I had packed, sold, or donated 99% of my stuff. When I reached the point where everything I owned now fit in the back of my Subaru, I decided to get on the road early. I was heading east to NY State and then to NJ to visit my family before heading out on this adventure. The drive took four and a half days, covering about 3,000 miles – doing about 8 hours of driving per day. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, after the first couple hours each day I settled into the groove and just kept cruising. The changing scenery, listening to my play list, and the constant need to be alert for semi-trucks driving like Indy cars kept my attention. I saw two accidents on the way, both happening only several car lengths in front of me. Fortunately I came away unscathed.
I was happy to arrive in Bemus Point to see my Father and Jackie greet me with big smiles and a warm welcome. The weather was in the 70’s and 80’s, and as Tempe was hitting 118 that day, I couldn’t be happier. His summer cottage is right on Lake Chautauqua, a stones throw from the Canadian border, so the weather is typically pleasant with a chance of rain.
I often describe Bemus as a one stoplight town, that doesn’t really need the stop light. They must have had a budget surplus one year and didn’t know how to spend the money. I’ve never been during the winter but I imaging it is a pretty sleepy place, however during the summer the village swells with summer visitors that bring life to the local bars and restaurants. (Though it may not look like it in the photos, I was out early)
I spent a very relaxing week there, eating, drinking, relaxing, and catching up. Before long it was time to hop back in the car and head on to NJ to see the rest of the family. While the first week of driving wasn’t too bad, I wasn’t looking forward to another 8 hours in the car. This time the drive seemed to take forever, the clock unwilling to budge as I made my way down the highway.
NJ was in the midst of an “Extreme Heat Wave” as the local news put it. It was in the low 90’s with high humidity. It actually seemed quite pleasant coming in fresh from the Phoenix summer. If you live in Arizona long enough you begin to believe that 100+ degree temperatures are normal. For the record, they are not.
I spent a few more days visiting with mom before my sister picked me up for a ride to the Philly airport for my flight out to Munich. It was great to spend a few weeks seeing the family before heading off on my around the world tour.