ForeverMissed
his Life

Adventure of a lifetime Sept 9, 2007

Dad had always this sort of secret camping bug.  I think he had a thing for the outdoors, but was never super vocal about it.  As kids, my first memory of this was him borrowing my uncle's camper van (a converted Dodge van, if I recall) and taking the family up to Niagara Falls.  After that, it was annual trips to Chincoteague, VA that grew to a multi-family trip every September.  At one point, I think we had 6 adjoining sites occupied by our gang.  Whether it was tents, pop-up campers or a bus-sized RV, dad always seemed to enjoy some form of camping gear.

But it was 2007 that changed everything.  I was in a position in my life to move back home, assume all of their bills (mortgage, taxes, etc.) and allow them to hop in his RV (the condo on wheels), hook up his "toad" (a Honda Accord) and travel the country full time.  They spent the better part of 20 months on the road, setting up camp every now and then to explore the area before moving on to the next.  They hit just about every state during their time as vagabonds.

40th Anniversary - May 10, 2008

OK, so we were a day early celebrating their marriage milestone.  Andrea and I planned a nice 40th anniversary celebration at the house in Egg Harbor Twp.  My parents parents worked this into their road trip and spent a week back in the old neighborhood and celebrated with family and friends.  Andrea flexed her newly-developed culinary and baking skills and created a wonderful spread, including an amazing chocolate cake that nobody knew was gluten free.  There are more photos in the gallery.

When road trips collide - May 27, 2009

It was late May in 2009 that Andrea and I had packed up our U-Haul, hooked up the trailer with her car and headed to California.  Mom and dad were still on the road, enjoying the last leg of their adventure before heading back to NJ to resume custody of the Egg Harbor Twp. household in Northfield Estates.  As we kept in touch with them, we figured out that we would be crossing paths somewhere in the Midwestern US.

On May 27, 2009 (which happens to be Andrea's birthday), we connected with the parents somewhere in Kansas.  We found a parking lot that would accommodate big vehicles that were towing trailers and met up with some Starbucks to share our road trip stories (we had spent 5 weeks on the road prior to the move).

It might have only been an hour or so, but it was one of those timeless moments that we will never forget.