Since returning home we have been working on completing this travelog. Readers who have seen some of our other travelogs remember that we rarely finish them -- succumbing to picking up on our life at home's different frantic pact. This time, we have decided to finish one of these.
As part of that effort, we have added several summary pages, including:
- A Table of Contents which lists each of the days we were traveling and contains a short excerpt from that day's travels. There is a link to this page at the top of the right column in each travelog page.
- A Highlights of Our Trip page where we list the highlights of places and things we did that we really liked. This is listed under the Home menu item.
- A List of Places and Activities page where we have created a list of all of the Museums, Historical Houses, National Park Service sites we visited as well as the many walking tours, walks and hikes we went on, and the many memorable restaurants we ate at.
Some of the facts about our trip:
- We drove about 6,250 miles and averaged 22.8 miles per gallon which is 274 gallons of gas. At an average price of $3.65/gallon comes to about $1,000 in gas -- not great, but we still love the choice of our Subaru Outback with it's 3.6 liter engine as a road trip car. Not as big as our Honda Odyssey, but much more stable and secure a ride with its all-wheel drive train.
- We visited 18 museums, 6 house museums, during the 8 weeks that we were on the road. We also visited 3 National Park Service sites and went on 5 walking tours.
- We ate at about 40 different restaurants, one being the best we have ever eaten at (Commander's Palace in New Orleans), most of them good because we used crowd sourcing of TripAdvisor to choose interesting places.
- We stayed in about 24 different lodgings, many of them part of the Choice Hotel family of hotels where we took advantage of their frequent lodger discount. By the end we got very efficient in taking he minimum amount of stuff into our rooms so that check in and check out were fast, smooth activities.
- We mastered the online tools that make traveling that much more interesting these days. Between our iPhones, iPad (not so much), Kindles PC and Mac laptops, we were connected to any information source about traveling that we wanted. With the Bluetooth linkage of the car to the iPhone, we were able to listed to any radio station in the world -- and frequently listened to both local stations as WBUR in Boston. Being a longtime iPhone user on AT&T, we have unlimited data on one of our iPhones.
- We read 7 books and listened to one audio book and two fragments of audio books in the car. With all of the online media available in the car today, we find that we have to work to get into and complete listening to an audio book.
- We had two iPhone Facetime telephone conversations with our boys back in Boston. They were nice, fun, and comforting.
This was the longest trip we have taken. Although we were happy to get home, it wasn't because we weren't continuing to have a good time. It was mostly because we were exploding with all of the new experiences, knowledge about the new places we had visited, and memories of the people we had met along the way.
We already have lots of ideas floating through our heads about our next trip. Pacific Northwest? Mexico? Alaska? Silk Road? Vietnam? China? Egypt (attractive, but not with the current turmoil)? Israel? India? California? Russia? Eastern Europe?
We've talked about all of these places and never come to a firm decision.
One thing is certain: traveling is a great way to learn new things, and learning is what keeps us happy and vital. We hope you enjoy exploring our Gulf Coast 2013 website.