September 22, 2021
We're up around 7:30 and I make my way out to Miranda from our upstairs bedroom location in our friend Diana's home in Summit, New Jersey. Happy first day of Fall. It'll be partly cloudy and may make 80 degrees by afternoon. There's a slight chance of rain.
We sip the coffee I've made when I return and Melanie has a cup of yogurt. Late morning we make our way over to a local bagel shop where she gets a bagel and I have one with lox, cream cheese, tomato and onion. Orange juice to drink please.
We check out the various pasta dishes that The Meat House has on our way back for future reference and our freezer when back on the road.
We decide to walk about 3/4 of a mile to Reeves-Reed, a local arboretum and check it out. The walk from Diana's home is pleasant and the arboretum proves to be a nice morning adventure. There are still blooming things and the trees are beginning to show the colors of the season.
We stroll back to the van, then Melanie goes to a local store to find a needlepoint project. I leave her and walk around the corner to the Trek bike store to check the status of our bikes that are being serviced.
I'm told late today or tomorrow for the bikes. Melanie has her project and we make our way the few blocks back to Miranda.
Melanie gets into her needlepoint project and I journal and process photos in the van. She eventually makes her way back to me and has a bite of lunch.
She and Diana work inside and I remain outside during the afternoon hours.
I set an appointment in Louisville to have our windshield replaced. The good news is there's no deductible for the replacement or recalibration that has to happen.
I also contact Cummins in Gainesville about a part for our generator. I've just been informed that Buffalo and Gainesville disagree about whether the part is still covered under our warranty.
Since the only thing I've ever done is check the oil, someone needs to pony up. I'm not happy about this, but I'm willing to wait until I get final word.
Melanie and Diana make a salad for us for dinner. I'm on FaceTime with Tate and eat after we're done.
We walk into downtown Summit after I finish dinner and go for ice cream.
Melanie and I finish watching a series and sleep.
September 23, 2021
I'm up around 6:30 a.m. and make my way to the van for coffee making.
We sip coffee and eventually dress for the day and go for bagels again in Summit. Why not two days in a row? When the bagels are good and fresh and you don't often indulge, you go for bagels.
After breakfast we walk back to the van and I begin doing our laundry. Melanie works downstairs in Diana's house.
Melanie has an eye doctor appointment at 11:30 and just before she's to leave, I get word from Trek Bikes Summit that our bikes are ready to be picked up.
I walk with Melanie and she peals off at her designated spot to get her eyes checked. I ride the bikes back to the van and store them away just as it begins to sprinkle rain.
Melanie makes her way back to the van and shortly afterwards we go for lunch in Summit. We eat pizza slices at Village Trattoria. Good.
We make our way back to the van and at 2:30 Melanie goes for a hair appointment.
Afterwards we take one of Diana's cars to do some grocery shopping at Whole Foods nearby.
Once we're back we walk to get coffee beans at Boxwood Coffee Roasters. They're a known entity to me and, as I've mentioned, nomads who love coffee don't pass up an opportunity to stock up on beans when they are close at hand.
One the way back to the van we almost make it before the monsoons hit. We've got our raincoats on which helps, but my shorts are pretty soaked when I enter the van. Melanie makes her way into the house. She too is soaked.
Diana and Melanie go for Ethiopian food takeout and we dine in Diana's kitchen.
We move what few things we have inside to Miranda and I ready the inside of Miranda for an early departure.
We stream and then sleep.
September 24, 2021
The alarm sounds at 5:00 a.m. I can't remember now whether any snoozing happened, but regardless, I'm up and out to the van shortly thereafter. After making coffee, I return inside and we visit with Diana for a few minutes over a cup of coffee.
We're on the road just after 6:00 a.m.
We both enjoy traveling as the sun is coming up. Today we're fortunate to be traveling west out of Summit so the sun will rise behind us.
It's been a long while since we've broken our no-more-than-200-miles-and-stay-for-at lest-2-days rule, but today we'll be traveling nearly 500 miles. We want to get the majority of what will be 700+ miles in two days behind us as we need to be in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday.
We'll be traveling Interstate 78, 76, and 70 to Buckeye Lake, Ohio, through four states.
We stop in Washington, Pennsylvania for fuel and DEF and Melanie has a Zoom Call which takes about an hour. We stay in the lot of the filling station and hop back on the interstate afterwards.
We're both hungry by then as it's after 3:00 p.m. and our Cracker Barrel breakfast is long gone. Melanie finds lunch in Wheeling, West Virginia at a local barbecue restaurant.
Hangover BBQ is a small operation with no inside seating. We order and Melanie sets up the table in Miranda and we, or I actually, enjoy our late lunch. Melanie's miffed because, while they said chips were available with her sandwich, they only had Goldfish and Chex Mix. Her BBQ sandwich is sliced, not pulled.
Who eats Goldfish with a BBQ sandwich, she explains. And who in their right mind eats Chex Mix? Plus, she says, fuming, I ordered pulled pork and I have a sliced pork sandwich. Is it good, I ask? Does't seem to matter. No chips is a real deal breaker.
I, on the other hand have most wonderful Cuban sandwich which was one of the several specials offered. Great pork and great ham on the nicely pressed sandwich.
While I wait for our order I spy a freezer full of ice cream sandwich treats made in Pittsburgh. The Coffee/Snickerdoodle is too much for me to resist. Returning to the van, I stash it in the freezer for later consumption.
