• BLOG 11—Traveling with Tina.

    July 27, 2015—What a joyful night we had two nights ago in Hapgood campground in NY state, a fabulous place. I regret now that we did not spend another night there.

    As you know, we have the freedom to travel where we want to and when we want to, we just have to pick right when to go. So, off to find an internet connection.

    I had wanted to get that last blog off you, but, sorry to say, that will come second to where we are at the time and time spent there. The words were written, I just did not have an internet connection.

    Last night was spent at a Dennys parking lot under trees and quiet, quite nice it was (see how I used “quiet” and “quite” together, or, are you thinking “quit”?)

    A nice breakfast of biscuits and gravy.

    Yesterday I drove the miles, today Tina is behind the wheel.

    Right now we are driving through yet another small town in America. There is McDonalds, Taco Bell, Sunoco—so much of the same thing in each town. That is why we like to stay away from cities and more to the natural areas.
    Although, the other day we drove through some fabulous small towns and many beautiful gardens and homes.

    All of the mom/pop stores and restaurants have sold out to the big biz ones, it is so sad. Every city and town in America is looking about the same now—yikes. And, from my time traveling worldwide, the world is following how America is, once again—so very sad.

    To save on costs we stay off of any toll roads, getting there at about the same time, too. Plus, we get to drive through many interesting town and country sides.

    In Canada, as well as the US, we passed many abandoned and empty houses. All the homeless and less to do people come to mind, but, once they are put into these abandoned buildings, how will they live? When we pass each one, each of us looks at the other and says, “We could fix up that one.”

    We just passed a sign with an arrow pointing and the word, “Mexico”, we both had to laugh. Neither of us ever heard of Mexico, New York.

    We are passing many houses. We both told each other that we never want to live in a house again:

    • So limiting being a permanent resident.
    • So much cost to maintain that lifestyle.
    • So inexpensive to buy a van, convert it into a home, and travel.
    • The freedom we are finding is spectacular.
    • We are loving this life on the road.Next stop was a laundromat (yes, Ken, you read that right.) While we are waiting I am writing these words (obviously.) But, there is a nice lawn out back—very inviting—juggling time!

    Just back in from juggling, the session felt good. I still feel that I could get back some of what I used to be able to do with juggling, but the body (mind) is saying no. Although, one guy was walking by and said, “Hey, you’re pretty good at that.” Little does he know . . .

    The laundromat has a little library of books to read while you are waiting. I count about 50 books. So many books are released every year, how can I be surprised my “Beyond Your Potential” series never did take off? (Do you have a copy yet?) My book, “Juggling with Finesse” did go on to sell over 25,000 copies, though.

    Yesterday, July 28, we decided to go see the falls, you know, Niagara Falls. Yes, the tourista in us is coming out. You can actually see the falls better watching videos on YouTube, but nice to say we were here. From the US side you can’t see much because they are doing improvements to the walk that goes out so you can see better. We wanted that better view, so . . .

    . . . back to Canada, again. Yes, the views of the falls from the Canada side are more grand. It was worth the drive across the border again.

    What was shocking was the number of tourists there on a Monday; we saw them everywhere (I know, I know, we were too.) We couldn’t imagine what it would be like during a weekend or holiday in the summer—yikes! Of course, there were all the shops and things to keep these tourists happy.

    Saw many people while out walking, NO ONE looked at me, smiled, or said “hi”. This is one of my pet peeves (I had another pet once, a doggy named Spot, would this be the same?) But, there were a few kids who looked at me and were friendlier. Seems that when we are younger we are more curious as to others. As people get older they “TURN” into adults (hope you haven’t.) They lose their curiosity, friendliness and interest of other people. I have a strong curiosity, I am most curious about every person—

    What is their life like?
    What have they achieved?
    Where they going in their life?
    Do they like mangoes?
    Yes, I wrote about this subject before, this non-communication really does bug me, or, am I just being weird? Let me know.

    How about you:
    Are you friendly with other people?
    Do you say “hi” to others?
    Do smiles come from your face for most people?
    Do you offer people mangoes?

    Seems to me it would be a better world if everyone acknowledged everyone else in a friendly way. I don’t mean kisses or how a dog will sniff another dog’s butt, but we can all share a friendship (did you see how I used “butt” and “but” one after the other?)

    We are seeing houses along the drive currently and a road near Richbucto, Canada and wonder what these people do for a living, so far from any town or city. This goes for many areas we have seen on our drive, what could these people do. Here is my curiosity coming in.

    For the evening meal we decided to do Chinese food, and there happened to be one right across the street where we were (I guess that is how we decided on Chinese.) The food was not that great, simply eatable. We talked with girl who served us, she looked like she was in her 20’s, and told her of our travels. She was quite interested and told us that she has never ventured from that small town. Tina and I both said later that we just wanted to kidnap her and take her with us to experience life. Kidnapping, I would never, but Tina often
    Kit-naps me.

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    I have been fortunate in my life to have traveled much. In fact, just the other day I was looking through our map book to see what states in the US I have not been to. I saw that I have visited all 50 states of the US. As well, I went to Europe three times, Japan three times, and spent a month in Australia and month in New Zealand.

    I am seeing that we could set up to travel like we are now in any country, and will. After arriving in the country we will purchase a Van to travel in and I will fix up the inside to live in.
    China—here we come—watch out!

