A photo of Uncle Ken, Kim, Kelsey, Aunt Karen, Niala, Riker, Ainsley, Kahlan, Grayson, Rayleigh, and Dillon with the kids on a couch and the adults standing at Kim's house

32 Days in America, Day 19


  • Miles traveled: 278
  • Miles traveled to date: 3528.1
  • States visited today: 2 – Alabama, Florida
  • States visited to date: 10
  • Tanks of gas pumped to date: 11
  • Meltdowns: 13
  • Loads of Laundry: 15
  • Illness: 4

Daily recap

Today, Kevin visited with one of his clients in Birmingham, AL, while Kelsey took the kids to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, then we drove to Jay, FL to visit with Kelsey’s aunt, uncle, cousin, and her family.


  • Eating breakfast at the hotel
A photo of Rayleigh, Ainsley, and Dillon eating breakfast at a table in a hotel's common area
The kids like hotel breakfast, because they can eat what they want.
  • Visiting the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
A photo of sculptures outside of the botanical garden
Sculptures of flowers outside the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
  • Finding water
A photo of Kelsey and Ainsley sitting on rocks overlooking a stream
Balance is key.
  • Seeing some turtles
A photo of two turtles sunning themselves on a rock by the water
The pond at the botanical gardens had some good sized turtles in it.
  • Wandering, but not being lost
A photo of Ainsley, Grayson, and Rayleigh hiding in a bamboo forest
Watch out for pandas!
  • Visiting with cousins
A photo of Niala, Rayleigh, Ainsley, Riker, Dillon, and Grayson playing Telestrations
Game night with cousins!

Other photos from today

A photo of Grayson eating a waffle while Ainsley, Dillon, and Rayleigh sit on the couch watching cartoons.
Grayson woke up late so had to eat his breakfast in the hotel room while mom and dad packed and the other kids watched cartoons.
A photo of a card handwritten by Ainsley that says "Thanks for the room - Ainsley"
We left thank you cards and a tip for housekeeping at each hotel.
A photo of Dillon, Ainsley, and Grayson walking along a low rock wall
Dillon’s going the wrong way on the one way stone road.
A photo of Rayleigh posing next to a metal sculpture of an insect
I think this is a grasshopper?
A photo of Ainsley, Grayson, Dillon, and Rayleigh sitting on a rock by a pond
Grayson is at least in the photo and looking at the camera, so we’ll take it.
A photo of Grayson striking a pose on an elevated platform in the woods
And I do my little turn on the catwalk…
A photo of Dillon under a torii, or red Japanese gate
Dillon found a torii in the botanical gardens.
A photo of Ainsley sitting on a large rock overlooking the pond
Taking a break.
A photo of an owl in a tree at midday
It’s kind of hard to see, but there’s an owl perched on the branch in the center of this photo.
A photo of Ainsley in a meditative pose on a rock in front of a bamboo forest
A photo of Grayson using a piece of fallen bamboo as a balance beam in a bamboo forest
These kids will turn anything into a balance beam.
A photo of Grayson striking a pose next to an abstract sculpture
Far out, man.
A black and white photo of Grayson wearing sunglasses and staring off into the distance
He’s in his own little world.
A photo of Ainsley sitting on a rock overlooking a stream
Water is Ainsley’s happy place.
A photo of Ainsley, Grayson, Rayleigh, and Dillon sitting on a large bench in the woods
This bench looks like it was built for a giant.
A photo of Dillon, Grayson, Ainsley, and Rayleigh sitting in a dugout canoe in the woods
Dugout canoes seem to be the theme of the week for this crew.
A photo of a fountain with pine cones in it
One water fountain, pine cones included.
A photo of Grayson strutting down a forest path
Even when he’s going for a walk in the woods, this kid does it with gusto.
A photo of Dillon holding up a cluster of pine cones
Dillon found a cool pine cone cluster.
A photo of Grayson, Ainsley, Rayleigh, and Dillon by an elevated pond with a gazebo in the background. Grayson is stirring the water with a stick.
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…
A photo of Dillon with a sculpture of a turkey in the woods behind him
Look at these two turkeys.
A photo of Kim candling an egg (putting an egg over a bright light to see if it has any cracks in the shell)
Kim and Alain keep chickens, and they showed Rayleigh and Dillon how to candle eggs to see which ones were suitable for incubation. In order to be candidates for incubation, the eggs needed to have a shell that was free from cracks, in a uniform shape, and not too thick.

And now for your moment of zen…

A photo of a sign that says "hill blocks view."
I mean … that’s kind of what a hill does, right? Even the bear knew that. That’s why he climbed it, so he could see what was on the other side.





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