Sunday & Monday

Not much happened on Sunday...
It was a gorgeous day outside, but I did laundry. I don't mind laundry, actually. Going to the laundromat means I have to sit my ass down for a couple hours and not run around avoiding things. I was able to write some letters and postcards to people that I had been meaning to do for a while. I also watched an episode of Arrested Development on my iPod.

Doing all of Jen's towels and bathroom rug on top of my clothes sparked my renewed interest in cleaning her apartment. So I did the kitchen. It was pretty wild. When she got home, she walked in and said "WOW! It looks like a real apartment!"

We then decided that Cracker Barrel would have to be visited. I don't know what it is about that place. Man I love their grilled chicken tenderloins!! So we got Brian to join us and somehow they talked me into sharing the embarrassing story from Saturday night. Jen almost died laughing, and BC looked like he was going to vomit. The story started a string of tales involving disgusting bodily functions and at one point the waitress walked up just as Brian said "He stepped in my poop and was smearing it all over the floor" - she quickly asked Jen if she wanted a refill and then snapped around and trot back to the kitchen. I couldn't contain myself. We are so freaking inappropriate!

Then, because there is nothing else to do here, we sat in the Cracker Barrel parking lot until 12:30 in the morning. Lee dropped by and joined our conversation for a while. We heard all about this crazy Japanese band called the Peelander-Z and how they wear pastel colored spandex jumpsuits and do outrageous things onstage. I googled them for a laugh. If they are ever in your area, go check out a show.

Today I didn't get dressed. I was going to go to NYC but felt lousy when I woke up. I took the opportunity to catch up on my newsgroups and various things I've been to busy to pay attention to. Tomorrow I will go. I've already asked Chaya about crashing at her place.

That's about it. Jen and I are going to make a Wendy's run in our pajamas because we have these free coupons for a FREE Jr Frostee that expire after today. Awesome.

Oh yeah! If you see my dad, wish him a Happy Birthday - he turned 53 today! When I made fun of him for being old, he said "Old? You're almost 30!" Ouch.

Saturday [One Girl, One Bag]

I have been avoiding this blog because I'm not quite sure how much to share. I had the absolute most humiliating and disgusting experience Saturday night - but I've decided that's something I'll share only if I'm going to be paid for it. So once I've finished my book, you can buy it to find out just what happened in Boston...

That being said, it was an otherwise wonderful day. I got in the car and drove to Salem first. I wish I had more time to spend there. I think I may go back on a day when I have time to walk around and look at all the silly little Wiccan shops. It was a cute town. I only managed to snap one quick picture of a "Witch House" from my car. I knew I had to make it to Wagamama's and then Brookline for a meeting by 7:30.

I couldn't find Wagamama because I'm a tit (and Mapquest isn't the best thing to rely on for exact directions to downtown areas). So I decided to try to find the meeting. On the way I saw a Trader Joe's. I nearly melted. I pulled in the parking lot and waited for 15 minutes until a spot opened up. Then went inside and realized I didn't really need any food, no matter how much I love Trader Joe's stuff, and ended up only buying the chocolate covered pretzels (I had a migraine and thought the chocolate would help it go away). The cashier made fun of me for braving the 7pm Saturday crowd for just chocolate pretzels. I told her that hormones can't be helped sometimes...

So then I went to the Brookline YP meeting. [if you don't know what a YP meeting is, don't worry about it] I heard one of the funniest things ever there. This girl was like "I don't pray every day, but I do watch an episode of Seinfeld every night. That seriously helps." LOL

I found someone who was willing to tell me how to get to Wagamama's. I made it there and spent like $30 getting everything that I used to eat in London. Chicken ramen and gyozas, sparkling water and raw juice. mmmm...
Unfortunately, my head was hurting so badly I thought I was going to throw up. So after I left Waga's, I went to find some Aleve. It cost me $6 for a freaking bottle (because the little packets were $1.99 and I have to take 2 for a migraine). I got back to my car and took the pills and left the parking structure. Fanueil Hall is fucking crowded on a Saturday night and I was stuck in traffic for quite a while. This is where I'm going to skip over the rest of the night and you will just have to pay me to hear the rest of the story. I'll let you know when a publishing company accepts my manuscript... haha

So yeah. That was saturday!



