VIDEO: Long Long Honeymoon hits D.C. & Philly!

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May 23, 2009

As a general rule, our “Long Long Honeymoon” is a lighthearted show. We focus more upon the fun stuff than the alternative. I figure there’s enough bad news in the world. Why add to it?

With that said, our recent visit to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia put me in a contemplative mood. It’s impossible to visit these areas and not consider our historical origins. We think about how the United States of America got started… and where we’re all headed.

I will go on the record: our “founding fathers” were a collective bunch of philosophical super geniuses (and not of the Wile. E. Coyote kind). What they created in terms of a self-governing democracy was unprecedented. Any way you look at it, the American experiment has been an overwhelming success.

But we also live in a world where the White House is no longer easily accessible to the public (at least not without plowing through miles of red tape with a Senator). Instead it sits barricaded behind unsightly concrete walls and iron fences. We must walk thorough metal detectors and security checkpoints just to peek at Archie Bunker’s chair.

Oh yeah, and if you are towing an RV anywhere in this area, you better have that TOLL money ready. It cost us $39 in toll taxes to tow our two-axle RV from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia. On one occasion, a $4 toll became a $23 toll simply because we were towing an RV. Now, I can understand paying a little more, even double — but more than quadruple?

Not unlike Kirstie Alley, all organizations tend to grow. Our government is no exception. We’re “free” — so long as we continually pay our numerous federal, state, and local taxes. Total it all up and it’s safe to say over HALF of your annual labor goes to fund the government. So, has our government grown too large? Is half of your income too much?

Or is it not enough? Should the government take ALL of your income? (Yes, there are some people who think so.)

Stated the old-fashioned way, is the country going to hell in a hand basket? Or isn’t it? Only time will tell. In the meantime, you’ll find us camping…IF we can afford the toll. ๐Ÿ˜‰


If you want to show your love of RV camping, here’s a fun & easy way: buy a cool t-shirt! Yes, the OFFICIAL LONG LONG HONEYMOON T-SHIRT is here!

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  1. Louella, thank you for your post! It’s always nice to hear positive feedback… especially when people are taking pot shots at me for taking pot shots at taxes, ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

    And you are right about those toll roads. The conditions are some of the worst we’ve encountered on our travels throughout North America. With the prices we were paying, I was expecting them to be like Napoleon’s tomb, capped with gold.

    One geeky skill we have learned on this trip is to supplement (and occasionally ignore) our GPS with Mapquest — Mapquest offers an “avoid toll roads” option to route planning, which is a great help to the RV traveler.

  2. I enjoy ALL of your pieces! We went west for the winter and paid a $13.00 toll in PA on the way out. Imagine my surprise when coming back through the same toll road the cost was $18.00, it went up the first of the year! The more amazing thing was that that was some of the WORST highway we travelled in 2700 miles!! Really made me wonder where the toll money was going?

  3. Hi Jerry, thanks for joining the discussion. I’ve been taking a slightly different filmmaking approach on this trip — glad you noticed! It is more of a documentary style, which I enjoy. I like the way this one turned out also.

    Wow – a $53 toll?! With regard to the tolls, one skill we’ve learned is plotting our route on Mapquest — which includes an “avoid toll roads” option. This is a really useful option for RV’ers (at least those cynics like me who don’t enjoy paying exorbitant and unnecessary taxes ;D).

  4. Hi Sean and Christy,
    We just came out of an “Internet black hole” and it has been 6 days since
    we have seen e-mails. Just checked your trip to DC. You are really getting
    the hang of it when it comes to posting a “creative video.”
    As for the “toll ways.” We went to visit my wifes sister in Westchester, PA. When we pulled off the toll way the booth operator said “that will be $53” ??????
    On another note, check out our trip to Alaska —

  5. Francis, thanks for your comment. If nothing else, this has reminded me why I try to avoid political discussions. No matter what I say, half of the audience will vehemently disagree. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, many people are incapable of discussing issues without hurling invectives.

    I don’t think it’s “cynical” to question whether our government is developing in a manner consistent with its founding principles. This is arguably the duty of all responsible citizens.

