Good afternoon from beautiful Woods Hole, Massachusetts! Graham and I are on our annual vacation to his grandparents’ old house up here in Cape Cod. We arrived around 6:30 Sunday morning after driving through the night from Virginia. The trip up was rough and Sunday was weird all around with trying to catch up on sleep and still make it not feel like a wasted day. After a full night’s sleep, I think we’re getting back to normal. I still haven’t had any lobster, though. 🦂

We left home at about 7:00 Saturday evening, starting with dinner at our neighborhood McDonald’s. My idea had been that we’d drive for a few hours, stop at a pre-arranged hotel for the night, and continue the trip Sunday morning, well rested. Graham wanted to drive it all the way through and that’s what we ended up doing.

We came up here last year and I had a great time. I was notably less enthused about the 11-hour drive this time around, and am contemplating flying back to Richmond when we’re done up here. It would be about $150 for the Uber to Logan Airport in Boston, and $160-$260 for the 90-minute flight back to Richmond. Beats the hell out of 11+ hours on I-95.

Heading north out of Richmond, 14 Jun 2018
Heading north out of Richmond, 14 Jun 2018

This trip proved that I cannot sleep in a moving car, nor can I sleep upright, and I certainly can’t do it in a Smart Fortwo with seats that can’t lean back because an engine is in the way. I did eventually inflate and fold over my REI Sit Pad between my head and the window for a few minutes of rest during the final 90 minutes of the drive, but I don’t think I slept more than 15 minutes. We got to the house, got cleaned up, went to bed, and slept until early afternoon.

We didn’t do much yesterday. I spent most of the day fighting to get a decent Internet connection. My efforts to build a system where I can work almost completely offline may pay off before this trip ends. The Comcast modem here at the vacation house is acting wonky, cycling between two different public IP’s every 20-30 seconds. I’ve found the “xfinitywifi” public hotspot works just fine, so I’ve VPN’d out from there and things seem to be stable.

Graham building a fire for s'mores and general entertainment, 15 Jul 2018
Graham building a fire for s'mores and general entertainment, 15 Jul 2018

I’m using a dual Raspberry Pi setup where one of them acts as a client on the wireless network (once past the xfinitywifi captive portal) and can form VPN tunnels to secure traffic. The second RPi acts as a hotspot, providing a secure wireless network with all traffic fed through the first RPi (and through its VPN, if there is one). This gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility and improved security in connecting to public hotspots. I’ve got a blog post in the works that describes this setup. That should be coming in a few days, but I’ve found I still have some kinks to work out of this.

It kind of feels like we’re in Richmond right now with this hot and humid weather. No real relief from the humidity until Thursday… just in time for us to start packing to come home.