Apparently I've lost count of the days somewhere along the line. Today is day 15, yesterday was day 14. Hmmm.... I give up!

Yesterday was not a very good day for a bunch of us. The toilet saga continued. The maintenance guy came over at 8 and realized that we needed a new toilet. Jen stayed home from work to let him in and out all day. We both kept falling back to sleep, but it wasn't ever long enough to be satisfied before he came pounding on the door again. booo!!! He got the new toilet in, and then the source pipe started leaking. He was like "oh no. This is a huge problem. These pipes are so old, they could break." So he turned off the water to the whole building (as I had a handful of peeled, sticky orange in my hand - ick!)
So now we don't have a toilet, or water. This is totally gross, but I hadn't showered all week. I was supposed to go out and turn in applications. Guess not! I used my precious Fiji water to brush my teeth and then decided to get out of Jen's way. She was having a time dealing with the whole ordeal, and I was starting to take it personally.

Anyway, I met this cool kid named Lee and we went and got some food. He and I have a lot in common, I think. It was unfortunate that I wasn't exactly in the mood to be a conversationalist. After I left Jen's I realized that I was completely dependent on just one person for all my social needs. Then I felt very homesick. I miss everyone so much. meh.

So after we got food, I went to Best Buy to exchange Jen's "My So-Called Life" DVD (it was scratched and didn't play). I went to the only CD shop in the area and asked if they had any openings - of course not. I went into another pet store (not to look at rats) hoping they had a bathroom. Jenni called me while I was there and I was melting over the chinchillas... She said I should just work for a no-kill animal shelter so I can pretend I own all the animals.

I got back to Jen's where the water was back on, and the toilet was fixed. She suggested we go see a movie so we could forget about the crappy day. So we went to see Vantage Point.
Oh.My.God. Screw Chuck Norris, give me Dennis Quaid! He's invincible in this movie!! hahaha. We were laughing hysterically at the fact that he took a bullet, a bomb, 3 or 4 car accidents, being t-boned by a semi-truck, running a 5k marathon, getting shot again - all for the president ("Mr. President, I've got you"). Jen wants to make a suit out of Dennis Quaid since his skin is tougher then Kevlar. And poor Forest Whittaker! He hauls his big self all over the place (after surviving a bomb) trying to "help the cops," throws himself in front of a bus to save a little girl - only to have the mother walk away from him. haha! It was entertaining.

I think I might drive down to Boston today and find Wagamama's. I was completely mistaken when I thought there were more of them in this country. Apparently there are only 2 Wagamama's in the US - one in Harvard Square, the other in Cambridge. Good thing I'm so close to both! I'm assuming you don't know what Wagamama's is, so I'll tell you: It's a cafeteria style oriental noodle bar that is extremely popular in the UK. It was one of my favorite restaurants to go to when I lived there. Every time I find myself back in the UK, I make sure I visit Waga's. So I'm looking forward to this. Other than that, I don't really have plans. Hope you are all well!


Days 11 & 12

Apparently less happens in Manchester than Milwaukee. haha!
I made a list of things to do yesterday, and I only got one thing done. Lame!
James called me in the early afternoon to relay some sad news. One of our friends passed away yesterday morning of lung cancer. I ask you to keep my friend Kevin in your prayers, as I'm sure this is difficult for him. Steve was an amazing person and he will be sorely missed, however I am positive he is no longer hurting.

I pulled myself together and headed to the Mall of New Hampshire. I figured some sad retail establishment might be hiring and I could snag a job for a month or so. No luck. Old Navy was the only place hiring. I then wandered around for a while longer, which was probably a bad idea. I walked into the pet store (puppies in tiny plastic boxes make me sad to begin with) and they had baby rats. I sat and stared at them long enough to start tearing up. I miss my babies! If you don't know, I have 2 rats named Poopy and Gir. James is taking good care of them, but I still miss them like crazy. I left the pet store to walk past the game store, which had a Coldplay video on in the window. That made me a bit more nostalgic and sad, so I kept walking. The next store had that Rob Thomas song "Little Wonders" playing. That song reminds me of Shana. I made a b-line for the exit then because I couldn't help but cry. It's so weird how little things like that can trigger a total emotional meltdown. Change is an interesting thing. I like having diversity, but I miss familiarity. Such a dichotomy *sigh*

