Week 8: Forest City, Iowa (Winnebago HQ) and Minnesota

Week 8: Forest City, Iowa (Winnebago HQ) and Minnesota

The Wave gets to visit her home state and tell us her story…

MILEAGE: 5,020 – Whoa! I have the best driver EVER!
SOUL STATUS: HIGH; however, I had to REALLY earn it this week. This week was HUUUGE
(who does that sound like? haha) as I was reminded that how a person feels is TRULY their
choice. No matter their circumstances. It was a stressful week for all of us and for
various reasons, but no issue was worthy of going any deeper than a simple acknowledgement.
I am grateful for this crucial reminder as we continue our mid-life “reset”. We knew when
we pulled out of the drive-way that at some point, likely within the first couple months, we
would all “break”. The reality of not coming home would set in. It has set in and in full force.
Both, anxiety and blood pressure levels are being tested. I suspect that this too will pass.
Hopefully, sooner than later!

COVER PHOTO: A Winnebago Way street sign, well, because it is AWE-SOME! I am obsessed with cool
street names. I love this one (obviously) and a couple of my other favorites include
Chicken Dinner Road and Bell Bottom Way.

Recently, Brian and I have had several discussions about our road trip sabbatical. Questioning
if it is serving the purpose(s) and/or fulfilling the need for adventure that I crave. In some
cases, it has exceeded any expectations, and, in other ways it is not. Long story short, we are
lacking balance! I imagine we will make several adjustments along the way, but this weeks tweaks
(say that ten times) include:

– Staying longer periods of time in one place to help avoid burn-out and give us time to work on
other goals (like improving my guitar playing skills).
– Making, and more importantly, sticking to a budget (which I have always SUCKED at).
– Stronger focus on quality time with the kids (putting away social media. This is challenging
because social media is the kids (and my) brainless escape.
– Lastly, getting back to a consistent sleep schedule. Good-bye rock-n-roll life-style as we start
to get “Hurricane” and “Tropical Storm”, the girls’ new nicknames (I will let you guess which one
is which), ready for school.

Highlights:

So many Paul Bunyan’s! Why?? Tall statues everywhere!

Winnebago plant tour – Probably because of my background in Engineering Recruitment I was
ridiculously excited to tour the Winnebago factory. Apparently, it is the “thing to do” when you
own a Winnebago. You camp in the Winnebago parking lot while you wait to get service done on your
coach (if you need anything). Yes, this seemed fun to me even though you are living on a gravel
parking lot within ten feet of your neighbor. It was a parking lot party that gave the girls a
chance to do laps on their long-boards and scooters.

Dragon Boat Festival in Bemidji, Minnesota – It is a “rower’s” version of Ragnar. However, it is 2.5
minutes X 3 legs long compared to the 35 hours (give or take) of running during the night through mountains.
Teams collaborate to obtain the fastest rowing time in Lake Bemidji (which has the Mississippi river flowing
through it). Bemidji also offered my pallet the experience of a deep-fried Oreo. (Not bad! However, I have
never met anything deep-fried that I didn’t like.)

Mall of America – This was a big deal for me as it was a Bucket List item. I had no idea that the mall
included an amusement park, aquarium, Lego World, Crayola World and more (the Fairly Odd Parents roller-coaster
was a blast!). You could spend a week here! Of course, it didn’t lack in stores either with four floors and
520 stores. Luckily, knowing that we have NO FREAKIN’ room left in The Wave, it kept me from purchasing everything
in sight (except for a new Dodgers hat for Brian)!

So far, two-months into this crazy adventure, I have no regrets. I am extremly humbled every day that we get to
have this family experience. It’s not always pretty and can be challenging but so far it has been worth it!

XO

Tina
Boondocks and Bliss

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