We thought we would only be staying in Atlanta for a day or two, but as it turned out we were there for about a week.  So we decided to drive up to Tennessee for a day and see some of David’s family.  Had such a great time, visiting with them for the first time in a couple of years.  Tennessee was also quite beautiful in the fall, especially since I had been missing the beautiful fall colors of the North East.
   While we were in Atlanta we also decided to see the High Museum at the Woodruff Arts Center.  Luckily for us the second Sunday of the month from 1-4pm is free, so it sounded like a great way to spend an afternoon.  The museum was super modern looking and had some really fantastic artwork.  It was 4 floors and had a great spiral staircase in the center that looks down onto the other floors.  I highly recommend seeing it if your in the Atlanta area.  We also took some time to walk around Atlanta a little more and take Damian skating, even though our reason for being there was because of a hurricane, the trip turned out to be quite fantastic.
We had only been back in South Carolina for 2 weeks, when we were first warned about Hurricane Matthew coming.  We have never experienced a hurricane in the RV before and at first, we weren’t sure if we could wait it out, (because the weather people are usually wrong), or if we should leave.  The decision was not up to us though, as they decided it would be enough of a direct impact here in Hilton Head, that everyone was under mandatory evacuation.  We decided that we didn’t want o go that far away, and that we haven’t been to Atlanta, Georgia yet in our travels, so that sounded like a great mini vacation and way to escape the storm.  Having a home that moves is the best part of being in situations like this, David came home from work on a Tuesday night, and we packed everything up and rolled out about 2 hours later.  It only takes 4 hours to get to Atlanta from Hilton Head, and traveling at night we managed to avoid all the traffic fro people evacuating as well.  I called ahead and luckily we managed to get a space at an RV park just 20 min. south of Atlanta.  I have always wanted to see the city and it was fantastic.  It has such a great vibe, and so much to do.
    The first day we were there we walked the Beltline.  It is a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta, you can walk, bike, or skate the trail all around Atlanta, with great views and interesting art work along the way.  Such an great idea to incorporate,  commuting, green space, and exercise all in one, I wish more cities had something so useful and beautiful.  There is a gigantic skate park off the Beltline that Damian skated at, and some really amazing places to eat and shop. The next day they took me to Peachtree Street, which I have been wanting to go to forever and see the Margaret Mitchell house.  She wrote “Gone With the Wind” with most of you probably know is my favorite movie ever.  When we got there, we realized you needed tickets to take the museum/house tour, and by chance someone was passing by outside and offered us their tickets for free.  How kind and fantastic!  Im sure my husband didn’t appreciate it as much as I did, but I really enjoyed the tour and all the movie related things.  We also ate at a fantastic Irish restaurant, and had a really amazing day overall.  I love sightseeing in new cities I haven’t been to yet, I’m always so thankful and grateful that we get to travel the country and see so many things that we’ve been missing.
We left for Hilton Head Island in South Carolina in the middle of September, it took a little longer then I wanted, but finally we were on our way.  The drive was easy and we already knew where we were going, so no problems with getting there or setting up our life.  David still works at Island Tattoo and occasionally img_1810does tree work, making life easy here.  Since it was still 85-90 degrees everyday we decided to make up for some lost time in PA over the summer and hit the beach when we had some free time.  The water was still amazingly warm, and we had some beautiful days for relaxing.  When we are here we usually head to Coligny Beach, it is where most of the tourists go, but there is free parking and it’s kept up really nice.  It’s also on the south end of the island, where all the shopping and amazing places to eat are, as well as both David’s tattoo shop and Wild Wings Cafe, where Damian works.  Hopefully there will be more time for relaxing and enjoying the beach before it becomes fall/winter here.
I had been wanting to see the Fashion and Technology show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since it started in May. It was one of those things I kept saying “Oh, I want to go there”, and then never did.  Finally on Labor Day weekend, on the actual last day of the show, I convinced my family to take me.  We went to NYC for the day and toured the museum for the first time and saw the show.  The museum was amazing, and there was so much to see that we barely had time to see half of it.  The Fashion show was well worth the visit, they had so many vintage pieces from Chanel and Dior, and lots of new amazing dresses printed with 3d printers and all sorts of different materials.  The general theme was Fashion merging with technology and the innovation was fantastic.  We also learned that even though there is a price to get in, it is just a “suggested price”.img_1634
It is actually a donation, and if you wait in the line, when you get to the window, you can pay whatever you want to.  Their “suggested donation” is $25.00 a person, we paid $10.00 for all three of us.  It was an amazing deal to see so much.  After the museum we took Damian to the skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge and did some walking around.  Going to NYC is always fun and exciting, no matter how many times we’ve been there, we always find something new to experience and enjoy.

