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August 16, 2016 /

GratiTuesday: “As long as we are going…” travel

One of a zillion beautiful covered bridges in Vermont

One of a zillion beautiful covered bridges in Vermont

Our latest road trip adventure started with the desire to attend the yearly car club gathering. We had traveled to several of the week-long events in the past, but never further east than Colorado. If we were still working, we probably would have opted not to attend this year, given that we would only have so much vacation time available and it would be hard to justify the expense based on that.

Now that we are retired, we have started to look at trips like this in a different light. Instead of having a limited amount of time to visit just one or two destinations, we find ourselves saying, “As long as we are going…” and looking for ways to expand our trip to include more: more time for travel, more places to see.

Vermont chairs

Vermont chairs

Look... a car patty!

Look… a car patty!

Lots of opportunities to purchase maple syrup at roadside stands

Lots of opportunities to purchase maple syrup at roadside stands


Unfortunately our rental Hyundai didn't qualify for this drive

Unfortunately our rental Hyundai didn’t qualify for this drive

This year’s event was being held at a ski resort in upstate Vermont. My husband and I agreed that driving across the country in our car wouldn’t be the most comfortable way to go (not to mention the very limited luggage space available for a multi-week trip) so flying and renting a car seemed to make the most sense. Once this decision was made, we started to think about what else we could do and see while we were in that area of the country.

Let’s see…

  • I had never been to the eastern part Canada before, except for a day trip to the Niagara Falls when I was five.
  • My cousin lives in a small town in Vermont. He and his wife visited us about ten years ago but now they have two daughters who we had never met.
  • A childhood friend now lives with her husband on several acres in the Finger Lakes area of New York. She had been encouraging me to visit and I was curious to see why she loved living there so much.
  • We thought it would be fun to see Niagara Falls again. It had been awhile for my husband too.

After identifying all the places we wanted to see, we worked out a possible travel route and plugged in some preliminary dates. In order to do everything we wanted to do, we figured that we would need about a month – an amount of time that would have been problematic if one or both of us still worked. In fact, we would have started our planning process with the number of vacation days we had available, then figured out what we could see in that limited time.

I am so grateful that where we want to travel and what we want to do are now more important factors in our travel planning than how much time we can be gone.

As long as we are going… we might as well see as much as we can!



Leave a Comment
  1. Liesbet / Aug 16 2016 10:42 am

    That’s the spirit! Wish we could have met up, though… Maybe on “the other coast”. 🙂

    For us, “time” has always been our greatest wealth in whatever we did. We just had to make the finances work and that influences where and how we travel right now. But, to make the finances work, we do have less time now that we are living a semi-settled life. Enjoy the retirement perks!

    • / Aug 16 2016 1:44 pm

      There are always trade-offs in life and time, money, and desire are three biggies. Even though we could have stayed away from home longer, we weren’t sure we wanted to be on the road for longer than a month. Turns out, a month feels about right on the long-end. Much more and i would have been really homesick.

  2. laura bruno lilly / Aug 16 2016 1:11 pm

    “As long as we are going… we might as well see as much as we can!”

    I’m with you! Do you have any room for a stowaway?!

    • / Aug 16 2016 1:46 pm

      Haha! If I had a stowaway, I’d have to give up some of my room for shoes and that’s not going to happen… 🙂

      • laura bruno lilly / Aug 16 2016 3:01 pm

        Hmmm, I suppose you could justify all those shoes for backups during all your traveling ‘on foot’ HA!

  3. Keith / Aug 16 2016 1:11 pm

    Great trip. We are headed to Boston, Maine and Nova Scotia soon. We will take your advice.

    • / Aug 16 2016 1:51 pm

      I’ve never been to Nova Scotia. I remember reading a novel about the 1917 maritime disaster and explosion in Halifax and, since then, have wanted to see it. It’s supposed to be beautiful so I hope you go. I also hope you’ll write about your trip when you return!

      • Keith / Aug 16 2016 2:09 pm

        Janis, we have not either. There is a ferry ride from Acadia National Park in Maine. We are looking forward to it. We have a niece and nephew in Maine as well. Keith

  4. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Aug 16 2016 1:40 pm

    Great attitude, great post and great photos!
    I would have loved to visit that roadside maple syrup stand. The photo is very inviting!

    • / Aug 16 2016 1:52 pm

      The woman who ran the stand (the syrup was from her orchards) was so nice! I wish we could have purchased more from her but we had to think about the weight limits of our luggage.

  5. Lies Jack Kerouac told Me / Aug 16 2016 1:41 pm

    So jealous, though not far behind..