Back on the road we travel to Buckeye Lake, Ohio and check into our campsite, a KOA. It's a nice, well-kept park about 2 miles off the interstate and near Buckeye Lake. I make an adult cocktail and we take a walk around the park to empty our trash and check out the shower house.
We're both very tired after our travels and we stream for a short time then sleep soundly.
September 25, 2021
We're up and coffee's made by 6:45 a.m. There's another travel day ahead of us. This one's only 235 miles and I feel well-rested.
We shower using the campground showers that are nice and we're able to park Miranda just outside the building making it quick and easy for us.
We skip breakfast and opt for brunch in Cincinnati. Melanie finds Sacred Beast in downtown.
The food is great. We both have the Diner Breakfast consisting of three Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Soft Scrambled Eggs and Pork Belly. Recommended. Highly.
The drive into Louisville is uneventful. We park next to our friends', Jess and Ziggy's, in Deerpark. We are in Louisville for the memorial service of our dear friend, Jess' sister, Jamie.
We'll be staying with their parents, Pif and Chip, at their condominium. The service is on Sunday.
We have dinner at Jess and Ziggy's and meet new friends of Jamie's. Afterwards we return to Pif and Chip's and catch up a bit more over a glass of scotch and then retire.
September 26, 2021
We're up and having coffee in our room around 7:30 a.m. The condos where we're staying have hotel-type rooms for the guests of the residents who live here. Pif and Chip arranged for us to have a room while we're in Louisville. We also have Jamie's car to use while we're here making traveling between spots very easy for us.
The Memorial Service for our friend, Jamie Hicks, is today at 2:00 p.m. in Willow Park across from the condos. There's a brunch before the service at Jessica and Ziggy's home which is very nice.
Melanie and I get to meet and make new friends who were long-time friends of Jamie's. We're grateful for the time we also have with old friends, John and Kathy, we've not seen in a while since being on the road.
The service is moving and the speakers and musicians provide a most wonderful remembrance of Jamie.
Afterwards, we sit in the park and eat pizza with a few remaining folks and, in Jamie's honor, shoot tequila. 😎
Returning to Pif and Chip's condo we talk and, after a while, eat a bit more before parting ways for the evening.
Melanie and I stream a bit before sleeping.
September 27, 2021
Monday after the memorial service for Jamie finds Melanie working and us sipping coffee in our big ol' king-sized bed.
I go up after a while when Pif texts and drink coffee with her for a while.
In a bit I go back to our room, dress and drive over to Jessica and Ziggy's to show off Miranda to Bill and Hanna. The tour complete and a bit of breakfast eaten in the van, I drive back to the condos and bring a bit of breakfast to Melanie.
I journal a bit before we have to drive about 17 miles away for an appointment to have Miranda's cracked windshield replaced.
I sit in Miranda and await my turn for about an hour before the reception person comes out to inform me they don't have a part that was expected to be delivered that day. They won't be able to perform the replacement.
I had nothing for her, not anger, not what the fuck? who runs a business like this. The afternoon was warm and it was after 4:00 p.m. and all I could think was what a waste of a fine afternoon. The windshield remains cracked and I'm not at all certain I'll allow Safelite to do the repairs.
Upon returning to the condo, parking Miranda on the street in front this time, I journal a bit more and we then travel over to Jessica and Ziggy's for a light dinner.
Afterwards, back at the Willow condos, we visit for the last time with Pif and Chip. Melanie eventually returns to the room and I remain watching the first half of the Dallas Cowboys game, Ziggy in attendance.
September 28, 2021
We're up around 7:00 a.m. Travel day. We've decided not to trek north again. Instead, we've contacted our friends who live in Salvo, North Carolina and they've said yes to their wonderful driveway and a visit. Cape Hatteras, we're on our way.
We make a few trips out to Miranda with our stuff and, after checking the room one last time and turning in our keys, we take our leave. We're traveling over 200 miles east and south to a KOA in Milton, West Virginia.
Melanie finds breakfast in Louisville for us at Wild Eggs just off Interstate 64. Okay. Just.
There are high clouds present as we drive east and the temps stay pleasant for a bit. We stop at a rest stop along the way and make coffee and continue.
Another hour passes before I decide the generator needs to be cranked and the air conditioner in the van utilized before we get any warmer. The outside temp will reach the mid 80's today. Better to get ahead of that.
I find the cheapest fuel I've seen in some time in Grayson, KY at 2.99 a gallon.
We stop just inside the West Virginia line at the Welcome Center for an afternoon Zoom Call Melanie has for EPF.
I find lunch for us in Huntington, WV. Huntington has a university and appears to have a very large medical complex.
Lunch is at Navarino Bay inside what's called The Market. We each have a good salad with added protein. Melanie shops for post cards. She's Miranda's corresponding secretary for which I am grateful. I get coffee ice cream with hot fudge.
The remainder of the drive is pleasant and we reach Milton and easily check in. Melanie sets us up inside and I hook up the outside and get our chairs out. She walks and I sit for a bit before she comes back and we walk over to a lake at the campground. It's pleasant out as the sun goes down. We leave when the mosquitoes insist.
Late lunch means we have light snacks for dinner. Stream and a good nights sleep.
Steven and Melanie