Category Archives: *Trips

Happy 4th of July Weekend! Be Safe!


Muppet Meditations: WEEK 3

Sorry for the late Week 3 recap, we covered a lot of ground this week:


  • Distance Traveled: Approx. 1,450 miles
  • Gas Used: Kind of lost count… 4 tanks? Who knows.
  • Highest Gas Price: $4.55 in Chicago, IL
  • Lowest Gas Price: $3.95 outside of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Week 3 Favorite Place: Moorefield, WV
  • Meal of the Week: Grilled Cheese with Reuben Soup at The Sandwich Shop in Pittsburgh, PA – $6.00.
  • Dessert of the Week: Praline ice cream in Skaneateles. It ALSO had caramel swirl and chocolate covered pecans in it.
  • Vista of the Week: There is no house accompanying this mailbox. Is it maybe God’s mailbox?

  • New Friend of the Week: As I was passing through West Virginia I saw a little sign for the West Whitehill Winery, and it looked like just this tiny one story white building, so I pulled in to investigate. Inside I met the owner, who gave me tastes of all the wines (they were all DELICIOUS, I ended up buying the Vidal White and the Raspberry Royale), and we began chatting. He’d lived in that area of rural West Virginia for almost 20 years, but before that he worked as a corporate lawyer in Philadelphia, and his wife had worked at Bryn Mawr College. They both were able to retire really early, and she grew up in the area, so they decided to move back and start a winery!! Neither of them had ANY training at all, so he said they made a ton of mistakes at first but slowly got the hang of it. He was really into the idea of my trip, and told me about his daughter, who right out of college had gotten an editorial job working at Mademoiselle in New York. It was such a great opportunity, but he said she immediately started haaaaating New York, as we all know can sometimes happen. She ended up nervously quitting a year later, only to get a job in Washington, DC at the National Historical Society, where she stayed for 15 years before quitting to go work on a hospital boat off the coast of Ghana. Which is all to say: 10 years from now who knows what will happen.

Muppet Meditations: WEEK 2

Ta da! Week 2 is complete. I stayed in Portland three days or so more than I’d originally planned, so my progress in terms of distance isn’t crazy impressive, but this week had some GREAT drives.


  • Distance Traveled: Approx. 550 miles
  • Gas Used: 2.5 tanks, about $75
  • Highest Gas Price: $3.739 in Pittsfield, MA
  • Lowest Gas Price: $3.739 in Portland, ME
  • Week 2 Favorite Place: Well… Portland.
  • Meal of the Week: House salad with Maple-Terragon dressing at the Chinook Cafe in Conway, NH – $5.25. Everything was fresh, the croutons and dressing were delicious… I don’t know why I liked it so much! It’s possible I was just really hungry.
  • Dessert of the Week: Warm Brownie Sundae with one scoop chocolate gelato, one scoop hazelnut gelato and hot fudge from Maple’s in Portland, ME. I went there for a highly recommended ice cream cookie sandwich where you get to pick what kind of cookies and gelato you want, but they were out of cookies so I had to settle for what was available. How ANNOYING.
  • Vista of the Week: I spent almost 100 miles on New York Route 20, a mostly two-lane road that cuts through the middle of the state. Although it was congested at times, there were long stretches when it was completely empty, especially as the sun was beginning to set. I was driving directly west around 7 or 8 when I hit one set of hills in particular that was covered in mist. It was so beautiful and so empty that I just stopped the car and stood in the middle of the road to get a picture:

  • New Friend of the Week: Not including all the awesome Portland people that Tommy introduced me to, I’d definitely have to go with the lady doing the Hunt for Literacy in the White Mountains, she was chipper and fun!

Warren, NH: Population 873 plus… one other thing

After exiting the Kancamagus Highway, I passed through Warren, NH, which right or wrong immediately struck me as tiny and strange. I passed school buses parked in people’s driveways, houses and garages overflowing with what seemed to be random debris, and then I thought I saw something.

“What? No,” I thought. “Right? A church probably.”

Five minutes later I couldn’t stand it so I turned around to double check.


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Muppet Meditations: WEEK 1 Addendum!

Awesome recommendations! Ok, here are my additions:

  • Song of the Week: “Drunk E-mails” by Small Sins. This song is prettttty dumb, but it is the awesome for singing along to in cars. There’s another song on the album called “Holiday” that is ALSO good for tone deaf solo karaoke.
  • Dessert of the Week: Ginger Ice Cream from Beal’s in Portland, Maine. So creamy! Plus real pieces of ginger! Drool drool drool.
  • Vista of the Week: So hard to choose… I ended up going with this one from Head of the Meadow Beach in Cape Cod. I just can’t get over how empty it was. Amazing.

Muppet Meditations: WEEK 1

Hooray! I’ve made it through week one without going crazy, crashing my car or running out of money. Behold my path thus far:


  • Distance Traveled: Approx 700 miles
  • Gas Used: 2.5 tanks, $80
  • Highest Gas Price: $4.12 in Greenwich, CT
  • Week 1 Favorite Place: Portland, ME
  • Best Meal: Black Bean Veggie Burger with jalapeƱos, fries and salad + two Cambridge Brewery Co. “Spring Training” IPAs – Christopher’s in Cambridge, MA – $23 (ouch)

A bit of a slow and expensive start, but this week I expect to be moving much faster. Is there any other info you’d want added in the weekly wrap-up? I’ve been keeping track of how much money I’ve been spending, from now on I’ll try to also include “Lowest gas price”… anything else?

New skills!

I just figured out how to make little movies! Kind of. Below is sort of a test run, it’s really just a short audio clip of me talking to my dad about his motorcycle. Fascinating!

Bob Dylan rode a Triumph in the 60s too, he even wore his t-shirt on the cover of Highway 61 Revisited. So much cooler than a Honda.

In case all this talk of Dylan and motorcycles has you thinking that maybe a grey budget compact car (ahem) isn’t rock and roll, I present to you James Taylor and Dennis Wilson: