Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grand Rapids, MI and Chicago, IL

Ok, so for those of you viewers that are not regulars of this site let me fill you in on its purpose. The Besch Family (that’s my last name) is taking a cross-country tour of the United States and Canada in an R.V. The R.V. is a Mountain Aire by Newmar with an 8 of a kind floor plan and paint job. In other words there are only 8 or 9 R.V.’s exactly like this one made. And who knows how many have disappeared since. So this R.V. is a very unique and special model.

There are 6 members of the Besch family (not including our extended family) in this R.V. and we do not own a house or stay in hotels on our journey. We are seeing the world as we say, and “roughing it smoothly” in style. Although our life may sound somewhat fascinating it is also very rustic. Ex. We eat grilled hamburgers almost once a week, and in the first several months of our trip 3 times a week. We usually have sandwiches for lunch and cereal for breakfast. Although sometimes we splurge and have scrambled eggs for breakfast or go to Subway for lunch.

My father is retired from his job in the Army after 26 years as a full colonel. He currently has no job but has several job offers from the Military and Boeing but really wants to go into the Wind energy business. He has a master’s degree in business and this has always been his passion.

We see just about every museum we pass within a hundred miles, and have been seeing a lot of civil war monuments. Some of the best things that we have seen include, but are not limited to: Lincoln’s Tomb, Washington D.C., Chicago, The Everglades, Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Prince Edward Island, and The End of The Famous Alaska Highway. As it seems that we are taking a year off we also do a lot of school. In fact my loving mother went out of her way to get us the most challenging home schooling program she could find, and let me tell you, she did a heck of a lot of research.

And now the latest news on the Besch’s travels. The Besch’s left Grand Rapids, MI after getting our over-due engine tune-up. They we proceeded back to Newmar headquarters where we got a tour of the Newmar plant that was scheduled for 10:00 but it was canceled. So we all stuck around for the 1:00 tour. “It was enlightening,” quoted Robby, the most brilliant and handsome of the Besch boys. “We saw where they paint the chassis, add the roof, and wire over 3 miles of wiring that weigh over 1,000 pounds!”

After we said what is thought to be our final Good-bye to Newmar, we headed to Chicago. We stayed at a previously seen Navy base and all the time doing school every day. Here we met our friends from Florida, Alex, Sophie, and Mr. and Mrs. Runtee and enjoyed Chicago to the fullest all through the night, or at least until our bedtime. We enjoyed playing in the fountains and taking an architectural tour of Chicago by boat. We also took a 3 mile bike ride on the beach and watched fireworks. We even met Forrest Gump sitting on a bench outside of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Corporation & Restaurant.

That’s all for now. My mom says that I have to get off this computer and do some spelling!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grand Rapids, Michigan and Nappanee, Indiana

Hello, I’m kind of bored at the moment so I’ll fill you in on what’s happened. We went back to Mrs. Marlene’s house and showed them the R.V. The others and I shot off most of my bottle rockets, one of which tipped over and shot into the audience where no one was hurt. We played with the dogs and the horses and the cows and then we acted like we were the animals. Sam and Sam pulled the buggy and Will and Joe moooed and I chased them all as the dog. We played our favorite game: Cops and Robbers and I, as usual, played the cop.

We went to dinner at an Amish fundraiser and played with Kari. We went to a movie and an Amish horse and buggy auction. I liked both. The movie was called Planet Earth and was about the migration of amazing animals. I think I liked the marine part most though. We enjoyed our time thoroughly but unfortunately never strayed from our school schedule library time. It was lugubrious but productive if I may say so myself. Now I only have 5 more subjects and twenty days of school to go.

We said our solemn goodbyes to the Wahl family after hosting another sleepover and said that we hoped to meet again somewhere along the trail of R.V. life again. It was good to socialize with Joe and Anna, just the fact of knowing other people your age who are going through the same thing that you are is calming and helpful to know. Usually we only stay in a place long enough to briefly explore its exterior and get a feel of the town and then travel on without a second thought or even slightly missing it unless it was someone we really like and there are plenty of examples too. But leaving the Newmar campground was different; it was hard leaving the Wahl family behind and good Amish people who we enjoyed being with and spending time in their company.

When we left Newmar it was different, like moving all over again, and it was sad. I know it sounds a little silly but I already miss them. I’d spend more time on the subject but I’m running on critical battery power and need to move on. We left the Wahl’s and The Newmar Corporation behind and drove to Michigan where we stayed at The Spartan Corporation for a day to get the engine checked upon whilst we did school at the local library. On my break I read every plant-related book and magazine in the library. Any way now we’re driving to a place in Grand Rapids where we’ll get the diagnosed problem with the engine fixed. That’s all for now folks.

We are back at Newmar Headquarters and doing lots of school. Recently we met a family, the Wahl’s, and they are doing the exact same thing that we are doing, traveling in an R.V. They don’t know where they are going to end up and Mrs. Wahl is retired military. They have an All-star and we have the Mountain Aire. We just found out that the New Essex has the same floor plan so technically we own a crowned “Essex”, one of the nicest R.V.s available. Anyway the two parents Mr. Thom Wahl and Mrs. Marie Claire Wahl have three kids that are close to our ages. Joe is 12, Anna is 10, and Sam is 7.

