4th of July Family Caravan

The Blumreich family, our first community caravaner’s, joined us over the 4th of July weekend.

blumreichbus.jpgWe picked up Eric, Jodie, Emma and Clara on a Thursday in front of their house and began our trek south towards the beautiful town of Galena, IL. Our first stop Beloit, WI for the Blumreich annual family gathering. We enjoyed a potluck style meal, played yard games, sang songs and enjoyed fireworks.

The next morning we packed up and drove about three hours before pulling into the Palace Campground, which sits just outside of Galena. We discovered this little gem last summer and knew the Blumreich’s would appreciate the vintage aspect of the facility, including an old school pool with diving board and mini-golf course. Everything about the campground reminds us of camping back in the 1970’s and in a world that is constantly upgrading there is something nostalgic about that. It would be the ideal setting for most of the Chevy Chase ‘Vacation’ movies.

PalaceCampground.jpgWhen we arrived at the campground and set up three tents, one for Jodie, Eric and Clara, one for Graciana and Emma and one for John and Les (Eric’s parents). Then we all settled in for a fantastic weekend.

We enjoyed swimming, mini-golf, a trip to the city center to see all of the historical artifacts and shops. We shared meals, bon fire’s and song. We observed each other families, with the most encouraging conversations revolving around the joys and woes of parenting teen’s and pre-teens.

It’s no easy task to be a parent to any age group and it’s affirming to share our journey with other parents in order that we might know that our struggles are perfectly normal, that we aren’t the only ones going through it, and that we are not alone. Likewise, it was good for our children, specially our 16 year old’s, who sometimes believes that the grass is greener on the other side. They were both able to work through drama, share dreams and desires, and hopefully gain perspective by being in such close quarters.

thehollandsgalena.jpgOur ultimate purpose for going to Galena was to perform for the Galena Performing Arts Festival, which rounded out the weekend nicely. The concert was held in the historic Grace Episcopal church and was a fantastic setting. Seating about 80, we packed the house to over 150.

We were a little leery about how our children would transition from enjoying the lazy weekend with friends to performing, but they did a fantastic job. Funny enough, that day, I had spent quite a bit of time myself in the pool and personally couldn’t hear much during our performance with all of the water in my ears. However, everyone else picked up the slack and this one will go down as one of our favorite settings and behind the scenes moments. Including, Eric’s helpful hand in set up/tear down, Emma’s thoughtful prayer for us before our show, a tender moment when Craig introduced Graciana as our “beautiful” daughter, Banjo’s fun antics on stage, and the Malik family driving in from Mt. Vernon, IA to see us and say hello.

On our drive home, I asked Eric for constructive feedback on what it was like to travel with our family. He responded, “your future guests will have to be pretty laid back.” Ha! I know we beat to a different drum and we are thankful that the Blumreich family took the plunge to be our first caravan guests. We are thankful for their willingness to swim upstream with us merrymaking nomads. We love you Eric, Jodie, Emma and Clara.

Community Caravan

There is a chair waiting for you. 

One of our “dream talk” desires is to have friends and muso’s  join us on the bus and/or community caravan. As we gear up for our summer of touring we though it might be fun for you to see how it breaks down in two-week increments. Although, we’re happy for folks to join us even for a weekend. We’ve got room for three on the bus and we have guest rooms (tents) when needed. We’ve already had our first family sign up for the weekend in Galena over the 4th of July and another traveler for the month of August.

If you are interested in exploring what it means to live intentionally in community, to travel and to tour, contact us at thehollands@thehollands.org. Come on and join us for the ride. We’re looking forward to a fantastic summer.

Great Lake Plains 1
May 31- June 14 Starting off in Chicago, traveling through IA and back to IL (Waukegan). We have 4 official performances during this time period.

Great Lake Plains 2
Jun 14-28 Staring off in Waukegan IL, We travel to St. Louis and back up through Madison, ending in Green Bay, WI. We have 6 official performances

Great Lake Plains 3
June 28-July 14 Staring off in Green Bay, WI. traveling between to Door County, Milwaukee and Galena IL. Ending back in Door County. We have 5 official performances.

Northwoods
July 15-29 Starting off at Camp Tek in Shawano, WI, traveling between Appleton, Fon du Lac, up into Minnesota (Minneapolis and the surrounding areas) Ending back in Shawano, WI. We have 7 official performances.

Great Lake Plains 4 – Michigan
July 29-Aug 12 Starting off in Shawano, WI, ending in Chicago, IL Currently we only have 2 official performances and are hoping this will be a time of beach, community and rest.

Westward Ho!
Aug 12-Sept 1 Starting off in Chicago, IL, traveling through KS, CO, WY ending in Salt Lake City, UT. We have 11 official performances.

FALL OPTIONS:

Sept 2-16 Starting off in Salt Lake City, traveling through Boise, ID to Bend, OR

Sept 17-24 Starting off in Bend, OR, traveling up to Bellingham, WA back through Seattle, Portland and ending in Bend, OR

Sept 25-Oct 10 Starting in Bend, OR, traveling through Roseburg, OR, Eureka, CA, Redding, CA, Modesto, CA and ending in Irving, CA

Oct 11-24 Starting in Irving, CA, traveling through San Diego to Phoenix, AZ