Manlius, NY

July 15th 2023

Departure. So much stuff. So many things. The feeling that actually creeps into my brain as it's all happening sometimes consumes me. Friday evening the 14th before we left, Summer and I took a packing break and went for a quick girls dinner to 110 grill. After a nice margarita and some great food we were ready to finish up. Socks, chargers, electronics, dog food, toothpaste, vitamins, makeup remover, nail polish? yes, no, yes we need nail polish, ok so also nail polish remover and wipes. Bear spray, meds, books, cleaning supplies, silverware, the list goes on. ALL THE THINGS. It doesn't even matter how many times I make the lists, it's SO consuming. Crippling almost. I think that's why I love being on the road so much to be honest, as soon as we pull away, we have what we have, it always ends up being more then we need, and if we forgot something, we can buy it along the way. The simple life. The disconnect. The solitude, and quiet that comes with just going and being. And heading to the west and just seeing, really seeing. For miles and miles. My brain clears, from all the things, all the stuff, tasks and lists and life. Instead it's just clear, and free. A reminder to just be.

We finally pulled out of the driveway with 2 puppies, 1 geriatric dog, a 12 year old and my husband and I by 11:30am. An hour and a half behind schedule but not too bad. First stop, our good friends home in upstate New York. The Hickeys! Where the fireflies dance romantically in the back yard field late into the evening like nothing I have ever seen.

Our journey to the Hickeys was smooth sailing! We stopped twice. Our first stop on the mass pike rest stop was so crowded, pulling our rig over (we are 48 feet long with our jeep in tow!! I don't know how Brian does it, but he's the best!). We passed another quite mass pike truck stop a bit up the road and decided to note that next time that's the first gas/ let the dogs out stop. Im still in awe that you can just drive a house around the country! It is by far my favorite way to calm my mind and escape the everyday.

We arrived at the Hickeys around 7pm. A full family welcome, including Brittany, their 13 year old golden doodle, the sweetest. The kids were playing lacrosse and running around. Our dogs went insane. Traveling with 3 dogs is one of the main reasons we purchased the RV, and also one of the hardest parts of RV life, lol. Especially with puppies! Maple is a lunatic, and Winstons big love gets the best of him after 8 hours cooped up. The gremlin like noises that start leaving his body, OMG hahaha. Chevy some how comes out on top as the easiest! And if you know Chevy, you know that says a lot haha! After what felt like pure insanity for 15 minutes we were able to get them settled into crates and relax with our friends! We had an amazing, thoughtful, homemade dinner together on the deck with the best company and beautiful view, watched the fireflies come out, drank spicy margaritas made by our server, Alec, chased and caught the fireflies and whole heartedly took it all in. High up on my bucket lost was to catch a firefly in a jar. Not just any jar, but a Mason Jar, you know, like in the movies or something like that. Well I'm here to say, I did it!! SO COOL!!! Summer caught one too. Their back yard truly turns into the most magical firefly playground. Talk about fairytale, our last stay left such an impression in my core memories.

JULY 16, 2023

I woke up to Chevy barking at 5am, good lord girlfriend you are going to wake the whole house up UGH this bitch!! Ruthless. The dogs in the am, RV or not are intense right out of the gate. Once I'm up though, Im good to go. Early morning is my jam. The feeling, the air, the quiet. All of it. I live for early mornings. I have not perfected this blog, or website what so ever, but its my goal for this trip, and a bigger commitment then I thought. I made coffee out in the RV, for whatever reason one of my favorite and most peaceful parts of the day, and sat down and gave this blog some love. It's frustrating as I learn how to navigate it, but fun and rewarding as I figure it all out. Brian and I took the dogs for a walk down Perrin's long beautiful back country, long and windy with corn fields lining both sides mixed it with yellow wild flowers and a lone barn or beautiful home every quarter mile or so. When we got back, Perrin was up. I was not sure how I was going to get my workouts in on this trip. Our first RV trip 6 years ago we rented, and my biggest frustration was feeling like I did not get enough movement when we were on the road. So this trip will be different! Somehow, each day, I have a goal to move as much as I can and stick as close to my gluten and dairy free diet I have taken on for my psoriasis (which has helped 100 percent, you are what you eat!!). Perrin and I hopped onto my friend Kelly's virtual yoga class at Humble Warrior Power Yoga (who are now my employers as well!) that gets streamed live from her classes. HOW AWESOME! I will be doing more of that this month! Having like minded friends is the best. We enjoyed the class, and practicing yoga together so much. Perfect way to start the day!

