rv recon

Immediately after visiting the state fair, we set off to reconnoiter RVs. The Hubs has been hot on the trail of the “perfect” RV since we bailed on our rental and Quebec beluga trip in July. His exhaustive research yielded a pretty good idea of what we might want to purchase. He also discovered that between two Syracuse dealerships we could see most of those he thought we should investigate more closely.

After 35 years, let’s just say I know this man. Before we made the first stop, we had a little chat. Just for the record.

Me: “We aren’t buying anything today. Agreed? You sometimes get excited and make a spontaneous purchases. Just want to be sure we’re on the same page.”

He: “Well, I might have purchased a couple JetSkis without talking with you.  [Umm, yeah. Case in point!] But no, I would not purchase on this scale without discussion.”

Me: “Whew, that’s a relief. We’re just not ready.”

Even if all the stars aligned on make, model and price, I knew we were not ready to buy. We had nowhere to store it, for one thing. No time to use it, for another. We’d be foolish to burn through 6 or 8 months of warranty while we completed other obligations. It’s all too easy to become caught up in the possibilities and excitement of this new adventure. Prudence must prevail!
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rv newbies

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.24.56 AMWe know lots of folks who travel by RV, quite happily long-hauling a house on their journey. The Hubs and I have struggled to envision ourselves in this scenario. We’re not well suited. I look for pull-through parking spots and have difficulty backing our car out of the driveway. (Don’t judge. It’s a long driveway.) He maneuvers heavy farm equipment without a second thought but is easily irritated by typical traffic in a regular sized vehicle. (Meanwhile, I’m on high alert: brake-lights!) The mere thought of taking to the highway behind the wheel of a rig sized for intergalactic travel induces stress.
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retread#35: bruges and damme

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At long last, the final installment on our our 35th anniversary trip … of last summer!

Our last port of call was Zeebrugge, Belgium. I’d arranged a tour with Vera through Tours by Locals. The only hitch was that she didn’t provide transportation. We were to meet up with her in Bruges (Brugge), a 20-30 minute ride from port, then on to Damme. We had a full day planned and timing was tight.

 

 

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retread#35: county cork

Our third Irish port on our anniversary trip was County Cork, Republic of Ireland. We docked at Cobh on a decidedly gray day. It rained on and off until early afternoon but that didn’t much dampen our spirits!

Cobb itself is a lovely little city. Perfectly walkable and interesting in and of itself. I’d booked a tour with Helena through Tours by Locals to venture over to Kindle. We tooled around Cobh for a little bit, stopping by a beautiful and massive church viewable from the shop. Mass was almost underway so we didn’t go inside. Before long we were on our way to our primary destination, Kinsale.


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retread#35: dublin

I found Dublin quite delightful. My travel mates would likely say it was not their favorite port of call, only a step or two behind Liverpool — and everything else a mile ahead. I get that yet I still liked it a lot.

Dublin is a bit gritty. The waterfront area near the pier was under construction, every which way there were mammoth cranes and new infrastructure rising. It did not make for a very warm welcome. The cruise company ran buses through the mayhem to deposit passengers at the city center. Part of the price of progress, eh?

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retread#35: northern ireland


I was super excited that our 35th anniversary trip would take us to three Irish ports of call. Oh, my mercy, three! Both Ireland and Scotland have been on my bucket list, like, forever. Good on the Hubs for selecting this itinerary. In both, the remote northern regions were my favorite days of the trip.

We docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland.* From our stateroom balcony we could clearly see Cave Hill, inspiration for Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The rock face was all but beckoning for a hike that would surely have to wait. We wouldn’t get very far into the local history of The Troubles today, either. To top it off, the mother of all Titanic museums was in plain view, a majestic structure rising like a ship on shore. I would have loved time to explore all of this and more.

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snapshot: edinburgh

DSC_0247We thoroughly enjoyed Edinburgh (catch up on details) and could easily have extended our stay. Someday, when it’s a bit less congested, we’ll go back. The Royal Mile was hopping with street artists and merchants and tourists in town for the Royal Military Tattoo at the castle, Fringe Festival or the international Music Festival, any of which would be reason enough to visit. Continue reading snapshot: edinburgh