The family started their USA tour in San Francisco then on to see the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas see the Bob & Linda N Las Vegas Petro, then on to see Mount Rushmore before flying from Denver to Saint Louis.  They have had a whirlwind of adventures and lots and lots of questions they recorded on their phones to ask us about.

While at our house we took them to see the Saint Louis Arch, Budweiser Tour, and the Saint Louis City Museum.  On the next day we toured a petting zoo and that evening we had a good ole USA cookout with friends and family attending.  What a great evening as so many people wanted to meet Stephanie, Fred, Valentine, and Axel and some drove a long distance for this event. The other children at the event who are pretty young really did not understand why these new children were so hard to understand but they grabbed their hands and included them in their games. It was heartwarming to watch.

On their last day, we went up to Hannibal to visit some of Mark Twain’s haunts.  I did not know this but in France, the kids, as well as their parents, enjoyed watching a cartoon of Tom Sawyers adventures.  The children as well as their parents sang the theme song word for word for this cartoon and were thrilled to meet Tom Sawyer and also to visit the cave where Becky and Tom got lost.  After this, we took a ride on the Mississippi for them to enjoy. In the evening after a Mexican meal, we prepared we played the card game UNO as we had played this with them in France.  We demonstrated how to shuffle in France and they were not sure how we were able to shuffle the cards so elegantly so they asked us to show them again and also videoed us so they could learn themselves. They laughed and laughed as they skipped me or put a draw two or draw four on me.  It was a great way to end their visit before we took them back to get on a plane to New York City where they will visit for a couple of days before flying back to France. A lot of tears were shed at the airport as we all waved good-bye. 

Highlights and Questions from their Trip to the USA:

•    The bison in Yellowstone was their favorite thing to see

•    What does it mean to adopt a highway? They were pretty amazed when we told them this was volunteers who cleaned up the litter in that area.

•    Who has the right of way at a 4-Way with a stop sign.  First ones they had seen

•    What is going on with all of these political signs in people’s yards?

•    They were in total awe of how nice people were to them and how many people wanted to meet them

•    They could not wait to see a “real” person wearing a cowboy hat

•    Our neighbor who has horses found out how horse crazy they are and took them to meet her horses and gave Stephanie and Valentine each a cowboy hat and Valentine a pair of boots.

•    They could not wait to ride in a pickup truck and they were amazed at how cheap they were!  We just gave them a blank look in disbelief as they are expensive.

  • How wide open our “wide open” spaces are and the fear of losing all phone signal

None of this would have happened without all of our participation in Trucker Buddy International.  Our Trucker Buddy Teacher and her family made fantastic impressions on everyone they met and I believe that all of us made a great impression on them.  Now we are going to have to start planning our return trip to Saint-Malo, France.  My mind is going crazy once again thinking of new ideas of ways to communicate with our Trucker Buddy Class next year.

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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