And We’re Off

With our last day of work behind us, we spent our first weekend back in Brackney, PA with Emily’s parents. As usual there was plenty of great food and conversation, as well as some pitch action, a regular game at the Wychocks (Beams beat the Wychocks this time).

We helped out Joe (Emily’s dad) who was working on yet another new project, this time a concrete foundation to rebuild his custom-made pizza oven down by the pond. We weren’t around to see the finished product, but the foundation came out great.

We also got to play with our new toy, a drone. We thought it would be cool to have a drone to get some cool shots during our tip around the states, and figured we could test it out at Emily’s parents place. After a few test flights, we learned the drone is relatively easy to operate, but also easy to get disoriented. After a few successful laps around the garden and even over the pond, the last flight ended with the drone 35+ feet in the air in one of the many pine trees on the property. Oops.

Thankfully, Joe is an expert tree climber and made light work of the evergreen tree that had caught our drone. Thanks Joe!

With the drone safely retrieved and ready for field duty we left Brackney and returned to DC to move out of our apartment. Big thanks to Joe and Vickie for the thoughtful care package complete with rain ponchos, car air fresheners, and plenty of road trip snacks.

Back in DC, moving out of our two bedroom apartment was relatively painless. We sold and donated whatever we could, and moved the rest into a storage unit. We lived in that apartment (which was our first place together) for 3 years, so it was strange to see it empty again. Shout out to Brian and Alexandra who made moving everything into storage significantly better than it would have been with just the two of us. With that said, we both agreed our next move would be done by paid professionals.

Storage unit filled and apartment cleaned, we were finally ready to hit the road. We filled the RAV with all of the necessities (or at least based on our research and best guess) and our backpacks filled with our clothes for the entire trip, we headed to our first stop in Downingtown, PA to see Mike’s family before we officially set off.

In Downingtown we were able to see all of Mike’s siblings and significant others, our niece and nephew, and my parents. We spent some time just relaxing and brought the drone out to fine tune our skills. Most importantly, we successfully kept it out of the trees with the help of my nephew Orion. We’ve mastered taking off and landing, but are still working on a smooth flight (it’s harder than it looks).

Saturday was spent hanging out together and enjoying a fantastic meal of fajitas and margaritas, a Patti Beam specialty, before departing to our next stop on Sunday. Thanks to Mom and Dad (Mike and Patti) for the full bellies, custom insulated RAV window shades, and plenty of custom-made face masks for our trip.

With visits to our families under our belt, we finally departed for our first official stop on the trip; Delta, PA to visit our good friend Mike. Mike has a fantastic cabin on the Susquehanna river and we gladly accept an invitation any time he offers. As an added bonus, for the first time in the past several years when we’ve visited, the weather cooperated and provided a perfect evening for our first day on the road.

Next stop: State College, PA to visit Jack and Lydia.

– Mike

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