Downtown Charleston was covered in our first taste of Southern-styled charm that included ivy-covered walls, cobblestone streets, weathered paint finishes, decorative rod-iron railings, oh, and a Pineapple Fountain. This fountain wasn’t the only pineapple we saw. We began noticing on homes, gates, mailboxes, and more. But why?
To break up the long drive from Delaware, we spent a night in Cabela’s parking lot in Garner, NC. The next morning while we were getting ready to drive the last three hours to Charlotte, we got a knock on our door. As much as you can prepare for nights spent in parking lots by calling ahead and speaking to management to ensure that they allow overnight parking, you still kind of brace yourself for a knock on the door by some sort of official.
To be honest, we arrived into Delaware the day before the project and then left the day after the project. It’s been our shortest stay in any state, but that’s meant to be a diss on Delaware. I’m sure there’s things to do and see, we just didn’t have the time. The little time we did have was spent on some much-needed Fall cleaning, including a drawer that Noel quickly filled, as any cat does.
Visiting Arlington on Veterans Day was particularly special because it is the final resting place of all kinds of people with all sorts of service experiences. You go in knowing this but nothing can possibly prepare you for its size and scale. You hear and read statistics but you aren’t often faced with a visual of it all.
After finishing the DMV and Delaware state projects, we ended up back in Maryland but this time, along the Atlantic ocean. It was mid-November and surprisingly, a beautiful time to visit Assateague Island and National Seashore.
Right on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we found our little end-of-summer sanctuary. It was mid-September, the warm days were fleeting, and I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to my favorite season. With some spare time before the state project, we drove through rural New Jersey to get to the wilderness of the Delaware Water Gap.
The element of a road trip for this “50 States: Artists + Veterans United” tour was crucial for us because we were determined to piece together the diversity of this country, both socially and geographically. New York City is a place that, although very relevant in the country’s culture and media, feels far away to most living in the United States.
We began our time in Connecticut nestled near a beautiful field of sunflowers. Those are words I can’t say I’ve ever expected to type out, but it’s true and we have photo-evidence to prove it.
Did you guys know that Pennsylvania is super hilly? Well, we did not. I remember driving to the Warwick Hills campground in Warwick, Pennsylvania, that was located just 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia, and being surprised by the winding roads and huge hills that turned into rolling hills when we were almost to Warwick.
Tyler and I have often noted how different this experience would be without Noel. When we shared the tour with our families, one of their responses was wondering what we were going to do with “the cat.”
“Without their sacrifice, there is no freedom of…”