Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Drive Down Memory Lane

When Mark and I planned to drive all the way to North Carolina to see our wonderful cruising friends Sim and Rosie, we realized we needed a few days to cover the 1000 mile distance each way. So, we planned two stops there and back. The first day, we battled some crappy traffic to reach Holly and Kevin’s house in Uxbridge, the “middle of nowhere” town we have come to love because of its residents known to us. We had a very nice evening and a good night’s sleep, before we set off on the longer legs.

We hoped to stop in Annapolis, MD next, where we know some people from Irie’s early days and other interesting events, but – because of our short notice and people’s busy summer plans – we missed out on meeting the people we cared about on our way south. Instead, we spent 10 hours in the car joining the thousands of other Sunday drivers on their way home after a fun weekend away (how can the roads be so busy, even in the weekends?), and decided to go past Washington DC to avoid Monday morning rush hour, by spending the night in a cheap motel in Fredericksburg, VA. Dinner out in a Mexican restaurant was the highlight.

The third leg started a bit later than planned, because of work stuff, and then followed five more hours of driving with a quick picnic lunch stop, before we enjoyed our time with Sim and Rosie in Beaufort, NC, They are very good cruising friends we met in the Caribbean years ago. The way back north was organized a bit better… Mark actually has a family friend in Annapolis, who he hadn’t seen in over thirty years. Cathy and her husband Bill received us with open arms, cooked up a storm and were very happy to see us and (re)connect! A lot of stories were exchanged and another good night sleep was offered. A very comfortable mattress and an awesome pressurized hot shower… the little things in life that make us happy (and which we will miss again very soon)!

Mark and I both like Annapolis. We wished we had more time to stroll around the historic center and along the waterfront. This is the place where we were married – officially – seven years ago and where we purchased our floating home Irie. Ah, the memories. As it was, only a five minute drive through – Annapolis is a cute and manageable town – was all we could afford, before our rental car pointed northeast, towards Albany, NY. 

It was a day of many states, even more toll booths and Friday afternoon traffic. But, we had left early enough this time, so Mark could show me around Schenectady, where he lived as a child and teenager. The highlights include, and are limited to: the house he grew up in, his middle school, the HMO (Community Health Plan (CHP); the first of its kind!) his father started as a successful and talented doctor, and Lock 7, which is part of the Erie Canal. Afterwards, it was time for Sean’s famous and delicious pasta – and for two old friends to catch up – before we returned the rental car back in Massachusetts the following day. Before the last stretch "home", we did make a slight detour to Troy, NY, to visit a place where Mark had the best time of his life: his fraternity Phi Kappa Tau.
Huge cookie at Holly and Kevin's to celebrate the end of Mark's cancer treatments

Penny, the cutest and sweetest dog in the world (after Kali and Darwin)

Loads of driving

In the south, gasoline is much cheaper...

...and cigarettes are advertised more.

And tobacco is grown widely

Through Virginia again on the way back north

This time, we are on the "right" side of the highway!

Old gas station

Maryland - lots of good memories... This state and I go a little while back!

Boomer, Cathy and Bill's friendly dog

Annapolis, with the capitol in the back, through a car window

Crossing the Bay Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay ($5)

Mark's childhood house in Schenectady

Lock 7 along the Erie Canal
Lock 7, the big attraction in Schenectady!
Mark's old fraternity building in Troy

Massachusetts, our current "home state"!


Lisa Dorenfest said...

Have loved your 'Road Trip' blogs. As always, wonderful photos. And as always, making me homesick. Not too long until you return to Tahiti! Wish we were still going to be here to welcome you back.

Liesbet said...

Thanks, Lisa! I am sure our paths will cross again in the future!!! Have a great sail west. We wish we could have joined you. And, heaps of thanks for taking such good care of Irie. You are amazing! xx