Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Open to the Surprise

    Sunday was a drive all day and I'll see whatever I see kinda day!  The weather was amazing and I decided to just enjoy it without any set plans except to head north into Vermont where I'd stay 3 nights at a peaceful RV resort before reaching my Maine destination to visit Melanie.
    And so it was.  Most of my route was on non-interstates....always more fun!!!  I did run into a traffic back up after I moseyed through the Green Mountains of Vermont (I experienced my first "hair-pin" turn....woo baby...talk about white knuckling the steering wheel!) which offered breathtaking views of colorful trees all along the way.  The back up was caused by an annual motorcycle run in the area where hundreds and hundreds of cyclists from near and far gather to hang out, share stories, etc.    The familiar sounds of "Born to be Wild" wafted across many grassy areas packed with bikes of all sizes and types!

    Passing through a few small towns, I was thrilled that many folks sitting on their front porches on a lazy Sunday afternoon took notice of Van-Go and waved on my way through the quaint narrow streets.  Of course, I returned their smiles, waved back and even beeped a couple times!
    I stopped at the small town of Brandon,Vermont to stretch the legs and discovered Kennedy Park.  It had a waterfall...small but very lovely!  What a nice surprise!
Kennedy Park mini Falls
 I walked up and down the main street and happened upon a sign that made me laugh out loud (picture below).  I HAD to go inside for a snack!  Cafe Provence's decor was textbook New England.  Rustic furniture throughout, hanging lanterns and sea faring decorations gave the space that homey Cape Cod feel.  The Caesar salad was pretty yummy too!
Too funny!!!
    I arrived at Apple Island RV Resort about 7:30 and was blessed with finding a lovely French Canadian couple sitting by their campfire that was gracious enough to assist me in locating my site.  I maneuvered Van-Go around the site so that I would be able to see Lake Champlain from my 'front door' in the daylight.
Lake Champlain, VT
 I slept very well and have been chill-axing all day.  Tomorrow, Breeze (my scooter) and I will take a maiden trip 17 miles down the road to Winooski and then a bit further to Burlington to do the tourist thing!!!  Oh boy...stay tuned!

It Was "Perfect" Afterall



  Did you ever notice that "perfect" isn't always recognizable in the moment???  The first 2  days back on the road were filled with such events.  Thursday morning my sister and I spent the better part of the early day in a PET ER because a sweet little dog was feeling under the weather big time!  Aside from the great fun my sister and I had being silly and such during the whole thing, it appeared to create somewhat of a setback in plans.  Nonetheless, I continued on adjusting as I went.  My next stop caused yet another unexpected delay making it necessary to forego a night in the campground and hang out at a Walmart in southern MA.  The following morning, Friday, there was crazy traffic everywhere I went especially a 3+ hour stand still on 684 and after a 2 hour drive once I got through that, I discovered that hurricane Irene took out a lot of roads that were never repaired...one of which would have taken me to 2 of the waterfalls on my list!  AND one of the museums was closed because I arrived too late.  I did take a few outside pics though.
The New England Maple Museum

Now...THAT'S a big jug of maple syrup
So after a day and a half, I saw nothing on my agenda. I decide at that point to just settle into a campsite for the night.  I must say though that the drive through Connecticut into Massachusetts was brimming with spectacular vistas of turning leaves!
The cutest dam I ever saw, CT

Along the trail to Campbell Falls, CT

Just a sweet New England house
nestled in the mountains

    Friday evening my friend Marie called to see where I was.  Well, as it turned out, she was also in MA and the state fair, The Big "E", was wrapping up over the weekend.  I figured out how I could catch 2 missed waterfalls and still meet her by 1:00.  The falls were amazing and we had a blast at the fair!  I ended up driving to her house an hour away, hanging out, spending the night and having more fun together the following morning!  Now, had everything prior to the moment she called gone according to plan, I would have been much too far away to be that spontaneous!  Sometimes the Universe has a better plan than I do!  The day was PERFECT!!!
Army band was fabulous and they were
enjoying their playing as much as us

