On Day 79 of the Nowhere To Be Project I did something I thought I never would. I have been avoiding this area of NYC for years because of the horrific tragedy of 9/11. I did not want to see it. My husband and son convinced me that we needed to visit the site, memorial and museum, so I decided that perhaps it was time.
My son was just four on the day of the attack. I kept him from the coverage feeling that he was too young to understand. A few days later, I saw him crash one of his toy planes into a tower he had built and knew that he was forever changed. Today as I walked alongside him reading the names of the victims, I realized that my children can’t remember a time when airport pat downs didn’t exist. The word “terrorist” is a regular part of their vernacular which is so very sad. Seeing the horrors of that tragic day wasn’t pleasant, but it was important. We were reminded of the individual stories of sacrifice. We were able to honor the heroes. We were given a chance to pay our respects and I’m thankful for that. We must never forget.
On Day 78 of the Nowhere To Be Project we left Cherry Hill RV Park near DC heading for NYC. As you might imagine, the drive was filled with traffic and tolls. The nice thing about the pricey turnpikes is the smooth blacktop which keeps the pup happy. I was also thrilled about the full service fuel station along the turnpike. I haven’t seen that since the mid-1980s!!!
After nearly five hours, we pulled into Liberty Harbor RV Park in Jersey City. It is situated on a harbor with a view of the Statue of Liberty (hence the name). The park is on the higher end in terms of price ($99-110 per night plus tax), but is certainly no frills in terms of amenities. However, the proximity to public transportation (ferry and train) can’t be beat and the park offers 24 hour security, which is a huge plus. We’re excited to spend three nights here with our son who is flying in from Florida as we speak. I love him so much that I’m giving up my comfy bed cave over the cab😍❤️! Much more to come over this holiday weekend…
I spent day 77 of the Nowhere To Be Project in Washington, D.C. We pulled into Cherry Hill RV Park last night and called it a night fairly early. The park itself is okay, but our spot is really flooded due to the recent rains. That is a problem for a clean freak like me because the dog (and the husband) keep tracking in mud. We stayed at this park many years ago and liked it due to its proximity to the city. That part remains good, thankfully.
We hopped on a bus at 9:45am at the park and took it to the metro which took us directly into D.C. This is my fourth visit, so I didn’t feel pressured to do everything. Instead, I meandered around Smithsonian’s Museums of Natural History, American History and their Freer Art Gallery. My favorite thing was the exhibit on America’s First Ladies. Despite not having an official role, our First Ladies have been outspoken and action-oriented. As a fashionista and collector of antique dishes, I especially loved seeing their gowns and their china patterns.
We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite outdoor cafes (Cafe du Parc) where I enjoyed an amazing vegan streusel and wiled away the rest of the day by roaming the streets of our nation’s capital. It is a beautiful place that everyone should try to visit, even if you’re limited to just eight hours as we were today.
Day 76 of the Nowhere To Be Project was a loooooooooong travel day that took us from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to College Park, Maryland. We usually try to keep our travel days at no more than four hours, but with today’s journey we’ve been on the road for seven hours already with about two more to go. While road trips in a RV are much more comfortable than being confined to a small car, the challenge of finding ways to pass the time remains.
I guess I could watch TV using the satellite system we installed on our rig. For some reason though, I feel the need to keep my eyes somewhat on the road in my chosen role as an annoying backseat driver. As an avid reader, I could devour the next book in my current literary addiction, the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. I’m not sure why, but I find it difficult to focus intently on my reading while zooming down the highway at 70 miles an hour, so that’s out too. That leaves me with needlepoint, which I’ve done so much of today that my eyes are blurred from trying to keep the stitches in line while bouncing up and down country roads and interstates. I’ve also spent a fair amount of the day snacking- a hidden danger of traveling in a vehicle with a fully stocked kitchen. How do you pass the time on the road???
Day 75 of the Nowhere To Be Project began with 38 laps at the pool. Here at Ocean Lakes, the pool is a party. With an Olympic-sized swimming area, a giant water slide and a splash park, it’s easy to see why. We learned last night that the party starts at the pool and ends at the beach here in South Carolina.
We are parked beachside and all through the night, golf carts filled with revelers who love loud rap music and illegal fireworks zoomed past. We got to talking about the RV party culture that seems to have developed in the decade we were without a rig. For example, the group in the spot adjacent to us were well on their way to oblivion when we checked in yesterday afternoon. They kept their party going long after we moved inside for bed and have yet to surface today (it is after 3pm, lol). Even their dogs join in the festivities! We can’t even get ours to stop napping long enough to enjoy the beach.
We are all about having a good time, but so far we’re just too darn tired to keep up with this crowd! We’ll have to do better. I guess it’s a good thing we’ve got nothing but time.
