We had doubts that this day would actually come, but we successfully almost-circumnavigated the U.S. in a 1985 VW camper van. Clocking just over 13,000 miles, in a surreal moment, we finally drove Sylvia back into our driveway and tucked her back into her space in the garage. It is with relief and regret (it's funny how we can miss home and feel sad about the trip ending at the same time) that we close out this chapter in our insane camper van life. We will miss being smushed into such tight, stinky quarters together. We discovered along the way that we live in a very big country, especially when traveling at camper van speeds. I love that the kids have seen so much of it now. I love the diversity that we were exposed to. I love that our kids are at home in the woods and water of Maine, the streets of Boston or New York, the warm, tropical mugginess of Florida beaches, the swampiness of Louisiana, the cool dampness of Carlsbad caverns, and the dry deserts of the Southwest. I love that they have seen so many different ways that people live, the quiet neighborhoods of Newton MA, deemed the safest city in the U.S., peering across the border into battle-torn Juarez Mexico, the brownstones of Jersey City, the tents and dilapidated campers of the Appalachians, the high-rise apartments of Washington DC, the uber-mansions in Atlanta, the cute-as-a-button cottages in New England, and houseboats in Boston. I love that we saw so many different forms of wildlife, manatees, raccoons, dolphins, alligators, crocodiles, owls, portuguese-man-of-war, sharks, bioluminescent plankton, sea turtles, iguanas, lizards, and more fish and bird varieties than we can name.
Here is a collection of photos shot from the camper van windows as we drove across the country and back.