Monday, September 26, 2016

The End of the Road

Whether you joined us at camp or welcomed us into your home, we feel so blessed to have spent time with each and every person. We were so lucky to enjoy snippets of everyone's colorful life. You made our journey!

Bill and I would like to thank all of our friends and family who graciously accommodated not only us in beautiful homes, but also our furry pooch, Solo. That's real love and friendship!

Thank you to our blog readers. The support and enthusiasm for our road trip and new RV was heartwarming. We hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did!

Home to a Sink Hole

Our good neighbors had prepared us in route, but this was the scene when we arrived home after 22 days and 4,754 miles: a sink hole in our front driveway. A city main water pipe burst and flooded our property. The only damage is a big hole. Luckily, water was contained to the street. 

The Final Visit of the Journey

After such a fun stay with Steph, the final push to SWFL was a breeze. Welcoming us back to the rainy season, sure and begorrah the downpour started minutes away from our final stop. We met young Will for dinner near his new home in Estero. Solo was totally freaked with the lightening and thunder. We were all drenched as we greeted our baby in the lobby of Ruth Chris Steak House.

The celebration meal was fabulous; far exceeding my expectations for a steak house. Young Will looked terrific and seemed happy to see his parents and pooch. One more hour left in the road trip.

Sadly, we didn't get pictures of a few people on the journey, including our sons Chris and Will, my sister Nancy, Terr, Kate, my friends Irene and John. We'll have to do it again!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Back in Florida!

After fifteen states and two countries, we rolled into Ponte Vedra FL about 5pm. Landon, Amelia and Savannah were busy with friends and happy to see Solo. GramKat and Papa Bill got a loving greeting, too. 

Steph and Dewayne prepped appetizers for their cocktail party while Bill and I changed into our finest non-camp attire. It was fun to mingle with the kids and grown ups before taking a wild golf cart ride to a local wine tasting event at Nocatee.

It was a big night and big sleepover for all. Papa made his famous pancakes with a special treat of North Woods smoked bacon for breakfast. 

And just like that we were out the door on the final leg of our journey. We have been so blessed with love and kindness for over 4000 miles.


Mary Ann came to meet us outside of her hometown of Bluffton SC. Typically we try to get a meal in when passing through I-95, but the timing doesn't always work. Although Glenn couldn't make it this time, we four (Solo) enjoyed the fare al fresco at a great little restaurant in Pooler called Pie Society. 

It's always good to see my sister, even if it's just a couple hours. πŸ’š

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I-95 South

With some Italian leftovers in tow, we bid goodbye to the Shore Rogers and started on our journey home. Luckily, it was an uneventful drive to Fayetteville NC. 

We pulled off the road at the most unpleasant campground of the trip with hordes of nats and bad vibes all around. At least we feel safe and are self-contained in the tiny house.

We'll be back in Florida sometime this afternoon!πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’š

Friday, September 23, 2016

More from the Shore

Kristy was slaving in the kitchen when we arrived from Sandy Hook. Alexis and Devin were lounging after school. Another snippet of life. Another little vignette we've been blessed to be a part of on this trip. 

Chris arrived from work in NYC and cracked open some very fine wine. We feasted on homegrown tomato sauce, fresh pasta and homemade ricotta cheese. So good!

Our teenagers schooled me on the latest IOS update and provided pop culture commentary on many topics. So fun to be around their energy and hard to get a still pic:)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hello from the Jersey Shore

Biking on some great paths along the Atlantic! A beautiful afternoon here at Sandy Hook.

Summit NJ

Schools starts pretty early for our two wee ones in Allendale. Bill made a NJ bagel run and bought extras for our Airstream freezer. We kissed the boys goodbye in their classrooms, ran some errands with Ally and made our way down to Summit.

Young Will was born in Summit. Our first home was in Summit and our good friends are in Summit. Patty and Mike had a lovely dinner for us and we sat around their beautiful home catching up on life.

