I'm baaaccckkk!

We came, we saw, we kicked it’s…well, you know the line from Ghostbusters, right? That’s what I did on my vacation! But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I was very quickly reminded of my limitations, but I adapted accordingly and was able to have a genuinely good time. I didn’t fret about money (I’ll do that later when the bills start coming in) because, even the money I wasted on stupid stuff, or on stuff I wasn’t able to actually do, was money well spent in my opinion. The weather was up and down. My view of the States was up and down (I still love Pennsylvania and want to move there as soon as possible, and I have a new love in Maine, but if I never see Connecticut again, it will be too soon!). GPS and I still don’t get along, no matter if it’s the vehicle’s GPS, Google or Apple Maps. I do better with an old-fashioned map and paying attention to signs. I guess because I’m old? But I never once felt unsafe or scared, and I ended up on some pretty desolate roads…maybe that was me just being naïve, but I think I’ve traveled enough to not be too naïve, right?

There is a lot to mentally unpack (the physical part is done), and I’ll do my usual day-by-day breakdown when I get the pictures edited (and I promise to work on that ASAP), but I will say that I spent time in some beautiful country through almost every landscape this country has…from plains to mountains to beaches to cities to the country (I didn’t go through desert, but I could have because apparently there is a desert in Maine, I just didn’t have the time…the theme of this trip). It’s why I’m always in a bad mood when I get back to work…I see what all is out there, and I have to come back here! UGH!

I went on a historical tour of battlefields, forts, national parks, founding fathers, and great houses (although I had issues hitting as many capitols as I wanted to). I went on a literary journey from Grover’s Mill to Sleepy Hollow, to Union Cemetery, to Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s houses, and even Stephen King’s house. I went on a cinematic journey to Gettysburg (the movie was mainly filmed on the battlefield after all), Holliston (great underrated TV show), Mystic, Passamaquoddy, and New York City (thanks to said joyous GPS that took me directly through downtown Manhattan although I had mapped it to go around!). I went on a scholastic journey to Princeton, Yale, Brown, and dozens of others (they have a LOT more universities in New England than we do in the South, for sure!). I went on a cemetery journey from Presidents, war heroes, historical figures, celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, and, of course, family.

And, speaking of family, one of the highlights of the entire trip was spending time with family, and that’s not something you will often hear me say! My Dad often referred to his cousin as “weird” and, maybe it’s because I’m “weird” too, but I found him to be quite charming, incredibly knowledgeable and engaging, and he genuinely seemed interested in making sure I saw everything I needed to about our family history, taking me to meet his brother (or my other 1st cousin once-removed, I guess I should say), and the town where my Papa (my grandfather) spend his formative years. I appreciated him for taking time from his day for me and I’m mad at myself for not allowing more time to spend with them!

I spent a lot of time in gift shops buying…wait for it…books! I now have a whole shelf dedicated to American History (not a subject that ever appealed to me before). Yes, I bought the obligatory shirts and magnets too because I have a TON of room for that stuff (NOT). I also went on a food journey and bought Twizzlers in Hershey (because that’s what I do, I HATE Hershey chocolate!), had lobsters and blueberries in Maine (not together, of course), and bought maple syrup and cheddar in Vermont (although those might work together). But at the same time, eating on this trip was the hardest part…I ended up eating a lot of gas station food and, if it wasn’t for room service at the one hotel that I splurged on during my B-day and the ton of snacks I took with me, I wouldn’t have had a good meal the entire trip (besides eating at Mystic Pizza, of course). Apparently, eating out is something I still need to work on.

I am also very sore from head to toe. I have strange bruises all over my body that I can’t explain (and my neurologist wouldn’t touch the subject with a 10-foot pole yesterday…he brushed me back off to go see my GP, who I know won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole either because it’s related to my neuropathy, which the neurologist should deal with). I’m thinking about just calling an internist myself to see if I can get in without a referral. I’m tired of dealing with these two. But that’s another story for another day. I drove, on average, 12 hours per day, so I expected my feet would swell. I walked a TON when I wasn’t driving, and I’m not physically fit enough for that kind of strenuous exercise because it wasn’t just on flat surfaces, it was up steep hills, on big rocks, up and down stairs (I really should NOT have been on), up the side of cliffs, on very rocky beaches, and even on woodland trails (I know, me in the woods, right?). Most of the parks up North aren’t made for out-of-shape fat people (and I didn’t see a lot of us, to be honest), so me walking around limping, out of breath, wheezing, and extremely red-faced, probably just gave the locals a good chuckle.

Guess we’ll see how the new camera worked out. I will say, I’m not sure I took a ton of pictures this trip, well, I know I didn’t take Disney quantity pictures. I had to keep reminding myself to take pictures in the first place. I spent more time enjoying things than doing my usual snappy-snappy distracty-distracty, which again, was another first and hopefully a new trend! I enjoyed enjoying the world (for once!). I didn’t use my laptop but a couple of times for work. I never turned on a TV once in a hotel. I only used my iPad for maps (and my obligatory daily Duolingo lessons, and even then, I missed two days). And about the only social media I did was Insta, and barely that (and it’s not like I’m on a ton of social media anyway except for Twitter and Instagram and I never post on “formerly known as Twitter” anymore because it’s vile). I actually kept a journal for this trip! They were short entries, but I made sure to keep it every day.

And that’s about it for this trip, well, the highlights anyway (as short and sweet as I can get). I really sank a LOT into every single day, probably way too much and I still didn’t have nearly enough time to get done what I wanted to. Probably way more than the average person would do, but that's just me! Before I left, I had to shave down a lot, and I ended up shaving more on the fly. Some things I refused to give up, which caused me to loose more things later down the road, but we’ll get into all that during the breakdowns!


Linda said…
Hi Keiley. I'm so happy that you had a great time. So looking forward to pictures.

Glad to hear you made it back safely, and even more glad to hear how much you enjoyed yourself! It's great you found some family to connect with too, even if you didn't have a lot of time.
I'm looking forward to your detailed updates with pictures, even if you didn't take as many as usual - I'm like that, always enjoying the moment then later getting mad at myself I don't have any pictures to show to other people!