Monday 26 July - week 13
Ride, ride, ride - Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York - 5 states, not much to talk about as it was mostly interstates. Overnight in Killfish, Chinese buffet recommend for dinner, a trip to Walmart for storage bags, then we did a trial pack, not sure how we were going to get everything home. So wished we could send everything back with the bike and trailer.
Tuesday 27 July - RAIN
The route we chose would have been great on a fine day but it was just miserable, so miserable that we had to stop at a Cheesecake Factory for some consolation!! We popped along to Mike's Famous Harley again for some last bits for the bike, then decided to call it a day due to the weather. It rained so much we had to wait till it stopped before we could unload the bike.
Last day on the bike. Dull, humid - we weren't taking any chances so suited up again. I hate waterproofs with a passion. No real alternative route to Baltimore other than the interstate in bad weather so we stuck with that. More consolation needed in the form of coffee and Cinnabons. Also a box purchased to take home for Rachel
Arrived in Baltimore around 1:30. Unloaded the bike and put our stuff into storage as our room wasn't ready, then went to clean off the bike ready for her trip home. Then the mammoth task of packing, the room looked like a bomb had hit it but we finally had everything packed. Jumped on the 6pm hotel shuttle to the harbour for our last evening. More shopping, as if we needed to try and get anything else in the bags!! Just noticed the date on these pics is out again, must change over during the evening.
We were both feeling very emotional today. We didn't want the trip to end in some respects. I was looking forward to my own bed, no packing and unpacking, no restaurant meals, but other than that..... the thought of work and not seeing Peter all day every day made me sad. We had got on so well considering we had been in one another company 24/7 for 13 weeks. Yes, we had the odd argument, who wouldn't, but nothing major, I think mostly it was over my bad map reading skills!!
Thursday 29 July - Go home day - we take just a few pictures of the bike from various angles to make sure we had proof of how we hand it back to the shippers. Headed over to the docks. Meet with the customs guy, remember him? Well he couldn't have been nicer, wanted to hear all about our trip told us to come back and visit again. What a change from the surly man who greeted us 3 months previously. The bike was handed over to the shippers, again everyone wanted to know how we got on and where we went. Peter was feeling sad about handing it back. We won't see it again until August 28th when it arrives in Southampton. Taxi back to the hotel, checked our packing, then got the shuttle downtown, we decided we needed a new shirt each to go home in as we looked too scruffy in our t-shirts.
Typically the weather today is beautiful, such a shame that the previous few days had been so awful. Feeling extremely emotional and tears come easily. Lunch in the Hard Rock Cafe. Last walk round, picked up a last piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory then back to the hotel. Its funny as soon as we walked back into the hotel it was "right, that's it, its over lets just get home". No more tears just want to go now. Taxi picked us up at 4:30. Airport hassle free, though Peter's boots set off the detectors. Uneventful wait for flight. Managed some sleep on the flight home which makes a change for me. No one on duty at customs when we arrive back in the UK, so no hassle over all our luggage. Rachel was there to meet us with a banner and flowers, it was great to see her again. Home by midday, everywhere looked great, the garden needed some work but all things considered she did a good job at coping the our large garden for a non-gardener.
My hairdresser arrived at 2:30 for a much needed cut and colour. Then the major task of unpacking, laundry and tackling 3 months worth of post.
The weekend was spent trying to get over the jet lag and just getting back into the swing of being home, catching up with family and friends. Life goes on!
So that my friends, was our trip. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heart beat. I'm not sure I could do it again on the bike. 8 years on, my back and hip play up more. To have experienced this beautiful country was a privilege. We never did work out what the trip cost. Not cheap I know, but we can dine out on the memories for years to come, through the photographs, diaries and now this blog. We met some wonderful people, met with kindness and advise. At no point did we feel uneasy (apart from Council Bluff when Peter wasn't happy where he left the bike overnight) or meet with anyone we felt uncomfortable with. So if you have ever sat there and thought 'when I retire I'm going to do this, that or the other'. Don't wait, do it now before its too late or you are too old to appreciate it.
Thanks for coming along for the ride - remember if you want to read all the installments again just go to the Travelling Tales link from here or from the Places we have traveled page
The End ........ until the next time