AND THEY’RE OFF!

My father loves horseracing. He doesn’t do the actually racing, of course. That would be unfair to the horse. But he’s a big fan, so much so that he recently achieved a lifelong dream by purchasing a small percentage (4 percent, actually) of a racehorse. Although Shanghai Red has a somewhat unfortunate tendency to finish second, he won a race last April by about nine lengths, meaning that even the part that my dad owns finished first. In May, my father became part-owner of another horse. This one’s a great-great-great grandson of Secretariat. Yup, no kidding. Sure, Big Red’s grandchildren aren’t all Big Reddish. But still.

But my father had never been able to tick off one thing on his lifelong to-do list—visit Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York.

Read More

HEAVEN ON HIGHWAY SEVEN

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

“The Road Not Taken,” the classic poem penned by four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Frost nearly a century ago was likely meant as a gentle mocking of indecision. But, being that I’m immersed in an RV excursion in which myriad roads are worthy of the taking, I like to read it as an ode to options.

That’s what a house on wheels offers—choices, possibilities, roads that may lead to something unforgettable. Over the previous few days of our two-month Summer of Love 2.0 journey, we motored through the heart of Frost’s native Vermont along a pretty magical road—Highway 7 south from Burlington.

Read More

SERENITY

photo 2 copy

Twelve steps to the near perfect day:

Wake up at an RV campground—in this case, the lovely Quechee/Pine Valley KOA in the breathtaking Upper Valley of Central Vermont, where mountains and meadows and lakes and rivers and forests battle for bragging rights, a place so picturesque that you think you’ve somehow been swallowed into a postcard while you slumbered.

Brew a cup of coffee. Inhale the peaceful surroundings.

Set off a couple of miles down the road toward Quechee (rhymes with “peachy”) Gorge Village, the kind of uber-charming hiccup where you find candle shops and antique malls and a toy and train museum—and where the establishments have names like the Vermont Spot Country Store and a brand new one called Maple Harvest Specialties, which sells everything from maple kettlecorn to maple cotton candy to maple pumpkin relish.

Read More

MEETING THE MONSTER

I always insist that Wrigley Field is the ultimate sports cathedral. I gush about it. I ramble on about it. I even wrote a book about, a gorgeously-illustrated alphabet picture book called W is for Wrigley.

Because I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden and the Rose Bowl and Lambeau Field and Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Pebble Beach Golf Links and even the Field of Dreams—all of them pantheon-worthy places—I like to think I can tout the wonders of Wrigley without hesitation.

Except until now I had never been to Fenway Park.

I know, I know. One could argue that I’ve been doing the equivalent of shouting to the world that Robert DeNiro is our finest actor—and then admitting that I haven’t actually seen an Al Pacino film. So a trip to Fenway Park was at the top of my traveling to-do list (along with a visit to Glacier National Park).

Read More

SMILES AND SETBACKS IN MINNESOTA AND NORTH DAKOTA

Untitled

If the weather wasn’t cooperating in Minneapolis, it more than made up for itself as we traveled north. Our destination was to stop north of Brainerd, MN for a few days to meet up with some wonderful friends we met while RVing in Georgia a few years ago.

Read More