Annals of a Road Trip–Des Moines, Iowa

“The Breakers” in Newport

 Scenes from Block Island

Uncle Leo and I ordering in Block Island

T-Dubs in Block Island

Niagara Falls

After enduring a good portion of the “Intolerable I’s” of the road trip again today (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa), we’re posting tonight from Des Moines before heading through Nebraska and back to our landing spot back in Denver tomorrow night. 

Thursday night became a bit more adventuresome than expected after we enjoyed the Dinosaur BBQ and bluegrass scene in Rochester a tad too much that evening.  Rather than spend the night back at the campsite, we were required to “camp-out” that night in a parking lot in our RV in downtown Rochester–rather humorous and a tad nerve-racking.  It also required a 5am wake-up call to beat the parking officials who we anticipated would be arriving for work around that hour.  With the head-start in our day, however, we got the opportunity to take a slight detour en route to Detroit by going through Niagara Falls and up through the lower part of Canada before arriving in Michigan.  The town of Niagara Falls was surprisingly commercialized but the sight of the Falls itself is rather staggering and impressive.

We spent Friday evening with T-Dubs family in Detroit before re-engaging in the cornbelt journey through Middle America today.  The plan is to finish our trek tomorrow which will, unfortunately, include a music-less ride as our radio player crapped out today towards the latter part of our drive. 

Fortunately, however, we’ll have much to relish during our final day on the trip tomorrow as we can reflect back on not only a great week but fantastic journey in total.  While we have only limited photos to share from our week, we were able to experience some of the greatest parts of New England beginning Monday in Martha’s Vineyard, Tuesday in Newport and Wednesday in Block Island.  MV left us slightly disappointed on Monday whereas Newport provided a wonderful day of sightseeing along the harbor and amidst the truly elegant neighborhoods of the town.  We were amazed by the “cottages” we saw, in particular, which included a tour of the 140k square foot “Breakers” mansion.  The Breakers is a former summer home of the Vanderbilt family which was bought for the equivalent of $250M in the late 1800s and sold back to the town of Newport for a paltry $400k in the early 1970s.  The house includes over 70 rooms and sits on some jagged cliffs directly off the Newport Sound.  It was truly impressive and certainly worth the visit.

We spent Wednesday, our last full day of touring New England, on Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island.  It was an approximate hour ferry ride from Port Judith, not far from Newport.  Once again, Leo joined us for the day and, once again, we enjoyed the island but clearly were not catching it in its full glory state.  The day was somewhat windy and cold and the majority of stores and restaurants were closed.  That said, we enjoyed the rustic beauty of the island and appreciated its more subdued and quaint nature when compared to the more well-established Martha’s Vineyard.

Sunday is not a day to look forward to in terms of the tedious drive through Nebraska and eastern Colorado but we’re excited to camp again one last time tonight.  We’ll also be putting some some thoughts together to recount the full journey during our drive tomorrow.   

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