I bet some of you thought I had reached the “end of the road” without a post in such a long time, but I’m going to catch you up over the next few weeks to explain the “detours” and continuing adventure.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I last posted! We got bogged down in the middle of the first year and I just got overwhelmed, so I gave up. But we were having lunch with some dear friends, and they mentioned that they really missed keeping up with our travels through the blog. I explained that I had been getting bogged down in trying to organize the plethora of pictures we tend to take along the way and got overwhelmed, so I just stopped. They encouraged me that I didn’t need a bunch of pictures to tell the story; a concept I hadn’t thought of before! Several friends have mentioned missing the blog, so I’ve decided to give it another try. I’m going to try to limit the photos, (clearly I’ve not been successful at that! Sorry, Anne!) but I’ll post more of those on Instagram as they happen realtime, and we’ll see how it goes!
I’m going to cover a lot of ground in this and the next couple of posts, so hang on to your hats. Truly, this is just the highlights!
When last we left our intrepid travelers, they were speeding through New York, Vermont and New Hampshire on their way to Acadia National park in Maine…
Maine’s Acadia National Park; as with so much of what we are seeing in our adventures, all we can say is, WOW! There’s a reason everyone said we should not miss this park. It’s tough to get into, and for this one, we definitely had to do some planning. It took 3 days of getting up early and having my finger right on the “book now” button right at the second they opened up, but we finally did it! We stayed at Schoodic Woods Campground, which had HUGE sites with lots of space between, so you could really enjoy the natural beauty. Walking Pongo around the park every morning and evening, we met so many fabulous folks, some of whom we will catch up to again in our travels, and some of whom we went out to eat with while we were there. We took advantage of the Ranger-led nature talks in the evenings at the amphitheater and could not get enough of driving around exploring.
We were fortunate to be there the first weekend in September, which is Lobsterfest in the little town of Winter Harbor. They open up the fire station and the firemen cook HUGE pots of lobsters that are served along with corn, salad and blueberry pie at long tables in the station. They place river rocks on the tables and everyone cracks open their lobsters with those! It was absolutely delightful, and most of the folks there were locals, so we had fun chatting with them!
The rest of Maine is just as beautiful, and this is another of those spots we want to go back and spend a whole summer exploring! We can see why folks have summer homes there.
Massachusetts was so memorable, again for the people! We stayed a few days at a Boondockers Welcome location in Essex called Ernie’s Service Station that was just that! Ernie grew up in the tiny town of Essex, Maine, and inherited the business from his dad. He never really thought about whether this was the business he wanted to be in. He just took it on because that’s what the family tradition said to do. He is incredibly involved in his local community, serving as a volunteer firefighter and helping many other local businesses with whatever they need. Everywhere we went, when we mentioned him, we were met with stories of how Ernie had helped them at some point. We were so honored to have met him! Essex is known for it shipbuilding, and has a rich tradition, evident everywhere you look. They are also blessed with a beautiful old church, notable because the bell in the tower was cast by Paul Revere! We made a day trip over to Salem where we learned more about the famous Witch Trials, and got a close up look at another bell cast by Paul Revere.
Earlier in the trip we had met a charming couple who lived in Bourne, really the gateway to Cape Cod, which was a later stop on our trip. When we got there, we texted to try to get together, but it didn’t look like it was going to work. However, when I asked if they knew a good dog sitter they could recommend for our day-long trip into Boston, without missing a beat they insisted that we bring Pongo to their house for the day! We could not believe their generous hospitality! And Pongo came back to us at the end of the day spoiled ROTTEN and one very happy boy! Cape Cod did not disappoint, although I think Plymouth Rock certainly did! We didn’t expect it to be so TINY! However, the tour of the Mayflower II, a full-scale replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth was quite fascinating, and gave me a renewed respect for those people. I never could have survived! In Provincetown at the tip of the cape there was a great dog beach, where Pongo had a great time and we visited with the locals.
One of our absolute favorite spots was Newport, Rhode Island. This is a place I could happily move to if I could tolerate the cold winters! Again, filled with kind, generous people, and so much history!! The huge mansions of the Golden Age were spectacular, and the views from the Cliff Walk were breathtaking. On Sunday we visited a fabulous church, OceanPoint Christian Church, and they made us feel like we were one of the family. I seriously felt that this could be a permanent home for us (except for the fact that we could never deal with the winters here!) We’re going to have to spend the next 10 summers going back to visit the wonderful places and people we’ve met along the way!
We spent a couple of days in the New Haven, CT area visiting with another college friend ( thanks Deena for your hospitality during our visit to CT), and Pongo picked up another fan! Naturally we had to go wander around Yale University while we were there, and we met some absolutely delightful young folks just embarking on their futures! We stayed at a Harvest Host farmstand location and had fun poking around the little market!
We were SO excited as we headed inland from here because we got to spend a whole week with our daughter Alison and her dog Pants in the Hudson Valley! We stayed at our first Jellystone RV Park because they had tons of water features like a lazy river, 2 pools and a bunch of other recreation activities that made it more like a vacation, even though Alison had to work (remotely) every day! We did get in some awesome hikes with the pups, and at the end of the week we drove them back home to her apartment in NYC, which was a lot of fun. Not sure David found driving the Bounder on the NJ Turnpike “fun,” but we did enjoy all being together! Of course, the minute Pongo entered Alison’s apartment, the first thing he did was “mark” all of Pants’ toys, but I think Alison forgave him!
For years we had been hearing about how the biggest RV show in the world was at Hershey, PA, so we decided this would be our year to check it out. It was absolutely exhausting, and we saw a lot of great stuff, but after looking at everything, we can honestly say that there isn’t an RV currently on the market that we like better than the one we already own! We had a great time catching up with some of our favorite YouTube celebrities, though!
Since we were so close, we decided to stop for a few days at Gettysburg, and we were so glad we did. What a sobering look at history. I kept imagining myself at home in the peaceful countryside, and suddenly finding I was in the middle of a bloody battleground. There were signs of the battles everywhere, and they still are finding artifacts to this day. The narrated driving tour though the battleground was very moving, and the unique cyclorama exhibit in the museum was extremely informative. We highly recommend them both if you ever find yourself near the area!
It’s been so much fun reminiscing about our “Season 1” as we’re just heading out for “Season 2!” There’s a lot more to tell from Season 1, though, so stay tuned for more of the journey next week!
Up Next: Lots more History!