Posted by at 12:19 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 042016

Many people say that the RV lifestyle can be summed up with one word – freedom. The freedom to come and go as you want to, freedom from schedules, the freedom to see our wonderful country, and the freedom to experience new things that most people will never see or do.

We took advantage of that freedom the other day when we decided to do something totally unexpected. Today is my son’s birthday, and we made a spur of the moment decision to come and surprise him for it. So we left St. Augustine, Florida Thursday morning and drove 350 miles to Troy, Alabama, where we spent the night at Walnut Creek RV Park, a nice family owned Passport America affiliate campground. $17 got us a level pull through 50 amp full hookup site. The place is nothing fancy, but it’s comfortable, quiet, and the owners are very friendly people who go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

Friday morning we were back on the road by 11 AM. When we have made this trip in the past, when we reach Montgomery we’ve always taken US Highway 82 northwest out of Prattville to Tuscaloosa. It is 93 miles of narrow winding road with no shoulders and a lot of traffic that makes it no fun to drive at all. This time around we took Interstate 65 north from Montgomery to Hoover, on the outskirts of Birmingham, where we picked up I-459 and followed it 13 miles southwest to Interstate 20/59. From there it was about 30 miles south to Tuscaloosa. This added about 30 miles to the trip, but it was much easier driving, and it actually took just about exactly the same amount of time as the other way.

We pulled into Sunset RV Park a little after 2 PM, got the motorhome parked and hooked up, and then we drove to Travis’ house. I had called his wife Geli when we came up with this idea, and she kept him busy inside the house until we got parked and walked in the door. He was blown away when he saw us!

There were a lot of hugs, a lot of “I can’t believe it” and then even more hugs. After about the third time Travis asked, “how did you get here?” Geli explained it to him by saying, “Well honey, when a mommy and daddy love each other very much…”

Travis Nick hug small

Once we exchanged a couple dozen rounds of hugs between the four of us, me and my fuzzy faced kid sat down on the couch and took a selfie.

NIck Travis birthday small

This will be the first time we’ve been together on his birthday since he was 16 or 17 years old and I don’t know who’s more excited about it, me or Travis. Thanks for helping us pull off this surprise, Geli.

Travis loves gardening, and he showed us his current crop of peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and other veggies. Here he is giving Miss Terry the tour.

Terry Travis small

Can you believe that my son is a vegan? I was a single dad when he was growing up, and I obviously messed up somewhere along the line. Maybe he just got his fill of TV dinners and pot pies as a kid and rebelled.

Here are two pretty ladies, Miss Terry and Geli.

Terry Geli small

We will be here for a week, hanging out with Travis and Geli. Terry is going to make him a vegan birthday cake this morning before we go back over to their house.

Happy birthday Travis, I love you very much and I’m very proud of you!

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Thought For The Day – You can always fix a bad decision but you can’t fix indecision.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. What fun! Enjoy your time together. There’s nothing like being with family.

  2. This bought tear to my eyes, enjoy your family! I am also a vegan!

  3. What a nice surprise. Enjoy your time with family. Don’t forget to check out the Berman in Anniston while you are nearby.

  4. Ya done good Mr. Russell!

  5. Yes, this is a SURPRISE none of you will ever forget. Glad it all worked out. Enjoy your visit and take more time to drive back to your next location.

  6. Awesome surprise! So happy your family is spending quality time together.

  7. Read Dr. Michael Greger’s recent book “How Not to Die” and you will better appreciate why more people are changing to a vegan diet:

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