One of the reasons we stayed in PA for the whole summer was so that Damian could finally get his braces off.  He has had them on for 2 1/2 years, and since we have been traveling we have had to come back every 8 weeks so that he could have them worked on.  Finally at the end of August he got them off.  Since it was his birthday over the summer also, he got his permit and has started driving too. Even img_1471though he has to drive with us right now, he still takes the opportunity every chance he gets.  A few more months and he will have his license, we are so proud of him.  We didn’t have a lot of adventures over the summer, but David tattooed at Golden Hammer Tattoo Studios again, and participated in the Wood Festival at Grey Towers with Sequoia Tree Service.  I also got to see my sister and had some great times with our friends.  We definitely had a great time visiting with friends and family, leaving them is always the hardest part of traveling, but I was looking forward to getting back to the warm weather just in time for fall.

 

Our drive back across the country was fairly uneventful.  We enjoyed the amazing mountain scenery in Wyoming, and then we reached Nebraska and it all disappeared.  It was back to the flat plains for the entire state and most of Iowa and Illinois too.  We did pas through a few intense storms, but most of the drive flew by pretty quickly.  After traveling the country and seeing so many amazing places, and doing so many fun things, I was having a little trouble being in one spot for so long.  We were in PA from the img_0898beginning of July until the middle of September, which truthfully was longer than I had wanted to stay.  Even though it was only 2 1/2 months, it seemed like such a long time, especially since it’ s not a new place to explore.  Truthfully we have done just about everything there is to do around there and were having to revisit the same places just to get out and do things.  We are usually very busy people and sitting around relaxing, although in theory sounds good, is not really our style.  So we decided to revisit some fun places.  Point Peter is at the top of Port Jervis, you can drive up to the flag and then walk around.  There is actually a great view of the city as well as Matamoras and even High Point Monument.  Even though we have been before, it’s always nice to get some perspective and see the view from above.  If your in the area I highly recommend it.

 

I really wanted to stay in Oregon for longer, but Damian had an orthodontist appointment back in Pennsylvania, so we packed up and started back on the road again the day after the wedding.  We spimg_1218ent almost all day driving across Oregon and into Idaho.  After Idaho, we went to Utah, I’ve never been to Utah and really wasn’t sure what to expect, as it turns out, it was pretty cool.  Quite beautiful and mountainous.  We stayed right outside of salt Lake City and managed to take a day and visit Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake.  As beautiful as it was, I didn’t even make it in the Lake.  It was 100 degrees out that day, and David and I decided it would be a great day to hang out on the beach and see The Great Salt Lake, little did I know, that’s not where people swim.  We arrived on Antelope Island and drove toward the beach admiring the beautiful salt flats and the mirrored lake as we drove, when we arrived I noticed immediately that there were hardly any people there, and the ones that were there were only walking out to the lake and then turning around and coming back, strange, I thought, but we continued on.  There was about 1-2 football fields of sand to walk through before you reach the lake, and being so hot out, it was absolutely burning.  My feet were on fire the whole way, so much so, that David had to carry me a portion of the way to the lake.  After we got closer, I started to notice a horrific smell, apparently there’s a ton of algae growing along the edges of the lake and the smell was atrocious.  Once I finally managed to deal with that, the brine flies were everywhere.  They are small and love salt, so they cluster around the edges of the lake, so much so, that from a distance they just look like a discoloration along the waterimg_1216, when you get up close, you can see that there are just millions of flies everywhere.  Once you start into the water, they cling to you everywhere.  I mean everywhere you touched the water,  I couldn’t even handle it at all!  I tried so hard, the water was warm and lovely but the flies were too much and I had to turn back.  David did manage to get passed them, and out much further into the water, he said it was amazing, and definitely worth braving the flies.  I felt like after the Indiana Jones experience of getting out there, I did as much as I could.  Then to get back to the car, we had to trek back through the flies, through the smell, and through the sand.  By the time we got back to the car, I understood why no one else was there to relax.
     We took the opportunity of being at Antelope Island to drive around and see the Bison, and look for big horned sheep, but I didn’t see any of them.  After that crazy experience, we went back to the RV park and laid in the pool for awhile.  I researched that Utah has 5 National Parks, and judging by the scenery that I already saw they are probably all beautiful.  I would love to go back again and see the parks, and also the salt flats that we missed this time around.
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After leaving Washington it was only a short couple hour drive to Oregon.  The reason we started the cross county trip was because my cousin was getting married in Portland on June 25th, and it was now June 23rd.  We decided to stay out on the coast in Oregon, and it was a great choice.  It was an absolutely amazing drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, and we wished we could have travelled the whole way down to California, (that’s now on our list of things to do in the future).  We stopped in a small fishing town called Garibaldi for a couple of nights and it was really perfect.  It was an hour drive to Portland, through the mountains so, even better.  We got to see so many amazing sights in just the short 3 days we were there.  The rehearsal dinner was held at Seven Bridges Winery, and was a fantastic place where we drank great wine and met a lot of new people.  On the Wedding day, we went to The International test Rose garden, it was just beautiful, so many roses of all different varieties, not only did it look amazing but also smelled amazing, all with the backdrop of Mt. Hood.  As if the day couldn’t get better, we had time to see some of the actual city of Portland, including lunch at the Fathead Brewery before the wedding reception. We had a really great time at the wedding, I loved seeing family that I haven’t seen in awhile and making new friends to stop and see as we continue to travel the country.  It was a city I would love to visit more in the future and Oregon was so wonderful I think living there for a time would be a great idea.

