Living on the road for several consecutive weeks can be challenging. This current southern U.S. jaunt is our second 6-week road trip within a year. Last July to August we traveled from NH to OR within the same time period.
|My single large purple suitcase|
These extended trips have taught me that (1) we almost always carry more things with us than needed, mostly in terms of clothing and (2) it's entirely possible to live out of a suitcase the entire trip. Of course, that excludes toiletries which are always set up in the bathroom within 10 minutes of our arrival at a new lodging. We've become quick at setting up in hotel rooms (lots of experience lately).
Most importantly, we know that we can travel as a couple and still be on talking terms at the end of our travels.This post tells more about trip "essentials" rather than sites and foods along the way. There will be more of those as our adventures are not quite done yet, but this is a break (for you and me).
|Grenville's 2004 Jeep Cherokee|
Also, we would have needed to bring many of our own items, including a GPS, so it's easier to use vehicles we're familiar with and that already have "stuff".
Navigation: We have a dash-mounted GPS with satellite navigation vs. the using cell phone travel apps that are popular with many folks. These could be problematic when there's no cell service as in some areas we travelled. And, I also have maps provided by AAA and a large U.S. road atlas which is well marked from last year's travels. (After cataract surgery to correct for distance vision, reading glasses have become a necessity for close-up map reading and a highlighter is always useful.)
Generally, we stick to one specific hotel chain as we always know the level of service to expect. Also as "Rewards Members" we receive bonus points which have been used for lodgings a couple of times on this trip; it's a nice "perk."
Laundry: We've been able to do it on-the-road, not literally of course, but nearly every hotel has a guest coin laundry. However, we were surprised to find that a couple didn't have a guest laundry, so now we check beforehand. Our usual practice has been to do laundry every 3-4 night, depending on how long we're staying.
Speaking of doing laundry on trips, did you ever wonder HOW astronauts aboard the International Space Station do laundry? The answer is they can't as there's no washing machine on board. Astronauts stretch out how long they can wear clothes, including underwear. That's not quite as bad as it sounds since clothes don't get dirty in space like on earth. Fresh clothes are delivered several times during their stay. Dirty clothes are put in a non-reusable spacecraft that burns up in the earth's atmosphere. Now you know that despite their mother's advice, astronauts don't always wear clean underwear.
Food: None of the places we stay have kitchen facilities, aside from a microwave and small refrigerator, which means we're dining out every day. Breakfast is included at the hotels with a variety of hot and cold choices. We limit meals to only 2 per day, which for us is breakfast at the hotel, then a late lunch or early dinner while out. Yes, we've had a few frozen "treats" along the way (isn't that what folks do on vacation?) Of course, we've gained some unwelcome pounds. I'm already planning a return to the South Beach plan, most likely for life!
|Pat (Grenville) with cousins Rob (AL) and Patti Ann (FL)|
|Dorothy (Beatrice) with cousins John (VA) and Kathie (GA)|
We met up again with blogger friends, Denise & Gregg, who we first met several years ago on a weekend trip to their area. We also met fellow blogger, Ludwig, for the first time. Since he lives in the same lovely GA town as my cousin, we look forward to a future meet-up. We had hoped to be able to meet up with other bloggers along the route, but weren't always close to where they live without going too far off our route. (Perhaps, on a future road trip.)
|Blog friends Denise & Gregg (VA) and Ludwig (GA)|
Friends we've re-connected on our travels are ones we've seen more often than than some family members. Several of these friends still live in our native NJ; some are former NJ residents like ourselves.
|Top: Pat & Gary (FL), Mary (VA) Dorothy & Martha (NJ), Susan & Dorothy (NJ)|
Bottom: Jill & Dorothy (NJ), Dorothy & Jean (GA), Margaret (NJ)
This trip has been so different from last year's in that we've visited time with so many folks. That's the great thing about road trips — we never know what adventures lie ahead. While our travels aren't quite over, we're getting closer to home in NH. Yes, it will be nice.
Thanks for coming along on the trip and leaving the driving to Grenville.