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Road trip: From Alaska to Lehigh Acres

March 14, 2018
By ERIC DeVAUX ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A multi-generational visit via a road trip all the way from Alaska has made a Lehigh Acres woman happy.

Sitting on her chair surrounded by many pictures of family, 20-year Lehigh resident Imogene Louis was amazed by the length of the trip made by her granddaughter Virginia Bell's family.

Their journey took them to New York, Pennsylvania, and cities like Philadelphia and Jamestown.

Article Photos

Grandma Imogene Louis, her granddaughter Virginia Bell and her husband Daniel Bell with the “greats” spread around.


"We flew to New York City and we drove down," Virginia Bell said.

They stopped at many historical locations en route.

"We tell everyone it is a 'nerd tour' because we were hitting museums," Bell said.

Besides her husband, neither she nor the children had been to these locations.

"(My child said), 'Mom, they replaced the mountains with buildings,'" Bell said.

"I got to see a lot of the United States in the Army, I just wanted to take the kids to see them," Daniel Bell said. "Show them all the stuff I got to see."

Alaska is an odd state surrounded by the ocean and bordering Canada.

"Being in Alaska, you don't get out much," Virginia Bell said.

In Philadelphia, they saw the Liberty Bell and the stairs the character Rocky ran up during the name-sake movie. In New York they went to Yankee Stadium and Staten Island.

"We slept in a parking lot because we were so tired of traveling," Virginia Bell said.

They also made trips to Gettysburg and Washington D.C.

"We got to see the White House and all the monuments," Daniel Bell said. "We were there long enough to see the Smithsonian, we went out and walked the National Mall and came back. It was cool to see the White House at night."

There was a rain storm during venture in the northeast but that actually made things a little easier.

"It's been so rainy that we've had a lot of stuff to ourselves," Virginia Bell said.

They organized their days for this trip.

"We did two days in New York, two days Philadelphia," Virginia Bell said.

"It's crazy all we have done."

They do enjoy Alaska, which is the polar opposite of Florida, but a change of scenery may be in the future.

"We plan on moving when our kids graduate," Virginia Bell said.

"We are hoping (my children) see other cool stuff and they want to leave Alaska," she added.

Alaska may have one thing in common with the Sunshine State - there are only two seasons

"(In Alaska) there is winter, and there is not winter,' Daniel Bell said.

Louis's husband was from Florida and he just recently passed away. The family visit was a comfort.

The trip was worth it for both venturing to new places and the family time.

"She's never met my sons or my husband before," Virginia Bell said.

Virginia was born in Alaska but spent some time in Florida.

"My dad was in the Army," Virginia Bell said. "Then they brought us down here 'til we were about six, They just drove us up in a motorhome. We spent the next 10 years hauling wood and water."

Before they return home, the family has one more stop-off in mind, the one everyone makes when they visit Florida with kids - Disney World.



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