Happy Mothers day

Monday, May 14th, 2012

On this mothers day I want to make a point of acknowledging a very special mother in my life. Happy mothers day to my wife. The first thoughts that come to mind when I hear the word mother are caretaker, nurturer, loving. While I could use use all three of those words to describe Britt, she is so much more. She is everything to this family. She is consistently pushing this family to grow and become better people. Not only does Britt lead by example and push us, she is encouraging a supportive along the way. She is the first person we all run to when we need a comforting hug. I am so proud to have the her as the mother of my children. I know that she will always give them the unconditional love that every child should have. I appreciate you, Britt.

 

Jared’s Life List

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

I have always hated bucket lists; I’m not really sure why.

But I have never had an issue talking about winning the lotto.

Britt hates it, but I have always loved talking about having all that money. Then last week we were in Malibu, CA and the amount of money in that town was unbelievable. If you have ever visited there you know that money seems to flow like water. I think the only vehicle with a value under $100,000 was our Chevy. Being in that town really got me thinking about having lots of money and what I would do with it. All of that kind of progressed into making a life list.

Once I wrote out my life list, I was somewhat embarrassed. Either I have a small imagination or I have just been trained to think that people like me cannot achieve their dreams. Now that I have written my list down, I realize that not only is it very possible to complete this list in a short amount of time, but also it will not take very much money at all. I am embarrassed because if I had made this list 5 years ago it would probably be completed by now.

In any case, without further ado, here is my list:

  • learn Spanish
  • play guitar
  • run a marathon
  • learn to dance
  • have washboard abs
  • take cooking classes
  • brew a keg of beer

And that’s it for now.

What would be on your life list?

School at home or away

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I am grateful for many things deciding to do this trip has given me, but one of the biggest joys to come from this has been home schooling the kids.

I had several issues with the public school our kids went to prior to hitting the road. For example, neither Emma or Devin had a daily recess; when I was in elementary we usually had three a day. The kids had assigned seats on the bus, lunch, and in class and were not aloud to speak to anyone not directly beside or across from them. The whole year leading up to this trip, Britt and I would discuss other options for them. We would say to each other, “If they are not getting the social interaction anyway, why don’t we just home school?” If not for this trip, I don’t think either of us would have had the guts to do it.

When I tell people about our trip, there are a few questions that almost everyone immediately asks. One of them is about the kids schooling and how it is handle. It has been surprising to many people that I have the duties of handling the kids schooling. Before you hand me an award, the kids do virtual school online, so I am just the “learning coach”. For Devin, this is not too difficult as he can pretty much do his own thing. With Emma, it requires a little more attention.

The three of us have all butted heads, as you can imagine, and we are still learning how to work with each other everyday. But there are few things that have been more rewarding for me as a parent then to see firsthand my children grow academically. To know that I had a part in the process is something that will stick with me forever. Are there times where I literally pull my hair out? Yes, yes I do. Does Emma sometimes lay on the floor and scream? At least once a week, but everyday it gets a little easier and schools goes a little smoother.

I don’t think that we will continue to home school after this trip, but I will definitely be more involved in the learning process and I will have a better understanding of what is going on with their learning. On top of that, if there is something in there education that requiqres action in the future, I don’t think either of us will be afraid to take whatever steps are necessary.

Married by the King!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Nothing special was done for Valentines day in are household, unless you count Britt and I renewing our wedding vows last week in Vegas! Even Elvis came for the event.

Top 10 places to eat in the U.S.

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Traveling the country in an RV, you can bet we’ve eaten some good food. We have eaten out a lot, so when I asked everyone in the family which places were the best, it wasn’t hard for them to start rattling off places. Keeping with my theme of making lists, here are my 10 favorite places to eat in America.

Before I start I must say that this list has a wide variety of food and atmosphere to offer. Some of the places on this list are world famous tourist stops, and some are only known by locals, but they all have one thing in common: I loved eating there.

Joe’s Shanghai – New York City

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a restaurant in NYC makes my list; what is surprising is that it is making the list because of their dumplings. I had never been a fan of dumplings until I tasted Joe’s. Since then I have tried dumplings at several places, but none of them could satisfy the craving of Joe’s Shanghai. They have 3 NYC locations. One in Chinatown, one in Midtown, and the original in Flushing. They also have 3 locations in Japan.

Salt – The Ritz – Amelia Island

First off it’s at The Ritz so of course it is good. Salt on Amelia Island, FL allows you to sit in their kitchen and watch them prepare the world class meal you are eating. Britt and I were wined and dined as the chef himself brought us course after course of the best food I think I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been lucky enough to eat at many fine dining restaurants across the U.S. and Salt just might be the best.

Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery – Raleigh NC

This place may be the best kept secret in the United States, or at least Raleigh. When you step into Hayes Barton Cafe you may wonder if you accidentally walked into the wrong place as it is literally seperated from the buildings other tenant (a local drugstore) by a curtain. That’s right, the place doesn’t even have a wall of its own. No matter what the place looks like, owners Frank and Margaret make sure you get your money’s worth, especially when it comes to cake. The biggest and best piece of cake I’ve ever had, and let me tell you I am a self proclaimed pastry connoisseur.

Mrs. Wilkes – Savannah, GA

This former boarding house has been famous longer than I’ve been alive. You better get here early as they are only open from 11am to 2pm Monday thru Friday and by 11 the line is down the street. You are served in a family style setting, meaning you are seated at a table of about 10 give or take and you all share from the bowls of this southern home cooking that has kept this place open for 4 generations. When finished feasting on this delicious Soul food, be prepared to clear your own plate all the way to the kitchen and don’t think you are above this tradition as they have enforced it upon many people, including President Obama, who dined here when he visited Savannah.

Central BBQ – Memphis, TN

I’m not sure we would have even visited Memphis if Faiqa and her family didn’t live there. As long as we put Memphis on our map, we definitely had to hit up some BBQ joints. Although not as famous as its cross town rivals Interstate BBQ and Rendezvous (both of which deserve consideration for this list) Central BBQ makes my list because of their BBQ nachos. We only ordered them because they sounded interesting and WOW we were shocked at how quickly we devoured them. Mmm just thinking about them makes me want to head to Memphis for an order, oh and to see Faiqa. Since we are talking about BBQ, I must mention Rudy’s in Austin, TX. This local BBQ doubles as a gas station and serves possibly the most mouth watering beef brisket I’ve ever put in my mouth. The local eatery has expanded and has several locals throughout Austin, and you can still fill up the tank while you eat.

Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans

Cafe Du Monde only serves beignets and coffee, is open 24 hours a day, and it’s always busy. Cafe Du Monde may be a little touristy, but there is good reason why they never close. I had my coffee au lait(with milk) and a plate of the best pastry I’ve ever had. This is also the place that introduced me to coffee with chicory. So next time you are in New Orleans, skip Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks and head to Cafe Du Monde; you may never eat another doughnut again.

Burrito Truck – Richmond, VA