On May 30, 2016 our trip became international. It is our 120th day on the road and last day in New York. I am sitting on a rock only spitting distance from Bridal Falls at the impeccable Niagara Falls. I can hear the roar of the water as we are waiting for the Memorial Day fireworks to begin. First though, I wanted to fill you in with my blissful weekend. We were among the 93 degree heat and thousands of people observing the Falls this weekend. Of course, we set sail on the Maid of Mist to taste the beauty from the top deck. When you get that close to a waterfall, all you can do is let go and feel alive. We tromped off the boat after 30 minutes, sounding like two-year-olds that just ran through mud puddles in their new tennis shoes. We were ecstatic to continue our joy, so we bounced across the Niagara River to the great land of Canada. We came, conquered and waved as we left the maple leaf country behind us. Other than our Niagara Falls adventures, Nick and I experienced our first ever drive-in movie! According to Nick’s mom, it sounded pretty much the same as ‘the olden days’ only we didn’t have to worry about accidentally stealing the speaker when we headed out for the night. Even though we usually can’t wait to get out of the car when reaching a destination, I felt at home when we were watching X-Men snuggled in the Versa. Another great place to visit is Fort Niagara. We spent hours enjoying the breeze off Lake Ontario and walking around the retired military base.
It’s been a grand last leg of our east adventures. Back toward the Midwest tomorrow!
The complementing lightning of the fireworks to the thunder of the water has begun!
Up until this point, I have only posted about experiences that have blown my mind and left me speechless. This, followed by numerous pictures giving you, as a reader, the feeling of inclusion on my trip. I love that I have so many people supporting and following me on this journey!
Today, I will describe my past week but I will be the one feeling included in your life. Nick and I trekked from Maine to western New York, stopping in New Hampshire for a few nights. I would tell you that we hiked through the mountains eight hours each day and suffered through the cold nights huddled in our tent. But that’s simply not true. We spent most of our time inside eating, watching TV and doing not much of anything. To be honest, one day I didn’t even put pants on. It was glorious.
If this post is disappointing to you, I’m not sorry at all. This week was fantastic. Sometimes you don’t need a ground breaking adventure to find what you need. Apparently, we just needed a day to do nothing.
As I said, we are now in western New York. The place you ask? No where other than Niagara Falls! Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hug a service member of you are able and remember all of the lost military men and women.
I’m alive! There were no moose attacks or ocean casualties in this party of two. I haven’t seen a shower or slept in a real bed in six days, but my heart is bursting with emotion. Our last five nights were split between Wompatuck State Park in Massachusetts and Acadia National State. I somehow still can’t get enough of this life. My only regret is not doing it sooner. Wompatuck was quant and close to Cape Cod and Boston. Acadia was tranquil and by all means, perfect. The ocean glowed under the sun half the day, and then became an angsty teenager when the clouds rolled through. Acadia is a must see for national parks. Mount Desert Island (the island that hosts the national park) has it all. The deep pine forest are dotted with fresh water lakes and was surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, much like a saddled cowboy herding his flock of sheep. The vast, uncontrolled waters carve into many cliffs making spectacular rock formations. We hiked until our feet couldn’t take another step and our bellies were rumbling for something more than cliff bars. The exhaustion was well earned, but worth every moment.
I will let the pictures describe the rest, but I do have to explain one picture. One of my favorite spots to observe the mind and humor of the ocean was Thunder Hole. If you are unfamiliar, allow me to inform you. Thunder Hole is made up of two cliffs that were carved out by the ocean. In the middle/bottom of the two rocks is a cave like hole. When the water splashes the cave with enough power, the water makes a thunder-sounding boom. However, what they fail to mention to the newcomers is that the “splash” is more of a wave. And if you happen to be in the line of fire, let’s just say, I hope you brought a change of clothes.
Please feel free to like or comment below. Tell me a story of your favorite State/National Park!