    Then Russia.

    Speaking of travels, Tina and I have been talking. We are heading up in Michigan right now to go to some bigger parks in the top of the state. After we might go through Canada to get to Wisconsin. Then we will be driving down through Wisconsin to visit friends of mine who live near Chicago (looking forward to seeing you, Ken and Paul.)

    After Chicago we are planning to go back to Pennsylvania. September 13 could be a big change in the world and we want to be back near each of our kids. The Jewish Shemitah is happening at this time, and dire times are forecast.

    The Shemitah is a Jewish event that happens every seven years. Most all Shemitah years have had a major financial change in the world.

    I don’t want to scare you, my friend, just be somewhat prepared.
    Watch this to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkELgi6EkNo

    As you might know, I am not a believer in any god or mystical thing. What I am concerned about are the people who “think” they heard something from their god and blowing up something or attacking someone or something. There are some crazies out there who might just do such a thing, thinking their god told them to.

    Just prepare yourself and your family for upcoming possible events.

    Also, prepare yourself for the event of Kit and Tina coming over for dinner?

    We just passed the sign that showed the way to Kalamazoo. We both looked at each other and laughed, a funny word this is.

    July 30—Last night was the best night at a campground yet. Brush Lake Campground in Michigan is beautiful. In the camping space you park on the grass. The two nights we spent there were quite restful. In fact, the first night we were the only ones there, a long drive in on a dirt road to get in. At one point on that first night my clothes accidentally fell off, for a while. Yes, Kit with no clothes on, you should have seen it (no, might be better that you didn’t.) On the first night, the big bottle of wine disappeared, as we went into comfort in our minds.zkit with the tea mug

    The morning on the next day, I heard fish jumping high out of the lake to get bugs, what a delight. The wilderness is so pleasant. What was strange was there were hardly any sounds of birds around.

    The cost, with my discount, was only five bucks a night at this gorgeous campground. We could live here forever and we love it. But, as you know, we travel with the warmth and it would get too cold here in the winder.

    August 2—After having a restful night at Pine Lake Campground, we decided to take a walk to see the lake. As we were departing our campsite we witnessed a lizard skittering off for the bushes. As we were approaching the lake we saw a skunk headed for the hills and Tina got startled and scared by a snake that slithered into the brush. Off over the lake we saw a heron gliding low with a fish in his mouth (her mouth?) All this within about 15 minutes.

    I love nature.

    Creatures, they’re there and their demeanor is usually nice. See that, all three ways to use the same word. The English language if a strange beast. I have heard that it is the most difficult language to learn from no knowledge of the language.

    Our dinner of left overs and some chips and dip was excellent last night. Somehow food tastes so much better when you are in the wilderness. You must try and and see for yourself.

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    Then, out of the wonderful park to continue to other destinations. We have been craving fresh corn-on-the-cob. On our way we saw a little farm with a sign that they had fresh produce, we had to go. We met Candy, a wonderful lady, who sold us some excellent ears of fresh corn, cucumbers, cherries, tomatoes, potatoes and fresh garlic. This produce is perfect, we can’t wait to consume. Take a look, maybe you can come here sometime? —— www.grossnicklefarms.com

    In driving today we saw a mother, father and five baby turkeys cross the road right in front of us. I have never seen a baby turkey, this was amazing. Now, answer me this: why did the turkey family cross the road?

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    At times I have to remember I am not living a dream; this has been fantastic, and could (will) continue for upcoming years.

  • Blog 10—We are now in a foreign country!

    Sunday, July 15, 2015>>As we passed from the US into Canada things changed—Less people, less traffic, less business, less signs—yes, it is like we are in a foreign country, and I like it! But first, we did have to make it into the country to the north.

    Going through customs, Tina told them she had a canister of pepper spray (no, not for use on me), which, we found out, is not allowed in the country. So, we had to go through a secondary custom inspection, we gave them the pepper spray, they also searched the van. Fortunately, they found nothing else (what am I hiding?) The customs guy spoke good English, but French was apparent everywhere.

    The trouble for me right away was, I never took the time to learn to speak Canadian, and so, having a hard time. But, we are finding a few people who can speak American, so it is not too bad (see me smile.)

    Our first travels in this country, how wonderful. There are far less people, less buildings, less cars, less billboards and advertising, very nice. Everything we have been seeing looks very cleaned up and quite presentable.

    To see a sign reading “100 kilometers per hour” was something new (60mph it is.) So sad that when President Jimmy Carter tried to convert the US into using the metric system the American’s did not go for it, such a better system for measuring. Yet, it is a new language for us, learning, learning.

    We both love our time in Canada, so different it is. From the part we’ve seen so far, we think it is so very beautiful. The air, land and water are very clean, a pleasant experience. I could see us living here, but, of course, only in our van. As you know, we will travel for the warm weather, so Canada only in the summer. What do you think about going to Alaska next summer, Tina? They might even have covered bridges there.

    Seeing so many covered bridges in Canada, very nice. Yes, we see them in Pennsylvania, but not nearly as many, neat to see the history that it provides. We didn’t go through one, so sorry for that, next time we’re up here?

    One strange thing, we have been are some of the biggest sea gulls and crows we have seen. Yes, Scary sea gulls and creepy crows, an interesting thing. Did you see the movie birds? Yes, that scary.

