Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Nation’s Capital

From North Carolina, we headed for Virginia Beach, VA and made it just in time to celebrate the 4th of July with my cousin, Bligh. We spent a few days there relaxing and enjoying some quality family time. Oh, and Bligh and I made a point of reenacting some of our favorite childhood photos ops.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We left VA Beach for DC, making a stop along the way to visit one of my father’s best friends, who was more like an uncle to me, as a child. David is a Vietnam Veteran who proudly served his country and at the time of our visit was bravely and very positively battling cancer with the assistance of his loving family. David has since passed, but I will always treasure the few hours we were able to share with he and Patricia. For anyone reading this who might be interested, or know of someone who is... my father is selling David’s 1997 Harley Ultra Classic for his family. Please get in touch – it would be nice to see someone with a big smile on this bike, again. 

The Nation's Capitol
Spoiled at the Old Ebbitt Grill
We made it to Washington, DC later than hoped that evening, but were welcomed by the beautifully lit Capitol and Monuments. For the next several days, we played tourist in DC, a city I had lived in for 8 years. My dear friends Mellie & Christian spoiled us with a sweet place to sleep just outside of the city, beautiful meals and more than anything, their company, which is what you really miss when you’re on the road... company of good friends who you can relax and really laugh with. 
It was very bittersweet to visit DC. This place was my home for so long. The friends we were able to catch up with, were like my family. And there is something about knowing how to navigate city streets with your eyes (nearly) closed that makes you feel at home.

But my Dad was anxiously awaiting our arrival in Vermont, so we continued on. We hoped to make the 8-9 hour trip to VT in one day, but when my bike began to have some power surge issues just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, it became clear that it would be a two-day trip.  After trouble-shooting what the possible issues could have been, we gave Russ a quick call to confirm that it was likely one of the two CDIs (capacitor discharge ignition box) that was failing. Russ had dug though his old spares bin before we left and gave me a spare CDI that was marked with masking tape “may be bad.” Fortunately, it wasn’t bad and we were on our way again after swapping the CDIs. We had met another overland couple in Gettysburg on a nicely packed up BMW, so we decided to ride together and find a place to camp that night. Sheldon is from Australia and had been riding around the world solo before he met Ewa, from Poland and then she hopped on the back of the bike. Great to ride along with these two and swap travel stories.

We arrived in Vermont the next afternoon. Riding up my long driveway into the paradise that is my family home in Vermont was sheer bliss. As was seeing my Dad’s huge smile as he came out to welcome us home. 

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