As a native New Yorker, I’ve been stoked about showing off my home state to Ryan for a good long while now. That we just happened to be in the area during my favorite season, autumn, only made it sweeter.
My parents were gracious enough to host us in their driveway for the duration of our stay, and even loan us a car so we could run errands and make side-trips to visit friends upstate & in Boston.
Our first weekend parked in front of their house generated a lot of curiosity from the neighbors, and we ended up spending two days giving regular tours to both extended family members who dropped in for visits, and any neighbors who stopped by for a look. It was fun to share our home with others and it was nice to give my family a better understanding of what it is we’re doing by showing them the bus first-hand. We also arrived in the area in time to catch the Harvest Moon and Ryan and I spent our first night in town hiking up to the top of a local mountain (it’s really more of a big hill) to snap some images of the moon.
One of our favorite things we’ve brought with us on our trip is a digital projector that enables us to show movies and on the side of our bus – we call it a Drive-Up Theater. We screened two showings of the new Star Trek series for my folks and they loved it!
We were also able to participate in a charity walk benefiting a local cancer support network on behalf of one of my aunts who has been recovering from breast cancer. It was a really special experience to join many of my relatives in rallying around her and showing support for her recovery. I’m glad that we were able to be there!
All in all we spent about three weeks visiting with my folks, which was enough time for us to make weekend trips upstate to Rochester and Albany to visit with good friends. While returning from Rochester, we made a pit-stop at Letchworth State Park so that I could show Ryan the “Grand Canyon of the East”. We didn’t take the bus for these excursions and instead left the bus & our pets in the care of my parents while borrowing their car.
One of Ryan’s cousins moved to Boston not too long ago and we were really excited to finally have an opportunity to visit her. Ryan had never been to Boston before and had initially suggested that we drive the bus there, though upon encountering his first taste of Boston-traffic, he was incredibly glad we had opted to travel by car instead. (Driving in Boston seems to be characterized by a special flavor of chaos.) Since it was the work-week, Ryan’s cousin, Phoebe, gave us a quick walking tour of MIT & Harvard Square, before meeting us at her home for a home-cooked meal and sweet evening of catching up.
After a few weeks in the area, the growing crispness in the air told us it was time to get moving again if we were going to stay ahead of the weather. Our plan was to head straight down the coast to spend some time along the coast of North Carolina, however Hurricane Matthew threw a wrench into those plans and we scrambled to find open campgrounds over the busy Columbus Day Weekend. We managed to snag one of the last available campsites at a state park in northern Pennsylvania and headed there to wait out the storm.