Tyler & Mieka

Continuing an awesome summer of seeing distant friends and family, we enjoyed a perfect Twin Cities weekend with Tyler and Mieka. I’ve known Tyler since college, and we became close while working together in the Oberlin computing center. Then we were housemates in Oakland for a few years and neighbors thereafter. (Plus probably a thousand hours of D&D and video games.) Suffice it to say that he has been a rock in my life for the past twenty years and I miss having him nearby. Marrying Mieka, of course, added some outrageously good icing to the cake, and not just because we got to hang out with them at an Italian villa for their wedding. We were thrilled that they could make it to our neck of the woods this summer because they’re preparing for a major move from the Bay Area to Zurich in the coming weeks. Our house marks their eighth temporary home for the month of July.

In two short days we covered a lot of territory without feeling frenetic. Highlights included a Korean rice bowl feast cooked up by Sarah, a walk to Highland Fest with the kids, strolling across the Mississippi on the Stone Arch Bridge, an evening at the Guthrie to see a spectacular performance of The Music Man, a lovely Sunday brunch at The Buttered Tin, and a visit to Minnehaha Falls before heading to the airport. (And despite some hearty meals, I think we can claim a healthy weekend, earning more than 25,000 fitbit steps each on Saturday alone!)

We’re already trying to figure out how we make it out to Zurich in the next few years…

Photos of some of our activities below. Click for larger versions.

Home Sweet Home

New raised beds are looking alive!
New raised beds are looking alive!
The peas are significantly taller than Griffin at this point.
Peas are significantly taller than Griffin at this point.
Looking forward to an abundance of cherry tomatoes.
Maggie is looking forward to an abundance of cherry tomatoes.

After 32 days on the road, clocking 93:02 driving hours, and passing through 16 states plus the District of Columbia, we’re back home. House is in great shape, and the garden, barely planted before we left, is verdant. Sarah’s first activity upon arrival was to yank out all the weeds.

We’ll catch up on some backlogged posts about the final chapters of the trip in the next few days. We’re all looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight!

Road Trip 2015 Vital Statistics

Starting Mileage: 118,454
Ending Mileage: 122,828
Trip Mileage: 4374

 

 

Falmouth

The culmination of our road trip was a glorious fourth of July weekend on Cape Cod with our friends Nate and Christine. (Nate and I went to high school and college together… whoa!)

The original seed for this crazy road trip was planted during the summer of 2010 by Nate and Christine. We were at Karen and David’s wedding (our friends from Ithaca, a few posts back) in Arizona and we had such a good time that we agreed we should do it again (it = hanging out, wedding not required, though it was a good one). Nate mentioned having access to a family house on Cape Cod. We were interested. But then Maggie was born and life got busy and years went by. It wasn’t until this winter that I reached out to see if the invitation was still standing. It was. And a road trip was born.

The house is in West Falmouth, at the southwest edge of Cape Cod. The time here was the definition of relaxation. Tons of room for the kids to romp, an air hockey table, plenty of bikes for all of us, nearby beaches, mojitos, great food, puzzles and conversation in the evening… what more could you want?

The time was made even better by getting to know Nate’s cousin, Emory, and his partner, Ben. They were both awesome in their own right, and were unbelievably good with the kids—seriously, I haven’t had so much time-off from parenting in years. We were all sad to see them go on Sunday, but none more so than Maggie and Griffin who remained cranky with us for days over this betrayal.

We also hit a new milestone for Griffin’s physical endurance: a 16-mile round-trip bike ride to Woods Hole. He was on an unfamiliar “big kid” bike with gears and handle breaks, and he did a fantastic job. No complaints at all. (The photo of him in the two-seater below was on a different, shorter, ride.)

The best part of all of this is that Nate and Christine will be driving through Minnesota in August so we’ll get to see them twice in one summer. Feels almost gluttonous.

Click on any picture below to see larger versions in an interface that makes it easy to scroll through the full set.

 

 

Jamaica State Park and Milton

ice cream stop on the way to the park
Ice cream stop on the way to the park

The new antibiotics were victorious, so after a good night’s sleep at the Worst Western, we resumed our journey to Jamaica State Park in Vermont. Upon arrival, we happily rendezvoused with Mark, Tracy, Cora, and their dog, Holly. The park and countryside were beautiful, and despite nearly constant drizzle, we had a great time—explored nearby paths, played at a playground, cooked up a pasta feast, and finished with smores around the fire. The kids went to bed easily in the tents and the grownups enjoyed some conversation time around the flickering coals.

In the morning, the rain was coming down harder with some thunderstorms coming through. The weather report showed more of the same for the next 24 hours, so we all agreed to cut the camping trip short. We headed to Milton where we stayed in Mark and Tracy’s lovely, and very dry, home.