Planes, Trains and Automobiles or What We Did On Our Vacation
We didn’t plan to neglect writing our blog posts while we traveled from Portugal to the US but, as master procrastinators who can find that one excuse is as good as another, that’s exactly what we did. Any blogger will tell you that writing a post takes time and a fair amount of discipline and we found both of those to be in short supply once we landed in the US. In fact, rather than the slow travel we both have found we enjoy so much, we behaved exactly like tourists. We tried to cram as much sightseeing and visits with friends and family as we could into the roughly six weeks we were back in our home country. The map below will show you the ocean crossed and the ground we covered.
We kept a calendar and a folder to organize our bus tickets to and from Lagos to Lisbon, our airline and Amtrak reservations, the AirBnB house that we rented to share with family members during a family reunion and an upscale hotel on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. We collected numerous maps and brochures from tours of the Gettysburg and Vicksburg Battlefields, a walk around the monuments of the National Mall in DC, a sculpture Garden in New Jersey, an aquarium in Atlanta, a ride on a steamboat up the Mississippi River, multiple museums in several cities and tours of antebellum houses in Natchez, Mississippi. We even took a day trip south of the border to feast on some authentic Mexican cooking. 17 nights were spent in guest bedrooms, 16 nights in hotels, 7 nights at an AirBnB rental and 2 nights on Amtrak trains. We packed and unpacked our suitcases 15 times. An estimate of the miles we traveled by air was a whopping 6,372 and we logged in somewhere around 4,943 miles by land. But who’s counting? 🙂 Just adding it all up made us exhale a big “Whew!”
Most importantly we renewed ties with friends and family. And we kept learning. It’s never too late to learn more about the War of 1812 or the US Civil War, how and why Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and what a beignet and the “Best fried chicken in the South” tastes like. We also delved into the Civil Rights Movement and reminded ourselves why it still matters today.
We returned home a week ago to Lagos, Portugal with heavier suitcases, a great sigh of relief and a promise to ourselves that next year family and friends will have to cross the Atlantic to see us. We’ve unpacked the suitcases for awhile (can we help it that we’re already thinking of future journeys?), washed the mountain of laundry that tumbled from our bags and are in the process of making the rounds to say hello to our new friends. We have several hundred photos to edit and lots of stories to tell about life here and there. And it’s way past time to resume a healthier diet and engage in some much-needed exercise!
Sure writing takes time but we’ve missed the fun of rehashing and thinking back on where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and learned as well as the chance to share our experiences. We’ve missed the give and take of online friends, comments and replies, the support of the blogging community and the chance to “meet” more of the traveling community – those who travel near and far as well as those who travel by armchair or in their dreams. We’re looking forward to telling some tales, sharing some places and stringing our words together in a way that’s, hopefully, both entertaining as well as interesting. Thanks for hanging in there with us.
And in case we haven’t emphasized this point enough: It’s good to be home!
Anita Oliver and Richard Nash