the hubby.

This wasn’t supposed to happen until Monday, but it ended up happening Friday. That is a picture of my hubby with his work bag slung over his shoulder as he heads back to work as an RN for the first time in almost six months.

The picture makes me sad because I will miss having him around every day and I know the kids will miss him too. We have all grown closer to him these last few months. RNs work long and odd hours meaning family time is often hard to come by.

However, I know he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. He is an excellent nurse.

Town rummage finds our first week back after our 22 week RV road trip.

Spent 3 hours yard sale shopping and filled the back of my SUV.

And this is how I spent my Friday morning. I woke my daughter up shortly after my husband left for work and the two of us headed out to our favorite town rummage of the year.

We promised my daughter that one of the first projects we would do when we arrived home would be to finally change her room from the stuff she picked out when she was 8 to a room that suits who she is now. Rummage sales are my favorite places to find items for room makeovers.

The two drawer table is going to get a new coat of paint and be a side table for her couch. The thing with all the pots on it will be an art supply organizer for her desk. The smaller glass bowls will hold bracelets, nail polish, and other teenage girl items.

Not everything in this picture is for her though. The cart I want to give a makeover. I have visions of a beverage cart for backyard parties. I want to measure the top bin and find a cooler that fits. The two bottom drawers will hold cups and other drink accessories.

The black blob? Well, that is a Big Joe chair–for the dog. She refuses to use dog beds, and after buying several I discovered she loves the kids’ bean bag chairs, and the kids gladly let her have them. However, those bean bags are now looking ratty, so I was happy to see this like new black one at Friday’s sale.

So How Does It Feel To Be Home?

I have been asked the above question a lot this week along with the statement, “It must be good to be home.”

Truth: I feel conflicted. I already miss exploring. I already miss how simple and easy it is to tidy up after five people in 300 square feet. I do like having a place to hang out solo early in the morning again. I do love being able to run with my redhead runner again. I adore not having to wear shower shoes. Words cannot describe how much I LOVE having my bathroom back.

The Even Bigger Truth: My definition of home has been completely transformed by this trip. Home is not a building. Home is not a place. Home is where those you love most are. So yes, I am now home, but honestly I never left. My home, at least most of it (I can’t fit all those I love in a 27 foot trailer), came with me for the entire 22 week journey. My home is also on Vancouver Island, my home is in the Okanagan Valley, my home is in Calgary, my home is in Ontario, my home is here in Marion, and my home is in Indianapolis. My home is wherever those I hold close to my heart travel with me or where they move to without me. When my kids are grown and have left the nest I have a feeling my home will continue to grow as I add where they are located to my definition of home. Home is in the heart and it is spread with love and love grows immeasurably.

How To Follow Me Now That The Journey Is Over

If you have been following our trip and you want to stay in touch, you will find me on Instagram where I mostly share daily life moments.  You can also find me on Facebook where I try to share at least a few photos each week of what the family and I have gotten up to as well as links to my latest posts and the occasional bad joke or two.

Wisdom Learned On The Road

12 Tips For Long RV Road Trips

10 Things To Bring When Exploring The National Parks

Want to read more about our RV trip? Dig into the links below!

Finally on Our Way!

Week One Update: Nashville and Atlanta

Week Two Update: Atlanta, Savannah and St Mary’s

Week Three Update:  St Mary’s and Little Talbot Island

Week Four Update: Orlando and Niceville

Week Five Update: Niceville, New Orleans, and Sea Rim State Park

Week Six Update: San Antonio, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands

Week 7 Update: Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks & Sedona

Week 8 Update: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

Week 9 Update: Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach

Week 10 Update: Joshua Tree, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Sequoia

Week 11 Update: Sea Glass Beaches and The  Giant Redwoods of California

Week 12 Update: Seattle, Port Angeles, & Victoria

Week 13 Update: Nanaimo, Tofino, & Courtenay

Week 14 Update: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Week 15 Update: Okanagan

Week 16 Update: Okanagan

Week 17 Update: Canadian Rockies, Drumheller

Week 18 Update: Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake

Week 19 Update Carters of The Moon, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton

Week 20 Update Grand Teton National Park, Salt Lake City, and Zion

Week 21 Update Kolob Canyon, Red Cliffs, Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and Estes Park

Week 22: Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Custer State Park, And Wind Cave National Park

The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home (you are here)

The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home

Visit our RV Trip page for the story of how the trip came to be, a map of our route, and more

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