I familiarized myself with Manchester by driving around for quite a while yesterday. It was actually quite nice out, in the 50s and sunny. Perfect driving weather.
I found the YP meeting. It was highly disappointing.
We went to Applebee's last night. I had never eaten there before. I have no desire to ever go back. haha!
Today I cleaned Jen's bathroom. Oh. My. God. Apparently the apartment wasn't clean when she moved in, and since she works quite a bit (and wasn't planning on staying in this apartment long) she never cleaned it. It took me 3 1/2 hours to scrub everything. At some point, the toilet tank began to leak (my mother said it's the "spud" that's leaking). It was filling up one of those red plastic party cups every 5 minutes. I had to stop cleaning to keep switching out the cups and dumping them down the toilet. So I called Jen and said there was a semi-emergency. She called her landlord who just said "my maintenance guy already left for the day. can't you just shut the water off?" Nice. I told her it wasn't the source pipe that was leaking, it was the actual tank and a plumber needed to be called. The landlord moaned some more and said she would have her guy come look at it in the morning. Jen asked where we were supposed to use the toilet if hers wasn't working and the landlord just said "just pour a bucket of water in the bowl, it will be fine." Total scumbag. When Jen got home from work, we figured out how to empty out the tank so it stopped leaking all over the floor and then she vowed to move out. Apparently the neighbors toilet recently stopped working and they called for a week - the landlord did nothing. The toilet finally leaked enough so that the ceiling in the apartment below was caving in and leaking and they had to replace the whole thing. fuckers.
If any of you own apartments - don't be lame asses like this landlord!

Don't really have plans for the evening. Jen has pole dancing class (I know, how funny). Her friend Kevin picked up an application for me for the venue he works at - box office is hiring. I think Brian is supposed to come and hang out with us later. That's about all from me!


Day 10 - Manchester

I had an awesome day. I spent the day on Jen's futon. I played on the internet. I read. I lounged. I got some loving from her kitty Gabby. I didn't get out of my pajamas until Jen got home from work and suggested we go to Cracker Barrel.

She introduced me to a couple of her friends, who were super cool. We had a really fun time at Cracker Barrel. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I checked out a couple job listings here. I think I might stay for a couple weeks and see if I can earn some cash. It will be easy enough to visit friends in NYC. $10 bus ride to Boston, $15 bus ride to NYC from there. It would cost me more in gas and tolls to drive (and then parking!). We'll see... if I'm supposed to stay, a job will come up.

I guess I don't really have any exciting news. It just feels so good to be around someone I know.
Oh yeah, comments...
Sorry, Katherine, I wasn't able to stop in Bennington. However, while I was driving around in Vermont I did think about you. I wondered where you went to school. For some reason I always assumed it was in Burlington - and I wasn't heading that far north. Oh well.
Thank you for that clarification on NH's state motto, Laura. haha! I remember hearing that before, but I never really paid attention to historical facts like that. But if you want to know the phone model that Jack used in the flash forward of the season 3 finale of LOST, just ask. It's those kind of stupid things that I remember...
Yes, I do hurt! I was actually quite surprised that my left buttock is abnormally stressed. The only thing I can attribute that to is holding the clutch in. My back is sore as well. I think that's more from sleeping in my car than anything. I will remember the free back massage when I finally make it to the west coast!! I'm actually hoping to make it to this amazing Chinese massage place on the upper west side in NYC. Super cheap, and super fantastic!
And if anyone was wondering, the picture in the last post was of Gabby (Jen's cat) jumping up on my shoulder and wrapping herself around my neck. Apparently she likes me.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Day 9

I drove around the coast of Maine yesterday for a little while, trying to actually get to some place to see the ocean - but i kept running into dead ends and private roads and never actually saw anything. I was so tired and frustrated that I just gave up and drove around aimlessly. I ended up in Brunswick. As I was driving through town I spotted a record store. I was determined to have a real conversation with a real person - and maybe make a friend. So I walked in and became immediately socially retarded. I think a week on my own made me stupid or something. I could barely walk up to the clerk to ask about a stupid release date for something. gah. I left feeling dejected and embarrassed with myself. What happened to me?? I used to be able to talk to anyone. grrrrr...

