I grew up in California and my family’s idea of summer vacation was camping in the Sierras. In fact, in my early (and not so early) years, I believed that “vacation” meant camping in the Sierra. When a kid at school said they went on vacation, I’d ask if they caught any fish. And they’d … More What is this? Xanadu?
After I got back from my checkup in Cleveland, we had a couple of weeks to recharge our batteries at home. We hit a wedding, where we were part of a successful flash mob – dancing to Uptown Funk. The kids burned off some energy at a gymnastics camp and we had an abbreviated version … More Rain, and vomit and bears, oh my!
I’ve given Monica a bit of a hard time this summer about her map reading skills. In truth, she really only got us lost once, and it turned into a real adventure. She’ll readily admit her lack of geographical memorization and I have caught her looking at the wrong state out west last summer (they’re … More Summer ’19, Part 9: Losing our marbles in Raleigh
Coming out of Shenandoah Valley National Park, we had a couple of days to kill before visiting a friend in Raleigh. It offered our second chance on the trip to pop over to Richmond and extend the summer’s Civil War theme. (Did you know that Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, is only about 100 … More Summer ’19: Part 8, A Right Turn to Charlottesville
Comparing this summer’s travels to our marathon journey last summer, I’m struck by how much less the narrative is about how we survive the family dynamic on the road. Harper’s Ferry could have been a disaster – with our aborted attempt to camp. When you are with family, moments of adversity become magnified. Discomforts amplified. … More Summer ’19, Part 7: Lost in Appalachia! Naked and Afraid on the Blue Ridge
Leaving Ocean City, it had been a week since we last camped, so we were itching to build a campfire and let the kids run around in the woods. With fresh motor oil, new headlight bulbs, and a middle row of seats in the Westy, we looked for someplace a little less urban. We skirted … More Summer ’19: Part 6, Raiding Harper’s Ferry – but NOT the KOA
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