Hello from Lebanon, Tennessee! We've made it to Day 2 of my move from New Jersey to New Mexico. All three adults, the cat, and the Corolla are happy, if a wee bit covered in cat fur. Here's a quick run-down of yesterday, Day 1.
Dad, Mom, Faraday, and I checked out of our hotel in Princeton, NJ. Faraday and I followed the parents to the Philly airport to drop off their rental car. For this leg of the journey, Faraday was caged in his carrier. He meowed most of the hour-long trip. It was fairly grating on the nerves.
Thankfully, once Mom and Dad joined us in the Corolla and we let him out to roam freely (harnessed, leashed, limited to the back seat), he calmed down and seemed to enjoy the view from the window and sleeping at Dad's feet.
Once we reached Jessup, Maryland, however--he had to leave the sanctuary of the car, meet a very small dachshund and a very large German shepherd, and be locked in a stranger's office while James took us out to Starbucks. We had a blast reminiscing about our nine years of adventures in the town in which neither of us lives any longer. We returned to rescue Faraday from the dogs and James' sister, and snapped one sadly very blurry photo before jetting off to our next stop.
Zipping around the Beltway, we hit up Springfield, VA, for a late lunch with Mandy and Bob! Mandy and I have known each other since I was five, and we moved to the east coast around the same time. Wouldn't you know? They're packing up to move to AZ--yeah Southwestern buddies!
My turn in the backseat! Mom's drivin'!
Next stop: Memory Lane. Dad lived in Mosby Woods, near Fairfax, VA, for three years around elementary school. After explaining to a neighbor that he lived there in the '60s, we spent an almost-awkward amount of time taking pictures of his former home, then walking down to his creek. Rather, we found a new park where a dead-end used to be, but his old paths to the creek itself were overgrown and impassable with a large cat in arms. (It was way too hot to leave the dear in the car. As a ten-year-old kid, Little Jimmy never thought that he'd one day show Mosby Woods to his grandcat.) We also checked out Shiloh hill, where Dad got his concussion when a neighbor "friend" swerved a sled into him, knocking him onto the icy road.
Back on the road:
Final stop before hotel: the Dulles Airport branch of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum! We've been here before, but they've acquired a really important addition...
Do you see?
It's not Dad or the SR-71, though they are pretty cool...
YES! It's the Space Shuttle Discovery!
Before, they had a shuttle that never flew in orbit. I knew I had to stop as soon as I saw the pictures of the shuttle being flown around DC.
It's massive. So impressive in person.
I particularly liked staring at the tiles of the heat shield--look at that damage! But they're fine!
The engines were pretty sweet.
Well hey there, Discovery!
We said hello again to the real Enola Gay, some planes my grandpa may have flown, and a personalized couch made of a cast of John Glenn's body for centrifuge zero-G training. Awesome.
Eventually, we pulled into tiny Front Royal, VA, where Mom and I found McDonald's (yeah road trip food), Faraday finally fully relaxed, and we had a great night's sleep.
States Visited: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia. (+ Washington, DC)