So then I thought I would try to find a place to eat lobster. I was so scared that I kept driving past restaurants, despite the fact that I was starving. I went to a grocery store instead and bought some fruit and a bunch of junk food. Then I repacked and organized my whole car. Then I finally decided to try to find a restaurant again (all the while telling myself it's only seafood, not the end of the world). I pulled into a restaurant that I had read about in a local newspaper. The Muddy Rudder. I was aware that lobster was expensive, and I almost talked myself out of it because of that fact. But I also told myself that I was probably never going to be in Maine again (I didn't find it impressive at all) and I needn't ever have lobster again. So I ordered. $30 later, I was pretty disgusted by the whole process. I choked down the whole thing because I didn't want to waste my money. There were a couple parts that weren't all that bad. Mostly it was the texture that made me feel sick to my stomach. ick.
I am a bit proud of myself for trying something new (I am definitely NOT adventurous when it comes to food), however I didn't really enjoy the experience. hahaha

My friend Jen had called while I was at the restaurant. I was soooo grateful to hear her voice. She let me know that she was back in town and I was totally welcome to crash at her place in NH. So the minute I left the restaurant, I was on the road to Manchester. I cannot even begin to tell you how good it is to see her. We lived together in London at the Carleton Grange. We had tons of fun there - and she was sitting next to me the first time I ever saw James. We both drooled over him (and our lecturer, Guy Westwell). The strangest thing is that even though I haven't seen Jen in 5 years, we picked up like we had just hung out last week.

I don't think either of us stopped talking for 6 hours. We both spilled out everything that had happened over the last 5 years. We made a late night Wal-mart run in Concord (looking for cheeseballs - I don't think they make the Planters cheeseballs in the blue can anymore, can't find them anywhere!!!). We got pulled over by the cops. We stayed up till 3am (she had to go to work at 8). I was telling her about being fired from my job in December and she was super excited to hear that I had box office experience - one of her closest friends is the box office manager of a venue here. Immediately she was trying to talk me into staying in NH. She told me she had just had a break down in front of her mom, wanting to move back to CT because she had no friends with similar interests here in NH. And then she said "and all of a sudden you show up!!" Well, we will see about that one. I'm just glad I popped back into her life at the moment when she needed me around the most. I will stay a couple days because it's so good to see her. And I will apply for the box office job just because it would be the next right thing to do in this moment. However the outcome is up to the universe. If I'm meant to stay, I will. If not, I'll go to where I'm needed next. All told, it's a good day :)


Day 8 - Part 2

I am exhausted! I spent all day driving yesterday. It may not look like very much (262 miles), however the majority of it was mountain driving on smaller roads. Once I made it to the coast and checked into my hotel, I took a shower and went to bed. I wish I could afford to stay a second night so that I could just relax today. That's one thing about traveling that I always forget about - driving takes a lot of energy. I can't wait to meet up with some friends and park it for a couple days.

Anyway, it was a weird day yesterday. Most of the day I was super grateful and struck by the beauty surrounding me. But because I was so exhausted, I easily switched over to the annoyed bitchy Vega. Back and forth all day. One moment "ooohing" and "aaaahing" over some deep gorge, the next minute swearing at some douchebag in an SUV passing me again. Good thing I was by myself because I would have been embarrassed by my own mood swings had anyone been with me!

Everywhere I went yesterday was filled with skiers. The White Mountains have tons of slopes. For a while, I was aching to get back on a hill. I haven't been skiing in nearly 15 years. When I last dislocated my knee, I thought it was better to not chance another mishap. I know you're thinking I'm a geek for skiing - why would I not snowboard? Well, snowboards were very new and not very popular when I last was on the slopes, so I never actually tried it. (I'm totally admitting to you all what a big loser I am!) Oh well.
Just like all the other mood swings of the day, the reminiscing joy of youth was quickly replaced by rage for all the wankers with cargo boxes on top of their cars riding my ass. I thought for sure that things would be laid back on Easter Sunday... I was already going a little bit above the speed limit, but that wasn't good enough for these pricks that had to get to the next mountain. I don't know how many times I was passed yesterday by some douchebag on a DOUBLE YELLOW LINE! WTF? I mean really! Risking your life and the lives of others by passing in a no-passing zone (that's there, obviously, because it's dangerous to pass) just so you can get your stupid skis on. Urgh. Many of these lifts were just on the side of the roadway across from a parking area. There were no crosswalks or signs for motorists to be aware of pedestrians. At one point, these two guys who were standing at the side of the road watched me drive nearer, and blatantly stepped out in front of me - seeing that I wasn't slowing down. Do you have a freaking death wish??

