A Tour of the East Coast

Whew, early October was busy. Truthfully in the best way possible, and I enjoyed going back and seeing friends and family. I hadn’t been back to New Jersey since we moved (the first time).

In case you are new or just didn’t know, we lived in New Jersey from 2013-2020. That’s a lifetime in military years, and we were lucky to have such a long time there. Sadly, that made it even harder to leave. Combined with the pandemic, I can’t say it was the easiest way to say goodbye.

We moved from New Jersey to Northern California in July of 2020. In December of 2020, my spouse found out he got his dream job in the Air Force. So we moved again in July of 2021, about 400 miles south. From the longest duty station to the shortest…I didn’t even celebrate a birthday in Napa!

Anyway, my grand plan for my trip was to fly to Norfolk, VA (where my parents live) and drive up the East Coast to Syracuse, NY (where a wedding I was going to was). Theoretically, it sounded great; in actuality, it was about 1500 miles on the road. Between driving to the airport from the Mojave to Las Vegas and back, my trip was 2000 miles!

Anyway, I flew into Norfolk. My flight was slightly eventful as I had an older woman next to me who hated everything about American Airlines. She hated the crew. She hated the airplane. She hated the flight was 4 hours. She hated the turbulence. She didn’t hate to complain to me about it all, though. She fell asleep on my shoulder. It was a long flight, and I finally made it to Norfolk.

parents dogs
Never away from my parents pets.

My dad picked me up, which I am always thankful to have a great relationship with my family and parents. We hung out for the weekend and ran the Crawlin Crab half marathon. I knew the race was happening. Would I have flown out just for the race? No, but was it nice to run one of my favorite races since I was in town? Of course. The race didn’t go my way, but I was pretty exhausted from travel.

On Tuesday, I made my way up to Baltimore. I was lucky to have lunch with my good friend Ariana at Kitchen 64 in Richmond.

Ariana Richmond

I stayed at Nick’s house and met his family and kids. We went for a run in the dark, and man, was I tired after that.

I made it to New Jersey on Wednesday and went to the RunningCo. of Haddonfield group run. I used to work at RunningCo. and it was nice to see so many friends at the run.


At RunningCo, I found out one of my favorite NJ raced was happening that weekend: Heroes to Hero.

On Friday, I went on a whirlwind. It started with running with Skip. Skip is a great friend with who we’ve spent so many miles together.

From there, I got lunch with Cyd from New Jersey Isn’t Boring. Despite going to over 30 diners together, we rarely take photos together. I don’t know why she is great. Her website is great. The conversation was great.

Then I made a stop at Jess’s house and hung out for an hour with her and her cat.Jess

Finally, I went up to see Danielle and Amelia, and we got dinner. We didn’t take a photo, but I did take a photo of their beautiful cat.


The drive down the turnpike was uneventful, which was all I needed.

The next day, I decided to race the Heroes to Hero 5k. It went a lot better than I anticipated, and I ran under 20 minutes for the first time in a while. From there, I planned to head to Syracuse. BUT, I underestimated the Syracuse Homecoming Game and couldn’t get a hotel within 2 hours. Yes, really! Including Binghamton, Cortland, Utica, and Rochester. Finally, I settled on Wilkes-Barr, and my hotel and runs there were both lovely.


I enjoyed my time in Wilkes-Barr, and there was great running there. From Wilkes Barr, I made the drive to just north of Syracuse for my friend’s wedding. It was a lot of fun. I’ve never gone to a wedding alone, and in fact, I don’t go to many weddings anyway, but I enjoyed meeting new people and celebrating their love.

I drove back to Wilkes-Barr the same day. Driving 5 hours the same day of a wedding? I figured I would just be relaxing in my hotel anyway, and it was nice to “only” have 7 hours back to Norfolk the next day.

I knew the following Monday would be a rough day. I had to drive about 7 hours from Wilkes-Barr back to Hampton Roads. I also cut directly through rush hour traffic in DC. My goal was to beat DC traffic…which do you do that?

I passed DC just before 2 pm, and I missed most of it. I decided to stop for something quick and easy in Alexandra and relax before mindlessly getting back on the road. I heard great things about Cava, so I opted there. Truthfully, it wasn’t enough food for me, but it was ok, and I ate more later.

The last couple of hours felt never-ending, but I finally made it back.

I spent the next day (Tuesday) relaxing with my family before heading to the airport Wednesday morning.

parents pets

Traveling back to the Mojave in one day is quite an adventure. I got to Norfolk airport at 7:20 am, and my flight left at 9 am to Charlotte. From Charlotte, I went to Las Vegas (roughly a 4-hour flight). I landed in Las Vegas around 4 pm EST. The Las Vegas airport is massive, and it took me over an hour to get my stuff and get to my car.

Finally, around 5 pm EST/2 pm PST, I headed back to the Mojave, which was just over 3 hours of driving.

I made it home around 6 pm PST, which ended up being about 14 hours of travel. I think I’ve been sleeping and recovering ever since. I enjoyed my time on the East Coast. Parts of me misses it, and other parts know that chapter in my life is done for now. I’m looking forward to visiting again, maybe next March but I haven’t decided yet.

Questions for you:

What was the last trip you took?

Have you moved often?