We have had little to no Internet access during the past week, so here is the condensed update:
After saying goodbye to my Aunt Amy and Uncle George in Rockingham last Tuesday morning, we visited Randy's friend Mary June in Gastonia, a city adjoining Charlotte, NC. We had a nice time with Mary June over lunch that day, and then we had a decision to make. We felt we had seen enough of the United States to be able to make a decision between our many favorite places. So, on one hand we considered beginning a direct route to Phoenix that day. However, our other option was to go back to Springfield, Illinois (the home of Randy's sister Michelle and family) to see a house that had become available on Lake Springfield since our visit there earlier in the summer. The house on the lake was surprisingly affordable and therefore intriguing to us, so we decided to stop and see it on our way back to Phoenix.
Charleston, West Virginia
Our path in the direction of Springfield led us through Charleston, West Virginia, where we stayed Tuesday night (The views during the drive into and through West Virginia were incredibly beautiful). Charleston has a redeveloping downtown on the river that also hosts the state capitol. Across the river on the bluffs are stately homes somehow wedged into the steep hillsides.
We then drove all day Wednesday and arrived in Springfield that night. We saw the lake house on Thursday and spent time with the family, and then left for Phoenix on Friday. We found a room in Oklahoma City Friday night, and then a very determined Randy managed to get us all the way to Phoenix by the wee hours of Sunday morning. We spent Sunday recuperating from vacation (I know it sounds ridiculous, but we were completely worthless all day!) and yesterday getting caught up with business. It is good to be home!
Something funny: After two months on the road spent blogging from coffee shops, we sure missed the comforts and conveniences of home. But we returned to Phoenix to discover the cable/Internet access at Randy's house had been disconnected. So we had to leave home to post today's blog from a nearby coffee shop.