Each of the 6 New England
states were represented in
individual houses

Bash Bish Falls can be gotten to from New
York as well as MA...gotta watch
those signs or you'll NEVER find
your car...LOL
Bash Bish Falls-MA






Prospect Lake RV Park in MA
Campbell Falls, CT

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The "Breeze" is Ready for the Road

  My scooter, a Bintelli "Breeze" has been sitting around mostly just waiting to have some fun for the past 2.5 months!  Having not been driven, it was struggling a little getting and staying started...not good!  So yesterday, I took her back to the dealer, College Park Scooters and Cycles.  There, Navid, the owner, primed that throttle and gave her a good long opportunity to clear out any carburetor clog from inactivity and sure enough, Breeze was happy and humming again!  Thanks bunches for the magic touch!
This puppy was barely able to reach
my knee a few months ago!  Now his front paws
were up to my chest!  He belongs
to Navid and hangs out with him at the
shop every day!  What a cutie!
Navid was part of a fund raiser for kids
last weekend.  He was able to get a scooter donated
to be auctioned off so the proceeds could go
to the kids.  He had some of the children
decorate the scooter with their hand prints!
Very cool!!! 












 
     I also decided to purchase a "trunk" for the scooter and as Navid was installing it, we had a little chat.  Bright Spot- In watching him throughout my visit there, I decided to ask if he was having a challenging kind of morning. Well, he was and with good reason...he approached his car that morning to find that it had been broken into and the last week's deposits were GONE!  Even more noteworthy; however, was his overall attitude about the incident.  He shared that he usually keeps his checkbook and his passport in the glove box as well, but had cause to remove them the night before.  He was very grateful that those two items were not part of the theft, realizing that it would have been much worse trying to replace them.  You know, sometimes you just have to find the nectar in an otherwise lousy situation!  And Navid did just that...with a smile!
Navid !!!

Matthew's 33rd Birthday Fun...Take 3

  My first born, Matthew turned 33 on September 7th!  Since then we have attempted to go to the Inner Harbor here in Baltimore to ride the illustrious "Chessie" paddle boats on a number of occasions...without success.  So, we checked online to see what the off-season hours were and made a plan for this past Monday to finally "do it"!  Little did we know, the hours til 6PM referred to weekends ONLY...OMG!  Bummed but determined to have fun anyway, we opted for a boat ride to Fell's Point for a drink and snack, then to Harbor East for a.....drink and snack!!!  And as anticipated...we had a blast!!!
This bldg is referred to as the Oprah
bldg...she owns several "rooms/floors"
at the top and its where she stays when in
Baltimore.

Sunset at the Harbor

Mom and Matthew having birthday fun!

The entrance to a very
cool pathway downtown...
there are scattered homophones
laid in brick all along.

