How Did it Happen?
You know one day I thought, “This is my last year really with the kids.” Even if I stayed on at some capacity they would not need me anymore. In the past, I have taken some of them on camping adventures on a family road trip to California, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Arkansas; not to mention the numerous ones inside Texas. So I thought, man, I’ve got to take all of them on a bigger adventure for the last one! So on one of the trips with my niece we thought, yeah, a trip to Alaska — this will be epic! Then I was thinking, “Well, I can take the younger ones, too”! Now we are up to six kids. My wife said this would be great for her nephew, too. Ok sure, but now we are up to seven kids plus our 2 dogs… Got nobody left to dog sit and what the heck, at this point! So here we have the team: two dogs, seven kids, my wife, and I.
I’ll need an RV much larger than my little thirteen footer. It’ll also need to be a motorhome. You see, my Jeep can only carry two dogs and three kids in a pinch but that is without any gear. It’s going to have to be a fairly large upgrade. So, I scoured the Internet and made calls. I also went and saw a ton of them at every dealership I could find time to do. After a year of this, I found the one feature that would be the hardest to find, enough seat belts. You see, I could find ones with five, even a few with six, but nine was rare, very rare. To make it even more challenging, I have been a nanny, not a CEO. My budget was modest at best. But I was not deterred. I would find a rig that I could afford and could take everyone!
Once I found the RV, it was just a matter of getting a loan. After years of growing medical bills, we finally had to declare bankruptcy 5 years ago. Getting a loan for a used unit was almost impossible. After 3 tries, finally with a loan in hand, I thought man, this is shaping up to be a very unique story. More than just once in a life time kind of thing. The kind of thing that you say, I know a guy who talked to a guy who once went on this crazy trip…
At this point, I had figured out the time frame of the trip, about fifty days or seven weeks. I had gotten approval from all the parents and convinced them to come up and spend a week with their children while in Alaska. Even took care of a finding a substitute for the niece that would not be able to come as she’ll be joining me on the Japan trip (more on that later). I had to find a replacement for her seat, I mean come on! A once in a life time trip should not have empty seats! At this time, I still had seven kids, four sets of parents, two dogs, an RV, and was still married to my wife! I thought man, this needs to get out to the news. Maybe even get a YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram accounts to keep the kids and other relatives able to follow our Adventure. Well, I guess that means I’ll need a logo and such. So I hired a marketing team to help me. I know how to do some of this stuff but I need to do it right the first time, not make it a true learning experience filled with mistakes! Once that got rolling, I needed to start taking pictures and ensuring we had all the gear we would need for the trip. So here I sit on the weekends, doing what Alaska prep each evening and every weekend, just to keep up with all of it, but I know it will be worth it!