Ok, enough of my rant.
There were a couple more signs that got me chuckling yesterday. The first was a road called "Bullocks Crossing."
There was another road marked as "Hooker Lane" with a big yellow sign above it reading "Private."
In a tiny town in New Hampshire, there was a carved wooden sign on the side of a hill that said "Fool on the Hill." I immediately looked to the top of the hill to see what was there - two huge carved bears stood waving. Cute.
I saw a Prince Edward Island license plate for the first time in my life.
The New Hampshire motto is "Live Free or Die" and is written on all of the license plates. I thought that was fairly dramatic, especially concerning the state of our nation...

I'm going to try to take it easy today. I'd like to see parts of the coast, as I'm told it looks similar to parts of the UK and Ireland. I am also going to try lobster for the first time (wish me luck). I don't care for seafood, but I figured this is a time where I'm reinventing myself, so I may as well try as many new things as possible. If I don't post later today, don't be alarmed. I'm just taking a break.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comments. Post as many as you can! They help to pull me back in from that crazed solitude that I've been living in my car.

P.S. Now the only states I haven't been to are Rhode Island, Louisiana, Alaska and Hawaii!


Day 8 - I'm Alive!

I'm Alive!
Dramatic, I know. But I just checked the weather channel for the overnight temperatures and it was 6 degrees Fahrenheit where I slept in my car last night!!
My laptop battery died and for some reason my car wouldn't hold the charge to plug it in. In Rutland, VT I decided to check hotel rates because I could tell by the light of the full moon that the area was gorgeous. I didn't want to be driving through in the dead of night when I spent all this time getting here because I had never been to Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine. Unfortunately all the hotels were freaking outrageously priced ($127 for a night at the Red Roof Inn?!?!).
I then stopped at Denny's thinking I might find some people to talk to. Why is it that Denny's is a local hangout in Southeastern WI, but everywhere else it's where old people go late at night? Where do the kids hang out everywhere else?? Or do they not exist in Vermont? Are there no late night youngsters in New England? I don't even think I would consider the time "late night" as it was only 10:30pm. Maybe that was my problem.

Anyway, a week's worth of being on my own and having a heavy heart (don't ask) finally caught up with me and I just burst at the seams. I found a trail parking area and pulled into it to cry. It was the kind of sobbing that comes from the bowels. I fully needed to emotionally vomit. And like barfing, I felt better afterwards. :)
I was exhausted and decided to sleep where I was at. I figured only a jackass would come and ticket me for overnight parking on Easter. As soon as I got everything situated in the back, I realized I had to pee. Hmmmm... Only snow around. So I squat next to my car and nearly froze my parts. *NOTE TO SELF: Next time you're packing for a road trip, don't throw out your tissue box to make room for ANYTHING.

I don't know what year my dad gave me the mummy bag, but I know it definitely came in handy last night. Thanks dad!! I was HIGHLY grateful that I bought that stupid $25 coat yesterday as well. I almost returned it. Thank fuck I didn't. If I hadn't sleep in my coat in the sleeping bag, I think I may have frozen in the night.

At the moment I'm in this cute little cafe called Half Baked, Fully Brewed. I had a very yummy sandwich with real cheddar cheese (not the orange stuff)! Here are a couple of the pics from yesterday:

WOAH! Surreal moment!! This little girl just walked up to me and said "Do you have tattoos?" And I showed her the one on my wrist that was poking out. She then said "I don't like tattoos because my daddy doesn't like tattoos and I love my daddy." I said, "I'm sorry, I really like tattoos" and her mother said "honey, people like different things." She then looked at me and asked "Do you REALLY like tattoos? I think they're yukky!" and her mother pulled her away from me to the bathroom. Jesus! You'd think I was back in Birmingham, AL in 1997. Fuck. Poor kid. Oh well...

So anyhow, this is where I'm at now...
For some reason the Beta version of Mapquest added a little tail there at Danbury, NH. meh.
I'm on my way to Twin Mountain and then I'll drive over to the coast. Vermont and New Hampshire are amazing and beautiful. The one thing that is bothering me at the moment is that every single person that has come into this cafe since I've been here has been wearing sweatpants. Do you people not care about life?? gah!

