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Travel Update: September 2021
It's that time again! Several more weeks on the road and more lessons learned.
WOW! It's been a while since we last wrote about our traveling adventures aside from our one year anniversary post. Sometimes life gets in the way of the well intentioned tasks we hope to do. Yeah I know it's an excuse, and as Donetta ALWAYS reminds me, it's all about proper scheduling. :)
But it has been a rough go the last couple of months which I'll share in this Travel Update September 2021.
The East Coast Sucks. For Real.
OK, that's a bit harsh because it really has nothing to do with the actual people or states we've been in. Obviously there are so many incredible things out here and I'll hit on that in a few. The problem has been timing and expenses.
When we first started traveling in July 2020, it was really nice because there were fewer people out on the road and hotels were significantly cheaper. Yet as we've traveled from Xenia, Ohio down the coast to Orlando and back up to our current spot in Boston, we've had a hell of a time finding places to crash for reasonable prices.
For example we paid over $150 per night for a Rodeway Inn and a literal dump. Comfort Suites that are usually around $80 per night are usually $200 or more. Even East Hartford, Connecticut, which is an absolutely horrible place was around $150 per night for what should have been $60.
We're not sure why hotel prices are so high and places have been booked up.
Perhaps people were sick of being controlled by Covid and decided to live life again. We applaud and support people getting back out there yet it's also complicated our travel plans numerous times. So we have to keep adapting and improvising which can get frustrating.
Three Hurricanes. Really?
I always wanted to experience a hurricane for some odd reason (blame it on Oklahoma tornado fascination) and finally had the opportunity to do so in Connecticut ... which just seems bizarre. And for what it's worth, less exciting than a thunderstorm back home.
We've been in the path of Fred, Henri, and Ida this year. While the torrential rain can impede one's plans, we cannot forget all the lives lost or people who have been impacted by these storms. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected by them.
The Covid Challenges
Since this is a very sensitive subject as we know people who have died from Covid, in addition to the volatility associated with this topic, I will leave politics, science, and the media out of this. The only reason I want to bring this up is because people have asked us about this or been very concerned about our safety.
Obviously there are challenges or risks relating to the virus, but regardless of it all, we will continue to travel.
We decided we'd never let fear stop us from living our dreams. It's simply our personal decision and one we will never change or regret. What I do ask is for everyone to extend more grace, love, and acceptance toward each other no matter what side of the fence you stand on. This is what the world really needs right now.
Celebrate The Good Stuff
We certainly have good stuff to share in our Travel Update September 2021. It can't be all that bad traveling full-time and living your dreams, right? Absolutely not and it's here where the whining stops. The hard part is deciding what to talk about. LOL!
Outer Banks (OBX)
Some of our best memories so far have been spending several weeks at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We stayed at the Beachwoods Resort in Kittyhawk and drove three minutes to the beach every day. Donetta and I walked miles on the beach, watched dolphins swim the ocean, got a very nice tan, and enjoyed a few adult beverages there. There's also a great chance that she liberated a bunch of shells from the beach area.
We drove up the entire OBX coast, visiting two lighthouses and seeing a rattlesnake on the path of one, as well as stopping in the towns of Hatteras, Kill Devils Hill, Duck, and Corolla. Our friends Catherine and Jay live in Corolla and we had an awesome time with them at the beach. We even saw a couple of wild horses.
Donetta earned her incentive trip as an Independent Scentsy Consultant so we got to enjoy the Magical Kingdom for free. We stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs and received special "Scentsy only" hours at several parks. While I'm not a fan of Disney theme parks by any stretch of the imagination, I was STOKED to experience all the Star Wars attractions. And I was conned onto a few other rides as well.
Overall Donetta certainly was giddy about it all and we made some fantastic memories. We had some of the best food ever at Disney Coronado Springs and played in the large pool. The weather was insanely hot and humid so being in the water was heavenly. Other than that it was a lot of fun with each other and our friends.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Luckily for us we were able to hang out with our friends Shane, Stephanie, and their kids just days before their move back to Oklahoma. We crashed at their house and had a freaking blast. I can't even begin to tell you about the insane conversations and laughs we all had. We also got to check out the town, eat some chocolates where Forest Gump was filmed, and take a fake leak on the USMC sign for Parris Island -- it's a military joke, don't sweat it.
One of the best rewards of traveling is when we do get to visit with friends or family. These are some of the times we cherish most.
Other Places and Memories
Honestly it's hard to keep up sometimes. Not to complain by any means. It just goes by so fast and becomes a blur. We've also been to Flagler Beach, Daytona Beach, Charleston, Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Myrtle Beach, and Virginia Beach. And that's not close to all the stops we've made!!
We saw our first bald eagle and alligators in the wild, along with hundreds of lizards, tropical birds, and deer. Still no bears or moose but that day is coming. We visited the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, National Air Force Museum, Submarine Force Museum, Ark Encounter, Wright Brothers Memorial, and Plymouth Rock (which is very small and unimpressive).
All that being said, Donetta and I are very fortunate to be doing what we do. Every single day I try to thank God for such an opportunity.
But wait, there's more!
Writing the Travel Update September 2021 would not be complete without sharing some lessons learned or what we're doing next. After all, what if you decide to be crazy enough to live in hotels or want to host us for a day? ;)
Be flexible with your plans. There will be times when your hopes are crushed into oblivion in an instant. Booked hotels, overinflated prices, hellish traffic, new Covid measures, and limited access to National Parks are all a part of the journey. If you realize and understand that things might not always work to plan, the faster you'll get over the heartbreak.
Be thankful for the adventure. Despite the bullshit you're likely to encounter, just being able to follow your heart or dreams is good enough. Being stuck in East Hartford was soul sucking but it was still better than hoping for the dream to happen. No matter where you are in life, it has ups and downs. But if we Remain Strong in mind, body, and spirit, it's gonna be alright.
OH, and if you've never read any of our hotel reviews, always remember to choose the top floor and practice some good, decent hotel etiquette. Both will also serve you well on your journey.
What's next on the agenda?
Right now we're hanging out in the Boston area for a few days before making our run toward New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. The goal is to see the great outdoors and turning of the leaves, but we might have to adapt due to those pesky hotel challenges.
We're also planning on going back to Oklahoma mid-October to see the kids and other family. Plus we gotta do those yearly doctor visits and rummage through our storage. So we'll probably kick it there a couple weeks before heading back to Las Vegas for a month. We're supposed to go to Maui with our friends in November but Covid restrictions might derail that. UGH!
Regardless, I'll continue to do my best to catch up on all the articles needing to be written and continuing the entertainment, for what it's worth.
We sincerely thank you for reading our Travel Update September 2021. Until the next great story, take a deep breath and enjoy life.