Front Royal VA and Branford CT
Our travels have finally brought us back to the east coast. From the deep dark hollow in West Virginia, we snaked our way through the hills along I-64 to Virginia (an experience in itself), and pulled into Paul "The Pool" and Mary Kim Waddell's house near Front Royal VA. Paul, as you may remember, was the guy responsible for the giant swimming pool at the International Rally.
It was an idyllic setting: a renovated country house next to a gurgling stream surrounded by shady trees. Utterly peaceful and beautiful. As the owners of three Airstreams, the Waddells know the value of a level parking spot and so we got placed in an easy space next to the house and the stream.
You can't go wrong parking with friends. As others have before, they opened their house to us and we opened ours to them. The result was a great smorgasbord dinner (we contributed the smoked salmon, they did the rest), and a lot of great conversation until late at night. The next morning, we whipped up a great breakfast together and sadly, hit the road by 11 a.m. -- only because we wanted to get to CT and MA this week. Otherwise, it would have been fun to stay a few days.
Still, I am getting tired of moving every day or two. Roaming is fun but a lot of work! And I'm finding it hard to keep up with work. From here on in we will stay a minimum of two nights at each location, and in about a week we plan to settle back into Vermont for a few weeks. That's what the real full-timers do. It's sort of a myth that they roam around like gypsies every day.
Speaking of gypsies, we met a fellow in his 70s yesterday who claimed to be one. A talkative guy with striking blue eyes and the hair and eyes of a Native American, he said he was from a line of "English gypsies" and had spent his youth in a travel trailer before his parents settled down in a house in southern CT. His entire family is in the asphalt paving business, and he claimed to be the cousin of Englebert Humperdinck. "That's not his real name," he said. "My parents were first cousins, but they weren't raised together. Nobody married outside the family. It wasn't good for me, it made me a little hyper." And he was still talking a mile a minute as we pulled away ...
Now we are set up in the driveway of a woman who goes by the name of "moogie32" on AirstreamForums.com (and her husband, two kids, three dogs, a cat, and two frogs). This is a sweet spot, too, near the shore just west of New Haven CT. The house is set among extensive gardens in a quiet neighborhood, and it is just spectacular here.
We didn't pull in until after 9 pm, but no matter -- they had the ribs ready to go on the grill, with sugar snap peas and potatoes, the mother-in-law waiting patiently for dinner -- and with all the talking about Airstreams and the vintage Volkswagen collection in their garage, we finally got it all on the grill about 11 pm!
Vintage Thunder is precariously perched on the sloping driveway. It's always easier to park facing uphill than downhill, but in this spot we can't, so we had to put 6" of boards under the front jack, plus the regular aluminum jack stand. The front end is so far off the ground the stabilizers don't reach and the wheels on the front axle are not touching the ground. It's even a big reach up to the fold-out entry step.
Ah, but the weather is fantastic, the house is gorgeous, the hosts are friendly and feeding us like they are fattening us for market, and it's a perfect day to head to the beach. I'll stay behind as the rest of the crew enjoys the beach -- too much work to catch up on today unfortunately. But it doesn't feel so bad sitting in the living room looking out at the garden and listening to the birds chirp, even if I am working. We'll stay another night (they are already planning dinner for tonight, something involving fresh sweet corn), and head up to the Boston area tomorrow.