  6. joannesisco / Aug 16 2016 2:06 pm

    I can hardly wait for that stage! … but it’s my fur-baby that pulls at my heart strings. I’m always anxious to get back home to him.

    • / Aug 16 2016 2:15 pm

      I’d feel the same way. That’s why we have decided to be pet-less for this stage of our lives.

      • joannesisco / Aug 17 2016 6:34 am

        I don’t wish anything to happen to my lovable furball, but I agree. I would be so much more mobile without him!

  7. Kate Crimmins / Aug 16 2016 2:20 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! I don’t think I could do a month anymore but then again…I live on the east coast. Your destinations are close to day trips!

    • / Aug 16 2016 2:35 pm

      We have favorite day or multi-day trips from our home too. I wouldn’t want to be gone for a whole month every time either; just when we are visiting somewhere that we may never get the chance to return to, or when travel to and from is expensive. But then we don’t have kitties that we’d miss either.

  8. Anabel Marsh / Aug 16 2016 2:27 pm

    Very good plan. My constraint is my other half who will insist on working!

    • / Aug 16 2016 2:37 pm

      What’s up with that?? I guess I’ve just never been a devoted worker-bee. I have a retired friend whose husband still works but he can do it all from home or on the road. As long as he has a computer and an internet connection, he’s good!

      • Anabel Marsh / Aug 16 2016 2:41 pm

        He’s just passionate about what he does. I liked my job, loved it a lot of the time, but it never gripped me in quite the same way!

  9. Terri Webster Schrandt / Aug 17 2016 6:54 pm

    How wonderful to add such cool places to your itinerary! I love road trips and we end up driving up and down the west coast for family visits. When hubby retires for good in a few years, we hope to buy a small travel trailer and new-ish truck and pile our windsurf/SUP gear in it and GO!

    • / Aug 18 2016 4:52 pm

      I like the idea of having a small trailer. We’ve talked about it and, who knows… that might be in our future too!

  10. snakesinthegrass2014 / Aug 18 2016 1:17 pm

    My wife really, really, REALLY hates long, multi-day road trips. So I’m not sure how many of them I’ll ever get again. HOWEVER, she does have relatives in Vermont, which I’ve never been to before. So I am excited about going there someday. You are lucky!

    • / Aug 18 2016 4:55 pm

      Road trips aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure. They just happen to fit well with our desire to take things slower and be able to go off the beaten path now and then. Vermont is beautiful – you should plan a fall trip so you can enjoy the leaves.

  11. Joe / Aug 19 2016 9:08 am

    I love road trips, and yours sounds like a beauty.

    • / Aug 19 2016 9:58 am

      Road trips can be so much fun with the right combination of planning and spontaneity. My husband is always so accommodating to my many requests to stop for pictures.

  12. patwdoyle11 / Aug 19 2016 2:26 pm

    Serendipity strikes. Hubby and I were talking about a trip we are planning for next year, and he commented: You know, this is probably the only time we’ll be going there, so we should see everything you want to. I was debating between a 14 day and 18 day excursion and 18 days sounded so long! I’m still not sure as we do have our dog to consider being away from, but you’ve given me additional things to ponder. Thanks.

    • / Aug 19 2016 4:21 pm

      I would encourage you to stay as long as you can and do everything you want to do. I understand your feeling reluctant about leaving your dog for too long, but I assume he/she will be well cared for… and will a few extra days really make a difference?

  13. lisadorenfest / Aug 21 2016 8:40 pm

    Retirement rocks! Beautiful pics. Especially love that covered bridge. I have been to 45 of the 50 states and sadly/surprisingly, Vermont is not one of them. I lived close by (NYC) for several years but never made it. So I enjoyed seeing a bit of it from you here. Hope you are having fun on your extended vacation!

    • / Aug 22 2016 1:07 pm

      After we returned home (I usually post after a trip so I can concentrate on having fun while I’m traveling), my husband and I made a list of the states we have visited. I am 8 short of 50. I’m not sure I’ll get to them all, but each has it’s own special draw. Vermont’s covered bridges are really beautiful.

      • lisadorenfest / Aug 24 2016 10:47 pm

        Which ones are you missing? My 5 are Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota. Definitely plan to him them all when I get home

        • / Aug 25 2016 4:35 pm

          As near as I can figure, I haven’t been to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, and Rhode Island (I guess that’s seven states). I think I’ll be able to get to Idaho next year.

          • lisadorenfest / Aug 25 2016 5:50 pm

            Glacier National Park in Montana is definitely worth a visit!


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