Monday, July 26, 2010

Road Trip

NYC Here We Come!!!

OK... just let me start this post by saying
I WISH I HAD PICTURES TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY!!!
I so wanted to show you the Three Stoogies on the Side of the Road....and Linda's face when I left her on the subway in NYC was priceless....where was my brain at the funniest moments of this trip??

Linda and I left on my birthday to head to NYC to visit Jessica and Mike....
W-E-L-L...
We have been told we need to write a book about this trip!!  I guess this will have to do, so here goes. 

We head out about 8:30 AM on Sat. July 10, 2010, on our way to our first destination, and Linda is clocking these miles....saving me for the city driving.  Yeah, Linda would totally freak out driving in NYC.  She said my time was coming so she is driving for now.  We were scheduled to stop in Roanoke, VA to sleep then hit the road again.  The first leg of the trip took a detour in Nashville to stop off at Belks.  Linda wanted to see if they had a pair of Yellow Box shoes, like the ones she had left in the hotel in Florida just a week or so before our trip.  Then, we decided to eat dinner at O'Charley's (which by the way was VERY GOOD)!  But totally wasn't on my diet!!)  After dinner I take my turn at the wheel, Linda has driven from home to this point so...

We gas up and we are back on the road to Roanoke, VA.  We are totally off of our time schedule, but hey we can make adjustments to whatever we want to do on the way right??  We arrive at the hotel and check in, then hit the sack almost immediatley.  It's about 1:00 AM ~ However, I failed to mention that we talked about needing to get gas as we arrive in Roanoak.  Oh well, no problem we will get it in the morning!  WE ARE TIRED!!!  Lot's of miles behind us today....

(This bit of information will be useful in the morning when I start to tell you that story!)

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I don' think that either of us had any trouble falling asleep...but we were up and at it, bright and early, on about 4 hours sleep!  After a quick bowl of cereal at the free breakfast bar, we hit the road.....Linda is driving.

A few miles down the road this was our conversation....

Linda:  OH NO!  What's wrong ...I think my cruise is going out...

ME:  Uh...Linda...are you running out of gas??

Linda:  OH YEAH!! We did talk about needing gas last night ...  $?!@ WE ARE... 

YEP you guessed it....
WE WERE OUT OF GAS!!!

Now, if you have ever traveled from Roanoke, VA toward PA you know that there can be 8-10 miles between exits...

As luck would have it, we coasted as far as we could and was only about 1 mile from the next exit....what to do now?  Can't call Bill or Philip like we would do if we were at home, we are totally on our own with this one!   I am now laughing hysterically at what has just happened,  as Linda said OMG what do we do?  I was scouting around for the nearest gas station when I seen a sign that tells me that there is actually one at the exit that is about a mile ahead of us. As we coast to a stop.... Linda said to me "You stay with the car and I will start walking"  I said to her, "OH No Your Not!",  I would rather loose everything in the car than her to walk by herself and something happen!  I didn't want to be left by myself to deal with... where the Hell is Linda???  And be out of gas too!!  Not on your life...if anyone was going to abduct one of us they had to deal with both of us!!

As we are preparing to strike out walking we are talking about what we would do if someone stopped to offer us a ride.  Seriously now were we really expecting that to happen?  After all we are not young, skinny, 20 somethings anymore!!  So off we go walking to the next exit, Linda, Tootsie, (Linda's little dog) and myself. 

After walking probably about halfway to the exit and laughing at ourselves...Seriously now, were we really thinking that someone would actaully stop to help two overweight 50 year olds??  Linda decides to put Tootsie down to let her get some exercise, after all she has been riding a long time only to get short potty breaks when we stopped for gas.  Would you believe it, no sooner than Linda put her on the ground a van pulls off and stops!  Yep, your right they told us it was because they saw the cute little DOG!! 

Ok...so it's a mom and three kids stopping to help us, seemed harmless enough so we decide it's probably ok and we hop in.  As we head off toward the exit both Linda and I notice that she has HANDCUFF'S, YES! Handcuff's, hanging from the rearview mirror!!  What the heck do you need handcuffs hanging from the rearview mirror for???  OMG! ~ Is this something out of a movie like "Rest Stop"...I am starting to freak out just a little, as she pulls us in to the gas station, we thank her and off she goes.   Whew!!  That could have been ugly!!

