Mid-pandemic we spent a quiet summer in Cambridge MA, enjoying long talks with friends and family in our courtyard Adirondack chairs, hosting a few socially-distant tapas parties, and day-tripping to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Marion MA. We biked and walked our Cambridge neighborhood just a few blocks from Richard's undergraduate dorm from more than 40 years ago, passed by Senator Elizabeth Warren's home, and had an occasional sighting of local celeb, John Malkovitch.
Nancy stayed active with her coaching business and caught up on her reading list while Richard made music and videos for the First Church in Belmont’s online summer services. We enjoyed al fresco restaurant and patio dinners that were our best substitute for postponed European rendezvous. We shared some great times with our daughter Bridget, also living in Cambridge, visiting MASS MOCA and the Clark Institute together and supporting her move to a cozy and quiet apartment. But by the end of August our short-term lease was expiring and our wanderlust was setting in, so we bought a 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (online through CarMax) to take us on the next phase of our home-free adventures - our “America is Beautiful” tour. A fitting farewell to Boston was a picnic at Spot Pond and a wind-swept hike through Breakheart Reservation - clear skies and the scent of cedar and pine.
On September 3 our RAV4 was packed to the gunwales and on the road by 6:30 am. We began a blue-sky drive across Massachusetts, through Connecticut on the Merritt Parkway, over the brand new Mario Cuomo bridge (that replaced the Tappan Zee) into upstate New York and the Hudson River Valley. Traffic was "pandemic-light" as we continued through Pennsylvania's expansive farms with rolling hills as a backdrop.
We stopped for lunch at the Tomato Pie Cafe in Harrisburg PA for a delicate salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette, a tasty rosemary scone, and their signature tomato pie - well-herbed with a flaky crust and cheese topping. Back on the road, the skies opened up just as "Here Comes the Sun" played on the radio. We headed south through the corn fields of Maryland, "Wild and Wonderful" West Virginia, and finally to Bridgewater, Virginia where we stopped for a few days' stay at our AirBnB host Sheila's "North River Apartment". Our daughter Laura - whom we hadn't seen since her wedding in October 2019 - met us there for a quiet stay in the Shenandoah valley. [More about this in our next post.]
View of the North River from our AirBnB in Bridgewater, VA.
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Nancy McCabe &