From there (after packing sandwiches and snacks) we set out to check out the finger lakes and explore today, with the funnest tour guides of course.We. had a girls car and a boys car and we drove 2 hours (a road trip within the road trip) to the southern point of Seneca Lake and went to Watkins Glen State Park. The most famous of the fingerlike State Parks. The glens stream depends over 400 feet past 200 foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. Probably the most gorgeous waterfalls I have been all in one place! The hike was a mile in, a lot of stairs and elevation, and 2 other 1 mile options for the way out. Looked like you could spend a lot more time in there hiking and exploring, the water was so clear, a really special place and definitely recommend! Cute gift shop at the entrance!

2 blocks away (a really close walk) you can go to Colonial Inn and Creamery and get some yummy ice cream before heading home. we stopped at Atwater Vineyards Winery on the way home and finished up our snacks we brought and had a glass of wine. GORGEOUS VIEWS of Lake Seneca (Lake Seneca is one of the main finger lakes, total there are 11 finger lakes! Lake Seneca is 39.7 miles long and 2 miles wide at some points, lined with brewery's and wineries) The kids got mocktails! We took a drive through Cornell University on our way home, what a beautiful campus! The drive home was equally as gorgeous. Rolling hills, beautiful farm land, local honey for sale on the sides of the road. Perfection. I highly recommend the finger lakes and I can not wait to go back and explore there more!

For dinner we had chicken we brought from on the vine (house marinade, the best! You should see our freezer, it's full because there's no way I can go a month without my favorite meat, hahaha). paired with an awesome salad made by Perrin, a beautiful view again, perfect weather and a fire and marshmallows to end the night! The kids all get along so well, the Hickeys feel like family. Our 3 crazy dogs slept downstairs in the basement (the beautiful basement with my favorite bed ever, is it just because someone else made it?? lol) Basically just the bestest day, being with people you can pick right up where you left off and just have a blast.

JULY 17, 2023

Time to hit the road again, but we can genuinely say that the stay felt like a nice slow moving pace that gave us time to really spend enjoying each others company! We packed it all in and enjoyed every minute. Good friends are the best (We love you so much Hickeys! SO many more memories where that came from! Packing the dogs up from being in house back to the RV is SO FUN (eye roll). And somehow we managed to bring so many things inside that needed to go back out to the RV, BUT.. we love the RV so much because you pack up once at home, and really unless you are staying with friends along the way, you don't have to unpack at all until getting back from your trip. We said all of our stupid hard goodbyes, and hit the road. We drove to liquor city (which luckily opened at 9 am so I could grab more tequila hahaha) to hook up our jeep. We can only go forward when we are attached so we have to be pretty strategic about it. Half way there I noticed Brian was driving with the stairs out, FUCK. Activate anxiety, I didn't even have my phone on me, but he knew. We made it to liquor city and hooked up, messed enough with the stairs until they closed and set off towards Sandusky, Ohio to stay at Lighthouse RV park, and be walking distance to Cedar Point Amusement Park! We stopped twice along the 8 hour drive. Both stops the stairs were not opening up. Fuck Fuck Fuck. How much of the RV is whatever is happening effecting? The slides? ugh, breath. But we have learned to stay calm, we always figure it out. This shit is RV life, and it's somehow part of what we love. The lessons of going with the flow. Finding the joy in the journey.