Location: Charlotte,NC, USA
Family and Friends,
Greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina! We are home! We are in a major fog and doing our very best to get everyting back up and running at home. We plan on having a final entry to share all the stuff it took to make the trip happen with the hopes that someone will take the opportunity to do it themselves.
The last 24 hours have been very emotional for us. We had those moments of choking up and then laughing. We are in the process of reliving so many of the memories and the impact of the trip is starting to hit us. Our lives are changed for ever and that is something we are forever grateful for.
We could not have made it has far as we did without the endless help from family and friends. We love you all. We are so fortunate to have the support we do. Endless thanks to those involved. We are a phone call away to return the favor at any time.
Life has a new meaning for us and we are eager to share our happiness with all. Stay tuned for the final update once our heads are back at full steam.
So glad to be home and back with the people we care so much about,
Pete and Rach
Sorry we haven't written for awhile. The big city life has made us a bit lazy! Fat and happy is more like it. Everywhere we turn there is awesome food to be had, and because we know we are on the last leg of the trip we are livin it up a bit more!
We have seen and done some amazing things in the last few weeks. Newport, RI, Boston, New Jersey, New York and Phili. Thanks to all who have opened their homes to us. Kirsti & Demitri and Bully our new favorite doggy in New Jersey and my cousin Connor in New York who allowed us to share the citylife, and sleep in his living room of beds! I posted photos so that everyone could take a peek, but will have to write more in detail later. We hope to be able to do an update soon.
Hope all is well...lot's of love
rach and pete
Location: Mystic, CT, USA
We spent a couple of days between Maine and Rhode Island in Connecticut visiting my Cousin Micheala, her hubbie Ian and little baby Amelie. They are in the process of moving from London back to the states. We had fun catching up and taking in the beautiful sights around Mystic (home of the real Mystic Pizza). Pete has always been in love with this town. If it weren't so cold in the winter we might consider it, but I am not good with winter!! Amelie is such a great baby, I don't think we heard her cry once in the two days...if they all were that easy!
Thanks guys for a great visit, and we hope to see you again soon.
Rach and Pete
Location: Family Reunion, New Jersey, USA
Hello to all,
I can not believe that the location in this entry has already come and gone. We were always planning to be in Jersey for my family reunion, and at the beginning of the trip it seemed so far off in the future. Now that it has passed it really reminds us of where we have been, but also how close we are to the end of our journey.
We spent the week hanging out with family which was a great highlight for us on the trip. We had been lucky to visit with several of our family members along the way, but to have most of them all in one place was awesome. We had a blast talking, eating and just enjoying the company of folks some of whom we only get to see once a year.
Uncle Mike and Gloria have made this an annual tradition, and each year I realize how important it is to have family, and how I look forward to not only seeing them each year, but hopefully keeping up with their lives throughout the year as well.
The downside to seeing everyone was a touch of homesickness that kicked in on the last day. We were feeling a bit like heading home, but have decided to keep on trucking! Thanks to Uncle Mike and Gloria for a fantastic week, and for all those family members who keep up with the site...we love you all and hope to see you soon.
P.S. I have shared a few pics of the week...it was hard to capture everyone as we were all running around, but I hope you enjoy the ones we have.
Location: Newport, RI, USA
Family and Friends,
Greetings from Newport, Rhode Island! It has been a long while since we have either had time, internet, or the energy to update the last couple of stops. Our last update we shared the week after we left New Jersey and the family reunion. After our pit stop in Windsor CT, to get caught up we went onto Bar Harbor, ME.
What's standing out at this point is Rach and I got some homesickness after seeing family in New Jersey. We also can smell the closeness of home. The temptation to turn the wheel south has entered our minds and slipped out of our mouths to each other. Maybe later we'll make that turn. For now the Northeast is really priming up. The weather has been exceptional with temperatures not cresting over 70...with evenings in the mid 40's. The leaves are just starting to change. We have seen more red than anything else but, the yellow is starting to make its run. Locals say we are about 2-3 weeks from full color. MOST importantly the travel season is over and prices and crowds have dropped substantially. The demographic we're running into is the over 50. Really nice and quiet.
The main reason we went to Maine is to check out Acadia National Park. Rach found us a really nice cottage style hotel. They are plentiful up there. Very cozy with all the amenities you need to travel cheaply. Good value.
