May 31, 2023

Last Day at Yosemite National Park – Tioga Road Pleasures (National Parks Trip #3)

This post represents another installment in the series documenting our West Coast National Parks trip in the summer of 2017.  Alan and I, along with our 18 year old daughter, Kyra, logged a total of 8,513 memorable miles of adventure over the course of five and a half weeks during the months of July and August.

Day #16 of our West Coast National Parks trip marked our third and final day in Yosemite.  It was definitely a whirlwind visit, but we did manage to squeeze quite a bit of sightseeing into those three days.  I have no doubt that we could easily while away at least two weeks in this magnificent Park.  Ah, if only we had the time.  The weather gods had granted us yet another blue sky day, and we wasted no time in heading out to explore the northern section of the Park.

May 17, 2023

Yosemite National Park - The Advenure Continues (National Parks Trip #3)

This post represents another installment in the series documenting our West Coast National Parks trip in the summer of 2017.  Alan and I, along with our 18 year old daughter, Kyra, logged a total of 8,513 memorable miles of adventure over the course of five and a half weeks during the months of July and August.

The three of us rolled out of bed early on Day #15 of our five week expedition, determined to fit as much sightseeing as possible into our day.  This would be our last visit to Yosemite Valley; the following day, we’d be exploring Tuolumne Meadow and the Tioga Pass area of the Park.  The first stop of the day was planned with “crowd avoidance” in mind.  We wanted an opportunity for a clear shot at one of Yosemite’s most iconic images, and we knew that the earlier we arrived the better our chances would be.  If you read my last post, and spent some time considering what this location might be, you’re about to find out whether or not you guessed correctly.

May 05, 2023

Yosemite National Park - So Worth the Effort! (National Parks Trip #3)

Early in March, Alan and I enjoyed our first snowbird adventure when we spent time in Florida, Georgia and Virginia.  Now that I’ve completed documenting that expedition, I’m returning to our West Coast National Parks trip in the summer of 2017.  On that trip, Alan and I, along with our 18 year old daughter, Kyra, logged a total of 8,513 memorable miles of adventure over the course of five and a half weeks during the months of July and August.

Yosemite National Park is a tough ticket to get.  Camping reservations within the Park are extraordinarily difficult to come by, crowds are extraordinarily easy to run into, and Mother Nature always feels free to throw one of her famous curve balls, making a ticket that’s tough to get even tougher to hold onto.  About a week before I began drafting this post, Yosemite Valley was closed to visitors for a number of days.  The record snowpack in the Sierra Nevada had started to melt, and above average temperatures were predicted, creating perfect conditions for the Merced River to reach flood stage and impact Yosemite Valley.  Visitors who had planned to arrive in late April and early May, had their hopes dashed, as the National Park Service closed Yosemite Valley out of concern for the public’s safety.  This year’s visitors aren’t out of the woods yet.

April 22, 2023

Chincoteague and Assateague - Where Are the Wild Ponies?

This is the final post covering our recent snowbird trip to Florida, Georgia and Virginia.  (After this, I’ll zip back to Yosemite National Park and continue the series on our third cross-country National Parks trip.)  Alan and I enjoyed the fun and frolic of our late winter escape from the snow and cold weather at home, but we really did miss our travel trailer.  I’m happy to say that spring is in the air, the cover is off the trailer and we can now prepare for another year of camping adventures.  Yay!

The final stop on our 13 day snowbird adventure was Chincoteague, Virginia, a small and quiet island off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula.  As its name would suggest, the peninsula contains portions of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.  Although Interstate 95 is the most direct route from the northeast to the southeast, Alan and I aren’t huge fans of the busy highway.  The traffic around Baltimore, Washington (DC) and Richmond is annoying, at best, and exhausting, at worst.  If we’re traveling up and down the east coast, we’ll either take Interstate 81 to the west of I-95 or traverse the Delmarva Peninsula to the east of it.  Despite the number of times we’ve traveled the peninsula, this would be our first stay in Chincoteague, the gateway to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island.