While at the gas station Linda is speaking to the clerk at the counter and I am looking around to see if they sell small gas cans that we can use to tote gas back to the car.  The sales clerk apparently felt sorry for us and volunteered to give us a ride back to the car.  I am not so sure that her supervisor was as kind hearted as she was, but she let her help us anyway.  We filled up the little gas can that Linda bought and headed off back to the car.  As I told you earlier, it was a long way between exits and we had to head back West bound to take the exit 7-8 miles past where the car was, to turn and come back up the East bound side of the freeway.

We finally arrived back at the car and the nice sales clerk said she would wait on us to put the gas in and make sure the car would start after we got the gas into it.  Dare I utter the words what else can happen?  The gas can that we bought was BROKEN!!  The gas would not come out of the spout...you had to squeeze a trigger, and the trigger would open the spout, to let the gas pour into the tank thru the nozzel.  OMG!  I had gas all over me!!  I am sure that the sales clerk was thinking what in the world is taking them so long to pour the gas out of the can into the car?!   So she got out of her car to come see what the problem was.  There the three of us stood on the side of the freeway, out in the middle of no where trying to put gas into the car.  Can I tell you that we looked like the THREE STOOGIES!!!

Finally we got enough gas into the tank for the car to start and off we head back to the station that the clerk worked for to buy a full tank of gas. We are good to go and off we head to  NYC ~ a tad behind schedule but on our way none the same!!

A ways on down the road we stop in a Bob Evans restaurant parking lot, not wanting to waste time eating inside the restaurant, since it was Sunday, and the restaurant was rather busy.  We make ourselves a sandwich with some of the goodies we brought along with us, use their facilites, and head off again.  Laughing about Linda's little Lexus looking like the Beverly Hillbillies move to NYC, we are talking about both of us wanting to visit Amish Country.  Well, just say the word, and one quick google on the i-phone, our trip takes another detour to Lancaster, PA.  We found a address for an Amish Village on the i-phone, and off we go to find us some Amish people. 

This detour really didn't take us off our path that far.  Our arrival time should have been pretty close to the same time, just a different road to take us there.  That is if you don't take into consideraton what we did when we got to Lancaster.  When we arrived in Lancaster at the address Google gave us, it was Amish allright, but actually it was someones house!  Of course, I pull right up in the driveway and there stands two cute little Amish boys on the ladder of their swimming pool, long pants, long sleeves and 100 degrees outside!!  Is that what they wear to swim??

We decided that we had done something wrong and drove around for a few minutes trying to find what we were looking for.  It seemed, according to the google map, that we kept winding up right back at the same house.  By this time the boys dad had come outside, loaded them up in his horse and buggy and they were headed down the road to somewhere?  So what were we going to do now....I wanted pictures!! 
Chase em' down!

Yep, that is right, that is just what I did.  Went around them, got ahead of them, and waited on them to catch up and here's the pic...



We stopped at a Amish Gift shop, to check out the Amish goodies that they sold, and the clerk at the gift shop told us about the Amish Village Tour.  You guess it, I bought the map that was to lead us on the guided tour and off we went.  When we got to the Village Linda said, "Where is the tape that came with the tour".  I said "What tape...she didn't give me a tape""I thought the map cost $9.95, I didn't know I got a tape too!!".  Oh well, we guided our selfs, and boy did we see the Amish?  The houses are huge and the land was beautiful!  So clean, well kept and just beautiful! 

I am not sure where all of them were going but there was horse and buggy's everywhere.  We noticed that several of the houses had groups of all men, some had groups of all women, and some had mixed groups.  I am not sure if this was a church type meeting since it was on a Sunday afternoon/evening or just friends getting together.  There was a large group of teenagers playing vollyball and many many families in their carriages going somewhere. The men and boys were all dressed in black pants, suspenders, and long sleeve shirts. The men wore black hats and long beards, they were very stiffed face and not friendly at all.  The teenage girls were very friendly, they all smiled and waved at us.  The amusing thing about the girls is they were all barefoot as chickens!!  Could they not afford shoes for the girls??

