After months of planning, we found ourselves with only days to complete our mile long to-do list.  Aside from preparing to leave our home for the next six or seven months, we had dentist appointments, doctor visits, vet appointments, and many farewells to say.  Over and over, I found myself thinking how much this reminds me of the pre-deployment hustle, and how the emotions felt so similar to the days leading up to the frequent moves we have experienced!  The beauty of this trip is that we are going together, and we are returning home!  In fact, we are walking home!


We were planning to take a train to Georgia, leaving on March 10th (our anniversary) but my dad insisted we come to Florida to see him, and get some rest before we started our hike.  I am so thankful for his insistence.

Saturday we were up until 4:30 am packing, repacking, and sorting through hundreds of pounds of food that was organized for our first several weeks of resupply.

As if there wasn’t already enough to do, we encountered technical difficulties of epic proportion, and we found ourselves without phone service… Not to panic, we’ll get it figured out in Florida.  (Again, I thank my dad for his insistence!!!)

Sunday morning, we finished packing up the bags.  Exhausted and a little (or a lot) out of it… I decided that we didn’t need to leave as early as originally thought.  At 10:20… I spazzed out, like a scene from ‘Home Alone’ we all ran out the door, with high hopes nothing was left behind, at least not anything imperative to our visit in Florida or our first week on the trail.

We made it to the airport with about 5 minutes to spare before boarding began!  Whew!!!

Belle and Ryan experienced their first airplane ride together.  Southwest Airlines treated the two of them amazingly!  Ryan and Taylor pre-boarded the plane (which is why Taylor is missing from the above picture).  Other than a little take off jitters, Belle was amazing!!!

We landed, rented a van, and had a little dance party on our way to grandpa’s house.  I so badly wish that I could share that video with you, but remember those technical difficulties… It ended up that I had to return my phone, that had not been backed up to the cloud, because my data was full, and updating the cloud capacity was on my to-do list… c’est la vie

Phones are fixed, all is well, but pictures and videos from our amazing first day are gone… until Saturday, when we do it all again.

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