Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 14 Going home

We left early, at least for us and proceeded to drive for 10 1/2 hours home. We could not get a one night reservation on the road for Memorial Day weekend and we thought about just staying in a WalMart parking lot. But with temperatures in the high 80s it would have been a sweaty and miserable night without AC. Soooooooo, we drove all 449 miles. We got gas on the road, a new venture for us in the Kurgan and the 33 foot trailer. Takeout was not an option but these days many truckstops have Subways and McDonalds. Ummm, tasty eating. And nutritious. I know, Subway is not too bad but the line there was so long I couldn't get anything and had to have Fritos and a piece of Marble Cake. I was rather desperate at that time.

I drove some but JP negotiated Baltimore and DC like a pro. The bad congestion started in Virginia, just outside DC, about 30 mph for at least an hour then it broke up.

Now we are home. A was sick Friday. Now JP and I have it, a rotten cold.

We learned a lot, had some fun, and had some testiness between family members. Like at home, I guess.

That's all folks. PM

Day 13 Philly

We left early to catch the train. The ride was a little over an hour. We had reservations for a guided tour on this -

It was a quacking good time and lots of time quacking.

After lunch, we visited the Liberty Bell. There was something very emotional to me about seeing this. It really doesn't have major historical value but it is such a symbol.

We had 3:30 tickets for Independence Hall. The tickets are free but required.

Thomas Jefferson was in this room. As was Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and so many others. They produced a wonderful document, the Constitution. To sad that it is so undervalued by those in power now.


Day 12 Reconnaissance and Rest

We took much of the day off. Our plan is to go to Philly in the morning and we needed to investigate the train stations, measure the travel time to the train, etc. We started this rather early and had breakfast out.

This is Chef MacJon's Dinner close to the Downingtown train station. Turns out this is the site of the diner scenes in "The Blob". And, yes, there is a cellar in which Steve McQueen, his girlfriend and the chef were trapped by the monster. The food was plentiful and quite tasty.

Later, A and Yakov went canoeing on the Brandywine River which flowed through the campground.
There they go.

Here they come back, an hour later.

Jasper and I spent the time exploring the waterside. He fell in several times and, generally, had a blast. I couldn't take a picture of him because I couldn't let him go and he was too wriggly for me to get a picture while holding the leash.

It was a good day. PM

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 11 Strasburg

We drove through Amish country to Strasburg where we went to the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum and rode a steam engine train through the countryside. Saw lots of horsedrawn plows and wagons. But I forgot the camera and all the pictures were taken by phone. I can't post those pictures until we get home.

Everyone thought the museum was really cool - lots of BIG machines. They had GG-1 4800 which is a very famous train locomotive. Picture to follow. Noah drove the locomotive simulator. No accidents occurred.

The train ride was about 45 minutes long. We chose the open air car, a good choice since it was a lovely day.


Day 10 Martin guitar factory

Nazareth, PA is about 85 miles, mostly north of here. It took 3 hours to get there and 3 hours to get back. "Why?" you might ask. Well, it is because the maps and reality so seldom match. The roads are narrow and winding. They seem to change numbers willynilly, especially in the middle of each small town.

But the trip was worth it.

It seemed like a cool place to work even though much of it is assembly line work.


Day 9 Move to West Chester

It was a pretty drive through the small towns of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. Otherwise not too eventful a day. The new campground is on a hill with the campsite rather narrow and generally uncomfortable.

After we arrived, A went fishing in the Brandywine River which went through the campground. She caught a whopper


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Day 8 Gettysburg

Now I am caught up with posting.

This was really cool. We had a personal guide who got in our car and drove us around for over 2 hours describing the 3 days of battle. I had tried to read about Gettysburg before but was always confused by this ridge or that one, or this General(Confederate or Union?) or that one(Confederate or Union?). Very hard to keep it all straight. Much clearer now.

JP and I were discussing how we find ourselves rooting for the Confederates, native Southerners and all, and yet, obviously we would not want them to have actually won. That would have been a travesty.

Tomorrow, we move to West Chester, PA, our last move.


Day 7 Rain, rain, go away

This was another moving day, from New Market to Gettysburg. The rain started about bedtime the night before and continued through most of the day. Made unhooking and getting on the road a real pain.