Here are some pictures:




There life style seems so calm, simple and non -stressful, and very interesting to me. 
After what seemed like by now we were stalking the Amish, we were headed off to Jessica's.  Yeah, totally off schedule but it was fun!

I love the bridges in NYC!!  They are so beautiful.

First and Second Day in NYC
I love these apartments/ houses! 

The first day in NY we went and got pedicures and let me tell you they are much cheeper there!!  I was shocked!  Then we scheduled a massage for the next day, always wanted a massage.  However, I have never had a massage, truefully I really didn't want anyone to see this body of mine!!  OMG it was great!!  LOVED IT!!  On the way from the massage I snapped these pics...

This one cracks me up, I guess this is how they have to grow grass in NY.  Actually this is Hoboken, NJ.  At least they were creative with their grass!!


 
This is where we ate lunch...



Elysian Cafe
Oldest Bar/Restaurant in Hoboken, ~ Also the movie Sleepers was filmed here, starring:
Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Bacon

Dumbo Park....really its called Brooklyn Bridge Park and it's in Brooklyn, NY


Dumbo stands for: Down Under Manhatten Bridge Overpass
This was a cool park...loved the view of Manhatten from here.  Totally awesome place to watch the sun go down.


Manhatten Bridge
View from Dumbo



Brooklyn Bridge
View from Dumbo


Day Three ~ Central Park
Blenda and Linda in front of Bethesda Fountain
Central Park

We arrived at Central Park and as soon as we enter the park a young man approaches us to a bicycle cart ride.  He offers it to us for a discount, and we decline the offer so he comes down on his price.  He actually comes down twice and we decide to take him up on the offer.  We decided that we probably would be able tosee more of the park onhis ride than we could just waking, and he had lots of god park information that we would not have know if we had not have taken the ride. 

As we prepare to hop in the cart, it dawned on us that he was going to pump both of our BIG BUTT"S all through Central Park and he was a skinny little thing!!  So, I ask him was he going to be able to handle both of us....he said back to me..."I tell you what if I get tired...you can pedal!!  LOL...  Such a funny guy!!

He did ask us if it would be possible for him to reverse the trip..he said it would be easier for him.  We of course didn't care, so off we went.  As the tour started we laughed when we realized why it would be easier....IT WAS DOWNHILL!!!


This is the building that John Lennon lived in and also the building that he was shot coming out of.  The entrance on the left (the left side) of the bulding was where it happened.

This is a building that the movie "Ghost Busters" was filmed at

 







Day Four ~ NYC / Atlantic City

Ok now here is where the story gets interesting again...
Linda and I got up at the crack of dawn...nope make that way before the crack of dawn to go to NBC Today Show


See the umbrella? Yep!  It was raining.  Mike (Jessica's husband) drove us into the city, and there we stood in the rain, waiting on the Today Show to start. 
Now that is what I call wanting to be on TV!! 


Blenda and Linda
Who took this??

The Today Show was pretty neat! Here are pics of the Celebrities!
Matt and Meredith

The funniest part of waiting for this show to start was my stupid umbrella!  I had purchased it the day before on the street in Manhatten.  The guy GUARENTEED me that it would't break.  That the metal ribbings would not break or pull out of the end of the umbrella...ok sounds good to me and I even talked him down off the price too!  Bought two, one for Linda and one for me.  It's a pretty litte thing too, the city scape of NYC!!

W-E-L-L...That wonderful little umbrella was about to get me assulted in NYC!!  I just know the people standing behind me on the sidewalk waiting for the Today Show just hated me....my umbrella kept collapsing.  (He didnt say anything about it staying up, he just promised, GUARANTEED the ribs not to break!).  I think it probably happenend no less than 4-5 times.  Each time it collasped water went all over those wonderful people behind me!!  Funny thing it has not happened anymore since we left The Today Show!!  I think I might have been accidently hitting the automatic trigger to close it.  OOPS! 

All of the celebrities were so friendly!!  Al has lost a TON of weight!!

Al Roker

This is the camera man....Linda's hunk, she calls him Fabio..I think she likes the tight jeans..LOL


NBC's Purple Candy!!!

From here we were on our own...We set out to find the R subway to go to Staten Island.  This is where I left Linda on the Subway.....

