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New Hampshire or Bust!

Posted by on May 7, 2010

Our site at Pocahontas State Park

Literally, I will bust.  This baby bump is turning into a mountain. In approximately two months, we’ll meet our little bundle of joy!

We spent a weekend in Richmond, Virginia to see my brother and his family.  We had a lovely visit with them and stayed at a great state park, Pocahontas State Park.  The park was huge as were the campsites.  It was impressive.

My only complaint:  The pet fee.  The posted pet fee is $5 per pet/per day.  I’ve traveled all over this great country and that is the most absurd pet fee I’ve seen.  Seriously, Virginia? If there was a nice dog park or even bags provided for doggie messes, then I might be more accepting of this fee.  But, nope…none of that.  I may be overreacting.  I do that. A lot.  Any dog owners out there? Is this excessive? Have you seen other similar fees?

Chris and my nieces on the swings at the state park.

My one complaint still didn’t interfere with the beauty of this park.  There is a wonderful lake that looked great for kayaking, some museums (which were closed during our stay), and tons of trails.  Because we were there to see family, we did not take in a lot of the park’s amenities but I would definitely recommend this park.  Looks like it even has a great aquatics center during the summer time.

On Sunday, we made our way up to DC and found another really nice park that we totally didn’t take advantage of at all.  We found Pohick Bay Regional Park, part of Fairfax County, about 45 minutes south of DC and near our old Metro line that we used when we lived in the area. The park has mini-golf, frisbee golf, trails, and water access.  But, it is pricey. $30 for electric only.  Eeek! They do have a few full hookups but none were available for the entire week.  While the price was a bit high, the location couldn’t have been better. And, as we learned when purchasing our first home in the DC region, it’s all about location, location, location.

The lake at State Park. Looks like a great place for kayaking!

We had a nice but busy week. We did make time to eat at our favorite restaurants (because food is very, very important to me). We did a drive-by of our old house, which didn’t look so great and was actually rather depressing, and we were also reminded at how thankful we were that we didn’t have to deal with DC traffic anymore.  Ugh! I so don’t miss that commute.

The remainder of the time was us quietly working.  Chris was swamped with work and had to be in DC for a meeting on one day. And, I had six days to prepare for a major event: Chris’ birthday.  Every year, I worry about this event for weeks, maybe months. He has big expectations and I think I’ve failed miserably every year at meeting those birthday expectations.  I wanted this year to be special but I couldn’t spend a lot of money. So, I got crafty.  And, I NEVER get crafty.

I spent countless hours putting together a 24 minute video of our past year on the road.  My point was to show him how fabulous his 35th year of existence had been and how thankful I am to have him for a husband. I love his crazy ideas, adventurous ways, and I can only look forward to the years to come.  It was a celebration of Chris video. I thought he would love it.  I had music, great pictures of our travels, transitions in the video, and captions.  I was beyond proud of myself…until I tried to convert it to movie format. Epic failure. It wouldn’t work on my laptop. It would, instead, shut the whole system down.  Repeatedly. I learned this hours before his birthday.

Our site at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, Virginia

At the end of the week, we went out with some friends, which was a good way to spend the day before his birthday.  It was great to catch up with folks from Chris’ former place of employment, United Way of America, and spend some time in Old Town Alexandria.  Shortly after midnight, Chris’ birthday (he was born at 12:04 a.m.), we returned to the Airstream and I excitedly showed him my video, in its original preview format rather than in super nice movie format. It wasn’t as effective, but he was able to see it. Maybe he was tired. Or, maybe the preview format just wasn’t as effective. Or, even worse, maybe he just hated it.  Whatever the reason, he later asked, “Now, where’s my gift?”  I know he was kidding (fingers crossed) but I guess my track record continues. I’m so sorry, Christopher.  I’ll do better next year.  (I say this every year.)

He spent his actual birthday driving.  All. Day. Long.  It was our big moving day.  We are temporarily settling in the Keene, New Hampshire area for the entire summer.  This is where we will have the baby.  We have found a fabulous birth center and midwife. We flew up in February to meet her and explore the region and well, it just felt like the absolute best place for us to call home during this exciting time in our lives.

He may be only 4 years away from the big 4-0 but it doesn't mean he can't play on the playgrounds!

We had to be in the region before Sunday as our first birth class was taking place. So, all day Saturday was spent on the road.  Our GPS promised we would arrive by around 6:30 p.m.  Yeah…right….  A lot of our extra driving time was attributed to traffic but some was attributed to our trying to avoid I-95 and the ridiculously expensive toll roads.

FYI for those towing a trailer: prepare to spend your life savings to drive along I-95.  We paid the first few tolls and then reached a toll in Maryland that cost us…wait for it…are you ready for this…$23.00.  After looking online at the remaining tolls, we decided it was best to reroute.  Our GPS lady (who clearly did not like us that day) took us down some not so great paths when trying to reroute.  We did a lot of circles.  I felt like Clark Griswold saying, “Look kids! Big Ben. Parliament!” over and over again.

At last, we finally arrived.  Not at 6:30 p.m.  Not even at 8:30 p.m. But, at midnight. Almost exactly.  It was a long day.  But, it wasn’t without highlights.  We saw the New Jersey governor’s mansion;  got caught in a festival in downtown Princeton, NJ; passed Manhattanville College (twice, I think) and learned about a murder that recently took place on campus; had incredible pizza in Northampton, MA; and, most importantly, avoided the remaining tolls along I-95.  (Yes, I recognize that we probably paid more in gas, but there was determination to avoid the tolls and well, once we had our mind set, there was no stopping us!)

So, we are now “home.”  For the first time in a year, we are settling in an area for an extended amount of time.  Still in our Airstream, of course but we will be known as “seasonals” this summer as we search for a campground to serve as our basecamp.  Stay tuned!

2 Responses to New Hampshire or Bust!

  1. Mom

    I look forward to a PO Box – mail delivery!!! Very good entry!!

  2. Jonathan

    Hey guys, If you ever need to camp in the DC area again, there are a few other options for you… If you can live without electricity, Burke Lake is cheaper and quite nice. Bull Run Regional Park is about the same price as Pohick (both are run by the NVRPA) but I think it’s a much nicer park and campground. Unfortunately, there’s not much else within commuting distance that isn’t going to set you back a fair bit.

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