We just returned home from a 4,000+ mile, 16 day road trip up the east coast of USA through the border to New Brunswick and Québec, Canada to the Gaspésie Peninsula. We traveled by car, ferry and foot. Our route took us through mountains, farm fields, cities, ocean and lakes. We went from seeing Lady Liberty to moose, deer, porcupines, whales, seals and gannets. We braved the weather of torrential downpours to the frosty nights of tent camping. It was honestly amazing!!
See Our Whole Trip HERE!
And quite possibly more amazing because as soon as we crossed the border my phone no longer worked. So I was completely out of touch with the world – and oddly enough, I have to say it was great. It seems as if everyone I know either had a birthday or a baby while I was off the grid…and guess what? The world still went on even without me liking or commenting on their photos. Kind of odd to think about especially since I know I’m not alone on the “addicted to media” wagon.
I can honestly say that usually I’m totally fine with coming home from vacation – in the sense of just being home and with my own stuff (aka bed), not in the sense of the adventure dying. But I sit here looking around my house almost depressed that I’m home. After only living off of the bare essentials for 16 days I am now feeling overwhelmed by all of the crap we have. Even my pantry and refrigerator are stressing me out. The abundance of choices is almost debilitating. The simplicity of “whatever fits in the cooler” being our only food options = so much easier!
However, in an effort to relive our amazing trip, I will share all about it in a series of blog posts.
Our trip began in North Carolina with activities in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine. Followed by 7 days in Canada, returning with time in Vermont. I’m proud to say that all 3 of our kids now have been to every state east of the Mississippi. Our older two kiddos were only missing Vermont, as we had previously vacationed to Maine in 2012. But now our youngest (who is a product of our Maine trip, lol) has now been to all of the same states!
In the province of Quebec, the primary language is French. So all of the road, food, store signage, etc is written in French. Quebec is the only province in Canada that does not require written language to be in both French and English – so we were completely out of our comfort zone – besides from what we remembered from our couple years of French classes in High School (of which I got a D in one semester…opps!)
Many of the people we needed to communicate with spoke some English, so between very poor French we were able to manage just fine…even the two times we needed tire repairs! (more on this later!)
Day 1: Leaving North Carolina
Starting Point: Charlotte, North Carolina
Ending Point: Salem, Virginia
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We left on Friday, May 25th. Our kids had their last day of school this day, but thankfully it was a half day. When school let out, we drove to the airport to pick up my mom who flew in to watch our dogs while we were gone.
Because the two weeks and weekend leading up to vacation were so insane (birthdays, parties, and more) we were so incredibly busy that we didn’t have much time to pack before Friday. So, we had a lot to do before we could finally hit the road until around 5:30/6pm.
Before every long road trip we go on (which is often), I always shower right before leaving, hence why my hair is wet. You never know when your next shower will be when you’re on the road! (I’m serious! More on this when I get to the parts about Canada!)
We didn’t necessarily have a plan or a “must reach destination” for this night so we just drove until we were tired. Around midnight we stopped at a Motel 6 in Salem, Virginia to catch a snooze and wake back up the next morning early to continue the adventure on Day 2!