SEARCH BLOG: TRAVEL
We arrive back to Michigan late this afternoon. A most interesting trip with amazing luck when it came to the weather.
Every place we went in the north warmed up just as we got there and then got socked with nasty weather right after we left. We're not especially fond of heat and humidity so we welcomed the "cold wave" that hit Florida in the middle of our stay... I had a golf course all to myself because it was so "bitterly cold" at 55° and sunny. Finished 18 holes in 2-1/2 hours... and even got a discount!
Tennessee was sunny and in the 60s for our brief stay there. And today was in the 40s with rain when we returned... nearly all of the snow has been washed away.
While the trip was devoted to visiting relatives scattered around the eastern third of the U.S., it also reacquainted me with how differently we live just a few hundred miles apart.
There were the modest small towns in eastern Pennsylvania with homes going back 200 or more years. There was the wealth of Washington D.C. and northern Virginia and the obvious benefits associated with proximity to the seat of Federal power. There was the overcrowding and unplanned growth of central Florida. And, finally, there was the beauty of the countryside and scraping by in central Tennessee.We had the opportunity to join our nephews at the archery range as they practiced for some Boy Scout award and then watch them eat all of the profits at an all-you-can eat buffet. We visited the Wilbur Chocolate Company and watched the women dip the pretzels in the dark chocolate [we did purchase some of their dark chocolate treats].
Our oldest son happened to have an engineering conference scheduled in Washington D.C. while we were in the area, so we picked him up at Dulles and let our GPS system [I call it Suzy because of the sultry female voice] guide us to his hotel just past Georgetown.
Suzy did have problems when we missed a veer to the right and she had to "recalculate." She sent us down some dark street that dead ended into a one-way street coming at us... this happened a few times during the trip and one time it thought we were going the wrong way up an interstate and rapidly kept repeating "recalculating" frantically... it was actually a private road alongside the interstate.We have many relatives living in central Florida, among them both of our mothers. We spent several days touring an "independent living" facility for my mother who will go there when she sells here house. My wife's mother liked it as well, but was not ready to give up her independent "independent living" quite yet.
My older brother and sister along with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in adjacent properties in rural central Tennessee. The rolling hills still have the tobacco farms [even though Tennessee just banned smoking in all restaurants]. We were also surprised to see vineyards, but the area really is suited to them. There were also wild turkeys... the real kind, not the stuff in the bottle... though Jack Daniels was not far away.
My older brother has severe rheumatoid arthritis which has led to several significant infections and surgeries. I'm going to bet that, like ulcers, some researcher is going to discover that this so-called auto-immune disease is really caused by a very difficult to detect bacteria or virus.So, the road trip is over and we're back to the land of cool weather and rain. But winter is not done yet with us. It looks as if abnormally cold weather will be back for a week.