Tomorrow We Drive

The camper is in the driveway, the luggage has been pulled out of storage… we are leaving tomorrow for our camping trip in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Isle in Maine.  The trip takes almost 19 hours from our home in South Carolina, so we will break it up by staying tomorrow night in Annapolis with family. Monday, we’ll drive to Boston from Annapolis and go to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (can’t wait!). Tuesday, a quick tour of Boston, lunch, and drive the last leg from Boston to Maine, maybe stopping in Freeport to visit the LL Bean store if there’s time. Then we camp for five nights and take two days to come back home, stopping somewhere to be determined in Pennsylvania. We are not drive-through-the-night people; we tried it once when our kids were little and decided we’d rather sleep at night and take longer to come home. I distinctly remember someone needing to use the bathroom at 3 a.m. and we finally just had to pull off and let them go al fresco. We love the outdoors, but generally love clean and well-lit bathrooms also; those can be harder to find in the dead of night.

We borrowed the pop up camper from my brother; we normally tent-camp, so this will be a step up. He showed me how to hitch the camper to the van, unhitch it, set it up and take it down while Emma videoed. From the video, I created a checklist for us to use which should help us not forget any important steps.  Emma, Will and I set it up yesterday in the carport to practice and so we can pack it.

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Finding the right drawbar for our hitch receiver was a chore; I went to five different stores before I found the right one. Big learning curve!

I thought by now, I would have every single day planned out by the hour, but I don’t. I should have time in the car to plan the rest of the trip, since mostly we’ll be hiking and just generally relaxing and enjoying nature.

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Finding a hotel in Boston that did not cost an arm and a leg, had room for five people, was marginally close to the city center, and had a place to park the camper ended up taking a really long time.  I am such a bargain hunter (tightwad? cheapskate?) that I booked a room in a hotel that had terrible reviews and was #82 on TripAdvisor’s “82 hotels in Boston” list.  At the time I thought, “How bad can it be?”, but apparently the answer to that is “pretty bad”! I kept reading reviews (the jury is still out on whether that is a good or a bad idea), and finally talked to Justin about it and decided to cancel and book somewhere else.  This took so much time again; I really wanted to stay at an apartment in Cambridge I found on the airbnb site, but we were concerned about 1) where we would park the camper (Street parking only? Parking garage? Visions of us fighting and jack knifing the camper trying to back it into a parking spot danced through my head as I searched) and 2) where it would be least likely to get stolen. So we passed on the airbnb and are staying in a hotel farther away from Fenway and Boston proper than is ideal, but at least we will have free parking in a parking lot, breakfast and a shuttle to the subway if we end up using it.

So, there you have it; now I’m off to pack and try to smush everything in. Wish me luck.

 

 

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