As I mentioned last week in Oswald Vineyard May/June, a lot has happened in the past few months, one of which is a family vacation. As you might guess, we take very few getaway trips and when we do, we normally visit family in Georgia. Which, by the way Mom, we are planning to do later this summer!
Not that we need an excuse for a vacation, but if we did, the wedding of a niece in Maine was the perfect one. Years ago, when John had a “real” job, he had a 6 week business trip to the Boston area. Having only 5 children at the time, ages 8 mths – 7 yrs, we all went. The children and I did a lot of site seeing. We visited places like the Boston Children’s Museum of Arts and Science, Plymouth Plantation, and probably the highlight of the trip, the Armor Museum in Worcester, MA. Needless to say, we had a blast and made a lot of great memories which I wanted to relive now with the children still at home.
So, as we planned this trip of over 5000 miles in our 15 passenger van with the 9 of us, my main stipulation was that we take it leisurely and stop each night at a hotel – which we did on the trip east!
Our first stop was the Gateway Arch in Missouri. Being terrified of heights, I was prepared to stay at the bottom of the arch and just wave to the brave souls that made the journey to the top. But, peer pressure prevailed and I made the trip. This phenomenal arch is 630 ft. tall and you ride to the top in LITTLE 5 passenger compartments – that was the worst part of the whole adventure for me, but, as you can see, I made it!!!!
Once at the top, you could walk inside the arch from one end to the other looking out both sides. After I realized that it was like being in an airplane – it was cake! The view of St. Louis was amazing.
Our next overnight stop was outside of Cincinnati, OH to visit friends we grew to love from Germany. They are Americans but lived in Germany while we were in Switzerland. The Moody’s also have 10 children (although at that time we only had 7!) and everyone hit it off from the beginning. We have kept in contact with them throughout the years and look forward to seeing them again.
We arrived in Rochester, NY the following day to spend 2 nights with one of John’s older brothers. From his place, we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. It was chilly and especially once you were wet from the mist, but beautiful.
Next stop, Worcester, MA for the wedding. I said earlier that the wedding was in Maine but it was actually in Worcester where our niece now lives – her parents are in Maine and we went there next. While we did not get to see a lot in the area, we did visit the Armor Museum. The armor exhibit has been donated to the Worcester Art Museum and is no longer a private exhibit. While still impressive, all pieces are now behind glass and untouchable.
After a “Star Trek” themed wedding, we drove to John’s brother’s home in Maine to spend the night before visiting their vacation home on Mohegan Island, off the coast of Maine.
We rode on a ferry to the island which for the most part has no cars on it. Everything you have there, you carry with you – it is amazing how little luggage the 9 of us took! On the ferry ride, we even saw seals at one point but I was not quick enough with the camera. The lighthouse though, stood and posed for me!
Having taken our time on the drive to Massachusetts, we booked it home making the 36 hour drive with only one overnight stay in a hotel . It was one long trip and home sure looked good!
As one reader commented last week, “a 5000 mile trip in a 15 passenger van – sounds like a country music song” – if I were only musical, we might make a fortune!!!!