    Arriving in St. George, it was off to the beach. We drove a lot on this day, nice to arrive somewhere. First time for a long time we smelled stinky air, city air. You might be able to tell, we like parks, wilderness and the out-of-doors much better than any city. But, we did find park locations to explore.

    Off we went to Kiwanis Centennial Park and beach, where we parked on the street and walked down to the beach. Many people at the beach, we fit right in. They do have a parking lot you can pay for, but street parking so close, we had to.

    Next stop was St. John. Everything closed up early, like sixish. Spent the night last night in a 24 hour open McDonalds and slept well. Awoke to a clear sky, bright sun; a great start to a grand day. In fact, the whole day has been marvelous. We spent most of the morning at McDonalds working on computer.

    July 13, 2015>>The morning was spent in Rockwood Park, a splendid place. In the park was Lily Lake Restaurant, where, after taking a nice bike ride, we had a lunch on the outside deck, which was overlooking the lake. Class was in the air, we felt superb. Lunch was very classy.

    With this excellent weather, we both love it!

    Seeing a group of duckies swim by, and nature all around, it makes me feel so good. What a perfect day with Tina spent at Rockwood Park in St. John in NB in Canada. See http://www.rockwoodpark.ca/. We took a short walk up to falls at Rockwood Park; a beautiful site awaited your eyes.

    Off we go to watch the biggest tide change in the world. This was amazing; the tide went out more and more; going out a half mile out as we watched it. We also went to something called Reversing rapids—take a look, http://discoversaintjohn.com/places/fallsview-park/ This is the biggest tide water change in the world, because of how the land is and the pull of the moon.

    It’s funny, I thought the entire east in Canada was French speaking, and we are not even hearing an accent from people. I am guessing it is spoken more in the province of Quebec and in Quebec City itself, as well as Montreal.

    Natural thermal heating of a pool–we had to go in. Also, it had been a couple days since the last shower, so a need. This pool held saltwater, a nice change. With the heavier salt water, it was easy to float, quite fun. Into the shower they have after the swim. Now all clean and smiling we are.

    Lobster for the second time, can you believe it? This was even more special than the other day with our lobster tails. Almas is a small, quaint place hidden away and hard to get to, but worth the effort.

    July 15, 2015>>Every day we are doing so much, hard to keep up.

    We found Julie through coachsurfing.com and we connected and are spending the night with her. What a fantastic vegetarian meal she made for us; a new friend is made. She loved her new skill after I taught her to juggle.

    So good to meet new people in this way, traveling and always having a flow of new faces. Julie went on to earn her Ph.D. and she is still studying. I am so impressed with what she has done.

    Living and traveling—why did we not think of doing this a couple years ago—what a pleasing new life this is. If you do not love your life how it is currently, you can always make the changes necessary to make your life better.

    As we are driving between cities we are seeing houses that are really out in the boondocks. We wonder what these people possibly do for a living, how far might they have to travel for their work, how often do they have to take a trip to the market and how far; might you have answers? But, this would be for anyone who lives in the wilderness anywhere.

    July 17, we decided to rent a campsite for tonight, and I’m so glad we did. Showers, free wifi, nice restaurant—a choice and a beautiful place. Sugarloaf Mountain in Cambellton, Canada is for skiing and in the summer, then, they developed off road biking for mountain biking.

    We saw many young guys there who take the ski lift up, including their bike, then bike down on the difficult terrain. One fee for the day, as many times down as you want; looked like great fun. We had our bikes with us, but no.

    July 18, 2015—We have a week until the juggling convention in Quebec that we are aiming for, so, we have time to spend. What better way to spend time than to head back down to Bar Harbor in Maine? We loved our time there and there is a little island off Bar Harbor that we did not get to—so here we go!

    The first dismal weather we have had since we started out, a bad day as we pass from Canada back into the US. Right away we are seeing the difference of countries: More businesses and signs and people and . . . Felt safer and better in Canada for some reason, yet more familiar in the US. So, we return from a glorious time in Canada for bad weather and people and signs?

    While in Canada our GPS and Cell phones were not working. So, we went back to the old ways of using maps and guessing. On return, nice to be able to depend on GPS and cell once again, this does make life easier.

    Earlier I wrote about my traveling across country in the old days by car. Because they were not invented yet, I did not use GPS or cell. Boy, I wish I would have been the one to think of these things back then. What is the next advancement in humanity? Will you think of it?

    Speaking of GPS, this reminds me of when we went to see a lighthouse lweek. There was someone there who was talking with visitors about the lighthouse (being a volunteer, such a nice thing to do.) He told us that this lighthouse, as well as most others in the world, are no longer needed, these days vessels us GPS to navigate. Surprised and sad to hear this.

    We arrived at Quebec City in Canada for http://ym.juggle.org/?page=aboutfestival. The first day we were there I saw four Japanese jugglers arrive at 4am, and, talk about great juggling, these guys were the top; quite excellent. They spoke no English, but were able to communicate to the three of us that they were hungry. We helped them to find some vending machines and found a way to heat water for their cup-o-noodles, so they got satisfied.

    I showed these four excellent Japanese jugglers the book I wrote in the eighties, Juggling with Finesse. Of course, they could not read a word, but loved all the photos. I gave them a copy and they were all so happy for that, bowing much.

    But, it seemed, the skill level of most of the other jugglers at the convention was quite mediocre/amateur/hobbyist, at best. In fact, after only being there for three days of the six day convention, Tina and I headed out. I did not see how we could benefit from being there, and, more important, did not see how I could benefit anyone. On those three days I did go around and help all I could with improvement ideas for jugglers there.

    Tina has a friend who she used to work with who let her know she was going to Kennebunkport, Maine with her boyfriend to camp for a few days. So, off we went and spent a lovely evening with them last night, before we were off to yet another Walmart to sleep the night. There were many vehicles there with sleeping people, the most I have seen.

    Lobster again!? We are in Maine, you know, Maine lobster—fresh from the ocean—we had to, one final time. In these three times we had whole lobster, it had gotten better every time. Sooooooooooooo good.

    July 25–Whoops, yesterday, as I was backing into a space to park the van, I accidentally backed into someone. This guy was so pissed off, hard to deal with him. In fact, I said, “my name is Kit, by the way”, he would not tell me his name. We were in a full parking lot, he was three feet into my side, which I did not see. Anyway, he called the cops to have them come out, so we had to wait.

    Like I wrote, I was alright with what happened, but this guy bugged me, much. In fact, that night I awoke at 1:33am and could not get back to sleep again, thinking about this guy and how he was.

    July 26, 2015—Last night we ventured into a national campground that was, simply, astonishing. With my pass the site was only $5, so nice it was. We took showers in the morning and feel so good today.

    We met Russ, who is also travelling in his vehicle, a big motor home. He is working toward visiting all 48 states, nice. Learn more of Russ here>>> .https://russontheroad.wordpress.com/

    We are back in New York State driving again, heading up to Adirondack Park. So very nice it is to drive through. We saw another covered bridge, this time we went through it.

    Wanting to get these words off to you, I conclude now.

    Hope you are enjoying life as much as I am.

    Bye for now>>>>>>>>Kit

  • Blog 9–Endless Summer

    We travel with the sun. When it is warmer up toward the north, we stay north, going to Canada and even Alaska in the future. As fall and winter come, our sails will be directed toward the southern states (I would love to return to New Zealand, there must be some way to drive there if we continue to keep driving south, yes?)

    And, travel is good for us. In fact, came upon this article just this morning:

    Saturday, July 4, 2015 – This area of The Finger Lakes in New York has so much; we will not be able to take it all in. I am thinking back right now of last night, dinner and the cruise on the lake seeing fire​

    I did not say, before we boarded, we shared a meal of nachos and a separate dish of calamari, yes, Kit eating squid. The nachos were delicious. At restaurants you are given so much food. So, between us, we eat well.

    We share most of our meals.​

    ​On a different subject. I write this blog, and sent to you by email, where I am able to attach some photos. I have many, and am still learning. My website and blog are written in WordPress, which I do not know that much of. If you have seen my blog on the website, photos are not included, in that I do not know how to include them. If anyone out there can help me with this predicament, please let me know. ​
    ​Back at Wegmans for the night of slumber in the van; very quiet and calm here, slept well, but, once again for me, only until 3am. This is another Wegmans that is open for 24 hours, seven days a week, so into the store with me at this early hour.

    ​Right now at the café in the store working on writing this, allowing Tina to keep on being a sleepy head. The cleaning crew is doing what they do, although I did see two customers. A very classy food store is this one.

    In my life I have worked for others various times, but mainly lived by self employment. Seems that when you work for someone else you are making more money for them, than yourself, and personally, I don’t like that.

    That’s the thing, we can make a living at so many things, just think of the fresh salsa business I developed many years ago – summerssalsa.com. This brought in thousands and thousands of dollars and supported my family and I well.

    Use your mind to get creative and use your skills to live the life that you want. If you would like the recipe for the delicious salsa that I developed, send me an email and I will get it to you – kitsummers@gmail.com

    Sad to me when someone is in a job they hate for eight hours a day, then go home and watch TV until late, off to bed they go, then the same thing the next day—day after day after . . .

    Then, they get their two week a year vacation—oh boy! They then spend these two weeks sleeping. To me, such a waste of life. We only have this one chance at life, I’ve decided (and, yes, it is a conscious decision) to live my life how “I” want, not to be dictated by someone else or live how I do not want.

    Sunday, July 5, 2015. Into the Adirondack Mountains to see more nature, and nature we saw much of. Something else we saw much of was cars going the other direction, exiting the area. You see, they spent the Fourth of July holiday up in the mountains and on their way
    ​​ back to their normal life. We were going in—to continue our normal life—on the road (“normal”, I dare say not.)

    In the evening, once we got into the park, we went to the town of Old Forge and, once again, we were able to park where the lake was about just out our back door, and, right at this lake was a park.

    Guess what, within spitting distance a singer was performing for a small audience. We were able to sit comfortably in the van and listen. She sang songs from the 70’s and sounded like a combination of Joni Mitchell and Grace Slick. I liked her voice, Tina, not so much. The backup band was excellent.

    Dinner was another good salad and to top it off we went out for ice cream, a great addition to add to our day.

    We were able to just stay parked where we were next to the lake and slept the night, very at ease; I think I need not say. I awoke early, again, and started putting words together for you. About 6am I looked out the van window and not more than six feet from me was a deer eating grass. What a wonderful thing to wake to, seeing a deer, dear (yes, you.)

    As we drove further into the mountains we started seeing more and more green, and trees multiplied much, too.

