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Showing posts from November, 2021

Towing an RV on the Blueridge Parkway in Autumn

 We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I can only describe it as stunning. We entered at its very northernmost origin, in Afton, Virginia, and immediately began to rise, up from the Shenandoah valley, on twisting roads that grew richer and richer in color as we gained in elevation. We stopped in a grove of elms, having passed up the first few scenic pullouts because the crowds were too heavy. We found ourselves alone in a yellow forest lined with black trucks, a brown carpet of freshly fallen leaves on the ground, and lichen thick on the rocks. Leo was in a sour mood (he had just woken from a nap that he had needed to be a bit longer) but when I took a handful of leaves and tossed them into the air, his frown turned into a mischievous smirk. The whole family then scuttled about, grabbing leaves and tossing them into the air. And then the moment was over, and it was time to get back in the RV and drive. We didn’t make it far before I pulled over at a proper scenic pull off, with a

Central Park

  Central Park is a surprisingly decent place to bird thanks to its size and lack of viable options in the rest of Manhattan. Eager to see some birds in this most famous of parks, we set off for the Ramble. We entered the park from near the natural history museum and started our way southeast. Almost immediately we came upon one of the many massive boulders in the park (Original, left in situ, or moved there from where the buildings were all built?) and Leo had to, had to , had to scale it. Up we went, and found ourselves thrust up into the canopy of the park and surrounded by a mixed flock of ruby crowned kinglets, black and white warblers, and cardinals. I geeked out while Leo hopped about and Xander slowly trundled up the boulder with mommy’s help. It was such a cool spot to bird. We were eye level with many of the birds, up in the canopy thanks to these mysterious boulders (They had to have been put here, right? otherwise the whole city would be filled with them). The birds flit


  New York City I wanted to go to New York City not to fulfill any particular fantasy or because there was some artifact that I was enamored with. I wanted to go to New York City to have it as cultural touchstone—it is, after all, the most famous city of all time—and most of all to hate it. I longed to despise this overcrowded, overbuilt, obsession with capitalism that takes up far too much screen time in far too many movies and waaaaay too many television shows. I wanted to go to New York and be so unimpressed, have an Epiphone of being underwhelmed. That’s not what happened. New York is amazing. It sparkles. It’s a city unlike any other. Or like all cities, in a way. We only went to Manhattan, but still there were parts that felt like Austin, San Francisco, Bogota, Tokyo, Detroit, Hanoi, Florence, and maybe every city I’ve ever been to (well, maybe not Albuquerque)  and yet it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I loved Manhattan. I loved New York City. I was ena

We lost a tire!

 Today, while driving down highway Seventeen from Charleston to Savannah, I noticed a slight change in how the RV was handling. We had just hit a bump in the road—not an unusual occurrence in the USA—but something had… shifted. I glanced in my mirror. “That’s odd. The outdoor shower is dangling. We should pull over.” Almost as an afterthought, I added, “Does it feel like it’s handling differently to you?” Because it did feel different. “Definitely. You should pull over,” Raquel said, always wise in the ways of prudence and caution. “There’s a bridge, I’ll pull over right after,” I said, crossed the bridge (it was tiny, running over a creek, and there was no shoulder on the bridge) then I pulled over, perhaps 30 seconds or a minute after feeling this… bump. Raquel and I got out of the truck, went to look at the passenger side only to discover… that one of the wheels was completely gone. Not flat. Not blown out. Not punctured, or damaged, punctured with the antlers of a

The Proper Brewing Company in Quakertown, PA

Allow me a moment of your time if you will, to sing praise to a fine establishment known as The Proper Brewing Company in a wonderful town in Pennsylvania known as Quakertown. We had a night in Quakertown simply because we could not find a spot in DC, and it was within striking distance, but ho, was fortune in our favor. Quakertown may not have known we were coming, but Quakertown still prepared the way. If you are in the DC area and looking for something quant and lovely and wonderful in Pennsylvania, may I recommend to you this town. The most cursory of google searches revealed an establishment in the middle of ‘downtown’ that not only brewed their own beer, but also cooked their own food. They also sold beer to go, and after time spent traipsing through New England, where each state has a different policies in regards to alcohol and when/where/how it could be sold, I was quite eager to go somewhere where I could sample the wares before taking some home. We arrived to find a co