Our stopover in Falls Church turned out to be a working stop. We had entertained thoughts of taking a day to go into Washington DC to tour some monuments and museums (Eleanor particularly wanted to see the new Martin Luther King Jr monument), but obligations took over.
Normally when I plan our travels I try to keep enough days open to get my work done, but this week I botched it and ended up with an obligation to drive all day Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. That left just two full days for work, plus the little “fringe” times I find at the beginning and end of each driving day. Things were complicated by our visit to Penn Wood on Monday, because I wanted to have a quick client meeting (the park advertises in Airstream Life) and I had forgotten that the park is a “no-Verizone”.
The end result was that we arrived in Falls Church at Bobby/Danine/Elise’s house with piles of work and household tasks which had to take priority. I set myself up on their dining room table while Emma did homeschooling and Eleanor shuttled back and forth to the laundry room and grocery. We also visited Elise’s orthodontist to get a better fix to Emma’s braces.
The braces seem to be stable enough that we can continue our planned travel and won’t have to fly E&E back to Tucson early. We did have to make a minor adjustment later, which involved a nail file to remove some sharp bits of glue that were cutting into Emma’s tongue. This was done at a rest area somewhere along I-85 — redneck dentistry at its finest.
Having the braces issue resolved would be more exciting news if we actually had a firm plan. But we don’t. Our only plan, after bidding a fond farewell to our friends in Falls Church, was to drive 300+ miles to Winston-Salem NC for a visit with Super Terry & Marie. After that, we have ideas and wishes, but no firm plans.
We are now parked in their back yard, beneath a canopy of mature maple trees (a few of which we had to trim in order to fit in here). It was a long and tricky back-in, down a driveway, around a 90 degree bend, descending a slight grade and past a brick wall. It took a few passes and lot of patience but we made it.
This weekend is dedicated to learning to do the brakes and bearings myself. In the past I have relied on Super Terry, chasing him across the country from Florida to California to North Carolina in order to get a decent and trustworthy repair. This time, I’m asking him to teach me all the tips & tricks so that I can be completely capable & equipped of doing a 4-wheel disc brake job and bearing service in my own driveway annually. Self-reliance is really a key to survival when you travel a lot, and I’m overdue to get competent at these simple jobs. I’ll be taking notes and photos as we go.
In the meantime, E&E will be convalescing and perhaps going to an apple festival with Marie. The weather has changed and it’s now a damp gray fall day (where it was a scorching humid summer a few days ago). It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to bundle up and watch old movies with a cup of soup. They might just do that, but hopefully the colds won’t keep them from also getting out a little to breathe the fall air.