Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Adventure Begins (New England Road Trip #1)

I like to think of myself as a rather adventurous and spontaneous person.

But if you told me two weeks ago I would go on a New England road trip this month, I'd have thought you were crazy.

My sister Barb has been talking for quite a while about scattering the remainder of our mother's ashes in a beautiful place. She dreamed of Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. I suggested me driving up next summer with several of my kids and picking her up in Maryland on the way. Then on a Friday she messaged me and suggested a sister trip: "If you think quick and don't blink, we could go up next weekend while the leaves are gorgeous."

Say what? My immediate answer was "No way!" Too hard to arrange things at home if I were to come alone, especially since my youngest daughter is home schooled and wouldn't have anyone to watch her during the day. Plane tickets would be way too expensive on short notice. I couldn't even handle that much time behind the wheel on the road trip, and my sister can't drive much because of migraines. So seriously? Um, no!

Then my daughter Rachel called on Saturday saying that she was thinking of flying to Maryland on her week off to visit my family. What a coincidence! She told me she had found really cheap flights. She would do most of the driving to New England. And family and friends were willing to help out with my 10 year old daughter. Wow. We made reservations that day and left on Wednesday. Talk about spontaneous?

Here we go!

In the air
bright and early...

This Coke reminds me of the
autumn colors we'd see
Two surprises on our arrival 
at National Airport outside of
Washington D.C.

My friend Curt had been on
the same plane as us!

And a jazz quartet was there to welcome
a plane load of veterans

Washington Monument
and Jefferson Memorial

That day we visited with my father and his lovely wife Anny at their house, as well as my niece Carrie and her dog Mags.

Barb, Rachel, my teenage niece Amy, and I hit the road in Barb's PT Cruiser the next morning. It was a really tight fit. Before we left, my dad suggested that we avoid NYC traffic by driving through Pennsylvania.

Beautiful country side, with the roadway cut into the rock hills!

Who could resist Maple Donuts?

Peppermint chocolate donut
and hot cocoa with whipped cream

I love that Maple Donuts
has a heart for victims
of domestic violence.
I'm not sure it saved us any time, but I loved just being in northeastern Pennsylvania. I have strong family ties there, since it's where my mother (and her parents and grandparents and even further back) were born and raised. We've had Hess and Ransom family reunions in the Dallas/Scranton area for as long as I can remember. At the last reunion in 2014, we had a memorial and ash scattering service for her and my grandparents at the family grave site. I wish I'd had time to arrange a visit with some of our Hess relatives on this trip.

I bought this Wilkom (welcome)
sign in honor of my
Pennsylvania German heritage.

We did stop briefly in Scranton since my daughter and niece are fans of The Office TV show which was based there.

In the Chamber of Commerce
office in The Mall at Steamtown.

The iconic Welcome sign seen in the show
is now in The Mall at Steamtown. 

Cutting across New York into Massachusetts, we managed to make it to Boston at nighttime. That's where I will continue this series in the next post!

In the meantime, enjoy one more photo of the autumn colors which this Florida girl rarely ever sees up close!

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

Oh, the next post is up now! Here it is: Boston.


  1. Virginia, This post caught my eye because I am from New England.

    Thank you for taking us along on your adventure. You can already see God's hand blessing it along the way. I look forward to Part 2... :-)


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