    Into the forest we go.

    Arriving at Rutland, Vermont, we went to the local Walmart for a night of rest. But, this store was not in a very nice area of town and the store itself was not a very nice one. So, we packed up and headed for the hills. We got spoiled from the superb location we were at last night.

    Up, up into the mountains.

    We pulled into a state park that had a campground, very nice. It was too late to find anyone to pay a fee to, so we just found a spot and set up to sleep. We didn’t cover the windows either; there will be no street lights anywhere to shine in while we sleep.

    I am now typing the following morning, watching the area get lighter and lighter as the sun is rising (wait a second, the sun is not rising, we on earth and turning so that we are seeing it come into view.) So much nicer awakening in this forest, rather than the Walmart parking lot that we initially pulled into.

    Now we are driving from Vermont into New Hampshire, and what a difference it is. The roads, the buildings, the greenery are less dazzling and less class on this side of the border.

    A part of this new life on the road, we are at the Laundromat. Off and on we will be staying with people (you?), and, I hope, can use their laundry facilities.

    While driving we saw signs for “Moose Crossing” and “Beware of the Elk”. These are signs I normally do not see where I lived in San Diego or Trainer, PA.

    Now we are pulled off the road while in a state park, next to a fast flowing stream parked and having lunch. People dream of this sort of thing, so nice to live it.

    This just happened, while driving north on I-93N at 1:33pm we looked ahead and to the side of the road and there was a bear! Just kind of sitting there eating grass and stuff, it was great, a once in a lifetime experience. I got out and took some photos, I hope they come out. I wanted to go and pet the bear and see if he wanted to play—Tina said no, for some reason.

    Tina is driving (of course, or, am I driving and typing?) We pulled over at a rushing stream, beautiful. I love to drink from mountain streams (you may remember this when I wrote about it when I was in New Zealand.) How refreshing this drink was.

    Currently we are driving through the White Mountain National Park, the roads are excellent. I should take back what I said about NH before, but this is a state park. A big ski area in the winter, you can tell. The summer too attracts many.

    Continuing on the same road with me as the passenger, I look ahead and up a tree is another baby bear!, so cute (so, I guess it is not a “once in a lifetime” experience, like I wrote previously.) There are about 10 people parked and watching with us.

    Tina told me that she heard once that sometimes the mommy bear chases the baby up a tree and then high tails it away, then the baby bear will begin their adult life cycle.

    July 8, 2015, last night was spent in another Walmart. There are four other camper vehicles that spent the night here, as well. A free and safe place to park and sleep, that’s a good thing.

    Some driving in the morning, then we pulled into a Planet Fitness for a workout and a shower. This was a beautiful facility in a somewhat new building, very nice. I wrote before, there are Planet Fitness gyms all over the US. We often stop for a workout and they all have showers to get clean. The cost, with my insurance, is only $10 a month and I can bring in a guest (Tina). So, it only costs us $5 each a month for a place that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to work out and shower.

    Into Portland, Maine we aim. GPS was set for the only Jewish museum in Maine, which is in Portland. You see, Tina is a Messianic Jew and likes to learn of Jewish things. I just like to learn. This was an old building that they fixed up so perfect, very nice.

    Driving using GPS is an amazing thing. You may know, I have traveled by car 19 times, round-trip, across the US, most of the time by myself. In the past I had to go by maps and asking direction of people. What a better system this is.

    Bar Harbor, Maine is next on the agenda. A drive up route 1 is called for, and it fit in splendidly.

    Awoke this morning at a nice pond we parked at last night. This is a natural pond between Portland and Bar Harbor. As I parked last night, I did not know this pond has frogs, a lot of them! Early in the morning their mating calls started, croak, croak. But, I heard three different kinds of voice, so at least three different kinds of frog.

    Anyway, this woke me up quite early, Tina slept through it. I’m sure you are thinking that I awoke because of the mating calls, a frog I am not, so, no, I didn’t even get sexually stimulated from the mating croaks.

    The drive yesterday was amazing! This was a rich part of the country, I can tell. We drove on route 1 from Portland up to Bar Harbor. The trees, the bays, the mansions, the beauty, it was breathtaking (yes, it took my breath away, I could not breath, Tina had to pound on my chest to save me. Or, was she just beating me for fun?)

    There is also a route 1 in California. This makes me think back to, at the age of 16, two friends and I rode bicycles from San Francisco down to where we lived in San Diego. That, too, was an amazing time on route 1.

    First we went into the Acadia National Park, and what a grand place it is. Natural beauty was everywhere, but, also, were the people to see this beauty. Tourists were abundant and it showed. We went for a bike ride through an area of the park, and I must apologize, I did not bring my camera to show you how magnificent this place is, I feel like I let you down.

    Because of the traffic and the people, we were there briefly and then departed. Off to Bar Harbor, which is in the same island/area as the park, and I’m so glad we went.

    If you look on a map, you will see that the park and Bar Harbor are on the same Island area >>> https://www.google.com/maps/@44.3326498,-68.2284184,11z

    Here is Bar Harbor >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESLeV4Roqvo

    We went out for an excellent meal last night. Once again we shared the meal, and, once again, there was plenty for both of us. The taste was exquisite, I have not had that good of food in quite awhile, savored ever bite.

