My uncle Tom gave us a very fancy GPS device, since his new car comes with its own tracking system. We’re not sure whether or not to employ it – is GPS in the spirit of the trip? So, we have it all charged up and ready to go, just in case we lose our way in the not-fun kind of way. After all, sometimes you discover new things by getting lost, while other times, all you get is more intractably lost. Either way, Tom and my aunt Gretchen did give us direction. Twice we stayed with them in Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, at their palatial home on the banks of the shimmering Maumee River – once on the way from my parents’ in New York, and another time after we looped back from Chicago and were about to set off to visit another aunt, Jean, in Iowa. So they were the middle sister-to-sister point. Two times they watched our kids as we packed up the car, attempting to improve upon previous hurried efforts. And twice Gretchen made everyone individualized breakfasts, and packed food for lunch on the road. I think she also had to change the sheets twice, since our second visit was slightly unexpected. Both times we departed calmer, more rested and more organized than we had arrived.
In the photo is the view from their driveway. There's also a lovely photo of Sophia and Lulu with Gretchen, but I had to promise not to post any images of her...
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.