We enjoyed the park and as always the pictures do the best job of telling the story. We took the scenic drive the first day to get a feel for the park. We also grabbed a very good lunch at the Jordan Pond Inn. It's the only place to eat in the park. We hit all the small turn outs and small walks. We've found it's the best way to get a good day in without much planning.
The next day we opted to rent bikes and take a 15 mile bike ride through the park. This was flipping awesome! You ride over the famous carriage paths that were built some 200 years ago. It was a solid day. There was no hurry and the trails were right between easy and moderate. We still had sore legs for a day or two and neither of our rumps have recovered. Maybe next week.
We got rain but we were'nt too disappointed but, we still lost a day. I think in all we have only been rained out 3 days. Not that bad. The rain did clear later in the afternoon. We went into downtown Bar Harbor and caught the sunset and some late dinner. We strolled the streets and got chased in by the cold weather. Good times and even better memories.
From there we were able to drop in on Rach's cousin Michaela, her husband Ian, and the adorable baby Amelie. They are in Mystic, CT. We spent Sunday and Monday with them at there new home and just had a blast talking and laughing. Being around their family was a super treat and they just may have the happiest baby we have seen. She doesn't cry! We caught a tasty lunch waterside and took a scenic ride. Just an all and all great visit. Thanks guys!
We got into Newport today and we'll be here until Thursday morning. We then head to Boston through the weekend. We're enjoying the northeast and won't be hurrying away from the great weather.
Thanks to all who take the time to check in and we'll see you soon!
I know it was you Fredo,
Pete and Rach
Location: Bar Harbor, ME, USA
Family and Friends,
Greetings from Bar Harbor, Maine! We arrived today and we'll be here until Sunday. We are staying about 3.5 miles outside of Acadia National Park on the coast. The weather is just awesome. The high today did not get over 70 and the low tonight will be in the high 40's. The leaves are changing a bit, there are tons of stars out...we are charged up to get back at it!
It seems like forever since we shared from the road. Our stay, (much to our delight) in New Jersey was 2 days longer than we planned. We were there for Rach's annual family reunion and just took our hands off the wheel for about a week. We got there last Tuesday and left Monday. We were mentally and physically spent so we posted up in Windsor, CT for 2 days. I would like to tell you that we saw some great stuff. But I am sure all of you know what the inside of a hotel room looks like. We did not leave it. It was rest much needed and the batteries are back in working order to trudge on.
We plan on getting the pictures and details up in the next day or two. Just a hint, everyone was living like Rock Stars...for real. It was that remarkable.
Thanks to all who keep in touch and check in. The best thing about the trip coming to an end, is getting back home to our family and friends.
Breathing feels good,
Pete and Rach
Location: Niagara Falls, ON
Here we are again in Niagara Falls. We opted to stay on the Canadian side, and were really glad that we did. Our first day here we did some recon work and scoped out a good parking spot downtown and figured out what we wanted to do while we were here. The falls are spectacular. Always heard about them, but until I saw them I wasn't sure what to expect. There are two sections that you can see clearly. The American Falls, and The Horseshoe Falls. We bought a combo adventure pass which included a ride on the Maid of the Mist (well worth the ride), A Journey Behind The Falls, The Butterfly Conservatory, and a River Walk along the Rapids. This pretty much made for a full day and lot's of fun. The Maid of The Mist takes you right into the falls where you get soaked (thank god for the plastic raincoat they issue)! It wasn't until we walked beneath the falls through a series of tunnels with portals where we could feel the true rush of water and power of the falls. I would be scared out of my head if I ever ended up over the falls. The river walk was along a boardwalk over class 6 rapids, and I thought the class 1 and 2 we did in Moab were scarey! These are not raftable, but my adoring hubby was trying to find a way to get in there and make it down the river, maybe next time! Word to the wise...stay away from Cliffdon Street, full of wax museums, arcades, and an all around "carni" vibe.
The next day we were feeling quite lazy and headed over to Niagara At The Lake. A much different feel, drove through lakefront neighborhoods and wineries. We had lunch at a yummy deli and took a walk along Lake Ontario, our 4th of the 5 Great Lakes. We are not going to see Huron on the trip, but the others are all beautiful. If we had it to do over, we would have stayed at a B&B around Niagara at The Lake and headed in to the falls for the day. Anyway, we had a great time and were glad we made the Falls a stop on our trip.
