Hello y’all from Austin! Since some of you said you want to track our travels by this blog, and my infrequent posts have made that difficult, I figured I’d provide a very quick rundown of where we’ve been and where we’re headed…before I hopefully complete the rest of the US posts in the next couple weeks before we go to Chile.
Sven is now more than 10,200 miles older. My last post was on Yellowstone which we visited in early September. From there, we spent a few nights near Jackson, WY which is stunningly beautiful. Then we drove east to Devil’s Tower National Monument, followed by Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. I probably wouldn’t go too far out of the way to visit Mt. Rushmore, but Devil’s Tower was great and the Badlands are awesome…so combining these three places in a long weekend would be worthwhile.
Minnesota near I-90 is nothing but corn and windmills (I’m sure much of the state is lovely). We whizzed through it and got to Madison, WI on a Thursday night for two nights. We had a wonderful airbnb stay there and absolutely loved the city. I had one of the best burgers of my life at Graze. Terrific Saturday morning farmer’s market, too. After an afternoon tour of Milwaukee courtesy of Emily’s mom, we headed to Evanston/Chicago for several nights with Kenny. I would say the highlight of this time was our Sunday trip up to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers destroy our rival Redskins.
On September 20 we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone and spent a couple nights in Ithaca at the Statler Hotel, where we partied at homecoming and the next day celebrated our one-year anniversary!! Then we were off to Burlington, VT for some QT with my Dad and Linda. September 27 we drove to Maine for some QT with Alper, Margaret, Devin, Beyaz (RIP), Louie and Ryder…and copious lobster. We next spent a couple nights at Devin’s in Westford, MA before Matt and Jaimie’s wedding in Newport, RI. This was tons of fun, followed by some recovery time in Longmeadow…where I had a great burger at Max in the center of town and then obviously hit White Hut.
The weekend of October 11-14 we stayed at the Mount Washington Inn in Bretton Woods…I think that is the right name, there seem to be several names for this property. Anyway, it is famous for the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 that established the IMF. More important, we celebrated my grandma Frieda’s 90th birthday and her and David’s 70th wedding anniversary. WOW. They are truly the bee’s knees and an inspiration to me on many levels. My grandpa was playing tennis and he is 91!!
New York, NY was next for some time with friends and family and Jack’s usual gracious hosting. The weekend of October 18-20 was Phil and Eileen’s wedding on Long Island. Amazing time, I am still recovering. On Sunday we drove down to Chevy Chase, MD and spent a couple nights with Seth and Jill…we got to reconnect with Chloe and Jumbo and meet Cooper and Winnie (sp??). Tucker drove down from Baltimore on Monday and we all enjoyed Georgetown, the D.C. Mall area, etc. On October 22 we headed to South Boston, VA for a couple nights with Jenni’s family. This was a highlight of the trip as the experience was so different from our typical lifestyle. I shot no fewer than four different guns in less than 24 hours.
October 24 we continued south, passing through Durham before lunch in Chapel Hill and several hours at the NC State Fair in Raleigh. We arrived in Charleston, SC after midnight and after I missed a turn, we found ourselves in what seemed a low-income neighborhood. Like a couple blocks from where we intended to be, not miles away. Our intuition was quickly confirmed when we got pulled over and explained we were trying to find our hotel. The officer said, “well you lost, son, you in the ‘hood! Don’t come back here.” Who knew that Charleston has a hood worthy of pulling over a couple in a Volvo. After that interesting start, I found the city excellent. We spent a few days and then continued to GA where we stopped for a walk on the beach and dinner on Tybee Island then checked in to Savannah for two nights. Another great southern city.
Between Savannah and New Orelans we decided to spend a night in Fairhope, AL, on the east side of Mobile Bay. This was one of the biggest surprises of the trip, and hat tip to Leura for helping us find it. It is beautiful here, and the town of Fairhope would not be too out of place in the Hamptons, for example. We had a delicious sushi dinner (yup, you read that correctly, sushi in Alabama) at a restaurant that could easily have been in Los Angeles. I got my first real barbecue of the trip at the Brick Pit in Mobile which was good but perhaps a touch disappointing. I will elaborate on all this in more detailed posts.
Having seen the world’s largest rocking chair in Gulfport, MS, we could move on to four nights in New Orleans. This is a special city and Sam and Kaitlyn were superb hosts. Halloween on Frenchman Street was some all-time kind of isht. Yesterday we drove to Austin, TX, another great town. I was here earlier this year for Josh’s bachelor party. This trip is slightly more mellow. We discovered Rainey Street which is near downtown and super cool. Tomorrow we will spend the night near Carlsbad Caverns, then we plan to explore that park before running through Guadalupe Mountains and staying in Alamogordo, NM on Wednesday night. On Thursday we will hit White Sands National Monument, drive to Phoenix for the night and then return “home” to Los Angeles on Friday. More to come, including pictures!!