And so we begin. Bringing you, officially, RAK Roadtrip Day One!
We started off our day bright and early for an interview with TV 7&4 in our hometown of Traverse City. At first, the thought of waking up for a 6:30am interview seemed exhausting, but it actually allowed us to get a ton of things done before we left town (I'm typing this en route to Chicago, which is technically our first stop of the trip). The interview went well (Link to interview to follow as soon as it is available online) and afterwards we hopped over to Dan's mom's place to grab her fancy-schmancy camera and to say goodbye. She also gave us some waters for our trip (three cheers for hydration) as well as gift cards for gasoline and Taco Bell!
Oh, I should also mention that Dan's sister and her husband, Brigid and Dave, and my to-be room mate Megan and her boyfriend (Dan's brother Pat....and yes, we do realize that both Dan and Pat are dating girls with some form of the name Megan. No, it's not that confusing.) gifted us with fantastic road trip survival kits! Brigid & Dave gave us the mother load of snacks, gift cards for food, plastic to-go cups and any other essential you could think of. Megan and Pat provided us with flashlights, first aid kits, more gift cards and some yarn so that I can fulfill my knitting needs! Also, Dan's best friend Scott and his girlfriend Hannah gave us the perfect compact propane burner/tiny grill. Also also, my parents recently (very sneakily I should add) paid for new front brakes for my car! You guys are all awesome -- we will now not starve/are prepared for all situations (except for a few: an entire swarm of bees attacking us, forest fires, Daenerys Targaryen's dragons attacking...but we won't count those).
|A glimpse into some of our goodies. Please note the Star Wars bag. Yep.|
|Dan, Scott and Larry Hoover (the dog)! The best of friends!!!|
Back to the day's activities: After our interview we picked up a few essentials, packed up the car and headed to breakfast with some of my best friends, Em and Claire.
|The back of the car -- packed to the brim!|
After breakfast, Claire provided Em and me with the most perfect Harry Potter shirts in all the land. Seriously, so great.
|I think it is pretty obvious why we are best friends. Accio cool biatches.|
Next, we dropped off some well-deserved baked goods to my previous boss and co-worker, Allison and Rachel. Allison donated an extra $3.00 to the RAK Roadtrip so that she would be tied with her friend Denise at $253.00. We vote that competition is an acceptable reason for donation and fully endorse this decision.
|Three dollah make me hollahhh.|
After that, we headed over to The Floral Underground to pick-up some beautiful bouquets from Derek, who is a floral genius and created five bouquets for us at wholesale cost. He also enjoyed me pretending that I was Miss America.
|Derek and myself with his lovely bouquets|
|They like me. They really like me!|
RAK #1: Since we woke up super early, Dan and I had some extra time on our hands and decided to commit a Random Act of Kindness and headed over the Michigan Blood to donate some blood! I try to donate as much as possible and after seeing how much blood my dad received during his last hospital visit, it hit home more than usual. The nice volunteer, Sandy, was very excited to hear about our road trip. She also gave us food. We like Sandy.
|Dan getting rid of some blood.|
Once we were done donating, I met up with Kate from KidzArt to pick up 25 cards made by four and five year olds, which were borderline the cutest things we have seen in a while. Our personal favorite was a card that simply said "Fox Go" (which we kept for motivation)... apparently the child had just learned to spell FOX and was really excited (reasonably so).
RAK #2: What Kate didn't know is that we RAK'd her as well! Kate does so much for all of the local charities, many times providing her services for absolutely free, and works her butt off to make KidzArt successful, so we RAK'd Kate with a $10.00 Michaels gift card to use on a fun activity to do with her family. Thanks for kicking so much bootay, Kate! We really appreciate you.
The cards were blank on the inside so we found some inspirational (with limited corniness) quotes to fill the cards. Dan and my personal favorite was:
"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
-Dr. Suess (he has such a way with words)
So, with our cards made, our car packed, and our flowers in tow, we said goodbye to our friends and headed over to Munson Medical Center.
|Hannah, Scott, Dan & Megan.|
RAK #3: When we arrived at Munson and explained what we were doing, the receptionist told us to head to the pediatric and oncology floors. When we got to each of those floors, we found a resident nurse and explained that we wanted to give flowers and/or cards to patients who need a pick-me-up or hadn't seen a visitor in a while. Just seeing the nurses' faces light up with appreciation made this RAK worth it. The second nurse exclaimed, "I know some patients who could really use this right now. Thank you so much!"
I really wish it was possible to describe how wonderfully fulfilled Dan and I felt walking out of the hospital and back to the car, but I really do not think that there are words that can illustrate that moment when we both realized that we're getting the chance to do something really amazing. And that we're getting the chance to do it over and over and over and over again.
|Right before we left. Larry Hoover unfortunately did not come on the road trip with us.|
So, once again, thank you to everyone who donated, supported us, and made this journey possible. If you'd like to donate towards our trip, you can do so right here. Otherwise, spread the word (you can find a great video here) or simply just spread some joy of your own!
Our next RAKing is taking place tomorrow in Chicago -- I cannot wait to tell you all about it!