Look forward to a second installment of Day 8 later tonight straight from a cozy hotel room!!


Day 7

I didn't do much driving today. The one thing about living out of one's car that sucks is that if one wants to relax, one has no place to go but one's car. meh.
I spent a stupid amount of time wandering around the mall again today - mostly because I've been feeling lonely and wanted to be around people. I have still been searching for a replacement hoodie as well... No luck. However, I found a $140 jacket marked down to $25 at Kohl's so I bought that. I am no longer coatless (and I have successfully chased away the yukky lonely feeling via retail therapy).

I just crossed over into Vermont. I've never been to Vermont and I literally cheered when I saw the sign! 1 down, 5 to go (states that I haven't been to). Anyhow, I had absolutely no plan for today, so I just drove north. I was looking at my atlas and saw that there was a place marked as "natural rock bridge and caves" in the Adirondack State Park. Sounded like as good of place as any, so I headed that way - only to find the area closed until late May. hmmm. I got some pretty pictures, though. My battery is running out on my laptop so I'll wait until I can plug it in to post those.

Obviously I didn't stay in Pottersville, NY - but I'm not done driving for the night, so I'm not going to update my map until the stop for the night.
Thanks for the comments. I love getting them. I realized that since I left Chicago on tuesday, I have not seen any person I know. I haven't made any new friends either - which is strange for me. I guess the universe really wants me to be alone for a bit. Weird. I've never gone this long without seeing a friend or family member. Even when I was living in London, I made friends immediately (not to mention I lived with other people)... Funny, the song that just came on is Third Eye Blind's "Motorcycle Drive By" -- lyrics are "I've never been so alone, and I've never been so alive." Perfect soundtrack moment. *pause to reflect*

I will write more when I stop again. I can't wait to post some of these pictures.
Oh yeah, I was going somewhere with the comments remark:
I love Bill Bryson. I've read all his stuff. I want to write books like he does!!!!
If you really want to send me something, shoot me an email and I'll give you the address of where I know I will be next (soon enough I will have human contact... this silly holiday busines, geez).
I have no idea why they call them Buffalo wings. I have never even eaten them.
LOST never fails to piss me off, although I love it dearly. WTF was that episode??? Let's give you all this backstory and then quick kill off two characters that you didn't see the whole hour because we're running out of time... pft!
I definitely don't have any room for hitchhikers in my car. Sometimes I wonder how I can fit in here...

*Special note*
ahem... I'm having an amazing adventure, but without your help and support this virtual travel experience will not be possible. Instead of reading about the Jesus car with loads of rainbow stickers on it (will post later), you will be reading about my boring job. Who wants to do that?? Not me! For the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you could put me on the road for another 35 miles!
(is that a better donations pitch, Jacek?)


I'm going nutty.
...feeling pretty lonely at the moment...


Day 6

Not much to report today. I drove alot.
It was actually quite beautiful. Clear and sunny all day - it was a nice change. Still, it was in the 20s. Can't have it all! (at least I'm not in Milwaukee with their 14" of snow -- congratulations on making the 2nd snowiest winter on record, behind the 1885-1886 winter with 109" total.)

I am in another hotel tonight. It's way too cold to sleep in the car. I was able to get a good deal on a nice room here in Albany. I got another late checkout as well, so I can stay up and watch the weather channel all night and laugh. *grins*

I keep getting distracted by the weather channel right now. They are reporting on this ice sculpting competition in Fairbanks, AK. I'm such a dork.
Let's see... I know now why I wanted to come to the northeast even in the winter. It's really beautiful here. I'm glad I hit the Adirondack region. Along the freeway there were these really cool icicles hanging on the rocks. I tried to take a picture of them, but since I was driving it didn't really turn out that well.

The only other thing I can think of is that I went to a mall today (since the pool area was overflowing with children). The FYE had a big room in the back with clearance stuff. I found this random BBC recording of Princess Diana's funeral services (weird) for $.88 and the most awesome t-shirt ever for $1.88 -- really exciting.
So if you are reading this, and you are somewhere on the east coast, please email me. I really need places to stay. I know I timed this wrong (being Easter weekend and all)... Funds are not unlimited, unfortunately. That being said, my paypal account is darkshines8@gmail.com *BIG GRIN*
Feel free to donate haha!


