From DC to NY to VT - Lot's to do, Lot's to See (June 19th to July 12th, 2021)
When we left off on June 18th, we were in Rehoboth Beach, DE, the Jeep was in the shop and we were planning on moving to DC with or without it. Fortunately, the night of the 18th they called to say that the Jeep was all fixed up (turns out that there were loose bolts in the front right brakes) so I walked with Apollo 2 miles to pick it up first thing Saturday morning, June 19th. We got the Jeep on the trailer, tied it down and proceeded to drive some really crappy roads into the Washington DC area. We rolled into Cherry Hill Park in the early afternoon and quickly found out that we were not allowed to have more than 10 people at our campsite. This put a bit of a kink into our plans as we were expecting about 25 people for our Sunday gathering. I asked if we could rent a group campsite as they had several throughout the park but they said no even though there was no maximum limit on how many people could gather on those sites. The only thing they were willing to consider was us renting their $4,000.00 Ballroom reserved for weddings...also teaching a free socially distanced outdoor Zumba class was a hard no (but they had no problem packing 20-30 people in the pool or in the hay ride they offered). To be honest, I think that the young lady behind the counter had a big stick up her butt that day and the owners of the place weren't around. Regardless, Ted jumped into our now functioning Jeep and headed out looking for public parks we might be able to BBQ at - we were not going to let this RV Park stop us from seeing our friends! Beltsville Community Center at Little Paint Branch Park came to the rescue! Ted rolled into the center just before they closed and got permission to have a grill out at the park #poundwinning!
Once we had our party location set, we got ready and headed to an old friend’s house for her 49th birthday party. We visited with some old friends and made new ones before heading back to the Glamper and calling it a night. The next morning Ted packed up the Glamper and moved it to the Beltsville Community Center while I went to the store. We got everything ready for the party and I even meal prepped some extra salads before our friends started arriving. We had a great turn out, sharing stories and laughs with old friends, knowing some for over 20 years! Azlan even reunited with one of his buddies from the Korea Camp Walker Child Development Center. The party wrapped up in the early evening giving us ample time to get back to Cherry Hill Park before dark. The Cherry Hill RV Park is pretty nice. They have a mini golf course, 2 pools, several playgrounds, a splash pad and a dog park. Our pull through site had a wood deck complete with table and chairs, picnic table, and fire pit.
Monday morning, June 21st, I took Apollo for a 3 mile walk around the RV Park but I still had a ton of energy so I did a Tabata right outside the Glamper on our little deck. The rest of the day we did laundry, played in the pool, and recovered from the party. That evening Ted took Apollo for a walk and swung by the dog park. There were 2 other dogs in there and Ted asked the lady if Apollo could go in and play…the answer was yes so they entered the fenced area. One pit mix went up to Apollo, they sniffed snouts, sniffed butts and then the dog bit Apollo’s neck around his left ear and locked its jaws. The owner of the dog tried to pry its jaws open by sliding the leash under it’s snout, the dog just would not let go. Ted warned the lady that he was about to start beating the dog until he let go and she started protesting to not hit her dog. Ted pushed her out of the way and laid into the dog’s head with his fist and forearm. It took about 8-9 hits of Ted’s max power to get the dog to release Apollo. As soon as the dog let go, Apollo ran off crying, Ted grabbed the dog by his collar and twisted it lifting the dog in the air and handing him over to the lady “You should not let your dog play with other dogs!”. With that, he walked off but didn’t get any of her info. Poor Apollo had 2 deep teeth wounds and a rapidly swelling ear. Shortly after that, our friend showed up at the motor home with his dog and Apollo seemed fine and wanted to play. I cooked up a delicious dinner of chicken and green beans before we called it a night. Tuesday morning we went to breakfast at the Executive Café with some friends and succeeded in surprising yet another friend. It was such a great reunion…and delicious breakfast! Re-connecting with all these people is #whatthistripisallabout. When we got back to the motor home we decided it would be best to get Apollo seen by a vet as by this time his inner ear was the size of a small apple. We signed him up online…apparently we can’t just show up at pet emergency hospitals because they are so understaffed.