Sample homophone







The path 

Today's the Day...On the Road Again

  Wow...I can't express how excited I am to be packing up and heading out today!  Seven days through New England to see a few hot spots and the beautiful Fall foliage in its myriad of colors as I make my way to Madison, ME to hang out with my old 'roomie' from New Mexico...Melanie.  I know we will have a fabulous time catching up and 'touring'!  Can't wait to see her adorable house in the 'woods'.
    Last weekend I spent a couple of days with my high school bud, Sharon at her place in Bethany, DE.  Her home is gorgeous and only a few miles from the beach.  We talked and laughed and ate and spent a bit of time on the beach watching the surfer...oops, I mean surf...LOL
The Surf_ _ at Bethany...LOL
Two of her friends were there visiting as well.  It was a pleasure talking with them both and hearing their stories of  inner strength, courage and downright determination to live their best life!   Bright Spot- Reg was also staying at Sharon's and she was telling me at breakfast how proud she is of her two kids...her daughter Julie is in her first year of law school at Emory in Atlanta, GA and her son Matt just started his 3rd year at Virginia Tech!  Mom says both are smart, funny, honest and live with integrity.  What more could a parent ask for!  While the kids are learning, Reg is busy teaching them about responsibility and commitment to a cause...she is on a mission to do what it takes to be debt-free! What determination!  Way to go, Reg!
Reg
Bright Spot-  Janet has been widowed since 2006 and this last 3 weeks has been the very first time she has taken the initiative to plan and execute a solo vacation for herself!!!  She has enjoyed it so much that she had a hard time heading back home.  "There's nothing like the joy of the beach and a book," she told me.  She had friends that visited, met new friends and simply relaxed.  Janet also highly recommends GONE GIRL as a great read!  I expressed my excitement regarding her courage and willingness to go for it!  I'm feeling that this was just the first of many rewarding vacations for Janet!
Janet
   On my way out of town on Monday, I stopped at an I HOP to grab some grub before I set my sites on returning to MD.   Bright Spot- Sitting next to me were 2 gentlemen, Sean and Ron, who have been friends for over 20 years.  They were each beginning a vacation of the best variety...no plans, just hanging out...anywhere but work!!!!  I'm sure from chatting with them for only a few moments, that their vacation will be fabulous and thoroughly enjoyed!  Have fun guys and thanks fro sharing your joy!
   Just gotta inquire...did it really have to rain all day TODAY...LOL   I'm off to organize a few more things, drop some mail off at the post office then load Van - Go for the trip north.  First stop...near King of Prussia, PA to pick up my 3 night, 4 day cruise package to the Bahamas that I won from an entry I filled out at the O's game Labor Day!!!
 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Light at the End of the Tunnel

   One week and counting...will be heading to Maine!
I'm starting with a Bright Spot because I KNOW Venise and Jill have been wondering what happened to me...LOL  I was at the beach in Cape May, NJ last weekend getting something out of Van-Go and met 2 wonderful and fun women...teachers!!!  Jill shared how incredibly grateful she is for her strong faith, her awesome husband Dan and her dream come true...her horse farm called Raise Your Dream. She is a special education teacher!
Venise and Jill
Her friend, Venise is also a teacher.  She teaches English and her class had just finished studying author John Steinbeck.   He wrote "Travels with Charley" that depicts his life on the road in 1960 with his poodle!  She took my picture next to Van-Go so the class could see someone who is actually traveling across the country.  For 30 years I wrote lesson plans...now I AM the lesson plan...LOL
Venise was especially grateful for the gorgeous weather at the beach that day!!!
    I was at the beach with my friend Marie and we had a fabulous 4 days.  Saturday we hung out in the van due to the rain, but Sunday and Monday we were out in the sun both days tanning, shopping, eating and talking!  A perfect few days!  
We spotted a teeny sand crab!

An old gun "storage" place on the beach

Marie being "held" against her will at a jewelry shop...
can't you tell?  LOL 

Ship headed back to shore to pick up that silly seagull...LOL

Monday, September 8, 2014

Adventure Update

   So the following list is a highlighted version of the last 12 days here in MD:
1-my 2 daughters, their significant others, my grandson and I participated in the ALS ice challenge...Burrrr!
2-all kinds of technical issues with camera, cords and connections
3-Van-Go had to get plugged into my daughter's house for 4 hours to recharge the cabin battery
4-Rachel and I spent 4+ hours in the ER at Harford Memorial Hospital due to the severe sharp shooting pains in my lower right side...turned out to be a doozy of a UTI...got antibiotics and I'm on the mend
5-missed my dentist appointment
6-missed the plan to take my son on the paddle boats for his 33rd birthday (Sept. 7)
7-grandson started 2nd grade...OMG!!!
8-created a second fairy garden and helped a friend make hers
9-completed the  "Inspiration-on-the-Go" quotes on both sides of Van-Go
10-repacked Van-Go (mostly)
11-went to my first Oriole baseball game in 7 years with Nicole and family...we had a blast
12-"sad face" ... no pics this go round ...tech issues nearly resolved, so hang tight
13-daughter-in-law, Megan turned 27 (Sept. 1)
14-I have a passport appointment on Friday to get a new pic and last name update so I can travel into Canada while I'm in Maine visiting my friend, Melanie next month

***Departure for September 24th still looking good...