Once we left Yellowstone, there was only more driving for 2 more days before we reached Seattle.  The rest of Montana was absolutely fantastic, and Idaho was pretty beautiful as well.  When we finally reached the eastern part of Washington I was pretty surprised to find it was mostly desert.  I had always pictured Washington as a green state full of pine trees, and the western part was, but the Eastern side was pretty barren and mostly desert which was quite shocking to see, but definitely cool.  We stopped for breakfast overlooking a lake one morning and were rewarded with the reminder of how amazing it is to have this life of travel.img_1107
     We stayed in Washington for about a week, David worked a couple of days cutting down trees and saw some of the largest trees we have ever seen.  Most of the area we saw was exactly as you would think, with lots of greenery and very tall Evergreen trees.  It was quite beautiful, but the chilly air in June and mostly rainy or misty days really aren’t for me as far as living there goes.  We visited Seattle for Father’s Day and ended up having the best weather day the whole time we were there.  It was sunny all day and really nice out.  We wandered around the city, going to City Market, the Space needle and down by the waterfront.  Seattle was really nice, definitely one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever seen.  We walked by the “gum wall” which David loved but I thought was so gross, and went to a brewery for lunch.  Since it was one of the last days we had in Washington it was such an extremely great way to spend it.

The drive from Mount Rushmore on, was absolutely amazing.  The scenery just seemed to get better and better the further we went.  We drove out of South Dakota, briefly into Wyoming and then onto Montana, that has to be the prettiest state I have ever seen.  The terrain changed so much from one end of the state to the other,  it was incredible.  I was horribly bad at taking pictures and video through there so I don’t IMG_1043have much to show until we got to Yellowstone, but trust me when I say the views were spectacular.  Even though there are campgrounds in Yellowstone, most book up far in advance, and the other ones are on a first come first serve basis daily, and so many people are always there waiting early in the morning it’s hard to get a spot, so we opted to stay in a park that was about an hour away and drive in.  There are actually a few different entrances into Yellowstone, we took the North entrance, right on the border of Montana and Wyoming.  We only had one day to explore, which is not really enough time to see much of anything.  It is so vast I think you would really need at least a week to see all of the amazing and unique things.  We decided with the amount of time we had, just to take the small driving loop, and we still didn’t get to see that much.  We walked to the top of the Mammoth Hot Springs, then drove to Norris Geyser Basin, making some stops along the way, for a quick couple of hikes.  While we were exploring the incredible Geyser basin, a storm came through and we got hailed on.  I have only been in a hail storm a couple of times, and I have never been in one while I was walking.  There really was no shelter and we got pelted with hail over and over for about a half hour, by the time we made it back we were soaked and freezing.  It did teach us to be more prepared when we go out exploring though.  Have you guys been to Yellowstone? What did you see?

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