    That’s the thing, either you can simply throw food into your mouth and down your throat, or you can savor every bite you put into your mouth, enjoying every morsel.

    Taste every molecule, feel the texture with your tongue, sense the temperature. I call this eating for your mind, rather than eating for your body. This is eating deliberately for taste and not just to eat.

    And, you can do this with every meal—eat slowly, consciously, analyzing every flavor and texture that is put into your mouth. Do this and you will eat less, be satisfied more, and enjoy the process of nourishing you body. Make all eating an enjoyable, special event and you will eat healthier.

    Back to travels–We found a street in Bar Harbor with not many cars and a barren area with a big tree to hang over us as we slept in the van. Sleeping near millionaire mansions, we felt special. First, though, we took a long walk along cliffs to the town, called Shore Road.

    In towns we have been in recently, surprisingly, we have seen the biggest seagulls and crows that either of us has ever seen. Perhaps you saw the movie birds? Yes, that scary.

    Tina and I are getting along slappingly well (no, she is not slapping me.) We have fun together; laugh at the same things, and growing and learning together. This could continue forever—or—at least as long as the van holds up.

    While in Bar Harbor, Tina mentioned that she wanted lobster. Maine is the main place for Maine lobster, so we mainly had to while in Maine.

    There was a place in that town that we could have had lobster overlooking the ocean, but I wanted to keep looking; wrong thing to do. This made Tina mad, which I did not see at first.

    We found a fantastic place down the road—
    We both ordered a tail, no sharing this time.

    Before we were served I had to go and us
    ​e​ the restroom​ to wash my hands​. As I was walking by the tank that holds the lobsters, the chef was pulling one out. I think he smiled at me, so, later, it was difficult to eat the little guy (but not that difficult!)

    Along with the entire lobster served to us, we also got corn-on-the-cob, French fries (made in France, I might add), cole-slaw and a salad; a big meal for each.
    I got startled seeing Tina
    ​consume​​ her lobster.

    Talk about a professional lobster eater, boy.

    She carefully removed each leg, and then sucked the meat out of each. Moving on to the tail, delicately she removed it from the rest of the small animal with claws. She then went about saving and devouring each morsel of the tail. The claws came last; she told me they were the sweetest. Skillfully she was able to find every bit of meat.

    What was left was just some hard shell.

    I ate my tail and claws, although not at all with such dexterity.

    What an amazing place to eat. As we ate, there was a view out on the bay and islands, so nice. We saw sailboats tied up to buoys, and wondered how people go out to their boat.

    On one buoy was a row boat tied up.
    ​ ​After a time we saw a sail boat come in to this buoy, they tied up the sailboat, then jumped in the row boat for the ride to the shore. So, now we know.
    ​​Our waitress was Gabrielle, a sweet girl​ from Lithuanian​​ ​who performs her job with excellence. She is also in school studying business, I can tell she will do well.
    Right off to our right there were islands ¼ mile out, I wanted to make one my home on one of them, but Tina said it would be hard to keep ice cream, so I dropped that idea.

    Parked last night for sleep in a McDonalds parking look. Very quiet, very calm; we slept well. In fact, Tina is still out getting some shuteye.

    Wanting to get these words right off for you, I say, bye for now.​

  • Blog 8, The Van

    July 5, 2015–A number of people asked to hear more of and see photos of our van, which I showed some blogs ago. Here are more photos. The van is an ongoing project, always looking for ways to improve.

    Why, just yesterday we had to purchase four new tires. The tires of the van were older and somewhat dry-rotted. The van had sat some before we purchased, and the tires were older. Feels great to have the new ones on now and be safe for upcoming adventures.

    We are very comfortable living in our new home.
    Let me tell you of some aspects of the van we live and travel in. I built a seat that is six feet in length. The top lifts by way of hinges and there is storage under. On the other side is a shorter version of the same, and I put in a mechanism that makes lifts the top into a tabletop so that we can sit on the other side and work or have meals on the tabletop.

    The back rest for the seat lifts out to be placed between the seating/table area to make a full size bed. We have a memory foam mattress that is used for seating/backrest, and then this is then laid out to turn into our bed. This memory foam is very comfortable as a seat or a bed; we sleep well.

    The kitchen area is in the back of the van. This can be accessed from the inside or the outside with the doors open wide (when you are using it from the outside.) As the doors are open, I installed a tabletop on each door that folds down to use in cooking.

    Cooking utensils and cookware are mounted on the doors and backside of the van. We also will have a water tank and pump for the sink that I installed into the kitchen area. And, this same nozzle will be used at back of the van to take showers.

    We have a small cooler to hold our refrigerated items like fresh salad stuff. We get ice about once a day to various fast food places for free. Later, after I install the solar panels and battery system, we will purchase a small refrigerator.

    You can walk from the front driving/seating area to the back easily. There is storage in each bed, and also in overhead cupboards that came with the van. Being a conversion van, it is a little wider than most vans.

    There is a skylight on each side, under the skylight I built a shelf that holds a one foot long planter, secured down; there are three planters. In these planters we are growing much lettuce, spinach and cilantro. So, a moving vegetable garden travels with us. In the future we will be growing more and other things (the banana tree will look fabulous growing out of the top of the van.)

    Solar power will be upcoming, along with a refrigerator and TV. So, all the comforts of any home I can think of. In fact, we are already more comfortable in this than any home we remember.