Ted writing now:
We wait all day and night and never get a call back…but it allowed a great nap for all of us, 18 holes of mini golf, a visit to the splash pad and quality time spent together playing games and cuddling. The next morning, in an effort to get it done, we signed up online at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, Ted went and got right in. Apollo got treated, they put a drain in his neck and stitched up the wounds, and they were home before noon. Azlan and I stayed home and played more mini golf and ran around the splash pad while Ted went to Arlington to meet a friend, see a friend and watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Cherry Hill Park is north of DC in College Park, Maryland, so there is a lot of driving involved to get in and out of DC. He made it back just in time to get dressed and head out for dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Alexandria, back where Ted was earlier, lots of driving for him today. Dinner with our friends was fantastic, but the food was just OK…the company is what we are there for anyway! Azlan got to play video games with their son…which he never gets to do, and he loved it! Daisa wore a green dress and our friend a purple one…they were both drop dead gorgeous!
The next morning, 24 June, we are planning to go to the National Mall, but we had developed a little sore throat…and let’s be honest…people would totally freak out because of Covid. We start the day by going to an Patient's First Primary Urgent Care Beltsville to make sure we are good to go, which we are…thank goodness for Covid antibodies and a negative strep throat test! This Urgent Care was really nice, well maintained, clean and everyone we encountered was professional and kind. The doc gives us some meds to make our throats less sore and we are off to see the sights. We start by parking at Fort McNair and walking near the water to the Mall which puts us right by the Washington Monument. We walk around it and figure out where the second monument is…that’s right, there are two (one is underground and is actually a marker that was buried over time and the ground became higher)…unfortunately it’s not open and we can’t see it, but it was fun to look. We move on to the WWII Memorial, which is a massive fountain with markers for every state and territory, it’s really impressive. Next, we move to the Lincoln Memorial, walking along the reflecting pool, taking some pictures and then Punch races Daisa up the stairs to the monument. Alzan learns about slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation. We find a food stand and get some hot dogs and chips before renting scooters to help us get around. The scooters are pretty fun and provide a much faster, less time consuming and exertive way to see the sights. We go to the FDR and Jefferson Memorials before going to see the White House…which has protesters out front ruining our ability to enjoy seeing it…oh well. Next, an ice cream stop and then an Uber back to the car, we are tired and want to beat the traffic. After we return to Cherry Hill, Azlan and Ted get on the Tractor Hayride with Apollo and go for a spin around the RV Park…Daisa joins for a second time around, it was great! A couple friends are coming around dinner but don’t eat…at least that was the plan, but one of them throws a taco or two down. Great to catch up with even more friends!
Daisa writing again:
On Friday, June 25th, I walk Apollo and we depart ‘after’ traffic heading to West Point…our longest drive of the summer. As you may know, riding in the Glamper is NOT one of my favorite things to do as I get motion sickness. This ride was particularly rough and ripe with city traffic, shitty roads, more city traffic, more shitty roads and even more city traffic and shitty roads! It seemed to never end, and when we finally get to NY, we need to stop for fuel. Usually this is an hour-long event due to the kink in the gas hose, but this time it’s only 30 minutes! We think it might be because the generator was on allowing for more ventilation…we will test it out next time. More than 6 hours since we started, we finally get to Round Pond on West Point and get set up. I am just thankful that the Scopolamine Patches I have been using on moving days has been helping. I still get nauseous but it goes away very fast, as soon as I focus on the road…regardless, I still slept a good part of the way – I just can’t take the stop and go of traffic. Our wonderful friends that booked our site for us (and have a campsite at Round Pond as well), come by and bring stand-up paddleboards and hang out while their daughter teaches Azlan how to fish. We cook out, watch some ranger TV and tuck in for the night.
Saturday morning I take Apollo and Ted is about to cook Bacon on our outdoor 3-burner stove but realizes that we forgot to bring our propane tank…oops! No worries, Bacon and Pancakes are still a thing, we just cook it on the small stove inside. Ted, our friend and the kids all take off for their hiking and archery adventure while my girl friend and I get a workout in before heading to her house on post to do laundry. We get to catch up and talk about all the things and I also get to use her shower…there is something to be said for standing in a hot shower letting the water just run over you…no concern that you will fill up a grey tank at a site with no sewer hook-up – it was delightful! That night we eat a fantastic steak dinner and go to bed fairly early.
Sunday morning we join them at their campsite for Bacon and Pancakes and help them pack up their site. I got schooled at Spot It with the kids (if you haven’t heard of Spot It, it’s a great game where you find matching items on these round cards – great for all ages) and once our friends took off back to their house, Azlan, Ted and I went down hard for a 4 hour nap. Dinner that night was at our friend’s house – I love NY pizza!!! My parents also called on FaceTime and gave me a good guilt trip about not calling them for several days…sorry mom and dad…cell service at Round Pond is non existent and we will continue with poor internet service until we get back into some significant civilization again…maybe in a few weeks!