April 12, 2023

Savannah - Hospitality with a Side of History

This post is the second of two posts related to the time we spent in Savannah, Georgia, during our snowbird adventure in early March of this year.

Because we haven’t traveled much during the winter lately, it seemed strange (but rather exciting) to see signs of spring all around us as we made our way through the southern states.  A number of trees were happily displaying their brand new buds, and some early flowers were popping up here and there.  It would probably be at least another month before we saw spring even beginning to stir in the mountains back home, so I was truly enjoying Mother Nature’s preview.  On our second full day in Savannah, with our winter coats jammed in the trunk of the car, we ventured into the “Hostess City of the South” to soak up the sun and the sights.

April 02, 2023

The Quiet Side of Savannah

Before we get into today’s post (the first of two about our adventures in Savannah), I have news to share about National Park Week 2023.  This year’s event will be celebrated from April 22nd to April 30th.  Entrance fees will be waived on April 22nd to kick off the week of celebration for anyone who would like to enjoy our National Parks in person.  If an actual visit isn’t an option, you can easily follow along via social media.  Find the links to the National Park Service’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts on the NPS website (link here).  Our amazing, educational, magnificent and spectacular National Parks properties truly are National Treasures that add extraordinary enjoyment and enrichment to our lives.  Don’t miss out!  And don’t let your kids and grandkids miss out either!    

Savannah was founded in 1733 and is the oldest city in Georgia.  Due to its charm and hospitality, it was nicknamed the “Hostess City of the South.”  In 1966, the city was designated a National Historic Landmark District – one of the largest in the country.  Cobblestone streets, a vibrant riverfront, amazing architecture and beautiful, park-like squares ensure that Savannah will remain a bucket list destination for romantics, historians and adventurers for many years to come.

Alan and I were eager to explore this lovely southern city, but we’re definitely not your typical tourists.  Personally, I think we’re a bit odd in our approach to exploration.  (I didn’t say we’re odd people, just odd in our approach when visiting a destination.  There’s a difference.)  We’re generally not interested in organized tours (such as the popular trolley tours in Savannah) or in spending much time in museums – although we do occasionally partake and enjoy.  Instead, we prefer what I’ll call a scavenger hunt.  My pre-trip research often produces a copious number of activities, attractions, oddities (there’s that word again) and regional specialties that I know we’ll find enjoyable and educational.  That list often includes stunning examples of architecture and construction, quiet places in which to enjoy nature and her wildlife, delicious samplings of regional cooking and the quirks and eccentricities that make a particular destination unique and fascinating.  While our itinerary may not be that of a typical tourist, it works perfectly well for us, and it usually leads to fun-filled days and memorable expeditions.  Here’s what we found “scavenger hunting” in Savannah . . .

March 19, 2023

A Brief Snowbird Adventure - Lessons From the Road

I’d like to extend a round of applause to all of you bloggers who somehow manage to post while on the road.  I truly can’t imagine how you do it.  I’ve often written posts ahead of time and set them to publish on future dates, but I’ve haven’t yet managed to draft and publish a post while we’ve been on the road and on the run.  This time, I went so far as to put my notes and photos on my laptop – and that’s as far as I got.  So, no post for the past three weeks and a well-deserved tip of my hat to those of you who are both road warriors and road writers.

Last year, Alan and I sold the second of two rental properties we owned.  For the first time since we had both escaped the workforce, we were truly free from responsibilities.  Winter travel had always been problematic for a variety of reasons, and this new-found freedom allowed us to enjoy the festivities of the Christmas season in both Pigeon Forge and Nashville, Tennessee, early in December.  Just recently, it also allowed us to escape the cold winter weather that plagues our area of the northeast.  In happy anticipation of wearing shorts and t-shirts, we set out to visit Alan’s brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Joan, in Florida.  We tacked on a few days in Savannah, Georgia, and a few more days on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and we were looking forward to our first adventure as snowbirds.  Wow!  Did we learn a lot!