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On The Road Again.... Sorta...


Before we get to part 2 of our visit to NH, I really need to fill you in on the lastest challenge we expierenced. We left our last spot (Larissa's) in NH on July 31st. Our first stop was Black Snake Brewing in Staatsburg, NY. Where we parked in the meadow surrounded by free range chickens. And wow! What a place. They brew their own beer- which in and of itself is really tasty, but they also offer local wines, and whiskeys. I could only imagine the stories that the barns could tell if they could talk. It’s now used as an event venue, a brewery and apparently during closed days, its used as a daycare center and/or field trip destination. In either case, this was a great spot to spend the evening tasting local spirits, playing Jenga, and just enjoying being back on the road.



Our next stop was, Donaldson Farms in Hackettstown, NJ. OMG! This is a produce lovers nirvana! But they not only had produce, they had meats, pickled eggs, and beets, crackers, cheeses, maple syrups, dressings and so much more. The real beauty of this place is that the bulk of the products were either sourced right there on the farm, or all along the east coast. It really was fantastic. We parked out on the side right next to the corn field, and more than once they asked if we wanted some fresh corn – reminded me of Pelloni’s – but alas that is not allowed on our menus- can you say “diverticulosis”? But we did add a supply of lettuce, arugala, berries, grapes and assorted other goodness to our stash. And before turning in for the night, Mike took Stella on her 'after travel walk' to stretch her legs.

On to our next stop at Halbrendt Vineyard and Winery in Orrtanna, PA- or so we thought. This was scheduled to be our longest leg of our journey back to Staunton, VA. Little did we know how long it would actually take. We booked 5 Harvest Host locations and were looking forward to the next one. At this point we were heading west on 78W – point of interest; one of the worst highways we’ve driven yet! Then it happened...ALL of the bells and whistles came on and we were dead in the water. On the side of the highway, in 90 degree weather. And there we stayed for 2 flippin’ hours because the dispatcher from our “extended warranty” company kept me on the phone for that long and still managed to not find anyone to tow us, well she did, but it was going to be $3700 and of course they didn’t (and neither did we) want to pay that much. So I told her that she was useless and to cancel the call.

Now, I know some of you may say "well it's not her fault", and you would be right, but I dare any of you to have EVERYTHING you own and your loved one stranded on the highway with no help in sight and NOT take issue with the one person on the phone that was paid to help you and doing nothing but ask stupid questions, like what is your mileage? What difference does it make? Get us of the the freekin' highway, lady!!! But, nooooo. So the next time someone calls you about your "extended warranty"- kindly or not-so-kindly (the choice is yours) tell them to shove it!!!

Instead we took a leap of faith and we managed to limp to the next exit after cooling down and park at a gas station under an awning. At this point we were out of the sun and off the highway, a step in the right direction. So the next option- our insurance company. They, at least didn’t keep us on the phone for hours, or ask about our mileage. Instead they reached out to a company that couldn’t tow us, but failed to reach out and let US know that. So another 2 hours later, we are still going nowhere. So I called back, and they of course professed their biggest apologies and tried again.

At this point my optimism levels are at an all time low, and then owner of the gas station comes out and informs us that we have to be out of his lot by 7pm because he locks the lot- it’s now 5:30 and no word on a tow. I’ve had it, I’m done! I open google maps and look up RV Tow companies and I find V & M Towing.

I called said V & M and within 45 minutes Matt shows up, gets us hooked up, and we are on our way to Reading- a 30 minute tow to Tom Masano Merecedes. Once again it’s the local guy that comes to the rescue. Needless to say come Monday- I will be on the phone making a few peoples lives a little uncomfortable. But that’s a battle for another day.


Ok, so this happened on Tuesday, and not knowing what was wrong or how long it would take to fix, we decided to rent a hotel about a mile down the street, but we couldn’t get in until the next night, so that night we camped- once again – at a Mercedes shop. But also once again, Mercedes came through for us. Rick, the service manger, got us in before 9am, and Anthony the service tech, got us fixed and back “on the road” before lunch. He even fixed the unbalanced tire that we had since we left Keene.

It had been such a long day, and the next 2 days were going to be near 100 degrees, we opted to push; ctrl-alt-del. In other words, we hit the reset button and spent the next 2 nights in the hotel. This was Stella’s first night in a hotel and it went way better than anticipated. We also introduced one of our newest mascots, Freda, to the hotel world. I'll be posting a whole seperate post about not only our mascots, old and new, but mascots we've met and seen in our travels.


Friday came - and with our spirits lifted, attitudes adjusted, and enthusiasm restored, we hit the road and made the run to Virginia, hoping to God (and every other deity that we could think of), that all would be well. And since I am writing you this from our spot in Walnut Hill Campground, you can be assured that we did.

Until next time… Be well, Be happy and Safe Travels

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