We are headed to the "Farm" in New Jersey for our family reunion, and will not have Internet service for at least a week. From there we are trecking up to Maine, but will write again as soon as it is possible. Happy Labor Day to all and we Hope you enjoyed your 3 day weekend.
Rach and Pete
Location: Chicago, Cleveland
Hello to all,
We are in Niagara Falls tonight getting ready to head out to New Jersey tomorrow. As we start to wind down our trip we are excited for what is still to come, sad that this too will come to an end, and reflective about all of the amazing experiences we have had along the way. We are thinking we should be home around the second week of October, but who knows what may come our way in the next several weeks.
So, we left off on our way to Chicago. We got there on a Sunday and met up with our friends Jess and Chris. Pete had been dreaming of going to the track for a few days prior, so when we spoke with Jess and she asked if we would like to go to Arlington Park for the day, Pete was estatic! We had an awesome day, great weather, and were treated to both a gourmet lunch and dinner by our hosts! Seriously some of the best eggplant parm I have ever tasted. Oh, I almost forgot....Pete won every single race except for the first one, so the Karma Gods were on our side that day. Only bad thing is he was trying to be conservative with his bets so didn't win as much as we could have if he were not on a budget, but no complaints from me (one of the few times he came out a winner)! Thanks Chris and Jess for an awesome time...hope to see you soon.
We then headed to Huntley to see and stay with some other great friends Chris and Liz, and the kids. We hung out around the house with them and had a blast laughing and playing with the kiddies (see some cute photo's on the photo page)! We headed to the city one day and got to check out Millenium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. We were able to see the famous painting American Gothic, as well as many others I would have not known until I saw them and the names! We had some awesome Chicago Pizza as well as a great Italian dinner, we opted not to go to Charlie Trotters (one of the restaurants in my book) because of the $600 dinner for two price tag, but could not complain after all of the great food we had. Thanks Chris and Liz for your hospitality, and we hope to see you and the kids soon too.
Next we were off to Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! We were not impressed with the city overall, but the Hall of Fame was a really nice surprise. We spent many hours there going through displays and watching movies! I learned that most male rock stars are quite small. The costumes for Bono, Mick Jagger and David Bowie would not fit on one half of me. Surprisingly enough Michael Jackson's costumes look like a normal size (the only thing normal about him)! There was a special Doors exhibit which was also a nice surprise. We took a quick walk around the lake, and then took the train back to our hotel.
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
Family and Friends,
Hello from Cleveland! We are back in the eastern time zone and the closest we've been to home in months. Its been a little run and gun since we left Chicago (where we had a blast visiting good friends and their families). We are headed to Niagara Falls today and we'll be there until Tuesday morning. We plan to have a much more detailed story and pictures posted in the next few days.
Thanks for all who keep in touch and keep up. Have a great holiday weekend, and we'll see you soon!
Family and Fun,
Pete and Rach
Location: Grand Marais, MN, USA
Family and Friends,
Greeting from Grand Marais, MN! Today is our last day here and we are doing that prep work we talk about before our 8 hour drive tomorrow. It has been a relaxing week.
Grand Marais is a sleeping pill town that you take against your will, but enjoy the sleep. Canoes top cars like hats on cowboys in Texas. The Gulls have to muster up the strength to squawk and even then it is somewhat hapless. Children skip stones into Lake Superior and the town locals talk about what they know of big city life and why they are much happier living on the edge of this massive lake. One of the most popular hangouts is the doughnut shop that has people sitting sipping coffee and widening their wastelines during all hours of the day. Maybe this is the type of town you would imagine to come and write a book in, or at least the type of town you think of when you think of an author. Something takes you away in this remote part of our land, and it's really hard to describe.
The Boundary Waters are where some of Minnesota's clearest lakes call home. Many of the lakes do not allow motorized boats on them. Planes can't fly over. You can't take glass or cans out with you while canoeing. A true sense of the practice of purity without any radical beliefs...these only to help and not hurt. There is the occassional cameo appearance of a summer cabin and even less frequent is the spotting of other humans. Traditionally, maybe considered a lonely spot, well only if you do not take the time to digest what you are visiting and what type of home that has been opened to you.
The lake is that novel you never pick up or always have intended to read because the pages look like too many or you think you have read the story before. It has its own being and is referred to as if it is related to someone in town. Respect that is left with each footstep in the sand.
Thanks to all who keep in touch and follow on the site. We'll be in Chicago until next Thursday and thinking of everyone.
Pete and Rach