June 28th Apollo had an appointment at VCA Flannery Animal Hospital to get the drain removed. Ted also swung by PetSmart and grabbed another bag of dog food since we weren’t sure the next time we would be close to a PetSmart would be. That morning I meditated, which I hadn’t done in a while and I also journaled. My friend shared a concept with me that I really liked: When we get circular thought patterns in our heads – like a thinking trap where we just think about the same things over and over again, it helps to write it out in a linear format. This then stops the circular pattern. Well, considering I had been in a thinking trap for a while, I gave journaling a shot. 7 college ruled pages and a sore hand later, I had gotten it all out on paper (and now as I’m writing this, to my surprise, it actually did help and my thinking trap related thoughts have been few and far between since)….thank you friend!!! That afternoon we took the boards out and enjoyed a leisurely paddle on the lake before showering and going to dinner at a different friend’s house. This couple we knew since Ted was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, GA. We had some epic wings and loads of laughs! It was so good to see and catch up with them.
Tuesday Ted, our friend and Apollo went off on a hike and ended up getting temporarily misoriented. What’s a few extra miles up a mountain anyways?!? Ha Ha. After the extra long hike Ted ran to the store and to finish up our laundry while I cleaned up the Glamper a bit. Between the mud, bugs and ticks…I’m a little peeved with mother nature…I prefer dead bugs and lots of sunshine! Speaking of ticks though, I forgot to tell you about the Ball Ticks in Virginia! Remember how we got attacked by the little blood suckers and were on the side of the road picking ticks off Apollo and inspecting a naked Azlan? Well, the next night, Ted shakes me awake from a deep slumber. I’m all confused but look at his face as I start coming to and my wonderful husband looks deep into my eyes and says “I need you to look at my balls.” Say whaaaaa?!?!? “I found two ticks on my balls and I need you to inspect all my parts and then I will inspect all your parts.” Say whaaaaaa?!?! No, this is not the beginning of a dirty porn episode! I rub the sleep out of my eyes and prepare to go for a good looksee. Fortunately, I found no ticks nor did he. However I have seen several since and have become proficient in pulling them off with tweezers and burning them. I also no longer scream and jump up and down while waiving my hands in the air!
Back to June 29th, we had another family come visit us for a lunch BBQ that afternoon. Ted had jumped into Iraq back in 2003 with him. Turns out he is into nutrition and it’s benefits in healing the human body. He started talking and I was all ears. He has been able to reverse his symptoms of an unknown disease with a nutritional soup he created using natural ingredients. Check out Captain Soup if you are looking to improve your health. I will definitely be ordering some when I get back home! It was so nice getting to know him and his beautiful family. Our campsite friends joined us and all the kids played, we swam, chatted and had a great time. That night we started watching Shrek with Azlan…I think he likes it lol!
The next morning I took Apollo into the Black Rock Forest where we hiked and did a little trail running for about 4 miles. The horse flies….or what look like horse flies…at Round Pond are insane! I got bit twice and it swelled up making a hard lump the size of my fist, Yikes and hello Cortizone! This was a rolling day and we hadn’t had a sewer connection at our site. I found out that when Azlan went to the bathroom that morning is when the pump stopped working because our black tank was full…I’m so glad I missed that! After Ted dumped it, we connected up the Jeep and started our journey to Ticonderoga, NY on Lake George. Our maps app was set up to find no toll roads…but after seeing some low bridges, narrow crappy windy roads and weight limit restrictions we changed that up real quick and got on the highway. I’m sure we will get a gigantic bill to match our gigantic rig in the mail soon! We stopped at the Log Jam Restaurant to have lunch with Ted’s childhood babysitter. She told us some good stories and some not so good stories, I am very thankful Ted had her after his mom passed away when he was 8 years old. It was so lovely to meet her and her friend. After we arrived in Ticonderoga and parked up in front of our nephew’s apartment, we jumped on the boat…soon to be named High Maintenance…picked up Ted’s brother and other son and enjoyed a lovely sunset on Lake George!
