Distractions, flying, Musings, Road Trip, The World A to Z, Trains, travel

Wanderlust, Moving and A World of Change

A friend from high school recently moved to a new home. It was one of several she’s made in recent years. She and I are very alike that way. In the past eight years I have had six homes. That’s six full-scale, move-everything-you-own-to-a-new-place homes. 

In fact, we grew up that way … the two of us and thousands of other kids known as “military brats.” Vikki, who also an author, and I had Air Force dads, but others had dads and moms who were soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and women. We moved often and, from an early age, learned to expect and even embrace the change that comes with a new home, new friends, a new school and a new lifestyle.

I suspect that my childhood and the following time on active duty are big parts of the reason I have such strong wanderlust. I CRAVE new places and new things to see and do. I long to pack a few things into a bag and go somewhere I’ve never been. I strike up conversations with strangers … sometimes with strangers who don’t even speak English.

If you are a fellow traveler, you probably have many of the same feelings. When people ask, “where’s the best place you’ve ever been?” you simply have no way to answer. There are too many “best places” to pick one. 

My husband grew up in one town for the most part. But something in him is excited about travel, too. I’d like to believe I had something to do with that by taking him with me on several adventures early in our relationship. We’ve been on trips by road, air, rail, river, even horseback. We’ve hiked, biked, snorkeled, soared and sailed. And we’re not even close to done! 

It seems for every trip I take, I add two more to my bucket list. An insatiable desire to travel consumes me. I feed it and it grows like a weed. 

After all, there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored … I just can’t seem to get enough.

PS … thanks for the inspiration, Vikki!

© The World A to Z, LLC 2020


“M” is for Matrimony and Motels

Kiss on the Blue Ice
Ready to set sail on our life together. (Photo: Carol Tedesco)

We did it! Judy and I tied the knot on 12/13/14, meaning that we’ll be travel partners forever. We were married on a 47-foot sailboat just off Key West as the sun was setting on a most perfect day.

More about that in a later post; this one is about the honeymoon; and specifically, our plan to “not plan.”


Let me explain.  When we got engaged and decided that our wedding would be in Key West, we originally planned to take our car – a two-seat Pontiac Solstice roadster -down island so that we could enjoy some top-down motoring in what we hoped would be a weather-perfect setting, even for December. Judy booked us a premium sleeper on the Amtrak Auto Train from Lorton, Virginia, right near our Alexandria home, to Sanford, Florida, (just outside Orlando) with the expectation that would drive down to Key West when we arrived and then meander our way – topless whenever possible –back up U.S. Route 1 for our honeymoon. Thus, staying true to our desire to stay off the Interstates and take the road less traveled whenever possible.

Alas, a bit of practicality set in. While South Florida and Keys weather is darn near perfect in December, there was no guarantee that the rest of the south would cooperate. Furthermore, we realized that we simply had to take too much stuff for the Key West house we had rented for us and our small (four people) wedding party than we could reasonably ask others to bring. (With the top down, the Solstice has room in the trunk for just two small hand bags).

On the Auto Train. Take this if you want to meet snowbirds.

As one-car owners, we did what we often do in cases like these – rent for the mission – in this case, a full-size sedan. Turns out, we pretty much filled the trunk and half of the back seat with clothes for nearly every occasion, a box of booze, party favors and decorations for the house, and more. It felt weird to both of us; if you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you KNOW how much we like to travel light. But this was a special event, after all. We loaded some overnight clothes into an small bag for the train (along with a bottle of wine and some snacks) and let the Amtrak folks load the car and its complement into the back of the train consist. On a cold, dreary day, we headed south.

In doing our research, we also realized that the bulk of Route 1 in this part of the country was so rural that we worried about being bored…or that we might hear dueling banjos. We went “foodie” instead and booked four nights at the chic Andaz Hotel in Savannah, characterized as a “Concept by Hyatt.”

But we still knew that we had to spend one of our honeymoon nights in Florida, somewhere between Key West and Savannah.  For this, we decided that we wanted to stay somewhere that screamed Route 1 tacky – a classic cheesy motel…the cheesier the better. We couldn’t plan this; we would know it when we saw it.

With this “plan” in mind, we bade goodbye to Key West, and headed north.

(Stay tuned for the next installment where we answer the question, what’s fire have to do with it?)

© The World A to Z, LLC 2014