(Shelburne Falls, MA)
(Wilder Hill Gardens)
(Cape Cod, MA)
My last week was spent in the depths of a state with many hidden treasures. We worked through a program called Wwoof where we were matched up with a quaint plant/flower nursery in central Massachusetts. Use your talent of ‘Googling’ or just read the following clip description. Essentially, a person helps out at an organic farm 4-6 hrs/day in exchange for a room and food. Woofing is nationwide and worldwide! Sounds like a pretty awesome deal, huh? It was perfect for us. Our hostess was one of the kindness and most pleasurable people that I’ve ever met. We would wake up in the mornings to find breakfast made with mostly ingredients grown on her farm. After that kick start, we would then set out for our daily labors. She not only instructed us clearly on our tasks, but she also educated us on the variety of plants and flowers we were handling. After our work was completed for the day, Nick and I would go and explore. We visited near by towns one of which was Shelburne Falls, MA. You may be familiar with this town if you’ve seen the movies ‘The Judge’ or ‘Labor Day’. Every bend in the road brought us to yet another spectacular under-rated view. When it was our time to leave yesterday I rediscovered my love of country living, seeing the stars in the clear night sky and digging my hands in the soil of the earth.Today, I experienced yet another one of my great loves. Highway 6 took us all the way to the tip of Cape Cod. We hiked a two mile breakwater leading to a secluded beachfront, scarfed down a lobster roll, and soaked up the radiant sunshine.
Anyone can find love, what’s challenging is finding a companion. Although I may be a little biased, I definitely got lucky with mine.
We will be quite literally sleeping under the stars for a couple weeks on the east coast. So, enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to share a story/comment below. I would love to hear from you!
Most thanks to Lillian again for the fabulous time on Wilder Hill Gardens!
Drumroll please…we have ventured across great plains, steamy deserts, snow capped mountain ranges, deep forests, and breezy ocean sides. For all of my loyal and curious followers, I thought that I would give an update on a few of our traveling stats. Our little versa has towed us around 20,000 miles and through 38 states and 50 cities. Way to go little red! I am thankful for this chapter in my life and grateful for all of the travel knowledge that I’ve gained in the past months. Any questions, ask below!
It’s been fly Connecticut. Thank you Tim for all of the music, beach sunsets and late night laughs.
On Tuesday, we hit our 100-day-on-the-road mark. That’s crazy! I am celebrating by continuing to be free. The freedom that I’m referring to doesn’t just apply when you decide to pack everything up and live out of the back of a Versa. I’m talking about instead of making your worry line more prominent, you let go of the stress and call up your girlfriend for a coffee date. It’s when things aren’t going according to plan, you decide to take an unknown path instead of the easy route. And the times you can’t help but dance in your car, on the train or in the middle of Target because your jam controls your movements.
When I think of the past 100 days, I can easily pick out my favorite moments thus far. If you’ve read my other posts you already know that I like to list. So, here goes.
- Every moment I looked out into the distance and couldn’t see an end.
- Every laugh had with old, new and rekindled friends.
- Every sad, frustrating and exciting emotional breakdown.
- Every moment shown how LOVE comes first. Always.
I’m so excited to continue on this unbelievable ride (short and long term). Enjoy your freedom to be you.
As always, feel free to share your story below. Happy weekend!
We finally made it to the city that never sleeps. The album that describes my mood, Daya EP. Check it out. You will be break dancing in Times Square among all of the creepy Disney reenactors before you know it.
As I was learning the proper way to eat New York style pizza, I took a moment to appreciate the best part of my college days. The friendships that were made that represent a family. And I know that any Bennie and Johnnie would agree. Throughout this trip we’ve stayed with some of Collegeville’s finest and that makes me more grateful for my alma mater. They also make some of the greatest tour guides.
We strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge, had a moment of silence at the World Trade Center memorial, and stood in awe at street artists. Thank you Naji and Imoni for the unforgettable weekend.
Off to the more rural Northeast!