July is here! After our standard Apollo walk, we went to Walmart and then spent the rest of the day chilling and walking Apollo. I made a Mushroom Chicken Risotto in the Instapot and our family came over for dinner and drinks. July 2nd was a rainy day (yet again) so we opted to go to the Outlets at Lake George for some shopping. We made out pretty well with Military Discounts…but most importantly we got Azlan some hiking boots as up in the North is where we have the opportunity to climb some steep trails and that’s exactly what he’s into. Once we were all shopped out, we headed to Glenburnie and hiked up Anthony’s Nose. No, I did not find buggers there! But it was wet and we shook the trees to get the droplets of leaves to rain on us for fun…and to test out our new waterproof jackets. That night our nephews girlfriend made us some delicious stir fry and we started up some more laundry before heading back to the Glamper for the night.
Saturday, July 3rd, I took one for the team and hiked up Anthony’s Nose again with Apollo so Ted and Azlan could participate in the Glenburnie 4th of July Golf Tournament. Upon my descent from the mountain, I took a nice hot blissful shower (and didn’t have to turn the water off again) and did a little self-care giving myself a much needed mani-pedi. After Golf, we headed back to the Glamper to meet up with some friends that drove from Mohawk, NY to spend some time with us. We hang out and catch up, enjoy a quick boat ride, eat some grub and talk story before we crash for the night (and yes, I totally crashed first haha). I like it when we have guests for breakfast though as Ted always cooks Bacon…he’s the Bacon Master…I just tend to burn it a bit. We hug and say our see-you-laters as they have to go move some heavy things after a long ride home. Ted, Azlan and I hop in the Jeep and head over the mountain to Hulet's Landing to visit some old childhood friends of Ted's. The kind that used to get in trouble together and have wayyyyy tooooooo much fun getting into trouble with. It was great to see these amazing couples again! We also stopped off to pay our respects to Ted's mom, his step mom's second grave, his grandfather and all other family members resting in this beautiful place. We recite the Cheery Driver, written by Ted's grandfather and what we say to Azlan every night before bed. It was a peaceful and meaningful family moment that I will hold on to for a long time.
Next up we headed off to nap and change for a 4th of July shindig on the putting green. I got to meet some great people who have known Ted's family for a very long time. I loved hearing all about mischievous Teddy Condit and his antics. It was a great night with great food, which we wrapped up fairly early as the next morning we were going to hike Black Mountain except instead of going in and coming back out the way we came, we hiked over it and out to the shores of Lake George where our nephew picked us up in High Maintenance (the boat)! Some of us had a quick swim before we headed to the Algonquin, a restaurant that we dock at and is a family favorite. We nailed a great table right on the water and enjoyed each other's company before heading back. It was truly an EPIC day! July 6th was a recovery day for us, I took Apollo to the dog park which is just under a mile away. It was a great park that we used daily and despite his humping tendencies, Apollo did pretty well with the other dogs. This is where I got to see a Rhodesian Ridgeback at full stride...wow, his movements powerful and extremely quick - this dog can fly! Then I cleaned the Glamper...so. much. mud. We finished the evening with Tacos since it was a Tuesday after all, saying some more see-you-laters in Florida.
Wednesday, July 7th, Ted walked Apollo and then Azlan and I joined him for a hike up Mount Defiance. Today they should have called it Mount You-Will-Be-Attacked-By-Big-Ass-Bugs. Once we realized how bad it was going to be, we grabbed sticks and just kept our arms moving the whole time so they couldn't land. Apollo, however, got decimated. This poor pup had welts on him the size of golf balls! We made it up, took some quick pictures, and ran....yes RAN most of the way down, jumping in the Jeep and speeding away still swatting those blood suckers! Apollo was so bad, we gave him some Benadryl, which helped him calm down and also shrunk his welts. We drove a ways to Burnt Hills to visit family and see where Ted's step mom's first grave is, spending some time with our sister's family, nieces and nephews, catching up on what they've been up to. It was so great spending time with all of our family the last week, we love them so much!