    The smaller you can make the “things” in your life, the better life will be, I have found.

    For the yucky stuff—I have an empty quarter galloon court milk container with a screw on lid to use for when I have to release some of that yellow stuff. In fact, I have kept one in the car for years for such needs while on the road. This is a recommendation to you? Tina sent away for that that is for ladies to use. We do use bathrooms when we can, though. For the brown stuff, we have always found a place when we need to, but we do have a fold up seat for that.

    As far as kitchen, we have all we need. For the small cooler, we often stop at a fast food place and get ice for it. We mainly keep fresh salad things in there.

    We do eat well.

    If you have any questions about our van/home send them my way, I will be happy to let you know.

  • Blog 7 – We can taste the freedom.

    June 30, 2015 – Finally our first night truly out in the woods, after a nice drive up higher and higher in the mountains, our adventures are beginning.

    After awakening at Walmart (a reminder, Walmart allows people to park over night and sleep in their vehicle) after our last night in the area near where we were living, we were off. Seeing less and less buildings and more and more trees, it was fabulous. Going by GPS, and getting somewhat close to where we were heading, we were steered off main roads and onto dirt/gravel roads. We thought it was setting us in the wrong direction, but we got to the destination eventually.


    What a great place to spend the first night away from home – wait a second – we have our home with us.

    Of course, there is no wifi or phone service way out in this area, being way up in the mountains. What I do is write these words in Word, then copy and paste them to get them to you. Do you remember the old days before cell and wifi? Hard to remember for me.

    Last night, after a nice salad and organic chili, we explored the area. As I wrote before, I very much like nature and the out-of-doors. You will read more and more about our time(s) exploring nature. No wild animals (darn) this time, but some splendid nature areas.

    Right now it is 3:30am the next morning. I do not sleep that much and feel better with less sleep. Tina is breathing her sleep sounds, comfortably asleep. We sleep quite contentedly in this van/home of ours. We awoke to rain, a gentle pleasant rain, very nice.

    The campground had showers in the restrooms, so we did.

    We were going to go bike riding this morning (yes, I have bicycles on a rack on the back of the van), with the rain we cancelled that idea. In this new life we can go where we want to, when we want to. There will be future times to ride.

    (Have to take a break to write this right now. Tina is presently driving, good be able to type while she drives. But, what I want to write about is something different. We just past some road construction and there was a group of workers just standing around talking; seems that I see this often. When I am working on something, and/or, getting paid for something, I put in full effort to accomplish.​)​

    Sorry to see when people are standing around not getting things done.

    Come to think of it, some people work so hard for a whole year (often at a job they do not like), to be able to spend a week out camping like we are doing right now. As I wrote before, this traveling life-style does not cost us very much. We were able to arrange our finances to be able to live like this. Sad when I see people in a job they hate, living a life that they do not want; I hate to see lives wasted. I believe we can all find a life that will bring up fulfillment.

    For myself, I want to add to the world in a good way.

    I wrote before in a previous blog about the absence of people smiling and/or saying hi. But, right now we are working our computers at a McDonalds in Wellsboro, PA; we are finding that most everyone is friendly and communicating in a welcoming manner.

    Nice change to see.

    Seems to me, sometimes, an entire area might contain friendly/welcoming people, while another might have grumpy/self-contained people. Not sure what might make an entire region either way, but I have found that. People in the San Diego area smile and are friendlier than the east coast of the US, where New Zealand has people who are highly friendly and considerate.

    After my last post my friend Barry wrote about using the word, “you”, too much in my writing. I do see his point, but I do not like to write with the words “me” or “I”. He let me see that it is my blog and I am writing about “me”, so I must. You will pick out and pick up on the motivation included, I believe.

    A writing teacher had told him about this thing with writing with the word, “you”, Barry told me. He also said the teacher told him to stay away from using the word, “but”. I learned about this some time ago. When you use the word, “but”, you are suggesting that all the things you said directly before that point are meaningless and/or, you were lying.

    Here is Barry (he’s the taller of the two) >>>>> http://www.ted.com/talks/the_raspyni_brothers_juggle_and_jest?language=en

    I remember Mr. Muradian well, my fifth grade teacher at Ocean Beach Elementary in San Diego. In fact, he is the only teacher I remember picking up things directly from; he taught with so much passion. He told us to not use the word, “it”, that you can always find a more descriptive way to explain something.

    This same teacher taught us to never start a correspondence with the word, “I”. This is kept in mind for all of my communication since then. I have tried to use my mind more to write better.

    The real key to brilliant writing is to be a good editor. Review, review, review. Then write and rewrite.

    In fact, if you have any suggestions in improving my writing, please let me know.

    And, if you are receiving these words via email or on Facebook, you can always go here to read past blog writings:

    ​I​f you are not on my list and see this by Facebook, I would love you put you on my direct email list to get these writings. Send me an email to kitsummers@gmail.com and I will add you.

    Next, off to the Finger Lakes in the great state of New York. You will be hearing details upcoming. And, we just passed into New York on Highway 15, here we are.

    On the way north we went to http://www.cmog.org/, a fascinating place. When I think about going to museums, I often think, “how boring”, I will just look at pictures on the internet.” This place held demonstrations and had many ancient glass works, quite enthralling, I must say. After some hours there, it was off again on the road.

