From Washington DC we take the last mile to New Jersey / New York. On the way, we stop in Madison and visit our friends. Mara and Elin are super happy to meet their friends too and enjoy playing with them! From New Jersey we explore the area and take the boat taxi over to New York Financial district.
Luckily, Yolanda found an apartment in New York after having researched various platforms for hours. We end up staying in a nice apartment in Brooklyn, just next to the botanic garden. Arriving in Brooklyn, we get a warm welcome from our Swiss friends Michi and Maria and join them for dinner at their lovely place (Good timing that Michi and Maria are in town). We do not only enjoy the great view from their terrace but also the delicious dinner. A fresh prepared and authentic Italian dinner – thank you Maria! The last days we enjoy living in the city, exploring New York and shoping. Michi also takes me out and we enjoy hanging out (e.g. at THE STANDING ROOM).
The Outer Banks an certainly be recommended and we will certainly be back in North Carolina one day! Ocracoke is a beautiful and quite island that offers nice beaches and is great to relax. We move on up to Kill Devil Hills and spend our time visiting the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Bodie Lighthouse and playing with the waves on the beach. The Wright brothers taught the world to fly with their first successful airplane flights on Dec 17th, 1903. At Bodie Lighthouse we climb up the 200 stairs to get a gorgeous view of the island. The light house stands between tall pine trees and freshwater marshland.
Our first stop in Florida is Tampa (St Petersburg). From here we move on to Fort Desote, a beautiful county park with waterfront campsites and wonderful white sand beaches – a gorgeous place! On our way to Fort Meyers we stop at the Café of an former coworker of Yolanda. Continuing on the road to Fort Meyers, we find this amazing place at coconut beach. So far, so good. We had some heavy rain in Florida and do not feel yet quite adopted to this climate – hot and humid, thunderstorms that flood the streets and our campsite,… This are some reasons for us to decide to head back north to a climat that better matches with us. on our way back to the east coast, we spend a few days at the Disney Campground. Here, we cleaning up our trailer and make it ready for delivery. Of course, we don’t miss Magic Kingdom – and Mara and Elin enjoy the rides on the roller coaster! Lucky enough we quit Tampa area early and before hurricane Hermine hit the region.
We now head to Cocoa beach and drop off our trailer on Sept 1st in Sattelite Beach. One highlight is certainly the Kennedy Space Center. We get to see all those rockets, learn more about the Space Shuttles, and have a great day at the exhibition.
We now continue on the road and head North towards NewYork and briefly stop in Savannah.
Further, we decide to go back to Myrtle beach and rent a cabin at the camp ground for a few days.
We are now approaching the end of our adventure. It is time to head back north towards New York and try to sell our loved travel trailer and Suburban on the road. The pictures and adds are set up (including craigslist). We hope to sale the trailer in Florida and then travel north to New York from where we fly out in a few weeks.
Now, we are ready to explore Florida. Our first stop is San Agustin – unfortunate we take a detour from our original plan but we don’t get disappointed by San Agustin. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European established settlement within the borders of the contiguous United States. It offers a lovely pedestrian area. We decide to stay in the state park – what a unique place! The campground offers a lot of privacy and each site is surrounded by trees and palms – it feels like being in the jungle. The beach is just a short walk/ride away. This is probably one of the most peaceful places we came across during our road trip!
We made it! After roughly 7,000 miles on the road (approx.11,000 Km), we reach the east coast. Myrtle beach is rather a holiday destination and quite busy during summer vacation. Luckily, we find a great spot to stay – a campground with over 2,000 sites straight at the beach! Our site is located not too far from the pool area which includes a water park. We landed in a new world. A world full of action, golf carts and excitement. We enjoy every day at the beach, go surfing, playing, bathing, sliding and extend our stay at this place twice. And while we keep extending our stay, we notice that School must have started and the pace at the campground also slows down.
In Myrtle beach, we also learn that kids are not allowed to touch alcohol (or to be more precise bottles containing alcohol). As usual, we use the self-check-out. The kids, love it! Mara checks out our goods until the wine triggers an alert (which is typical when you scan any kind of alcohol) to call an employee validating our ID. The employee notices that Mara holds the wine bottle for checking it out and immediately, the lovely lady informs us that kids are not allowed to do so. It also feels strange that the lady checks on both, Yolanda’s and my ID. We all wonder for the rationale behind checking both IDs – there must be a reason. But in some cases we still feel being strangers in this country.
This is the most visited National Park in the United States. The Great Smoky National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site was the homeland of the Cherokees before the arrival of European settlers. After having visited a few cities we look forward to get back into a national park and do some hikes. We enter the park and we soon notice that this park is very busy. Nevertheless, we head to the visitor center to get all necessary information for our hike(s) and head straight towards the Cave waterfall hike. After a 2 mile hike we notice that we didn’t start at the trailhead and it would be too far to do the full 3.5 Miles (one way) hike, so Felix goes back to get the car and picks up the cow girls on the road to finally get to the trail head. The parking area is crowded. We get into traffic jam. Stop, let me get out – a black bear! A black bear strolls around the parking lot and visitors seem to chase the bear for pics. We finally get a spot to park our car and enjoy the peaceful but quite busy hike to the fall.
We decide to move on and spend some time at the beach – stay tuned!
City Campgrounds are typically located next to the highway. Often noisy but close to the city. Not only the highway is noisy at night, but also the AC in the trailer. However, we learn to appreciate the AC to cool down the trailer to get at least some sleep. The kids enjoy swimming in the pool. In order to learn more about Nashville, we decide to book a tour (with Tommy). The brochure promises to be the most entertaining and authentic Nashville experience! Tommy truly starts very entertaining while he picks up all the guests along the Campgrounds, Motels and Hotels. However, in some instances it is hard to follow his talk track. It may be related to the strong accent. Nashville is an amazing city and we decide to drive into downtown for dinner. We explore the boulevard – what an experience strolling around on the street and listening to the country music and vivid ambience in the hongky tonk.
So far, we are over 5,000 miles on the road since our start in May and looking for another 5 to 10,000 miles ahead of us! We decide to head east and move towards Florida to spend a week or so at the beach. Our first stop is Williams. We enjoy this lovely cowboy city on the route 66 with lots of nice restaurants and shops. We continue our trip and get to spend some time in the Petrified Forest National park – our last opportunity to admire these colorful sandstone formations before crossing the country. For the next few days we are expecting long drives (4-6 hours a day) and stop in Grants and Amarillo. Time has come to plan our route a bit ahead. We decide to change our initial route and continue on I-40 heading to Oklahoma. Mara and Elin get to listen tons of stories (Bibi und Tina and Yakari) and enjoy the ride so far. Our upcoming destinations are Memphis, Nashville, Smokie Mountains, … And some when we will head south again to get to Florida!