I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe it…the trip was about to be over. It seemed like we had only just been in Yellowstone…just seen Mt. Rushmore, slid through dirt trails in the South Dakota Badlands, fought traffic in Toronto and just pulled into Saratoga. How could we be done and getting ready to head home?  While most folks would be staying one more day, we were a bit homesick and knowing that home was just a few hours away, we could resist the call to head out.
 
We went over and joined everyone at the Saratoga Automobile Museum for a continental breakfast offering that featured some delicious egg dishes and some outstanding local apple cider donuts…yummy!  We walked around saying hello and goodbye to our newly made friends…enjoyed the cars on display and then headed for home.
 
A short section of the NYS Thruway got us past Albany and we jumped off in Coxsackie to go south to visit Willa’s boyfriend at his new digs in Tivoli…then on through Red Bank and a stop at the historic diner…I’m so full!  Finally, onto the Taconic Parkway, a beautiful 4 lane road with a big grassy and tree filled median, south to Westchester and our final destination.  We finally pulled up our drive and shut down the 2CV and looked at each other and smiled…we were home.

  And here’s our final day of travel. Saratoga Springs to Tivoli, NY (so Willa could visit her boyfriend) and then on home to Westchester, about 25 miles north of NYC on the Hudson River. 
 
This was an incredible trip for me to have been able to take with my daughter and there are a number of people who really extended themselves to make it happen.  First, I can’t thank Axel and Uschi enough.  We had talked on the phone and exchanged emails for years, but it hadn’t prepared me for how generous and thoughtful they would be in person.  I bought my Charleston from Axel and he treated the car as if it were his very own special 2CV.  The amount of work he did on what was a very low mileage, original car to bring it to his exacting standards was amazing.  It was this work which made my crossing of the country so much more simple.  We had a couple of small issues to deal with…one not so small, for me, but easy enough for Axel to handle in route.  In the end, we traveled thousands of miles…more thousands of kilometers…with very little to do, except check and top off the oil and add gas.  There’s no way to recommend them too highly.  Uschi prepared a trip journal with maps and information that just blew me away.  Our new German friends Kiki and Walli, were so nice, not to mention great cooks for the nights we camped out.  It was a pleasure traveling with them.  When I get Kiki’s pictures from the trip to add to this blog, you’ll be blown away…they are so good!
 
People we met along the way, really made our trip special and a stand out in this respect was George and Marijke Dyke.  When our hotel reservation went up in smoke in Toronto, they let us squeeze in to space on the second floor of their house.  They treated our invasion with calm and warmth that amazed us.  What wonderful hosts to let us take over their house…to feed us and show us around…and feed us some more, take us on a wild Mehari tour of Toronto…we’re very grateful.
 
My friends, Drew and Jan-Marie Cullen, who had just returned from a vacation in Scotland came home to us on their doorstep and couldn’t have been more generous with their home and time.  Who’s this nice on the spur of the moment?  What a lesson in generosity and grace.  They didn’t just take Willa and me in, they took us all in and it was wonderful.  What a beautiful home and what wonderful people.  I felt renewed after our stop at their home…not to mention they guided us through a scenic route to Saratoga that included a stop at the Hope Diner (wonderful ladies…and yummy food too).
 
The Rendezvous organizers were amazing. Citroën people are rather individualistic, so it’s like trying to herd cats, yet they made everything work….and how about the Citroën owners we met.  Generous, thoughtful, fun…some crazy fun (Jeff, I’m not pointing fingers but…).
 
If I could do the trip all over again…I wouldn’t change a thing…not our travel group, not the people we met along the way, not the fun we had learning about Marcel and really living every mile of the trip that just wouldn’t happen in a modern car.  You’d think that would be quite enough, but George is thinking about doing another cross country trip next year and I’m thinking…yeah….why not!  Maybe my older daughter will want to come this time too!

 

[Read the story about the complete trip here.]