Purchasing the Westy put us on a collision course with a place I never gave much thought to visiting: The Jersey Shore. We live in Florida. We have the best beaches down the road from us. Why on earth would we go to the beach in New Jersey? The answer to that question for us … More Summer ’19, Part V: The Jersey Shore!
Leaving Pittsburgh, we had two days to get to Ocean City New Jersey. Our first stop was Gettysburg. Again, we took the Pennsylvania turnpike, even though it’s merely the old tracks of General Lee’s artillery brigade. Fortunately, the country roads, where the Amish ride in carriages, are paved. In Gettysburg, we cashed in a free … More Summer ’19, Part IV: The Civil War and Amish Intercourse
The journey from Jamestown, VA, to Pittsburgh, PA, ended up being the longest drive of our entire trip. So far, most of our route has been along two and four-lane back roads – and very little interstate. The Westfalia enjoys the back roads for their lack of high speeds and little traffic. Our son likes … More Summer ’19, Part III: The Food Issue; Meaning, Food is an Issue
Two days into our drive from Florida to Pittsburgh I woke up and looked out of the screen of the rooftop tent and gazed upon a boat yard in mid-repair from last year’s storms. We were in Swansboro, NC, and I realized “we’re nowhere near Pittsburgh.” A heavy rain had blown through the previous night, … More Summer ’19, Part II: Bring a Map
Last summer, we departed Florida with a pretty solid plan: hotels in Charleston and Santa Fe, campsites in Yosemite and Yellowstone, and visits with friends in Oregon and Washington. We had freedom to fill in the blanks, but we had certain milestones to reach to keep us on track. This year, our plan came together … More Summer ’19, Part I: Wingin’ It
I recently read a good book by Rinker Buck, a journalist who set out to cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by a mule team – in 2012. In it, he recounts how the original pioneers embarked in overloaded wagons, with poorly trained animals, and unrealistic expectations of how much ground they … More Westfalia Wagon Train
In the last exciting episode of Don’t Make Me Turn This Van Around, we added a second van to the family. Have we jumped the shark? Um… neither of these vans are jumping anything. With the new (to us) Westfalia in the fleet, Monica wasted no time in setting up a dress rehearsal. Less than 24 … More Key Westy
For most of the spring, we’ve been cautiously planning a trip to Europe with a focus on art (for our daughter’s sake) and World War II (for our son’s sake.) I say “cautiously,” because we got a great deal on plane tickets – but were waiting for a magic genie to leave us the funds … More Euro-trip or Euro-van?
Our 2019 Spring Break trip was a highly anticipated opportunity to put everything we learned on the road last summer to the test. We would pack lighter and smarter. We would camp with finesse. We’d make it look easy – like those pretty people on Instagram who live in a utopia with no dirty laundry … More Spring Break Professionals
I’m coming up on the third anniversary of the spring day that I collapsed at home from a Type A aortic dissection. It was the most serious in a series of medical events caused by vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. There’s no cure for vEDS, no “remission,” and the only treatment is to avoid the physical and … More Dissecting anniversaries