With today focused on celebrating a person that can hold the title as caregiver, teacher, biggest fan and best friend (at one time!) I thought it was appropriate to give this post the following title. As I was scrolling through Facebook this afternoon, I was high on how many pictures and heart-felt words were hung in honor of each person’s special woman/women in their life. No matter if you have one mother or five mother figures in your life, you are blessed.
One frustrating teenage day, I decided to pack up my duffle bag and run away from home. Grudgingly, I only made it a half mile down the road before my stomach started to grumble. My grandparents welcomed me in for warm chocolate chip cookies while my grandmother slipped into the next room to call my parents. As I sipped on my juice, my grandfather didn’t ask me anything, he just peered over his newspaper with his reading glasses and grunted. I wiped my mouth of cookie crumbs just as I heard the car pull into the driveway. I stood up to grab my tennis shoes as my grandpa gripped his callused hand on my shoulder, startling me. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “You’re parents love you. Don’t be too hard on your mom either. You’re going to be her one day.” I tilted my head slightly confused by his words. At the time I wasn’t sure if these were words of advice or words to frighten me by. I gave him a hug anyway and walked to the car slightly ashamed of my actions. My parents hugged me as I hopped into the back seat and my life went on. Over a decade later, I still remember those words. Now realizing that my grandfather wasn’t trying to scare me, but he was trying to give me advice. Advice that has become so precious as I stumble through adulthood. I have this superhero right in front of me and if I pay close attention I might learn how to fly.
Cherish your Superheros. Live, fall, learn and get back up to fight another day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Over yonder that there hill, we will bring our horses and hoop skirts to discover a new land!
Well okay, maybe my Civil War era lingo needs some work. Fortunately, it wasn’t a requirement for taking a day trip back in time by hiking on Little Round Top, jaunting through the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg National Military Park, and strolling through the National Mall of D.C. viewing the national monuments. Since Monday, we’ve already put quite a dent in the east U.S. We started in Cleveland, made our way down to Pittsburgh for a primanti sandwich loaded with pastrami, french fries and topped with coleslaw. It is as mouth-wateringly delicious as it sounds. Then, we followed the not-so-yellow brick road to Gettysburg for a couple days and after hopped over to our nations capital, Washington D.C. Despite the gloomy weather, all of these destinations were fantastic to see. I could write more about each, but instead I will let the pictures tell you. Enjoy!
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; William G. Mather Steamship, Cleveland, OH
Primanti Bros.; Central Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
Little Round Top, Gettysburg National Military Park, PA
This country amazes me and all that it’s been through. Today, I analyzed a quote at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It facilitates strength and wisdom, and the way our world will thrive.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Why do I cry? Why do I smile or breathe? It’s a pretty simple answer. Uh, because I’m human. Tears were flowing this weekend while I watched a best friend glow in white and begin a new chapter of her life with the man of her dreams. I reconnected old friendships and owned the dance floor in my Nike’s until the DJ packed up for the night. In these moments, I welcomed tears of joy.
Along with those beautiful moments, I also found out that my plans for this fall did not pan out. I didn’t make the cut for the graduate program that I had applied to. Of course with that news, came the feeling of failure and sadness. After I took a moment to feel and embrace being human I stood up, and realized how funny the act of making plans can be. How do I know what’s best for me? Maybe I don’t. I guess I could have studied harder for the GRE to try for a higher score or a number of other things to try to make my ‘plan’ work the way I THINK my life should go. Now, I could mope around for a while about this news, but I don’t want to live my life that way. I chose to follow the path less traveled (Read ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost. The true meaning of this poem might surprise you). I’m writing about this not to receive sympathy, but instead the opposite. I want to be a voice to those that aren’t on the journey they expected; to feel and be surprised as we are meant to. I think that when my life stops throwing me curve balls, then I can start to plan. Fortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon, so I’m just going to buckle up and hold on for the ride.
I cherished every moment this weekend with the bride, the groom, wedding party and friends. Looking forward to the next reunion!
East U.S. here we come!