    With regard to “privilege,” while teaching English in Czechoslovakia I earned $120 a month. I financed my own legal education via loans that I later repaid. No silver spoons here.

    This is where the RV tax issue arose: TOLL ROADS. Regular tolls were more than quadrupled for us because we were towing a two-axle RV. When traveling from D.C. to Philadelphia (a TWO-HOUR drive), we paid $39 in taxes at toll roads — including $23 along one 20-minute stretch of road. That may not be much money to you, but for a lot of families who RV, this is a big chunk out of the daily budget.

    I guess the question concerns WHO needs to “pull harder” — the families or the government? Maybe it’s time for the government to “pull harder” by building roads that don’t place massive surcharges on RVing families.

    Either you think these MORE THAN QUADRUPLED tolls on RV’ers are fine and acceptable, or you do not. I do not.

  6. Francis Schilling

    “I didn’t want to write a cynical whine about government, but Philly and DC made me do it!” Where has the intestinal fortitude in this country gone? Great law school complete with moot courts and life abroad. Yes, I can see where that would give you the broad perspective and lack of privilege that it requires to take umbrage at being asked to pull a bit harder along with the rest of us during this storm … *NOT*.

    Like TXBrad and the rest who like to take pot shots while doing nothing but spouting off, you generate much sound and fury signifying nothing. Why not just exercise the entrepreneurial spirit and start churning out “Ask me how I’ve suffered!” T-shirts for your comrades inaction (no space by design). Alternatively, you could grow a d**n pair, but I don’t see that as likely.

    You write a cynical political piece in a good time RV blog-o-sphere and the history made you do it?! Citizen, please! It *is* a free country, thank God, and you are free to spout whatever you wish just as I am free to never read your “priceless” prose ever again … which is something I will look forward to. Perhaps not with alacrity, but certainly with a vengeance.

  7. Gloria, check out Cherry Hill Park in College Park, MD. It’s a well run private campground with good proximity to DC. That’s where we stayed.

  8. gloria brandt

    Can anyone suggest where to stay in a state park or campground around Washington DC & Richmond Va.

  9. Thanks Rick… and I agree that Harry summed it up with eloquence in the first post. I look forward to your future comments with alacrity. (I learned a new word too! :D)

  10. rrrick08

    Hi Sean & Kristy,
    Really enjoy your presentations and after looking up the word ‘alacrity’, I do that too. Your first poster hit it right on for we retiree’s. Those in the work force can still do that, keep working. I just took my second pay cut this year thanks to our weak economy and my investment portfolio income. So unlike last summer when we departed our home in Florida taking our rig up through the eastern US, the Maritimes & into Newfoundland, as far north as you could drive in that intriguing Province, this summer our rig will be parked more than it will be finding new adventures.
    Look for our government to help us out?? I don’t think so. It can only find more ways to tax us for income to allow it to grow even larger.
    Keep up the great adventures, we’ll be looking forward to them. Your political thoughts are non inflammatory. If I want to get upset reading political posts, I’ll check out that absurdly liberal Bob Dilfy.

  11. GMAs, thanks for bringing a little levity to this discussion which has been veering a little too close to politics. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Did you know that Airstream made a toy hauler? At least they did last year. It’s a bit of a strange beast, but you might check one out just for fun.

    What is the Airstream newsletter you are mentioning? I haven’t seen it yet. I would like to check it out. I think we may be visiting the factory in Ohio next month.

    Glad to hear you have been keeping busy in the industry. I still want to see you on a set someday!

  12. Discussion of politics is sort of a “no win scenario.” I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind.

    But when visiting Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, it’s impossible not to consider our historical origins. Politics is everywhere.

    Are my views of government cynical? I don’t think so. I have attended a great law school, studied Constitutional law, debated Constitutional issues on a national Moot Court team. I’ve volunteered in other countries (ie. Czechoslovakia circa 1992/93) and experienced life under other forms of government. These experiences have helped to shape my opinions about the direction I’d like to see our government headed. But my opinions are my own. I respect different opinions and am always curious to learn.

