HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! I had picked up some decorations at the dollar store to decorate the RV for the holiday! When I woke up that morning, there RV was empty. There were no kids, no people, no noise, and it was bright outside. I sat up and looked at my watch…it was 8:30 am! I jumped out of bed, in a panic, and ran outside. People were standing around, Casey and Aaron started laughing, “Have a nice sleep princess?” They had let me sleep in, sent James on his way and kept the kids quiet. Seriously, these 2 guys are amazing people!
I felt guilty, I didn’t get to see James off for the day, and the Wingmen were the ones that needed the sleep! I couldn’t believe that I slept so late! The kids were happy and ready for breakfast. I had been informed that the ambassador had booked us a hotel, across the street, and were paying for us to eat breakfast at the restaurant there at the hotel. I said to the Wingmen, “Are you serious?!” I couldn’t believe how kind this was, and how convenient as well! We were right on the beach and the view was beautiful! We crossed the street and sat down for breakfast.
The restaurant was outside and right on a waterway with boats, and lots of trees. It was a sight to remember! Everything just felt so peaceful; it probably helped that I had slept! We ate a delicious breakfast and then went up to the hotel room. There were some gifts for the kids in the room as well! Man, the generosity that we have benefitted from on this trip was unbelievable!
Up in the room there were two full beds. The kids plopped down and oogled over how comfortable they were. We looked out the window, across the street at the ocean, and felt like we were in paradise. Jessa, the photographer for the journey, came in and offered to take the kids to Target with her. The three older girls went with her. She bought them new outfits and did a photo shoot with them, which they loved. When I offered to reimburse her for the outfits, she kindly said, “Don’t worry about it. I am happy to do it.” They were gone for several hours.
Jessa is young, and she had been more like a really nice big sister to my girls on the trip than an adult. She would help them sell the shirts, spoil them, and was their buddy throughout the trip. She taught them things about fashion, photography, and was just really sweet to them throughout the 50/50/50. They absolutely loved her!
Quinn and Dolly were content playing in the hotel room. They played with the toys that were gifted to us, and snuggled while they watched TV. I took a nice, long shower while they were watching a show. When everyone returned from their trip with Jessa, we went for a walk, enjoying the ocean air. It was another down day, that was super relaxing and just a moment to catch our breath!
Later in the evening, we checked out of the hotel room and drove down to a different beach area, where the 5k was. I used my mad skills to park the RV, in a very tricky spot, after the spectators had concern that I couldn’t make it happen, proud moment. The kids ran down to the beach to play. Our new friend Rivers showed up that night, and spent the night playing sidewalk chalk with the kids. I thought it was super nice of him, he didn’t know me or the kids at all. I would later realize that this is just the kind of guy that he is.
The 5k group was hearty, probably 100 people. James was so exhausted, he tried to get out of doing his pre 5k speech. He had endured a rough day on the bike, with the road conditions being a nightmare. He was grumpy and just not in a good place. “Casey, go say something to them. Or Sunny, you go say something to them.” We all felt so bad, but finally got him out the door to speak to his fans. I will always remember his mannerisms as he spoke that night. He had to lean on the rail, because of exhaustion, and he slurred his words. No one noticed because they were so excited, but as a crew, it was killing us to see him in such bad shaped.
The 5k started, and it was fun to see the enthusiasm, even more excitement than the previous states. The momentum of the 50/50/50 was building! We visited with supporters and smelled the fresh ocean air, what a day! I had hoped there would be fireworks somewhere, but there wasn’t. So we kind of skipped the 4th of July on the 50/50/50, and just enjoyed the evening together.
At the end of the night, we went back to a different hotel room, but in the same hotel. James was worked on, got an IV, and we had a bit of a dance party! Things were finally getting better on our journey! The drives were shorter, and everyone was getting more sleep. James had finally found a rhythm with his routine. The days were hard, but we all had finally figured this thing out. All of us were so grateful for the assistance from the locals that really simplified life for us. After James had his IV, he pepped right up. He was no longer slurring his words, and he even made a few jokes.
Our friends Brittany and Parkins had already arrived and were waiting for us in Connecticut. We were excited to see some familiar faces!