From Wilmington…to Wilmington…

Do you know how many places in the United States are named Wilmington? Don’t know? (Don’t care??) Well, if the Google can be trusted, there are thirteen. And many are in the eastern part of the country. So as we set out from Wilmington, MA, on another van trip, we thought it’d be fun to step foot in a few alternate Wilmingtons along the way.

After spending Monday morning packing the van, we headed west on the Mass Pike, stopping at Wells State Park in Sturbridge, MA, for some exercise.

The fresh air prepared us for a long afternoon of driving through Connecticut and New York, and into New Jersey. After getting past a disabled truck on the George Washington Bridge on-ramp, we watched the sunset over NYC from the bridge’s lower deck.

We arrived at our first campsite in Clarksboro, NJ, after dark and settled in for a cold night. Check out our site number. 🙂

On Tuesday morning, we headed toward Wilmington, Delaware. Not sure what we expected, but it was more city-ish and crowded than our own Wilmington.

After that, we crossed into Maryland, drove through Baltimore, and into Virginia.

We had to Google the three beautiful white towers. Turns out they’re part of a huge Mormon temple in Kensington, MD. In Virginia, we stopped at Tyson’s Corner Center to meet my brother, who lives and works nearby, for lunch.

From there, we drove south to Fredericksburg, VA, and camped for the night. We awoke to light rain on Wednesday morning. I’ll leave you with this image of our morning visitor.

More Wilmingtons and trip highlights to come… 🙂

Timing Is Everything

I’ve said it before (ask my kids) and I’ll say it again (and again): timing is everything!

My husband is retiring — gradually. He plans to work one less day per week in each quarter of 2022. By the end of this year, he should only be working one day a week. But you know how plans go. Work has been crazy and his stress level is rising.

Our retirement plan is to travel around the country in a converted van, visiting National Parks, breweries, wild life sanctuaries, and (if my husband has his way) a few Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. We bit the bullet at the end of last year and bought a Mercedes Sprinter. Titan Vans in Colorado has been hard at work fitting it with a bed and other amenities. It was supposed to be finished at the end of April. But, since nothing is safe from supply chain woes these days, they’ve been waiting for a single part of a suspension upgrade kit to come in.

Meanwhile, my chorus spent the last few months preparing for our annual regional competition. I say “annual”, but the event was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID concerns. It’s back on this year. But many choruses, including the one I belong to, voted to compete virtually. We planned to record and submit a video package. We set the recording date for May 5. Because of the supply chain issue with the van part, I was able to participate in the video. Timing.

On top of this, one of our adult children is experiencing one of those major life-events that makes you feel like the world is tipping sideways and out of control. This is the second such event in their life in the past six months. I’m glad my husband and I aren’t on the road just yet. Timing.

On another front, my mother has been settling — very slowly — into her new assisted living situation since February. I check on her several times a week to make sure the staff is really doing all that we agreed they’d do. Let’s just say it’s been a learning experience for all involved. My father should be returning from his Florida living at the end of May to join her and also to keep an eye on all the assistance she’s supposed to be getting. That’ll make it easier for me to step back a bit as my husband and I set out on our adventures. Timing.

Spring is in the air and that means gardening and yard work. The strawberries, peas, potatoes, beets, spinach, kale, and lettuce are all coming up already. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to plant them before we head out to pick up our van. Now to get some netting around the blueberry bushes.Timing.

And we just got word from Titan Vans. The part came in. Timing!