Day 5 - Niagara Falls

Today I walked to Canada.

I was highly displeased with the view of the falls from the US side, and did not want to spend hours trying to get back into the country (as Collin noted, my car does look like a stoner's car - not to mention it's packed with everything I own). The walk was unpleasant, only because it was 29 degrees out (and I have no coat).

Once on the other side, I was very glad many different people suggested that I go to the Canadian bank to view the falls. If it had been a bit warmer, I imagine I would have thought the view breathtaking. Being that it was arse cold, I was less enchanted - but I was also less crowded. I can just picture a sunny and warm day at Niagara Falls - crawling with people; obnoxious tourists with cameras (because I'm never a tourist). How it was, I parked in a parking structure on the 4th floor and was the only car on that level. There weren't any cars on levels 2, or 3 either but I wanted to distance myself from any trouble. ha!

The duty free people wouldn't let me purchase just postcards and a snow globe because I was on foot. She said I had to make a purchase of over $10 because someone needed to escort me to the border. WTF? So I had to find a gift shop (so few to choose from) to buy my taxed postcards. meh.
The strangest thing about going back: The footbridge has a toll. Canadians don't charge anything to get into Canada. But to walk into the US you must pay $.50! I was embarrassed for my country by that fee. I've never had to pay to get into any other country. I mean, yeah I've paid for train tickets and buses and such - but on foot?? shame.
The walk back over the bridge was much [Adelia] easier than the walk to Canada. I don't know if it was because the wind was at my back or what. I stopped in the middle of the bridge to spit onto the frozen river below (since my dad requested that I spit into Niagara Falls for him). I bet that's what the 50 cent charge was for...

At the border, the customs officer that let me back in had a name tag that said "VEGA" and of course I had to comment. He asked if I was named after the star. So few people actually ask that. It's usually "that was a shitty car" or "like Suzanne Vega? are you related to her?" or sometimes "wicked Street Fighter character." Anyhow, it made me smile. I made my way back to my car and tried to thaw out my fingers. My opinion of Niagara?? ..meh.. I'm glad I saw it, but I don't think it would have killed me to not see it.

I only made a short drive to the hotel that I booked this afternoon. I'm at a Holiday Inn in Batavia, NY. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to have a hot shower after the cold 24 hours I've had. mmmmmmm....
I was able to do my laundry at the hotel. Unfortunately the automatic shutoff on the dryer was broken so when I put my clothes in at 8:30 and then watched LOST (which ended at 10, and successfully distracted me from laundry), and then spoke to Addie and Kelsa on the phone - it was 11pm before I realized I forgot about my clothing. The dryer was still going. My favorite hoodie is now too small to wear, as are most of my shirts. Bummer 'cause most of my stuff has been too tight lately due to my slowly expanding waistline. BOO!!! At least I have clean underwear now.

I also made a stop at the only store in the area - a ginormous Wal-mart. I absolutely abhor Wal-mart. However, I was hungry. That is Batavia's grocery store. I bought a salad from Wal-mart. How strange is that? I also bought a box of Good Earth tea. Collin and Kathleen turned me onto this stuff - if you haven't had it, go try it!! It comes in both decaffeinated and fully jacked-up forms. The brand is called Good Earth and the box just says "Sweet and Spicy Herbal Tea." It's rad and I'm definitely hooked.

That's about all from me. I'm feeling lonely at the moment, so send some thoughts my way. Don't really know where I'm going next because the friend I was going to see in New Hampshire is out of town till Monday. We shall see what the universe suggests in the morning (or rather the early afternoon - three cheers for the Priority Club and late checkouts)!

Day 5

Last night was AWFUL! I barely slept. I woke up warm, but the second I left my cozy nest, my fingers went numb. It's FREEZING here! Don't know what I was thinking going further north. doh. Guess I'm just stubborn - had my heart set on getting to places I've never been that I don't really care about things such as snow and cold. pft!

So I'm not to Niagara Falls yet. I'm actually about 10 miles outside of Buffalo. I'm sitting inside a rest stop and there is a girl behind me chewing very loudly with her mouth wide open. I would like to smack her... love and tolerance. love and tolerance. love and tolerance...

