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June 01, 2009


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What? It's over? So soon? So sad...

Ok, looking ahead: When can we expect the debut of "Fred and Hank's Euro-Peein' Vacation"?

Welcome Home! Thanks for including us on your journey! We'll buy the book! But, highly recommend you sell a t-shirt (google the three wolf t-shirt and see the interesting comments)! Love, Pam, Jack, boys and dogs

I feel almost as exhausted as you, but congratulations on completing an amazing trip. Two questions: 1) With 20K miles added to the Acura, how much longer until it's traded in?

2)A "drive-by shooting" at the Kennedy library. Ouch!

I can't believe how sad I feel reading this "last" blog. I'll truly miss it.

Definitely would buy the book, probably the t-shirt. Thanks for including me on this wonderful trip. I will miss y'all - but only temporarily I hope. "What a long strange [fun] trip its been."

I will truly miss this as well...but welcome home.

Welcome home! I really enjoyed reading this over the past few weeks.

I think the family picture might be my favorite of all the bonus beagle pics! Frame that one! Glad you made it home in one piece!

What a journey! I'm glad you arrived home safely. That last picture is a nice bonus. I'll buy the book and T-Shirt, too.

Do visit the inside of the Kennedy Library. It has beautiful vistas and had an execellent section about Bobby Kennedy when I was there about 15 years ago.

Thanks Fred, Hank, Joan, and Jim for letting us go along for the ride.

I am so sad that your trip has ended -- I would wait until I came home from work before I'd read your update and I loved every word you wrote. Best wishes for the summer, and I hope you are able to find a publisher for your book.

I know that wonderful feeling of being home and in one's own bed after a long trip! (Fireworks went off just as I read the end of your post--it was actually the White Sox Park fireworks, but we can pretend it was for your trip's end, right?!)
Looking forward to further adventures: how about Canada and Alaska?

Been on a barbed wire highway 40 days and nights
I ain't complain'n that's my job and it suits me right
I got a sweet soul fever rushin' around my head
I'm gonna sleep tonight in Maria's bed

Got on a dead man's suit and smilin' skull ring
Lucky graveyard boots and a song to sing
I keep my heart in my work, my troubles in my head
And I keep my soul in Maria's bed

I been up on sugar mountain, 'cross the sweet blue sea
I walked the valley of love and tears and mystery
I got run out'a luck and gave myself up for dead
Then I drank the cool clear waters from Maria's bed

She give me candy stick kisses 'neath a wolf dog moon
One sweet breath and she'll take you, mister, to the upper room

I was burned by the angels, sold wings of lead
Then I fell in the roses and sweet salvation of Maria's bed

I been out in the desert, doin' my time
Siftin' through the dust for fools gold, lookin' for a sign
Holy man said, "Hold on, brother, there's a light up ahead."
Ain't nothin' like the light that shines on me in Maria's bed

Well I take my blessings at the riverhead
I'm living in the light of Maria's bed

Jim, be sure and let me know when and where the book signing party will take place, I'm there.
Love the Music Reports too -- "Dig Me" a great rediscovery, huh? I still can't make up my mind about that song. The verses are so strange yet the chorus is so cool.
Hope to see you on the MMSL softball diamonds soon.

Great blogging, Jim...and great pictures with priceless captions. I laughed every time I caught up with this wonderful piece of work. Thanks for sharing the big trip and welcome back!

You left out the part where you stopped off at the Irish Times before driving past the Capitol.

Wow, cant image you guys drove that much, but it was certainly a treat to virtually travel and see the sights and places. Thanks for including us all. Book sounds like a great idea!

We wish to thank you for sharing your trip...I will miss checking it daily to see what the FHMA crew was up to...We will definitely buy the book and recommend it to others.

Menlo Park: A good deal of the things from Menlo are actually--if I'm remembering this correctly--at Greenfield Village near Detroit, MI. I haven't been there since I was 8, but it seems to me they have a few things, at the very least from there.

Great trip and Welcome Home!
Thanks for sharing the experience with all of us.

Love the family photo - it's definitely the best one you have posted. Your trip was so much fun to follow, but I can't help thinking that your comment about wishing you had done the A-Z iPod random shuffle from the beginning of the trip just might mean another trip some day so that you can accomplish that goal. Sign me up to follow along.

All things book / t-shirt (baseball cap?) related .... I am down for all of that.

Thanks for everything!


first of all, thanks to you and Jim for allowing us to travel with you vicariously. What a great adventure! My husband was curious early on as I made a beeline for your blog every day. Within a few short weeks he became absolutely addicted. He relished Jim's writing, your photos, and the marvelous candor of your story telling.

Now, I offer you my sincere apology for missing the soiree Saturday night (particularly since I said we would be there, how rude is that?). Things got out of control on Saturday and by the time we came to and remembered the party it was after nine. I do look forward to hearing more in person at one of our dinners.

Welcome home and do the book!


Tee shirts would be great; FHMA aficionados could spot one another.

A Flash version of the map would also be great, with pop-ups of the posts, photos, and of course the music.

And I know you hate Newburgh, but as a native upstater, I think that photo of Washington's statue is beautiful!

I will miss the boys a lot!

Enjoyed all of it, Joan and Jim. And I'm not even a dog lover! Loved your total honesty, your delight in what was delightful and your candor about what wasn't. And I'm with Len about the book.

How am I supposed to kill time at work in the afternoon? Thanks for the diversion!

In my bi-monthly trips from VA to CT I have often wondered about that missing portion of 95 (seriously!) so thanks for filling in the blanks AND allowing all of us to hitch a ride along with you over the last 75 days. It's been a ton of fun!

Got a real kick out of your travels and travails. I hope this stays posted for future reference so that I can look up the good and the bad for some of the places you've been. And I've learned a few things from Joan about hotel haggling. My "kids" Blue and Homer have their own facebook pages now and wonder when Fred and Hank will have theirs as well. A big woof from my guys to yours. It's been pointed out that if you can do it, so can we. (I suppose a 70 lb Lab and a 22 lb miniature schnauzer would average out to "managable")

Welcome back and looking forward to the round ups and recaps.

What a read from one day to the next. I will miss the pictures. Definitely the sort of book I DO read! :)

Congrats! I dare you to do a winter version of this trip. It would be higher on the list for adventure seekers and fans of "Into Thin Air." I, too, look forward to the book. Keep the seasonal trips in mind for sequels.

What a wonderful adventure! I heave a sigh thinking there will be no more daily posts... but am thrilled that you accomplished your goals, finding surprises and insight along the way. I was amused, honored, and educated by your colorful travelogue and anecdotes.

Clearly your family time spent together brought you all (and us, your readers) closer together.

I hungrily wait for the final installments and wrap-up.

I'm sure I speak for your many readers when I say, I'm dyin' here -- when's the next installment/wrap-up/etc.?!

The law of attraction must have pulled a Five Guys into Avon, Ohio via thia website, because I just saw my first one yesterday! Can't wait to try it.

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