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.
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?
On Day 68 of the Nowhere To Be Project, I spent some time reviewing our fabulous weekend. We spent it at Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground in our new 2018 Winnebago Navion RV. We specifically chose Fort Wilderness for our inaugural trip due to its proximity to our home, thinking that a short three day jaunt would be the best way to work out any of those new RV kinks. We also selected it because it is one of the best campgrounds we have visited in our nearly 15 years of RVing.
Fort Wilderness is one of Disney’s oldest resorts, but also one of its most affordable. We have camped in a RV at the resort many times over the years and have also stayed in their wilderness cabins several times. Fort Wilderness offers glamping at its finest with a prime location on Disney property. Amenities include free transportation to the theme parks by water ferry or bus, abundant immaculate restroom/shower/laundry facilities, level spots with full hook ups (many with with grills and picnic tables), two swimming pools with organized activities and music, a nightly campfire singalong and movie, an equestrian area with horseback riding, dog park, archery, convenience store, and multiple restaurants and bars. Golf carts are available for rent as well to make getting around the manicured property a snap.
Prices at Fort Wilderness vary depending on the season and on the size and type of camping spot needed. We paid roughly $80 per night for our 24 foot class C RV. I highly recommend this campground to anyone who desires stress-free camping, with or without kids. It is a really great spot for newbies as well because everything is so user-friendly. There is just so much to do within Fort Wilderness that the theme parks almost become an afterthought!
End of vacation depression is real! When you initially arrive to the chosen spot after all of the planning, dreaming and anticipation, everything is so new and exciting and it always seems as if you have so much time ahead of you. Midway through, you get the sinking feeling that the end game is near, but there’s still so much to do that it doesn’t detract too much from the experience. Then, the bottom falls out when it is officially over. How will I live without these views, this weather and endless food, drink and celebration? Top it off with an over-booked wicked red-eye flight through LAX and you (if you’re anything like me) might just wonder if it was all worth it.
Once the horror of sleep deprivation subsides though, you’ll likely realize that it was totally worth it, right? What if the coveted vacation-mode did not have to end? Well, in the true spirit of the Nowhere To Be Project, I’ve decided it doesn’t have to end and it won’t end. In honor of our anniversary this week and my husband’s birthday, we bought a recreational vehicle that will become our home-away-from-home on wheels. My brother sells RVs, so it was pretty much sight unseen as we trust his opinion on what will work best for us. Also, we had a RV when our kids were small and loved it. We purchased a 2018 Winnebago Itasca Navion 24D. We pick it up in a couple of weeks in Florida. We have a get-to-know-you-RV adventure planned during a quick birthday trip for our son at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World. Right now, we’re trying to come up with names for our new ride. Please feel free to chime in through the comments section. We’d love to hear your ideas. For now then, the planning, dreaming and anticipation continues…
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