Weather.com was my friend last night. I left Akron because it had stopped snowing. There were very few cars on the road, and even semi-trucks were sparse. It was quite windy, which got a bit unnerving at times, but otherwise a smooth ride. I don't think I went over 60mph the entire night. I know it pissed a bunch of people off as they sped past me or honked from behind (it's called the slow lane for a reason, douchebag). I needed to conserve gas. I've been getting shit for gas mileage the last few days and wanted to milk the most out of what I had. It worked pleasantly - as I ended up with 35mpg instead of the previous tank's 28.

I am very much looking forward to getting a hotel room and taking a hot shower. LOST is on tonight, so it's necessary that I have a tv. haha!

A couple things last night made me laugh out loud - quite possibly because I'm slowly going mad by myself. However, I'll share them anyway:
There was a very large green sign that just stated "GAY ROAD" (I know. I'm totally juvenile for laughing at that, but it was funny.)
I passed a prison last night and there were signs posted on the road that stated "Correctional Facility Area. Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers"
And finally, as I mentioned I was driving quite slowly last night - for about 30 miles there was a car following me. I would almost say tailgating me, but not quite. I got tired of the headlights in my rear view mirror so I slowed down more to force the car to pass me. They immediately flew by at a much higher speed than they had been driving - it was a freaking DE LOREAN! After gaining about 500 yards on me, they put their flashers on and pulled off onto the shoulder. I then knew for sure that it was in fact the infamous vehicle because the passenger door lifted up as someone fell out (I'm assuming to be sick). Awesome.


Day 4 - Akron, OH

Last night I slept in my car. I drove through to Ohio (where they have very nice rest stops) and parked. It was 5am when I stopped. The most obnoxious part about sleeping in my car is trying to move things around to get in the back. But apparently it's quite comfortable, as I didn't wake up until 12:30 this afternoon!

I wasn't planning on this sudden snowstorm. I don't think anyone else in Ohio was either. Every stop I made, I overheard people bitching about how it was forecast to be 45 degrees and rainy, not snowy. I threw away my ice scraper before I left (which made life a little interesting this afternoon). I also left my coat at my mother's house. Fun!

I really haven't done much of anything today. The weather is so shitty - and weather.com advises people to not drive along I-90 from Cleveland to Syracuse overnight. WTF? That's exactly the way I need to go to get to Niagara. Oh well.

So I did my business in Akron. This place is a strange juxtaposition between the "have not" and the "have too much" (thanks James). One minute I am driving along a cobblestone road lined with majestic brick houses and sloping lawns, and the next I going past boarded up shacks. Very weird.

I met a girl tonight that gave me a My Little Pony sticker. That was nice.
Other than that, the most amusing part of my day was actually at 3am. Apparently in Indiana, Michael Jordan is equally as popular as Jesus Christ - enough so that they sell dog tags with their images in gas stations. Enjoy the pic!

Day 3

I'm not thrilled at the moment.
I've stopped at 3 rest stops for hot chocolate and none of them have had any. Note to self: buy some hot chocolate packets.

When I was a kid I can remember musing with my brother about what it would be like if everyone on the planet farted at the same time. I think it would smell like north western Indiana, that's for sure. I have nothing good to say about Indiana so I guess this one will be short.

It was difficult to leave Kathleen and Collin's place. They are such wonderful people - very welcoming. I ate better than I have in quite a while. I really appreciated them letting me crash in their living room for the past few days - slowly unwinding from the stress of the previous week. I didn't want to wear out my welcome, however. I really do enjoy Chicago, and it was a bit sad leaving the area.

Now I'm on the road. I would like to sleep sometime soon, but every rest stop I've been at in Indiana has given me the creeps. I've learned to trust those gut instincts over the years. So creepy rest stops get just that from me - a brief rest. I may end up at a motel. Either way, I will be going straight to sleep, hence the blogging now before my night is done.

One very excellent thing happened today. I found the entire Chronicles of Narnia series on mp3! I can now listen to my favorite books while I'm driving around seemingly aimlessly. (I also acquired Plato's Republic, The People's History of the United States, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.) Another exciting thing is that I was able to put season 2 and 3 of Arrested Development on my iPod. So at least I have some entertainment while resting at these creepy truck stops...

Anyhow, I will be getting back on the road now. Thanks for reading.

PS My elbow really itches.