Yes I said....I left Linda on the Subway!!
I so wish I had pics of this!!!   Linda's Face was priceless!!!

Of course we got on the subway going the wrong way....we didn't have a map, we just knew that we needed to get on the R train.  The very first train that came by was the R so we hopped on! 

We rode for a few stops and decided that we might be on the wrong train....or at least going the wrong direction.  I assumed that the Staten Island stop would be named Staten Island since that was a pretty well know spot!!!  NOT!!!

So we get off and wait for a train going the other direction.  While on this train it was EXTREMELY crowded until one stop.  Yep, I bet that was the one that we should have gotten off at!   We traveled to the next stop talking to each other about why the stop wasn't called Staten Island when a group of people got on at this stop.  Now it was just us and them on the train together.  SO, with me not being shy at all, I hop up to start a conversation with them.  I was still assuming that the Staten Island stop would be the named Staten Island, made sense to me, so people would know that is where to get off to go to the ferry.  I just wasn't sure if we had missed it or not, well, of course I was wrong, yeah I know, I am NEVER wrong but ok, ok I was this time. We missed it!!  

When I got up to ask the nice lady that is on the train with her mom and her children where the stop for the Staten Island Ferry was, she confirmed that it was the stop that everyone had gotten off at.  She told me not to worry that she was going back and we could just follow her. HUMM...suddenly the train stops and she says WAIT!  You can get off here and go back....so I said OK!... comon Linda and I hop off....

Yeah well, Linda is getting up to get off and the door closes, me on the platform and Linda standing behind the closed doors.  Yeah well, off she went, waving BYE and saying...."I'll come back."

Of course I didn't hear her, or the family that was yelling at me..."stay there ...she will come back"!!

Standing on the platform of the subway station in NYC by myself, and Linda headed on the R train to wherever the next stop was, I thought CRAP,  now what do I do!!!

Apparently the lady standing on the platform waiting on her train realized what had just happend....(not that we looked like tourists or anything), she told me to wait there that Linda would get off at the next station and come back.  Well, I don't know, would she??  or would she get off at the next station and wait on me to come to her?  Would we both just be standing on the platform of the subway station at different stops waiting on each other to come?  My first thought was to call her...OH YEAH the CELL PHONES DO NOT WORK IN THE SUBWAY!!!  CRAP!!!

WHAT DO I DO??

Should I wait here on her, should I go on the the Staten Island stop and wait there?  That really seemed to make alot of sense, since that is where we were headed anyway.  No, I guess I should really wait here, that is where I lost her.  so I waited.....and I waited....and waited.....then along came a train.  Let me just say trying to look into an moving subway train speeding by to see if you can see someone in the windows is not as easy as it might sound.  It finally stopped and I decide that Linda wasn't on there, or was she and I just missed her.....

Ok decision time again!  Do I wait on another train?  Do I go onto Staten Island and wait there, I might have just not seen her on the train!!  UGH...what do I do?  Ok, I guess I will wait on one more train, after all maybe she hasn't had time to get to the next station and wait on a train coming back the direction that I am.  Yeah that makes sense so I wait on another train.

Time, at this point seemed to STOP!!  Good Lord she is gonna KILL me!!  My mind went back to when she was little and we were visiting my cousins in Memphis, TN. and we lost Linda in the Memphis Zoo.  I halfway expected to find her holding an Ice cream cone when I found her in the subway or at Stanten Island or where ever we ended up when we got back together.  I don't remember exactly how old she was or how we lost her in the Memphis zoo, I just remember when we found her she was with a police officer and he had bought her an ice cream cone.

OK so here comes another train...here I go again slinging my head back and forth so fast I almost thought my head was going to spin all the way around.  As I was looking thru every window that passed trying to see if she was on this train,
the only way I can describe her was:

You know those little toys that are sticky and you sling them up against glass or a mirror or a wall and they stick?  Well lo and behold the car that stopped directly in front of me had Linda on it, both hands and face pressed up against the glass window of the train, looking out trying to find me.  All I could think of was...

SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE HAS BEEN SLUNG UP AGAINST THAT GLASS WINDOW AND IS STUCK TO IT!!!

When she sees me, she jumps up, and grabs my arm, and said to me...