Mike was on his way early this morning to work in NYC and the remaining three humans and three dogs lingered at the breakfast table. So nice to have such a long, rich history with people and places.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Allendale, NJ

We're not sure if Glenn hung around for Pat's French toast or our company, but we were able to squeeze in another visit over a fine breakfast. Always a pleasure to see these two.

On to Ally and Paul's. Hudson and Nixon were so excited to see GramKat and Papa. They enjoyed exploring the tiny house and playing with Solo.

Ally was feeling a little guilty about not having a meal prepared for us after hearing about Pat's dinner feast. We assured her that Indian take-out would be just perfect, too. And it was. Love this family!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Heading South

Sometimes a privately owned campground with necessary amenities trumps the rustic scenic beauty of state/national parks. We found a site outside of Niagara Falls, NY that met both criteria. Branches was the perfect little camp.

We rolled into NJ just in time for Solo's beauty appt. (dirty camp dog) and a visit to the Apple Store with Bill's broken phone. 

Pat and Glenn had a dinner of everyone's favorite comfort food waiting for our arrival in Verona. Bill and I both miss many aspects of our life in NJ, and the Hermans are on the top of the list.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls seemed quite different from the last time I visited in 1976. Instead of embracing the majesty of the natural beauty, it has been developed into a commercial circus. Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood...

...still majestic though.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tech Note

For viewers following my travel blog on mobile devices, you can scroll down to the end of that main page and click on the words at the bottom: View web version

That will take you to my full blog, where among other things, my Instagram feed is scrolling through additional pictures of the road trip in the upper right corner.

Thanks for following along.

Rainy Day Fun in Canada

We are silly friends. It was a day of laughter touring area shops, brew pubs and even a chip truck escaping the downpour. My new favorite thing in life is poutine. Wow! French fries with gravy and cheese curds. What's not to love?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Muskoka Lakes

It's all about the intriguing boathouses in this affluent playground two hours out of Toronto.

We can add boathouse to the growing list of comfortable accommodations we've enjoyed on this road trip. We are so lucky to be able to see our friends nestled in the environments that make them happy, enjoying the fruits of their labor.

We've known Dan and Sheila since our babies were babies in Summit, NJ. It's great to finally visit our former neighbors in their native Canada.

It was a gorgeous, warm day and we spent a good part of the afternoon boating and sightseeing around Lake Rosseau, docking at Cross Roads for lunch, with a stop at Brad and Karen's cottage on Tobin island.

There were no lulls in conversation as we enjoyed the sunset, wine and pizza from the top deck.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Grundy Lake Canada

The Canadian border guard confiscated my pepper spray as we entered the country. It was a gift from Gwen to protect me from an unruly man with a pit bull. At Grundy Lake, a Provincial campground, I was wishing I had my spray for all the bears the ranger warned us about.

No bear episode, just a beautiful spot for camping in the Canadian woods.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Up and Out in the UP

It was a brisk 42 degrees this morning in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Great sleeping but a little chilly for coffee clutching at camp. We packed up and hit the road earlier than usual when our Airstream's furnace started acting up.

The Canadian border is mere miles away. The Great Lakes have us surrounded. It's a beautiful morning. I hope yours is, too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bond Falls

Our lovely hosts in the North Woods, Sue and Ray, sent us on our way up with one final sightseeing recommendation: Bond Falls. It was our first stop in the Upper Peninsula and a worthy one at that. We almost missed the signage (as pictured above). The falls were really dramatic and the leaves are just beginning to turn colors! Incredible natural beauty abound.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rice Creek

The pristine wetland complex of Rice Creek was one of the most spectacular sights on our pontoon cruise through the Chain of Lakes. A peaceful and lush wilderness of stunning natural beauty.

Bike Buds

The bike trail was calling. Friends of the Klines, Karen and Jerry, made it a six-some on a ride to Boulder Junction for lunch. We had lots in common, including: Marco, airplanes and motor homes. Fast friends and fun times.

