Cozumel at DuskIt’s been a LONG month since we’ve posted, and we have a lot of making up to do. First, you might be wondering where we are and where we’ve been, and I’ll take this post to fill you in.

We’ve been from Mexico to Southern California, then back to Atlanta. After Atlanta we headed north through the Smoky Mountains, then hopped the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville and Brevard NC. Finally we’re heading to Shenandoah National Park, Lancaster County PA, and back to Massachusetts to watch our cat, Gracie, for the summer.

FYI – I’m writing this post from Roanoke VA, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mexico to California

Cactus Blossom CaliforniaWe ended up making an unexpected detour to California this spring, and that threw us off just a bit.

The short version is that every few renewals the California DMV requires that you renew in person. Had we known this prior to leaving California we would have renewed and saved ourselves the extra trip, but such is life and it was great to catch up with our friends on the west coast.

It was also fun to see our old hangouts and eat at our one-time favorite restaurants, but the traffic and hustle and bustle of California is still very much there, and neither of us miss that aspect of Orange County. We were also both in major culture and price-shock hitting the OC right out of Mexico. The USA is expensive!

California to Atlanta

Virginia Highlands, AtlantaThen it was back to Atlanta to see family and get our Honda Element for the trip north. As always it was great to see family in the ATL.

I got to introduce some of the cuisine that we’d been eating down in the Yucatan (we both love to cook), and it was fun to try out our new-found recipes on family.

It was also a MAJOR project to go through our ‘stuff’ before we hit the road. When we left California the first time we knew we had too much stuff with us, but we were so tired from moving in the first place that we just went with it.

Fast Forward to this spring and it was much easier to cut down our stuff. While in Mexico for 4 months we didn’t need much to get by – just 2 bags and a backpack, and that shift in perspective made it easy.

We removed about 6 bags worth of clothes and gear from the car, and everything is much more manageable now.

North from Atlanta

Blue Ridge ParkwayI’ve wanted to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway since I first saw it’s entry next to Great Smoky Mountains NP with my Mom a few years back.

For those who don’t know, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway that runs along the Appalachian Mountains from the Smoky Mountains in the south, to Shenandoah NP in the north – a total of 469 miles.

Our plan was to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then to drive the Blue Ridge to Shenandoah with stops along the way. After Shenandoah Kathy wanted to see Lancaster County PA, and then on to Worcester MA for the summer.

In my next post I’ll show photos of the Smoky Mountains, and cover the first leg of our drive. I’ll follow up soon!


Hi, I'm Rich - Perpetual traveler, photographer, writer, and web designer. Thanks for reading, and happy trekking!