"GET ON THIS TRAIN!!!".  "I THOUGHT I WAS NEVER GONNA SEE YOU AGAIN!!!"

Well,  here we are back together again, laughing hysterically at what had just happened... and off to Staten Island we go.

Here we are at Staten Island
Linda and Blenda on the Staten Island Ferry

After the ordeal we had just went thru, the ferry across to Staten Island was VERY relaxing!!  I was wishing it was a cruise taking me away....oh wait...that is my next vacation.  March 19, 2011, I can't wait for you to get here!!!

We were pushing it for time by now, we are meeting Jessica and Mike after the ferry ride to head to Ventnor City (Atlantic City), NJ.  We are going to Teresa's (our cousin's) for dinner.  It was actually a little further drive than I had thought it was, and we were getting a much later start than originally planned.

We arrive at Teresa's and Anthony has prepared us a totally awesome Italian dinner!  Anthony is Italian and a wonderful cook!  After dinner we take a walk on the boardwalk to Atlantic City.  Here are some pictures of Linda and Teresa and me. 



Linda and Teresa

Blenda and Teresa

Look at this sign...really awesome to see in NJ!!  


Little Rock Ave

LAST DAY IN NYC!!

Today is our last day in NYC and we were going to try to go to Coney Island.  It has either rained or been overcast every day that we have been here, but Linda has never been to Coney Island so we wanted to go.  First we headed to Manhatten to take Jessica to a makeup job.  Linda and I decided to wait on her and found a metered parking spot behind the  Lincoln Center.  Linda puts money in the parking meter, guaging the amount of money to put in the meter on what time Jessica said she wouold be finished with the makeup job.  We walked to the Lincoln Center and chilled out by the fountain...It is so pretty. 

Lincoln Center


Water Show


A police officer came by and we thought OH NO!!  He is going to tell us that we can't sit on the fountain ledge, but no it was just a warning to us.  We might want to move in a few minutes the show was going to change and we WOULD  get wet!! 

LOOK AT THIS:
So Pretty!
Then we went over to Bed Bath and Beyond and looked around for a little while.  When we returned to the car, we hopped in and took off to go pick up Jessica  We noticed a meter man and was sorta laughing at the him...he was putting tickets on cars!!  Linda looks up and says..."IS THAT A TICKET ON MY CAR!!" 

Let me tell you she didn't say nice words!!  She wasn't happy about the $69.00 parking ticket, that probably would have only required another .25 cents to have avoided.  She even called to complain!  Yeah well, they didn't care!  Jessica said "Don't Worry Mom....Just don't pay it...that is what everyone here does." 

Linda said...Well, I don't think that I want a warrant for my arrest in NYC!!!

Tomorrow we head off to meet the hubbies in Gatlinburg to wrap up our trip with them.  Let me tell you New York has been fun, eventful and never a dull moment!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

On The Road Again.....here we are on the road again, headed to Gatlinburg.  The guys and Krista and Dillon are also on the road from Little Rock meeting us in Gatlinburg.

Don't kid yourself thinking that this story is coming to an end!!  I must have felt like I couldn't be outdone by Linda running out of gas, and her getting a parking ticket...so...I GET A DANG SPEEDING TICKET!!!

I havent't had a speeding ticket in years!!  I had had the cruise on for the entire way so far...well almost the entire way.  Everytime I would come up in traffic, I would turn it off, then re-set it after the traffic cleared.  It is hard to go the speed limit if you don't set the cruise...I would find myself going 80 and not even realize I was going that fast! 

Well Yeah, didn't have it on and there he sits in the median..I 'll give you one guess which state??  YEP!! Virginia!!  I don't think that state likes us...

I slowed down and he didn't pull out right away...so I thought, maybe he is not going to stop me....well NO SUCH LUCK...Linda said " Oh yeah...Your gonna get stopped!"  Sure enough here he come right behind me.  Linda gives him all of her info on the car and insurance card, and he says "Be right back"!  Yeah, he came back alright with a ticket for $155.00!!

Linda posted it on facebook and Dillon (Krista's boyfriend) busts me out to Bill!!  Thanks Dillon..love ya too!!


This story will be continued in Road Trip ~ Part 2

1 comment:

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