Manitowish Chain of Lakes

Sue and Ray, neighbors from Marco, met us at the end of a long and winding road for a personal escort back to their home on Island Lake.

It was great to catch up and get a glimpse of their life outside of FL in the beautiful Manitowish Chain of Lakes area in northern Wisconsin.

We meandered around four of the lakes on the Kline's pontoon boat. Even Solo was totally into the perfect afternoon. A picnic lunch, cocktail hour on the deck and walleye dinner at Little Bo's Lodge (where an infamous gun battle between John Dillinger and the FBI took place) all made for a fun day with friends.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail

It was a two blanket night in the woods with temps dipping into the 40s. Once it warmed up in the late morning, we mounted our bikes and hit the amazing Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

The trail to St. Germain was a pretty ride but a little longer than we anticipated. After a hearty lunch at a highly rated diner, we took the shortcut back to camp. Without all our fancy devices, we estimated the ride to be over 30 miles round trip. Most recently conditioned for FL cycling, the hilly WI trails gave us a great workout.

It was a relaxing evening at camp with wine, music, shrimp cocktail and a five-hour campfire! We did not feel terribly guilty indulging on a little dessert: a night cap of s'mores.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Prayers for the World

9/11. It is a scared day around the world. One we will never forget.

We were living in NJ on 9/11/2001. Both Bill and I worked in the WTC at various times during our Wall Street careers. We had lots of friends and neighbors in the area, too.

Todd Rancke, our next door neighbor in Summit, was one of too many people that didn't get home that day. He's one of the thousands of shinning stars that I think about often.

I'm praying for the world today. Please take a moment and do the same.

North Woods Camp

Janine and Connie sent us on our way north with a bag of farm fresh produce harvested just for us. 

After a fun stroll around the sweet town of Minocqua we continued up to Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest (I hate that name). With plenty of available camping options, we picked a beautiful site on Muske Lake. It's the first time we're using the Airstream off-the-grid, which is called "boondocking" or camping without hookups. It's still better than a tent! 

There are 46 miles of paved bike trails in this area, so we were out exploring on two wheels. Naturally, we stopped at one of thousands of cute Wisconsin bars for a beer and portion of the WI-Akron game. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ireland or Wisconsin?

The Curran farm was a pleasant day's journey from Camp Reinberg. Located just outside of Wausau, WI, we were transported to another space and time.

Connie and Janine are our next door neighbors in FL. It was a fun reunion of cocktail conversation, Friday fish fry in town and a night cap by their roaring campfire.

Between Janine's gardens decorated with whimsical still life arrangements, the canning process in play, and Connie's handiwork everywhere, we were touched and inspired by their newly discovered sweet life in Ireland, err, Wisconsin.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mums the Word

Maggie and Kevin stopped by Camp Reinberg bearing many gifts, as usual. Among the treats was a plant. Maggie wants to watch the mum blooming on the blog, all along our journey. Mission accepted!

It's alway fun getting together with these long-time friends. We had shrimp on the barbie and belly laughs around our best campfire yet.

The last night at Camp Reinberg was perfect. Onward and upward to Wisconsin today!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Light Between Oceans

An Uber car dropped us at the suburban movie theatre in the pouring rain. It was great timing considering the fabulous morning with Solo and, later the bikes, on the extensive trail system outside Camp Reinberg.

After the aptly named tearjerker, The Light Between Oceans, the sun was out in full blazing glory. We walked back to camp, working off our lunch of buttered popcorn and coke. Gotta love matinee pricing and camping in the rain!

World Famous Milwaukee Sausage

It was a real treat to dine on fresh sausage catered by my sister, Nancy. The Milwaukee souvenirs provided the fuel for a great family reunion and delicious Camp Reinberg fireside dinner. We finally met our new family member, great nephew, Sam.