We stayed in South Carolina on Day 74 of the Nowhere To Be Project, but traveled from Hilton Head Island to Myrtle Beach. We reserved a spot for two nights at a place called Ocean Lakes Family Campground. It is a sprawling beachfront resort loaded with cottages, RV spots and thousands of golf carts! If the beautiful beach wasn’t enough, they have swimming pools, a water park, a market, snack bar and more! For $60 bucks a night, it seems like a steal so far. We walked a few miles on the beach gathering shells and now we’re flying our kite and firing up the grill for a beachside veggie feast. I used to dread Sunday nights because I knew that work would be calling again in the morning. Nowadays, I am able to enjoy my newfound appreciation for Sunday and I’m most certainly doing that tonight. Hang tough…retirement makes it all worth it.
Today, Day 73 of the Nowhere To Be Project, kicked off our six weeks on the road. We landed for the night at Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina. Our little corner of the park is lovely and our spot is marina-front!
Hilton Head is a lovely golf, tennis and beach Mecca. The area is very upscale and the RV Park is in keeping with this vibe. Everything is manicured, tidy and lush with old oak trees and water views. As I write this, I am enjoying my view which is of my pup gazing at the water from his window on the world. Life is so good!
Tragically, Day 72 of the Nowhere To Be Project marked another senseless school shooting. High schoolers in Santa Fe, Texas started their day with the horror of gunshots and with that, the world, as they knew it, ceased to exist. I heard a statistic that this was the seventh school shooting in the United States since the start of the year. At times likes this, we all ask “why”.
As a mental health professional, my answer to the “why” question is specific. We must teach mental health in schools. When my kids were little, I focused on mental health awareness with them in ways they could understand. This evolved as they grew and continues even now that they are young adults. As an educator, I taught about mental health care and its importance. I will always treat mental health as a priority and I wish our leaders would too.
Mental health is just as critical as physical health (and is inextricably tied to physical health). Yet, as a society, we don’t address it. We take kids for well visits where we weigh them, measure them and vaccinate them, but we don’t ask them how they are feeling. We test their reading, writing and math ability, but we don’t asses their mood, brain or their mental health. We don’t tell kids that it is normal to feel things like anger, sadness, and jealousy, and we certainly don’t encourage them to talk about these things. We don’t empower kids with the skills necessary for mitigating life’s stressors and over time this erodes mental health. If we did, they might learn how to cope with them in rational ways rather than with unimaginable violence.
My kids used to jokingly say, “you can stop shrinking us now”. I will never stop and neither should you.
On Day 71 of the Nowhere To Be Project, I kept plugging away at the preparations for our upcoming RV journey from Florida up the east coast, into and across Canada and back down to Colorado. We are now just two days from departure. My husband decided that we were in need of scooters since we are not towing a vehicle. I have not ridden anything similar since the 1970’s when I occasionally hopped on the back of my dad’s orange Harley. I have never driven one and, honestly, I’m really scared. My husband, swearing up and down that it’s as easy a riding a bike after effortlessly zipping around the neighborhood, sent me to the scooter shop to purchase a helmet. As I was trying on a couple of options, I expressed my desire for full head and face protection to the salesman, explaining that I didn’t have much faith in my scootering abilities. He proceeded to tell me about his wife’s recent wipeout. She wrecked her face and shoulder with a quick trip to the mailbox! What?!? Really?!? What is that they say about old dogs and new tricks?
I figure I’ve got 48 hours to gain some confidence. I plan to Youtube it for the basics and then go very slowly from there. I’ll give it a go at our first stop in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I may not be as skilled in scootering as I’d like, but I plan on looking good while trying with my crazy (and super duper safe) new helmet! Wish me luck!
For each of the past few days I’ve been slowly gathering supplies for our six week road trip and Day 70 of the Nowhere To Be Project was no different. Our trial run in our new RV at Fort Wilderness last weekend reminded me of the challenges of preparing for long stretches on the road. It seems that we either end up in desolate spots with no access to supplies, or in touristy places where the necessities are astronomically priced. Hence the need to hoard the goods now!!! Today, I hit the mother-load at Trader Joe’s (see photo below where my passenger was literally wine and food, haha).
I know I’m late to the party as always and, yes, I have been living under a rock because I had never been to Trader Joe’s prior to today! It is a veritable wonderland of super affordable organic veggies, herbs, spices and wine. Did I mention the wine??? Recently, I was asked to name the three things that I find absolutely necessary for my travels. My answer was honest and simple: my dog, water and red wine. Obviously, I found much, much more at Trader Joe’s, but those three make up my personal survival kit. In other words, they are the things that feather my nest no matter where it may be parked. What are the three things you simply cannot live without on the road?