Cape May, NJ

We have a comfortable spacious house one block from the beach, with 22 of us in it – there are 10 cousins here having a great time together – bike rides, playing on the beach, arcade games, and all the other things that cousins like to get up to. The house is newly renovated with 9 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, plenty of room for us (see here for more info).

Lifeguard station

Beach at Cape May

View of the beach

Cousins Jake, Stone, Corrina

Fun in the surf

Corrina

Jake

Jake and Stone

Talia as a mermaid

Milo

One of many thunderstorms that blew through – for this one they closed down the beach due to the risk of lightning strike.

Philadelphia

The blog is still in catch-up mode, we departed Connecticut on August 11, bound for Philadelphia, for a quick overnight visit with our friends. We were on our way to the beach at Cape May, New Jersey, where we’ll be renting a large house for a family get-together.

I won’t name everybody here in the interest of offering them some privacy, but some readers will know them as former Redwood City residents, friends, and general trouble-makers. We didn’t see much of Philadelphia itself, instead we just focussed on catching up with our friends and relaxing in their amazing backyard.

Our friend’s house in Philadelphia

They have an amazing pool

The pool – warm and inviting

Our hosts

One of Riley’s good friends who left Redwood City a year and a half ago to move to Philadelphia

Char and Riley

Visiting Grandma Josie

One highlight of our visit to Connecticut was a chance to get together with a few of the extended family at Grandma Josie’s house. This was just a casual get-together with whoever was around, not for a special occasion. However, Grandma is about to turn 95 (more on that in a future post). She’s still living in her own home and doing amazingly well. We stayed overnight and enjoyed breakfast with Grandma the next morning.

Jody and her Grandma Josie

Good food, drink and conversation.

Cousins Talia and Braylen, both three years old, enjoyed playing together.

Jody, her Aunt Toni, and her Grandma Josie.

Uncle David with yet another of Grandma Josie’s great grandchildren. This is Cohen, 8 weeks old.

Braylen (3) asked me to take a glamor shot of him. It was completely impromptu.

Talia and her Great Grandma Josie.

Group photo, four generations, but not all the family was here, by a long shot.

Resting in Connecticut

Apologies for a lack of updates, we’ve been busy and also have not always had ready internet access. We finally made it to Poppy and Memere’s house in Connecticut. The weather has been warm and humid but we still enjoy eating outside when possible and playing in the yard.

Milo enjoys lunch on the back deck

Talia gets some baseball tips from Poppy

The R.V gets a much needed scub down and de-bugging

All hands on deck for the big cleanup

Riley lends a hand

New York and Connecticut

Another night of non stop hail (a.k.a. very light rain falling on the RV) and we woke up and hit the road. The destination for this leg, Newington, Connecticut, was just 3.5 hours away and everyone was excited to get there. We mad a bee line for I-84 freeway and blasted through New York (at the speed limit of course!). Rain and cloudy skies broke, the sun came out, and we and pushed on through to Connecticut. Arrived at lunch time and were warmly welcomed by Bob and Lee Ann. Had a relaxing afternoon with no driving. Talia and Milo were happy to nap in real beds.

Our route today from Waymart, PA to Newington, CT

Waking up at Keen Lake, time to fish.

Heading to I-84

In Connecticut

The backroads of Pennsylvania

Had our first real rain last night. Back in the Bay Area it doesn’t really rain at all between about April and October, so we had not seen rain in a while. Last night a number of us woke to the sound of what we believed was hail. We found out the next day it was just light rain, but inside the RV, even light rain is very loud.

Today was a full day on backroads through Pennsylvania and it was beautiful. Went through the Allegheny National Forest where we stopped for lunch by a river. The roads were free of traffic mostly, and very few trucks. Route 6 was our friend for the afternoon. We passed through lots and lots of small and very small towns and saw all kinds of people doing all kinds of things, none of which we would have seen on the freeways, we were so happy to be off the freeways.

Today we took down our “Australia or Bust” sign, since it was hanging off and about to fall anyway and looking worse for wear. So we no longer get all the laughs and funny looks, beeping horns, etc. Now we have become just another boring RV so nobody pays us any attention at all. We had been getting some great reactions to that previously.

We pulled in late to a great campsite next to Keen Lake. This and the previous one are places we could have stayed for a few days. But since our Lake Michigan beach stop, we kept moving onward to we can spend more time in Connecticut.

Our route today from Transfer, PA to Keen Lake, Wayamart, PA

Lunch break by a river

The Clarion River

Riley helping Milo get down the path to the river.

Exploring the river

Rainy afternoon

The great state of Oh-Hi-Oh

Click here for the song that hoes with this post.

Today we left the lake house, and traveled initially into Indiana, but most of the day was in Ohio. We ended up in Pennsylvania, near a town called Transfer – just over the Ohio border.

There’s not a whole lot to say about Ohio. No offense to anyone who lives there is intended. Maybe its just that much of the day was spent on interstate freeways, or maybe it was the overcast weather. Maybe its that we have been through some really stunning areas. Somehow Ohio didn’t really stack up so well compared to the preceding states. Iowa for example, with all its farmland and endless cornfields, looked like Disneyland when compared with Ohio.

If Ohio has one saving grace (and yes it does), that would be the fact that it has some Trader Joe’s stores, and you bet we managed to hit one of them on the way through. It was a quick stop but we stocked up on all the goodies we like and we were all very happy all of a sudden. The kids perked up and got back into the RV content with their new snacks.

The reason we spend most of the day on the interstates was that there’s really not many good alternatives at this section, due to the large lakes to our north. This is a bit of a constriction forcing a lot of traffic on to I-80/I-90, and we just knuckled-down and pushed on. There were a LOT of trucks, we must have seen many thousand trucks today – way more trucks than cars. Is a busy section of freeway.

After Cleveland we were able to branch out again into the backroads. We passed through many Amish communities, saw the people riding their horse and carts, and even pulling their kids in wagons, which was quite a sight for us, since we own (thanks to Bob & Lee Ann) an Amish-built wagon and have pulled our own kids many miles in that and it is much treasured. So we can kind of relate 🙂 It was too difficult to photograph any of this Amish stuff, we needed to stop and spend more time. But as far as photos go, here’s what we did get in Ohio:

The route we took today

Lots of Trucks on the freeways in Ohio

Ohio Landscape, overcast and a little dreary

At least we got off the freeways

By the end of the day, after a few GPS (and driver error) snafus we finally made it to our campground. This was one highlight of the day since it is a top notch campground with lots of open space and trees, and a feeling of privacy. The evening was peaceful, the cicadas handed off to the crickets, and fireflies circled around doing what fireflies do. Aside from the insects, I couldn’t hear a thing as I took a walk around the campground in the dark, it was just so peaceful and serene… except for one permanent resident here, who has a gigantic outdoor bug zapper. When you walk past that camper all you hear is the continual sound of bugs being fried at 30,000 volts, as you try to contemplate the beauty of nature. Great food for thought 🙂

More down time at Lake Michigan

Our friend Amy’s house was so comfortable, and the beach so ideal for kids, we stayed an extra day at Lake Michigan, the opportunity was too hard to pass up. It was Monday so a lot of people were at work and the beach was much quieter.

We loved this stop but tomorrow is back on the road.

Amy’s lake house

Walking to the beach

The beach.

Kids on the beach

The road to the beach.

Talia at the beach

The road to the beach.