    One thing before going on with this, as we were walking back to the van after the museum, I got a strange feeling. Usually I am thinking ahead on things and going back to the car I might be thinking, “What will I work on or do after I get home?” Well, we were walking to our home (on wheels), so, I just thought it peculiar.

    8:22pm on July 1, 2015, just pulled into Watkins Glen in NY and into a Walmart for sleepy time. A beautiful area this is, you should see it. But, much nicer last light when we slept in the forest under the trees, but I have to remember, when we sleep our eyes are closed anyway, so it really doesn’t matter where we get our shut-eye.

    Rain is on the way.

    We were planning to go into Watkins Glen State Park for a long hike in the mountains, yet, storm clouds are coming in. So, we went for a short bike ride and ate nuts while out.

    Yes, two nuts eating nuts. Actually, read this article about nuts I came upon today, they are great for us. >>> http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-food-that-cuts-your-risk-of-premature-death-by-20-percent.html

    Now it is Thursday, July 02, 2015 at 5am. In Walmart writing to you while Tina gets some more shut-eye. I do enjoy this writing and explaining our doings to you, it seems to bring it more solid in my own mind. Have you read my posts I wrote while in Australia and New Zealand? Go to kitsummers.com/blog to read, I believe you will enjoy reading the words.

    This morning we went to http://nysparks.com/parks/142/details.aspx, it was marvelous. Here is a short video of the many waterfalls:

    Watkins Glen, a fabulous place.

    We were there early, no one around, very nice. Taking a bus to the top, we walked the paved trail to the bottom. With my balance issues, muscle problems and vision difficulties I was a chore to navigate the way at times. I remember when I was young at the jetties at Ocean Beach in San Diego; I would nimbly run across the tops of boulders with ease—full speed—not anymore!
    ​Inline image 5​

    What a special day this is. For the afternoon we left Watkins Glen and headed north to Geneva on the other end of Seneca Lake. Once there, we did a wine tasting at clrwine.com.com, where, after sampling various wines, we bought a bottle and finished it (I do have to say, I only had two glasses, Tina was a happy lady by the end.) Also, we brought high class crackers, a smooth cheese, grapes and salami to eat—splendid, yes.
    ​Inline image 4​

    Tina mentioned heading back to Watkins Glen, but I said, “We’ve done that, let’s find new experiences.” That’s the thing, like I wrote before, the more “experiences” you can have in life, the bigger your life can be. So, get out there, make things happen to bring on experiences.

    So, we headed up to the other end of the lake, slept over night in the parking lot of Wegman’s under some nice trees. Awoke to a clear sky, it has been cloudy and rainy for so long, a good change. Webman’s has free wifi, so here I am.

    Spent some hour’s online working on things while there. When I go into a place to use their free wifi, I also plug in for electric; works out well.

    We are at Seneca Lake State Park, where we made a breakfast of little red onions, onions, parsley, and some good spices. Turned out exquisite, very tasty.

    Now we are just relaxing at this nice lake setting, Tina is getting some sun, and, I guess you know what I am doing?

    This park has grass everywhere, with a crew to keep it cut and nice. Parks are place for lawns, but, so we over do it?
    ​Inline image 3​

    The US has this allure of having grass at every location possible. Everyone, it seems, who owns a home “has” to have a nice big lawn. I do understand when you have kids who play on the green blades, but it seems that people over do it. I have been seeing these humongous spreads of lawn—to me—what a waste.

    This land could be used in many other ways. In the last house I owned I had a big garden, which fed us well. Why don’t people plant gardens instead of grass? It seems to take the same effort, but the rewards are nourishment for your body.

    What I especially like is a house that has natural vegetation with all local plants growing all around it, without a lawn. And, of course, a garden growing eatable plants is part of. This looks so much nicer to me than this huge lawn.

    Most people who mow let the cuttings lay on top of the lawn. Eventually the blades break down and feed the lawn. So, is a lawn carnivorous in eating itself?

    Right now it is the next morning, July 4, 2015, at 6:33am. What an afternoon and evening we had last night, now, let me recall (memory, memory, oh boy.)

    After our nice breakfast yesterday of potatoes and onions, we spent time in that park doing various tasks including improvements to our home (the van.) I juggled,

    Tina napped some, a relaxing day.

    In the afternoon we were off to Belhurst castle. This was some rich person’s home that was converted into a restaurant and wine tasting place; quite nice. Take a look: http://www.belhurst.com/. We sat with Anne and Terry, who we met there. They have been to Belhurst numerous times. We made new friends! Which we will do throughout our travels.

    Off to The Crows Nest Marina for a marvelous dinner>>> http://www.thecrowsnestrestaurant.com/ordereze/default.aspx>>>this lifestyle is very comfortable.
    ​Inline image 2​

    Being July third, it was fireworks tonight. We decided to take a cruise that goes out of http://www.stiverssenecamarine.com/ to see the show. Joining 60 others and riding out on a calm lake, we rode out and dropped anchor to wait on the start of the fireworks for over an hour. This boat was older and not very classy. And, the captain of the boat had driven out too far​ from the fireworks show​ to see a good light show.

    We were quite disappointed.

    But, we did sleep the night parked at the docks. In fact, if you opened the back doors of the van you would step off into the w​​ater. A very quiet and comfortable night.
    Inline image 1

    We have been gone for less than a week, yet it feels like months away.

    Write to you soon again>>>>>>>>Kit​