We’ve has a blast, literally. We lit up half of our fireworks arsenal last night. It was fun. We’ve also been getting up really early and going to the Corner Café again. We head to the library and do school all day until our R.V. comes back, and on our breaks we play with our friends. On Mother’s Day we went to an Amish restaurant and had a Threshers dinner. Then if we buy tickets to an Amish play we get another dinner free. So we bought the tickets and saw the most Hilarious Play called “Plain and Fancy.” It was great and at the end my sides hurt from laughing.

Well, finally we went back to Mrs. Marlene’s house and ate an Amish dinner. Mr. Larry and Mrs. Marlene have a wonderful farm. We had fun playing with their kids too. We got to do chores, which aren’t that bad on the farm and got to ride a miniature horse. We rode our R.V. to another Amish family’s house and let them see it while we saw what an Amish wedding setup looks like. Yep, the daughter of that family was going to get married so we got to see how it all looked before the wedding. We saw where they prepared the food and where the bishop stands on the raised platform. We also played cops and robbers. With all the Amish kids playing we had a total of 10 kids getting arrested and making arrests on each other. It was so cool. We learned all sorts of things and really got a glimpse of what an Amish lifestyle really is. That’s all for now!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Well, we have had quite the adventure since I last blogged so let me fill you in. We kept on driving to Chicago, looped around it, and put it on a Navy base next to Lake Michigan. Then we drove into Chicago. We saw all sorts of beautiful parks and flowers and less beautiful old buildings and I’ll tell you one thing, Chicago is a very old but historic city. We drove to McCormick Place, a giant convention center where my dad would take the train for the next 4 days.
So for the next three days we did school at that navy base. Our entertainment was renting a movie from the library and watching it at the coach. We just finished all 32 episodes of Andy Griffith season 4; it’s been a great set of movies, lots of fun came out of those discs.

Anyway, on the 4th day that we were there, we went into Chicago to this really cool museum that we heard about from some friends. It’s called the Museum of Science and Industry. We saw all sorts of really cool exhibits. The whole thing was geared towards kids and we learned so much. Then in light of the 6th Harry Potter movie coming soon, they set up a brand new Harry Potter exhibit with all the props from the very movie. They had sculptures of dementors and people that made the movies and fans everywhere and the gift shop, ohhhhhhhhh. There was a toy or wand replica all over the place and people were buying the overpriced stuff like crazy! Kids with wizards’ hats ran around your legs and couples bought hourglasses. It was very cool though and I was put into the Ravenclaw house for being one of the smartest and the truest.

Then we went to the Wind Convention and met Dad. He paid the five dollar entry fee for us to come as visitors to the convention for 2 hours. We saw sooooooooooo many incredible inventions and other things related to wind turbines. We met the people who make the bases, and the people who make the rotors, air lights, generators, bolts, screws and even 40-ton floating platforms for the ocean. Amazing! Dad met lots of people and I asked lots of questions. The next day we did school, took a dip in the pool, and then we packed up and headed back for Newmar’s headquarters where our ordered parts will arrive and be attached to the coach. Bye!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nappanee, Indiana and Springfield, IL

We just slept in for the first time in three days! Every day for the last three days, we have been waking up ridiculously early so that the folks that work at Newmar can take it away to fix it. The big population around here is the third biggest Mennonite and Amish population in the United States. About a third of them work in the R.V. industry. So because the Amish wake up really early and take away the R.V. we had to wake up really early every day for three days. We would go to a café in this little Amish town and eat Amish food for a really great price. Then we would go to the public library and do school for about 5 hours and play on the computers and read books on our breaks. We had a lot of fun. We got a lot of stuff fixed on the R.V. and dad is really happy.

Yesterday we went to an Amish Family’s farm after my mom met and got invited by a very nice Amish woman named Sara. We did chores at the farm and ate Amish homemade cupcakes. We had a lot of fun with their boys too. They took us on an Amish buggy ride because the Amish are a very religious people and they believe that modern conveniences like cars take away from the simple, humble life that God wants us to have. We saw their horse get new horseshoes, and we saw an a chicken lay an egg in the street in ten seconds. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the Amish.

We also went to an old fashioned soda fountain and met a guy who is Mennonite and owns a farm with all the cows and huge farm equipment and stuff like that. Like the Amish, Mennonites are also a very religious people and although they believe many things that the Amish do, they use the modern conveniences. As long as they think of God, they think that modern conveniences don’t take away from their religious life. We got to take a nice ride in a 30 ft high monster farm vehicle at 25 miles per hour, which was its top speed. We had a great time there at Mr. Ron’s and Mrs. Colleen’s farm.

Now we’re leaving to Chicago to go to a wind convention. My dad wants to get a contact so he can get a job in the wind energy field. We’re all hoping he’ll get what he wants, the perfect job, and be happy and settle down in Colorado. That’s all for now. I have to go put stuff away. Bye!

4/28/09 - Springfield, IL

Alright, we haven’t done much but I’m bored stiff. So, two days ago we left the Piatak’s house in St. Louis, MO after many goodbyes and fixing stuff on the R.V. We left and drove to Double-J Campground in Springfield, Illinois. In the morning we went to an amazing museum that was all about President Lincoln. We saw his tomb and what he went through when he was young. There was so much about President Lincoln that he is the fourth most written about human being in the World! The first is Jesus.

Anyway, we saw three amazing movies about Lincoln’s eyes, artifacts relating to Lincoln and the presidential election of 1860. All were amazing and we got in to the museum for a very reasonable price. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it much moreso than my brothers. Then we got back in the R.V. and are now driving to Indiana. I’m done with my school day and am still bored. Well, that’s all, bye.