My last trip was with partner Carol, down the Appalachian Trail in 2009 - Montreal to Savanna GA and all the way back up to the Laurentians

I've now retired from teaching so at 66 I'm about to go Coast to Coast - Norfolk VA to Santa Rosa CA - it may be my some time before there's another - I have need of some medical treatment on my return

It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Mark Twain

So today is the day to meet some 'new'relatives in Clayton NC The Unchained tour group are making their way to the next destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains, whilst I travel on to Clayton NC I'm trying to follow a trail to a lost part of my family tree - the ancestors and descendants of my grandmother Chana Eisenberg - born in eastern Poland I know my grandmother came from a small rural village called Czervonka, which I have visited. She was purported to be a farmers daughter - probably a small holder* I know she had at least a brother and two sisters and that one sister Rose (Roze) went to to California, one Miriam went to Montreal, and the brother (nickname Tuncho) went to Argentina My cousin Faigie in Montreal suggested I contact ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Norfolk June 13th 2017

Tuesday 13th Went cattle class to Norfolk VA from Springfield VA on the Greyhound, as Amtrak cancelled my train The journey to cousins was a mission I tell you - I DO NOT recommend Greyhound - but I endured - it is an adventure after all . . Just not to be repeated any time soon or ever again! The service was overbooked so 2 coaches were needed. Over 1 and a half hours later the second one arrived whilst they hunted for another driver - who turned out not to exactly know his way. Anyway - upside was we got onto a cleaner coach with more space - some comfort then - and arrived seriously late The Greyhound staff at Richmond were quite rude - especially on the Info Desk ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Alexandria June 11th 2017

Sunday 11th June A leisurely start to the day - late light breakfast as we are due for lunch in Georgian old Alexandria on the Potomac riverside My hostess Rene - and husband Bill took me down to Old Town Alexandria VA Lunch is in an old warehouse dockside - at Chadwicks on Strand Street. http://www.chadwicksrestaurants.com I went healthy - honest Carol! Had Kale & Roasted Beet - Crumbled feta, dried cranberries, spiced walnuts, lemon vinaigrette and salmon - see picOur waitress is not long back from living in the UK, turns out to be of Irish descent (snap Rene) - and looking for a job to do with international border security (or something like that, I'm a virgin on this one!) maybe in the intelligence community. Lucky for her Bill is ex C*A and able ... read more
Old Town Alexandria, VA
Old Town Alexandria, VA

North America » United States » Virginia » Alexandria June 10th 2017

Green Spring Gardens So I'm going to keep this one brief - follow the URL links if you so wish First order of the day - was a short drive and a quite walk through the Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax County Taking in the old residence at the front and the Visitors Centre and Gallery at the back http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/ That evening we drove to The Birchmere - Performance art theatre in Alexandria, Virginia to have dinner and watch a performance of The Mike Seeger Commemorative Old Time Banjo Festival featuring Tony Trischka, Kaia Kater, Michael Miles, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer Kaia being the young player of the future I would think I'll listen to anything at least once! Before the performance a woman next to us str... read more
Green Spring Gardens
Green Spring Gardens

North America » United States » Virginia » Springfield June 9th 2017

Went into Washington DC today to do an open top bus tour with Rene O'Brien Harlow and Bill Harlow (Big Bus Tour of Washington D.C.) An impressive array of museums, monuments and galleries The Washingtonians have put their 'awl and their all' toward embedding their constitutional pride into the landscape. Towering majestic monuments and impressive museum collections testify to the founding (fathers' you will note) principles There is a gob smacking array of monumental and well kept symbols of American freedoms. One of our tour guides Fowzia (pseudonym) was full of insights and amusing anecdotes As an American born Muslim - she was notably sensitive to landmarks of ethnic significance - keen to point out the broken Swastika of the Holocaust Museum, highlighting the newer African American Museum and its popularity, the symbolism of the American ... read more
Union Station exterior
Union Station interior
Union Station interior

North America July 26th 2010

The journey began on the 24th July 2009. We flew to Montreal as the start of our motorcycle tour of the Appalachians Our ultimate aim was to tour the Appalachians/Smokies/Blue Ridge Parkway/Pisgah/ending with the Dragons Tail, then head East to Savannah and up the East coast back up to Canada The Plan: Our plan was to use Montreal as our base where we spent two days acclimatising and looking around the town, and ultimately would return there to fly back out after visiting family We spent our first 3 nights in B&B at ready to then collect a hire bike from St Therése just north of Montreal. We had two options 1. Head North to see our cousins in the Laurentian Mountains for 2 days or 2. Head down South into the States to Lowell ... read more
The Blue Ridge Mountains from the Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park VA
Carol at waterfall
Harley on the line

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Berkshire » Windsor July 24th 2010

* One year later and I am still trading on the memories and dreams of our trip to Canada and the Appalachians last summer 2009. I now realise why I still work - it's for the journeys made possible by the pay cheque! This summer holiday is going to be a low budget domestic affair - vehicles to service, divorce to complete, jobs and property to find. However with an unusually hot summer in the UK it's not all bad. Best times for taking a motorcycle ride in the SE England is 7 p.m. onwards when the air is cooler, the roads are clear and the scent of wild honeysuckle and garden bar b q's descends into our narrow country lanes as cool air settles at low level. For those of you wanting an escape from ... read more
Daneside nr Henley on Thames
Pullingshill Wood

North America December 8th 2009

A few considerations for motorcycle travel in the US and Canada: - 1. GETTING A MACHINE. Hiring is advisable unless you are going on a world trip, as the costs are more or less the same as bringing your own bike. If you do there are good specialist firms in the UK - but there's no guarantee that the machine will arrive on time or in one piece. We decided it was too much hassle and hired from who arranged the hire with a local agent in Canada. Don't assume you can cross borders with a hired vehicle. We needed to ensure that we could take the bike over the border to the US and back - so asked HC Travel to arrange that for us. It's vital the hire company gives you a copy of ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Berkshire October 17th 2009

Finally home again, and the reality of work kicks in as a few days later we hit the ground running, as teachers back to school. On reflection this is one of the best holidays I've ever had. Its taken me 50 something years to get over the mental block of visiting the US. Yes, they are a myopic, politically naive bunch who manage to do more than their fair share of screwing up our planet, but somewhere in there are hearts of gold and the vestiges of the welcoming pioneer spirit. Nobody was rude to us, and most people were more than welcoming and curious about who we were, even if sometimes only superficially. Moments; Most serene moment was watching the mist swirl down onto the lake, and deer strolling by at Peaks of Otter Lodge ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal August 24th 2009

Started 24 th October Return to Montréal - Cousin Tina and other family members After such a long time on the road the return of our hired motorcycle to the rental base just north of Montréal and a train trip back into the city is tinged with regret that the journey is almost over, but also with relief that we 'made it' without mishap bike wise. Well, a 2000$ (Canadian dollars) is the excess, and a heavy penalty to pay if the bike is damaged. A conversation with cousin Tina the day before establishes that she will collect us from the railway station on the edge of Montréal. By pure luck we leave the rental, dash across the railway tracks with our dodgy-wheeled suitcases and just catch the next train (at least one hours wait if ... read more
At cousin Tinas
At cousin Tinas
At cousin Tinas

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