From the White House to Walmart

The DC area was our last stop on the East Coast after Philadelphia before making a beeline back West. We wanted to have some time to explore Wyoming and Montana before the winter weather set in (Spoiler from a few weeks later in Nevada: we made it, but just barely ahead of the snow.) We…

Philadelphia Freedom and Cheesesteaks

Thanks to listening to my Dad’s Elton John’s Greatest Hits II album when I was a kid, the song “Philadelphia Freedom” is embedded in the grooves of my memory, and starts playing whenever I read or hear the city name. (I’m not apologizing for any earworms, it’s a great song.) In fact, it’s playing in my…

How to see New York in Three Hours

When we decided to spend a whole month in my hometown on the East End of Long Island I was confident that we’d be able to fit in a visit to New York City. I lived in the city my whole adult life since starting my freshman year at NYU in 1990 (so, so long ago),…

East Coast History, Humidity, Family, and a Flat Tire

Taking the dogs out for a walk our first morning in Massachusetts, I was struck by the fragrance and peaceful beauty of the towering pine trees surrounding us at our new campground. I also had a renewed appreciation for the escort and assistance backing into our narrow campsite after arriving in the dark the night…

The Adirondacks, Lake Champlain, and Our First Breakdown

After our stay in the 1000 Islands we headed east from Lake Ontario, towards the Adirondacks and Vermont. We found a campsite in Lyon Mountain, NY that happened to have a cell tower on the premises. High speed connection in a remote setting, a super nice owner, spacious site with panoramic views over rolling hills…

Exploring the Empire State

Even though I grew up on Long Island, I haven’t spent much time in the vast expanse of Upstate New York. I’m familiar with many of the names – Plattsburg, Oswego, Oneonta, Geneseo, Cortland, etc – not from knowing anything about the towns themselves but from their associated SUNY (State University of New York) schools…

The Ups and Downs of Planning on the Fly

After lingering in Northern Michigan we decided to make up time by driving over 200 miles across the state to get to New York through Canada. Similar to when we went to Mexico to go to the dentist, passports are not required for crossing into Canada and back by road; since we don’t yet have…

The Great Lakes, The Fonz, More Bald Eagles, and New Friends

I was really looking forward to spending some time near the Great Lakes. Even though we told Rita and Charlie that these lakes are so big the look like seas, they still couldn’t believe it when they laid eyes on Lake Michigan. Our first visit to Bradford Beach in Milwaukee was ideal: the sun shining,…

The Mighty Mississippi, Bald Eagles, and The Mall of America

Our first stop after crossing into Minnesota from South Dakota was Pipestone National Monument, one of the most unique Monuments we’ve visited. “Pipestone” refers to a red stone that is considered sacred by some Native American tribes and been quarried for centuries to make ceremonial pipes. Pipestone, or a similar type of stone, can be…

South Dakota Dreaming

Compared to Nebraska, I felt more familiar with what we expected to see in South Dakota: the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the tourist attraction landmark of Wall Drug. Our expectations were exceeded: the beauty of the Black Hills, small towns with rich history, so much more to see…

Nebraska Was So Great It Gets Its Own Post

We’re in Minnesota now, at an RV park outside of Minneapolis. It’s raining. We had a brief respite, and I got to meet up with a good friend who brought me and the kids to an awesome bakery and even better bookstore, but it’s supposed to rain for the next couple days. On Thursday we…