The new campground has WiFi for a price, which we do not pay initially but finally gave in.


Day 6 Now THIS was fun

We went rafting on the Shenandoah River. This was not whitewater rafting. It was much too calm. We paddled and floated for about 2 hours. Beautiful and fun.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day 5 New Market

Yakov was ill today and did not want to go sightseeing this am. So JP, A, N and I went to the battlefield at New Market.

This battle occurred May 15, 1864 and we were there May 16th. There is a big re-enactment weekend this weekend. This battle was the last significant victory for the Confederacy and is most notable for the participation of the cadets at VMI who were put into battle, including being on the frontlines at one point.

This is the Bushong house. The family hid in the cellar while the battle raged in their wheat field right behind the house. It is so hard to imagine these battles as rows of men just slaughtered each other.

Later we picked up Yakov who was feeling a bit better and went to the Endless Caverns.

There are several cavern attractions around here. We chose this one because it seemed the least tarted-up.

This is the entrance, built in the 20s. The flowers are pretty but hard to see in this picture. I am still working on my pictures.

One of the pretty formations. A "curtain" colored by iron oxide. I have another that looks like pus on a wound. I'll save that one for later.

Later, after dinner, A went fishing and caught this. She was very excited. With a few phone calls for advice, she managed to get it off the hook and back in the water, no doubt to the fish's relief.


Day 4 Moving Day

On Tuesday we left Crozet and moved to a KOA between Harrisonburg and New Market. This is another really pretty place and the WiFi is much better.

This was the first time we put down the awning. Putting it up was a challenge. There was the threat of thunderstorms so we felt like we needed to put up the awning before going to bed.

N and A have discovered a new hobby.

We stopped in Harrisonburg at the Super Walmart and bought supplies which included fishing gear. That was quite a trip, manuevering this big thing through the parking lot.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day 3 Monticello

We had a 10am reservation for a tour at Monticello. We were supposed to be there 45 minutes early - that was in small print on the receipt. So we were late. We took the 10:45 tour. Makes sense.

It was really cool. What a fascinating man! What a lovely place to have lived.

We took the house tour and the plantation tour. The grounds were lovely.

This is from the north portico - through the trees, you can just see the rotunda of the Univ of Va. Of course you can't see it here. Jefferson was most proud of the university - his favorite of his accomplishments.

Is this not the coolest tree(s)? A smaller tree has grown around the older and much larger tree. It looks like an alligator crawling up the tree.


Day 2 Mother's Day

Sunday am began late with a big breakfast. We had a leisurely day. The kids went to the stream where N and A found lots of snakes in the water. That ended the wading for the day.

We went out for a mid-afternoon lunch at La Cocina Del Sol. It was delicious. N, Jasper and I went for a walk after. Jasper went wading - he ain't afraid a' no snakes.

It was a good day.


Day 1

I will try to catch up with our travels starting with Day 1, The Leaving.

We finally left home about 1pm. Well, finally is debatable since we realized, when about 4 miles away from home, that we had forgotten the computer. Now, there was a crucial decision for the parents. If part of our goal was to encourage interaction and discourage reliance on electronic stimulation, then perhaps we should just leave the computer at home. BUT, what if we needed to know the phone number for the river outfitters in Luray or find our way somewhere. So we went back.

We arrived in Crozet about 4pm. The trip was tiring but we got set up quickly and settled in. The campground was lovely. There were trees and birds. A little stream.

There is Jasper next to the trailer. He was a good traveling dog. And a good camper.

Monday, May 14, 2007

One lesson we have learned

is that not all Wi-Fi is the same. That in our current location is really lousy, thus I have not been posting and this post is going to be short.

Things are going well and I look forward to posting more but I only have a 10 minute time slot like everyone else in the family while we are here at Panera Bread.

Hope the camp we move to tomorrow is better. I have so much to say.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"I want to be a traveling dog"

Looks like Jasper was on the "redeye".

We hope he is a good traveler.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007


things are looking better. The converter was replaced so we have power again.

I spent time putting stuff in the trailer yesterday. What should we take? What will everyone eat? Where do I put everything?

I can't wait to leave. I think it will be fun.