We arrived in Virginia in late September and can’t get enough. We decided to make Virginia an extended stop, and have no regrets. During our first week here, Steve had to fly back to the Bay Area for a wedding (congrats Steve and Rachael!), which allowed me more time with my family. We had a few goals for our time in Virginia:
- Rest. Our minds and body were tired when we arrived. We wanted to sleep in, go to bed early, and take naps – and not feel guilty. The 46 days driving, trip planning, wedding planning and years of work- it was time to give ourselves permission to just do nothing and be okay with that. I also took time to enjoy a few good books. I love to read and took full advantage of getting free ebooks from my library using Overdrive. Always looking for reading suggestions on my GoodReads account – let me know if you have any.
- Spend time with my family. Since graduating college, my usual time to visit Virginia has been around holidays and/or spring; so it was great to see some Fall colors. I was lucky to watch my sister teach and meet her energetic 5th I have been spending time in the evenings with the family talking, enjoying waffles on the weekends with Mom, and long walks with my Dad. All of these things, I don’t get often enough, and forget how important it is.
- Get Sparky settled and in a routine. My parents are watching him while we are gone for an extended time, it was important to find him a local Vet and a local day care/boarding. During our travels across country I did research and found the perfect day care/boarding place, only 10 minutes from my parents house – Just Fur Pets! This place is huge, has a daily routine with the dogs, which include a few walks, naps, play time, reading time (what do you read to dogs?), and a friendly staff. My mom and I also took Sparky to meet the local vet, much to Sparky’s dismay. Sparky is now a Virginia resident; we registered him here for only $10!!! We have been teaching my parents his eating habits, walking habits, and sleeping habits. Sparky has already enjoyed his mornings with Nonna (my Mom) and his evening playtime with Papa (my Dad). We have no doubt that Sparky will be a happy dog while we are gone (even though it breaks my heart to say goodbye).
- Winterize and store the R-Pod and Truck. Steve and I have never had to “winterize” anything, since it doesn’t snow in the Bay Area. Winterizing the R-Pod took some research and effort from Steve, but we were able to successfully do it within a week of being here in Virginia and get it parked for storage. We plan on taking care of the truck (oil change, maintenance and detail cleaning) before storing that for the winter. Luckily the storage place is near my parent’s home so they can routinely drive by and check on things. We didn’t get an indoor storage, so we made sure to buy covers for both.
- Plan for then next few legs of our trip. We hadn’t planned anything beyond Virginia, so getting here was a big deal. It meant the end of our beautiful road trip, but also preparing for something completely new and foreign. While we are here Virginia, we have been stocking up on new travel clothes, new travel shoes, and miscellaneous items we need. We have been doing research in the evenings, booking flights, and reaching out to friends for advice, and actually have made solid plans.
- Do some sightseeing in Virginia, DC & Maryland. You will read in future posts of the significant touring we did in the area. Since my parents were relocated here almost 15 years ago, I have done a lot of traveling in the area, but Steve hasn’t. He had seen the monuments in DC on his last visit as well as some of the Smithsonian’s on the National Mall, but he had a list of areas he wanted to see.
Where We Stayed
Like I mentioned, we stayed at my parent’s house in Springfield. We have our own room and bathroom. Our room is a little messy, since a lot of items of our trailer have been moved into the room with us. My Aunt, Patty, will be arriving for a visit starting tomorrow, which we look forward to!
We enjoyed being close to my sister and her husband. Our double dates included indoor rock climbing, dinner at their house, and sushi!
Overall, Springfield is a nice place to visit, and live. The adventure of the city is a short Metro ride away, but you can still enjoy deer sightings while sipping tea in your backyard.
**To be continued…**