This is it! We are no longer homeowners. No home base. I’ve been a homeowner for 37 years, the last 27 years in my little yellow cottage in Manchester. Bob was a homeowner for a similar length of time. The emotions we’re feeling now are varied. We’ve talked about going full-time for a couple of years, made the decision to sell the house last winter, started cleaning it out in April, so it’s not like this came on suddenly. My daughter Andrea bought the house, and we are both so happy that we were able to help one of our kids be a homeowner! We wish we could have done the same for all of them. It’s going to be fun to see Andrea put her own decorating flair on the place! And now that she’s not lining a landlord’s pockets, I hope she’s able to sock away money for retirement and travel!
Laura (my other daughter), came to the house to see us off today. I broke COVID rules and hugged her a couple of times … big hugs that you can still feel hours later. I had almost forgotten how good it feels to hug your kids! We’re both going to miss our kids a lot. But, we’ll be seeing Laura in a few days when we stop in Virginia, so it’s kind of irrational to get all choked up!
We were driving west on I-84 about an hour after departure and Bob said, “You ok over there? You look like you’re in a trance.” I told him I was just tired, but I had really been thinking that Connecticut is a pretty state, it’s not so bad, except for the winter, the cold, snow, and those dreadfully hot and humid days in July. Of course, there are hideously high taxes that we are happy to done with! But, still, I was melancholy to be driving away from the state where I’ve lived my whole life.
Our first night was spent in a Walmart parking lot in New Jersey. We were going to hit a Cracker Barrel for this stop, but we turned just a tad too early and ended up in Walmart. It was fine … quieter than most Walmart lots. The best thing about Walmart lots is they are free. Why spend money on a campsite when you aren’t even in town long enough to see the sights?
The second day, we continued on to a state park campground in Queen Anne, Maryland on the Delmarva peninsula (so named because the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia all share the peninsula). Tuckahoe State Park is a beautiful park with lots of trails, a lake, and an arboretum. When I reserved online, I chose a site that claims to be large enough to contain 55’ worth of RV equipment. Our motorhome is 31.5’ long, plus we are towing an SUV, so 55’ should have been plenty of room. What I didn’t see in the site photo on the park website was that the asphalt apron extends halfway into the site, then drops about 2” to a dirt pad; to complicate matters, there are two trees right at the end of the pad. This is probably fine if you’re camping in a travel trailer with all the wheels toward the back of the camper, but not so fine in a motorhome. When we backed the motorhome into the site, the front of the rig was still on the asphalt and elevated 2” higher than the back. The rig must be level in order to push out the slide. We do have ways of leveling the rig on uneven surfaces, but a 2” difference is almost impossible to level without complications.
The trees at the back of the site were spaced 9’ apart. Our motorhome is 8.5’ wide. Bob wanted to see if we could thread the rig between the trees and get those front wheels off the asphalt. I was not keen on the idea, but I know Bob has accomplished some pretty crazy things in the past. We got on our cell phones, I stood outside and guided him as he very, very slowly rolled the rig back between the trees. It was pretty incredible that we put the rig between those trees with about 3-4” to spare on either side! But, even after rolling back as far as we could one front wheel was still half-on/half-off the asphalt. Ultimately, we moved the motorhome to the front of the site so that all wheels are on the asphalt. The car is parked T-bone to the rig barely in our site. But, we’re only here three nights, so it’s not a big deal. Here are pictures of the rig between the trees. I should have one enlarged to hang on the wall!
We hiked one of the many trails within the state park. There was evidence that trails are used by hikers, horses and mountain bikers although we only saw a couple other hikers while we were out. The trail was well kept with some hills, water views, bridges and one very odd feature … an old car half buried in the dirt! There’s no indication what brand of car it was, we just know it was a sedan and it’s been there a long time. Since this is in the middle of a woods with no visible road leading in, our best guess is that it could have been delivered to this spot during a hurricane.
The real reason we came to this area was to visit friends. Bob and Al have been friends since grade school. Al and Julie sold their homes in Connecticut and moved to St. Michaels, Maryland just a few months ago. What a beautiful little town full of maritime history dating back to the 1600’s, great architecture, and only about 1,000 friendly, full-time residents. We were enchanted the minute we saw the town. Al and Julie are very fortunate to have found a home just a block from downtown and they can walk to the post office, coffee shop, dinner, etc. Winters are milder than Connecticut, although not as warm as farther south. Still, this town will be on our radar as we continue traveling.
Al and Julie treated us to two fabulous dinners, including a typical Maryland steamed crab dinner. What a great experience to start off our trip! A pile of super-sweet blue crabs in the middle of the table, mallets, picks and sharp knives, cold beer and wine and some incredibly meaty local tomatoes and asparagus. We learned the right way to open and pick a crab, too. That’s definitely a meal that will stay in our memories for a very long time. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Al and Julie!
Today, we move on to another very historic town … Winchester, Virginia.