    There’s an old (and somewhat controversial) saying: “Every nation deserves its government.” While this may not be a universal truth, in a democracy it carries an element of truth. Ultimately we’re going to get what we deserve. And that, my friends, is what concerns me… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. GMAs

    Well…. like hollyweard one tries to stay out of the political backstab’n …. grin…

    Not good to get so upset and lose sleep over what one says…. or doesn’t say… but end the end … it still is a republic and you can be sure that businesses which are being bent over… along with the general public are not going to stand for such foller’ly…

    On the second bad new front… I see airstream is going to go with you boy MH … man if old man bar’um ever found out he would trun around in his grave… here he was a family vertu man and what is the management of AS doing… promoting this guy who will be taking his son (out of wedlock) around the country… pooo.. bad ju ju.. as we have come to understand he has no intentions of getting married to the woman… yet the company is throwing this up as a great thing… another bad decision on their part … I favor your holesome approch on your blog… (just my take on the subject…but you don’t want to hear what the X is saying… I had to put cotton in the ears of the dog .. whew… she really unloaded on AS after we got their new news letter… matter of fact she… we are now looking for a toy hauler.. and will probably get rid of the AS… as she said … ain’t having anything to do with that sorry *&^% company…if this is the morals they believe in… ops I mean I have never seen her so upset with what she read on the AS blog)

    So guess we are off looking for a nice 25 foot toy hauler.. some that really are bigger inprovements over the old AS… has built in gen set… more room… and of course a big work area at the rear… for all kinds of goodies… so I would assume that in the next month or so we will be getting rid of the old AS and going to a TH ….

    Indeed ford made the right moves on the bail out… so much so that a lot of the people we associate with are making the move to the ford F-250/350/450 series… and getting rid of the dodge/GMC cars… as they too have suspected that the parts are going to become more expensive when the political people get involved…

    I still think it funny that a lot of people are thinking there are no strings attached to the bail out money and FREE give aways… If one thing I have learned in life… it is that the’re is NO FREE RIDE OR FREEE MONEY… wait till the whining starts when they have to pay it back… WITH INTEREST… (that last word is the killer… at what interest are we going to have to give up)

    All one has to do is go look at the tube group under O’wells’ animal farm… and watch to see what is coming next… (It is a fun video to go see and watch .. but don’t let the mind go to sleep… food for the head sort of thing)

    Been real busy… in the industry… can’t say right now but its getting action packed… grin

    Take care my friend and if you get stressed out… hit the wii board for a extra hour or so to get the frustration out…

    Was down at Hunt’n beach… then went up the way to bolsa chek’ rv for this weekend… great wx , water and waves… Remember those who gave it all …

  14. TXBrad

    Sean: Our Govt. has already gone to H… in a little over 100days !
    Of those voting , the Muslem only just got a little over 50% votes ! Electing new polititions will change little as they lie & vote how they feel & not how their voters ( Americans) want.
    The federal govt. is & will impact to RV travelers. Govt. Motors ??
    Sean: At least FORD is still going strong ( no bail out for Ford ! ) da. Plenty dealers & parts. GM & Chrysler ( now owned by Govt & Unions) want to settle w/ suppliers $.10 on the dollar. Better stock up on parts now! Many suppliers will not return. Your local dealer may be now gone.
    Go FORD tx Brad

  15. Kevin

    Such a cynical view of government… Remember the majority of people who votedgot these folks elected. If you do not like what you see, then get off the couch and get involved. There are elected officials at all levels who want to know where the voters want them to go. No I do not mean that!.
    As an elected official I value my constituents opinions especially if we disagree. I am a member of a board of fire commissioners. I would love to hear from the folks during meetings or at public gathereings. At least then I will know what I am in for at re-election.

  16. Harry Anderson

    Sad to say, I have to agree with you. It seems that as we get the promises of smaller government in our lives, the larger it gets. I used to be concerned for my grandchildren. Then, I got concerned for my children. Of late, I am concerned about me.

    Thanks for your blog, I read it with alacrity. If want to philosophize go right ahead. Lord, knows we need somebody to remember.