Week 5 update

December 17-23, 2014

This week we got settled in Orlando, Florida. We’re house-sitting for a great couple from Manitoba who have a house in Orlando, so we’ve got a home base for now. It’s been a pretty relaxed week of mostly going to the gym, hanging out, sleeping in a bit and doing errands. It was Erin’s 31st birthday so that was fun too! She finished all of her “Chapter 30” challenges – see her blog for more details.

 

 

Some highlights:

House-sitting in Orlando – taking care of the place and getting to appreciate the conveniences of a house

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Spa night at house in Orlando

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Discovering a nearby park – Eola Lake

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Hitting the gym hard – perfect inversion of holiday traditions (Anytime Fitness is an awesome tool for us)

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More traditional approach to the holidays – buffet time

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Other highlights:

Erin started guitar lessons

Spent another evening with Ashley and Drew (friends from Ontario) in a hottub

 

Stats:

1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip

369 kms this week (229 mi), 4647 total on the trip (2888 mi)

Spent $811.50 this week, $5371.71 total

Week 4 update

December 10-16, 2014

This week has felt slow and relaxed. We’re in warmer weather, so the nights are more comfortable and the days nicer to experience outside. Ironically, Jackson got a cold this week, so we’ve been making sure he’s getting lots of time to rest and not trying to pack too much into our days.

 

 

Highlights:

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge – stood about 6 ft from an 8ft alligator

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Naturally followed the nature reserve visit by meal of alligator at Barrabuda Bob’s

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Hilarious comedy night in Savannah

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Good cooking in the Roadtrek – veggie curry

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Erin took a little breather on her own while Jackson was resting up from his cold

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Erin had some crab soup at the restaurant run by Paula Deen (Food Network TV’s real southern mama) and below is a pic from ‘Twas the night before Christmas dance recital.

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Gorgeous sunrise in Isle of Hope (just outside Savannah) above. Below is Jackson resting on a bench in one of Savannah’s many squares. We visited the Forest Gump park as well. Another highlight is seeing Tom Everett Scott (Remember that movie “That thing you do”) at a cafe.

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Daytona Beach, Florida

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Driving on the beach was a blast

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We took a whole day to veg out, walk on the beach and relax

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Orlando, Florida

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Tasty Tuesdays food truck night with old friends Ashley and Drew (from Brockville, ON)

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A Christmas sign?

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Stats:

3 US states this week (SC, GE, FL), 16 in total during the trip

998 kms this week (620 mi), 4276 total on the trip (2657 mi)

Spent $994.88 this week, $4560.21 total

Week 3 update

December 3-9, 2014

Week 3 has been one of learning (and struggling) to find patience, really facing what it means to have an open schedule and reflecting. There have been some beautiful sights along the way which we’ll showcase below, but this week has been mostly about ourselves and our relationship. As a couple who has spent most of our relationship apart pursuing opportunities in different cities/countries, moving into a van together has been illuminating. We caught ourselves getting into a cycle of blaming and frustration at times this week. Lots of good conversation followed. Meditation is back on the schedule too. And so is time on our own. Just like our workouts, every time we are challenged we grow stronger.

We’re in the South now so the accents are strong, the food is heavy and the customer service is warm. The weather is warmer and the moods are a little lighter. Since there is no defined destination, the journey really is the destination (and it’s proving to be a real adventure of the mind and spirit.

 

Highlights of Myrtle Beach and Charleston:

Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach

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Below see Jackson getting his hands cleaned by little fish (creepy feeling)

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Christmas cheer shared with SCUBA santa….and a shark

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Helicopter ride….Erin is constantly facing her fear of heights…in not so subtle ways

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Erin smiles because we haven’t crashed yet

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Brookgreen Garden’s Night of 1000 candles (totally magical)

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Unitarian Universalist Church in Charleston

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We joined our new friend’s Dimitri, Janella and Emily on a climb up to the very top for a picturesque view of the city

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After church, a nice couple Marilyn and Allan had us over for pulled pork sandwiches and bean soup. People are sure warm and friendly down here!

Farmer’s market and city market

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Running the Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge in Charleston

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The wind and altitude really take your breath away

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Charleston trolley and historic district

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Gun range in Charleston

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Other activities:

-Time out for a massage

-Movies: Dark Knight Rises and St. Vincent

-Mirror maze in Myrtle beach

 

Stats:

1 US state this week (SC), 14 in total during the trip

557 kms this week (346 mi), 3278 total on the trip (2037mi)

Spent $847.54 this week, $3565.33 total

Week 2 update

Our second week on the road started to feel more like a vacation. We felt a bit more settled being in warmer weather and didn’t feel rushed to put in long days on the road to escape the northern chill.

 

 

Highlights:

We hit a milestone in the Road Trek this week: 55555kms

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Philadelphia’s Chinatown (pho soup on a cold day)

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Jackson getting a foot massage above and me effectively using my time during a laundry stop shown below

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Lump of crab (crab cake) at Baltimore’s iconic Lexington Market and visiting tattoo museum

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Unfortunately Charm City Cakes (featured on the Food Network) was closed for the Thanksgiving holidays

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The tattoo museum had some great art to check out

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Visiting friends in DC (Roosevelt Island, hot yoga, dancing in Georgetown, cooking)

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Mind the Mat yoga studio delivered on a wonderful Saturday morning

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Myrtle Beach (Running on the boardwalk, Tiki bar, got water in the van)

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Jackson was happy to see the first palm tree of the trip!

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Trying cucumber mojitos at the 8th Ave Tiki bar

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Boardwalk jog

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Stats:

8 US states this week (NJ, PA, MD, DC, VA, DE, NC, SC), 14 in total during the trip

1296 kms this week (805 mi), 2721 total on the trip (1691 mi)

Spent $838.38 this week, $2717.79 total

Week 1 update

The first week of our road trip across the US has been mostly about driving and escaping the cold. Maine through Massachusetts was chilly at night, but getting nicer each day as we descend south.

Highlights:

-Finally getting on the road after 2 months of getting up to other things

-Finding a great 24/7 gym (2600 locations across the US….perfect for us) – Anytime Fitness

-Getting everything set up for our trip – contacting friends, getting a cell phone, getting US$ accounts sorted, etc.

-Nice visit and whaling museum in New Bedford, Mass.

-Taking the scenic route through Maine and beyond

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Scrimshaw gallery at the whaling museum below (for you Dad)

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We found out that a blue whale’s heart is the size of a VW beetle

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Fort Knox

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Jackson pumping iron….can you guess what country we might be in?

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Stats for the week:

-6 states

-1425 kms (885 miles)

-$1879.41 spent (including winterizing van, health and vehicle insurance, gym membership, etc)