There wasn’t much on our schedule this week. Brent’s mom returned home on Tuesday, and we just planned to get the camper cleaned up because we wanted to leave and start heading west on Friday. We have three weeks to make it to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, so what better weekend to start our trek than during Labor Day weekend.
We knew there was another Fulltime Family in the area that we wanted to meet up with before we left. We met them two years ago at another rally and the kids all got along so well. So we contacted them and planned a meet up in Bangor on Thursday.
First we went on a walk along the river. It wasn’t a super long walk, but it was pretty and we found a chess board on one of the concrete tables along the river. The moms kind of tried to explain to the kids how to play chess. We’re not professionals or anything, so we might not have taught them completely correct.
Next we decided to head over to Cascade Park. I’m thinking we should have gone to that park first. It was such a beautiful park and the kids loved sending leaves from the very top of some of the waterfalls and watching them go down all the way to the pond. It was nice and shady and there were plenty of places to sit.
While none of the kids wanted to say goodbye, we couldn’t stay there all night. We’ll definitely meet up with them again in the future…so maybe it was just “see you later!” If you’re on Instagram, check them out @expedition.family
Not only did we have to say goodbye to them, Friday brought more goodbyes. After getting a bit of work done and getting the RV packed up to move, we said goodbye to our friends @always.changinglife who so graciously allowed us to stay with them for almost 2 months in Maine. We’ll definitely be seeing them down the road again…possibly in Mexico in January!
Our plan was to get to a Walmart in Montpelier, VT by the end of the day so we could just pull in and sleep for the night. We wanted to get up on Saturday and go visit the Ben & Jerry’s Factory not far from there before we went further west. This Walmart wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. There was a lot of road noise from the busy highway nearby and it also sounded like people used the parking lot of the strip center next door as a drag racing strip. They were squealing tires and revving their engines until at least midnight…possibly later.
We did finally get some sleep and didn’t rush to get up to get out of there. Once everyone got up and got dressed, we drove over to Shaw’s grocery store to park the camper and then all hopped into the Jeep and made our way to Ben & Jerry’s.
Pro tip: This Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t open until 11am, but go half an hour or an hour early and enjoy other activities or just get in line…it does get long.
We had some time before they opened so we spent some time at the playground and Flavor Graveyard. The playground had some fun equipment that we’ve never seen at any other playgrounds we’ve been to. Almost all of the pieces have some sort of motion to them when you’re on them. Super fun! The kids played for quite a while as Brent and I just sat in the adirondack chairs soaking up the sun.
The Flavor Graveyard was interesting. There were a few that we wished were still in production: Aloha Macadamia, Chocolate Comfort, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and more. And there were a few that we wondered who even came up with these ideas for ice cream: Miz Jelena’s Sweet Potato pie, Peanuts! Popcorn!, and Dastardly Mash. Reading some of the headstones were pretty hilarious though.
Once they opened, we went over and stood in line for ice cream. Ice cream before lunch? Heck yes!!
We all liked the ice cream. We don’t get Ben & Jerry’s much because it’s just not our favorite. I tried a scoop of New York Super Fudge Chunk with a scoop of Cherry Garcia in a waffle cone. I love anything with cherries, so of course I thought it would be a hit. However, it was not my fave. The NY Super Fudge Chunk won by a landslide. It was so yummy!
After ice cream, we went back to Shaw’s to grab some lunch from the deli and then hit the road again. We really had no idea where we were going to stop for the night. How’s that for winging it?
Our friends who let us stay with them in Maine had a relative (who we also knew) in northern New York that offered to let us stay the night on her property since we were going to be passing right by her house. We were getting close to her house by late afternoon and decided that we wanted to get farther that night. But since I drive the Jeep, I stopped for a few minutes to say hi and pick some veggies from her garden. Brent kept going and I caught up with him later.
Our final stop for the night ended up being at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack. There was plenty of room for us, it was nice and quiet, and best of all, we weren’t going to have to rush to leave by a certain time in the morning. We don’t mind driving into places at night, especially when we’re only stopping for the night, but we don’t like to feel like we need to rush out in the mornings. This is one of the reasons we love stopping at casinos.
We don’t really know where we’ll end up on Labor Day, but because Brent is off of work, we plan to continue our trek west. Stay tuned to see where we land!