It's not a totally legit road trip until something goes amiss.
And we had our share of unexpected bumps in the road as we inched our way north once more.
Weather, car troubles, and illness were the order of the day for our return journey.
But as we crept along, making (painfully slow) mile after mile, my eyes were on the heart on the Wisconsin that hangs from our windshield. We were going home.
Our own beds and pillows. Nourishing, real, soulful food. Clean clothes. And my favorite tea cup.
As we drove we did our best to stay positive.
I knitted. A lot. The kids were troopers though Sage's cough was wearing him thin. And Pete was Pete – silly, good natured, and troubleshooting our turbo problems all the while.
Okay, and if you press for more I'll also admit to trying to keep my chin up by imagining how fast 45 MPH would feel if we were in a horse and buggy.
And then last night – out of food, out of cash, out of elecampane cough syrup, and yes, out of our "gettin' there is half the fun" mojo – we limped our car and family into the Driftless once more.
Oh, the sight of these hills! It felt like being held in loving arms again.
Because this is home.
Two days behind schedule we stumbled down the driveway as exhausted as we were grateful.
I set to work on a pot of soup before the car was even unloaded, then grabbed a fresh bottle of cough syrup and elderberry elixer from the fridge.
We were all sound asleep before 8:00.
And when I woke this morning a tingle ran through me. We were home! And as much as I love to explore, coming home is always the best part of all.
We're already planning our next family adventure. But I think it'll be a while before we venture out again.
Because – home.
Nope. We wouldn't trade this humble little place for the all the tropical islands in the world.
So much gratitude to all of our back-home helpers and road fairies along the way.
Thanks to Robyn for tending the farm, pets, plants, and house; to Karen and Ed for loving up our dog; to Clark for Florida hospitality and letting our tornado of chaos into your quiet home; and to Liz for sharing her favorite island with us.
Also to Nettie, Tony, Beth, and Kristina who welcomed us to visit on our return trip. We'll catch you all on our next journey. x