July 8th, Apollo and I revisited the park as Ted rode off to drop our beloved Jeep at the shop. It needed a new left front u-joint. It had sounded off since Delaware. I lifted, finally. I had been procrastinating. I hate working out by myself. This is one of the reasons I want to teach fitness. It helps me stay accountable and I do so much better and push so much harder. After that we packed up, hooked the trailer up and parked in an empty parking lot next to Walmart for some restocking. Turns out the Jeep was going to be a while. Lunch and a nap sounded pretty good! Ted surprised me with flowers, Azlan with Pokemon cards and us all with Battle Ship, what fun! So, after a nice nap, Ted walked Apollo and picked up the Jeep. We strapped it on and braced ourselves for an off highway afternoon adventure! Ted hates starting drives so late in the day and I completely get it. Add in some weight restrictions, no thru signs, and low bridges and the no service on the GPS and Ted is having the time of his life driving this 60' long rig through the back country of Vermont! We finally arrive at Abel Mountain Campground, get hooked up, set up, cooked up and cleaned up with some cocktails. We are both shocked that this is the most level our RV has been yet! Usually we are tipped one way or another and we can tell by the way the bathroom door swings. Just some tid bits of living in a moving house! Tomorrow is a new day with new things to explore, we end the day grateful for a safe trip yet again.
Friday morning we got up to hike with our friend from Ted's first time stationed in Italy...like back in 2000! It was a cool hike just on the other side of a lovely river behind our RV Park. After the hike we had Bacon Master bacon and hung out catching up. Then I took a nap because the internet at the RV park sucked, I was trying to write the blog and my computer was not doing what it was told, I was tired and let's face it, PMSing sucks! While I was napping, Ted found out I could teach Zumba at the RV Park and looked up fitness classes for me - he's so sweet! I was still in a mood but helped me by listening. I got started on the Blog, made some flyers and went to pin them up and walk around the Campground. We finished the night with a nice family dinner, some cuddles and Shrek! As much as moving around so much can be a challenge, this time that we carve out for the three of use is so special. I have really been enjoying it and I know Ted and Azlan have as well.
Saturday morning I practiced Zumba, Ted hiked with Apollo and we prepped to receive friends and family from around the state. Azlan and I went to a rock painting event at the Events Pavilion shortly before receiving our friends for some yummy burgers, veggies, and potato salad. Friends came and went throughout the day which was a nice change as we got some more one on one time with everyone. We enjoyed the pool a short while and then dried off and headed to the Pavillion for the band, Back In Time, that was rocking the house! They had this giant Connect 4 game Azlan and the kids were having fun with, I was dancing my heart out between Connect 4 and Glamper visits...the wine was flowing and the laughs were plenty. Another great and much needed successful reunion.
Sunday morning Ted hiked with Apollo and then we all jumped into the door-less Jeep to visit some old friends in Stowe, VT. It was about an hour and a half drive, but man was it pretty! Reminiscent of Idaho but with shorter peeks of rivers and more green than anything else. We linked up in the town proper (it's only like 2 Streets deep and maybe 2 Football fields long) and went off for a walk to a lovely river. We saw a Beaver's Dam, Ted skipped some spectacular rocks, Azlan got barefoot and played in the river, it was lovely and we worked up an appetite. Lunch was at PieCaso, a lovely place where we had a great meal with fantastic people! We checked out a cool Beaver habitat with a view of Smuggler's Notch - "Smugglers' Notch is a mountain pass in Lamoille County, Vermont. The notch separates Mount Mansfield, the highest peak of the Green Mountains, from Spruce Peak and the Sterling Range. Most of the notch is in Mount Mansfield State Forest" - a road used for smuggling booze during the prohibition era...you know we have to check it out right?!?
Vermont is ripe with hiking trails and beautiful mountain ranges as we have discovered so far on this trip. We get around pretty well in the Jeep, going up and down mountains galore. This State is gorgeous and I'm adding it to one of my favorites for sure. Hoping our friends will visit us in Florida, we say our see-you-laters and take a different way home, exploring some more. We stop at Ben & Jerry's - yep, where the ice cream comes from - but instead of waiting in line for 40 mins to eat some, we checked out the Flavor Grave Yard....RIP Peanut Butter & Jelly! Azlan played on a cool playground while we called my parents since we had a cell signal finally. A great end to a great day was Ted, Azlan and I cuddling on the couch, watching Lion King and munching on popcorn!
This morning, Monday, July 12th, I taught a Zumba class!!! This is the second campground that I've been able to teach at and it makes my heart so happy to do it. I need to keep this up for sure! After a rocking sweat session, we went to our friend's house to hang out, do some laundry and so I could get this blog posted - horray for good internet service (but I can't lie, being off my phone most of the time has been quite nice over the last few weeks)!
Stay tuned as we leave Vermont and head to Connecticut and beyond to finish out the summer trip!
Wishing you all the best! See-you-laters!
Daisa, Ted, Azlan and Apollo