We’ve been slowly but cautiously breaking out from underneath the COVID bubble in our travels, but we were both a little wary when it came to anything that wasn’t beyond a short little day trip. Our trip to Minnesota in 2020 was more of a working vacation (helping a friend move out into a new house) so we didn’t jam and cram all that we could have done.
In the end, we thought we needed an extended time of exploration, and we decided on a region of the country that was both higher in the vaccination ranks as well as relatively calm on the ICU/hospital front in the New England states.
Bonus points for us lay in the fact that we would be adding substantially to our states visited tally, especially on my ledger, and it turned out the New Englanders we encountered were generally a lot more serious about COVID-related safety measures than other parts of the country.
As it turned out, COVID’s effects were still plainly in evidence in terms of attractions, restaurants, and breweries that were either understaffed or closed on the planned day of the visit. It’s all completely understandable, with conditions the way they are – we’ve adopted the attitude that this will be the norm for the foreseeable future.
Perhaps the best thing about this trip proved to be connecting with people. We got together with both people we’ve known from the past as well as a couple we only knew of through the Internet, and these brief hours of interaction were perhaps the most life-affirming of the trip, the real reason of why traveling to parts unknown is some of the best traveling you can do.
With such a lengthy trip, dividing it into digestible chunks is a bit of a challenge. I decided that four sections, generally by state or region and all filled with food, beverages, attractions, and random notes and observations would the the best way to serve up this wide-ranging, diverse platter of experiences. This post will contain and be updated with direct links as these separate posts become available.