Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The night in Portland Maine was a change of scenery as we spent it at a Whole Foods parking lot. Waking up was the usual routine switching our gear from the front to the back. We stopped at a bakery for some coffee and breakfast. The gingerbread here was amazing. It was probably the best ginger bread either of us had, moist, smooth with a hint of lemon frosting. With this great discovery we walked the street as early morning risers were out and about going into local shops and stores. At one point we walked down a pier right out into the middle of the harbor and bay.

The main highlight of Maine was to get some lobster and try some blueberries, but it was so early we either weren’t hungry yet, or the places we wanted to go to weren’t serving. We did stop in however at a souvenir shop where I had some blueberry mash on crackers and bread. Unfortunately Michael missed out as he was flirting with the girl at the register. Deciding to try and catch up with our internet duties and post cards there was a local cafe that we spent a few hours in. Feeling hungry once again there was a seafood place right on the waters edge recommended. Sitting outside I was excited to get my lobster roll with fries, about ten dollars cheaper here than on the west coast. Mike had a good looking chicken sandwich, and tried some loose lobster bits.

Portland was beautiful. There was a very nice small hometown feel, with friendly people with funny accents, and great nature views. But after half a day we had to make our way to Buffalo New York. It was going to be crazy shot across the base of Maine, through New Hampshire, Vermont and then upstate New York towards the great lakes. The route would have been faster if we had gone south towards Boston and then taken the the main highway, but we had to go through Vermont, so it was a bunch of switches this way and that zig zagging across on small town highways. There was a slight slip up as we got our first ticket of the trip, wooh! 82 in a 65, yeah our bad, sorry Maine. Let's say our driving was a bit tempered after that.

We'd get into Buffalo pretty late, but real hungry. Looking for some authentic Buffalo food there was actually a restaurant that we wanted to try still open. It had an odd chinese restaurant, hotel lobby feel but the food was amazing. Deciding to split it all we had some extra hot buffalo wings of course, beef on weck, and one big ass packed to the brim stromboli. Jeez was that good. The stromboli would only get half eaten so the rest was saved for breakfast the next morning.

Here's where it get's a bit crazy. We found out that the Giants, yes our very own San Francisco Giants, were playing the Detroit Tigers the next day at 1 o clock. It would be the last game of the series before they flew back home to face the Pads. We still had to visit Niagra falls closer north but we said yeah let's make the trip. It would only be a 6 hour drive from Niagra to Detroit to get there in time for the start of the game. Do-able? On this trip, hell yeah. So that same night we drove 30 minutes to Niagra falls and found a walmart parking lot with a bunch of RV's in it. It had been a while since we had friends in the parking lot. Excited for tomorrow we hit the sack fast.

Just as I said this next day would take some hustle. We woke up at 6, I know, that sucks, and walked towards Niagra Falls. Unfortunately we didn't have valid passports at the time we left so there was no point in trying to hop the border...unless.... never mind. The area was beautiful as we walked around taking pictures of the falls from different view points. We spent a half hour, maybe a little more, just enjoying the view. Even though the maids of the mist didn't operate until 9 we were ok with passing it up as the falls still drenches you from most areas around.

Hustling back to the car we were off for Detroit, trying to make it within our specified and allotted time. However it wouldn't matter if we got there late, it was the freaking Giants! So the trip took us down around Lake Eerie, back into Pennsylvania, over the top of Ohio, through Cleveland which we decided was forgettable, and then up to Detroit. Well what do you think happened making this huge trek 6 hours away? We freaking made it that's what happened with 15 minutes to spare! Hell Yeah!!! Looking for tickets we were almost scammed by a scalper before just opting for some normal stadium upper deck seats. We were both jacked on adrenaline that we had made the journey, and were one of the proud few to cheer on the opposing team! In my Posey jersey, (Please get better!) and with handfuls of seeds ( The bucket is half empty guys!) we got to relax and enjoy our last baseball game of the trip supporting our very own team. The stadium itself though was probably the lamest of the 4 we visited. Fenway is a historical icon, Ted Turner had a lot of careless gimmicks, and Citibank was hardcore Philly, but Comerica park was unbelievably cheesy reflecting a carnival-esque style. It was kind of a joke.

As all you Giants fans will know this was the one game of the series they lost. The first was a comeback late inning win, the second was a huge blowout, and then the one we went to was a slight loss. We saw the Braves beat the Jays, woooh! We saw the A's beat the Philles, nice! But the one game that truly mattered, the Giants would lose. Of course we were disappointed, but we still had a great time, it was an awesome game. Maybe you can tell i'm still jacked just thinking about it.

There was game traffic trying to get out of the area so it took a while to leave, but we had already planned our next move in Detroit. Now I know most of you will groan at the thought of this, but it was something that had to be done (Kim don't give me that look) yeah, we got White Castle. It was the most disgusting thing we had encountered, but at the same time incredibly glorious. At first we thought to just get a few burgers each and some fries, we changed our minds however as soon as the cashier opened her mouth. She roped us in, and we instead purchased 10 cheeseburger sliders, a bag of fries, 2 large drinks, and 20 chicken rings for 15 dollars or so. Ho boy. I don't think I need to clarify what a chicken ring is, just use your imagination and I'm sure you have a great idea of what it is. We saw her take em out of the freezer and plop them into the fryer. I still can't decide if we knew or didn't know what we were getting ourselves into.

5 burgers down a piece, most of the fries gone, and a couple chicken ring stragglers left over we sat there disgusted, and satisfied. It took a while to get moving, but before we did, there was another one of those crazy great moments. During this whole escapade there had been a mad creeper outside the window, some bum trying to get in on some loose change. After we had finished he came in smelling to high heaven and with a grungy look asked for any change or smokes in a deep low rumble of a growl. We politely said sorry that we didn't have anything on us and he left. The funny part of this whole ordeal was the big black guy who had silently been sitting across from us the whole meal. He got up to leave and said, “I just knew something was up when I seen him come in. I just said lord please don't make me have to fuck someone up, I just came from church. You fellas have a nice day.” And with that he left, and we laughed.

What we'd soon come to understand was that Detroit was a hardcore rough city, with not a whole lot to offer to two white boys driving around in a white station wagon with California all over it. Driving around a bit looking for a good time, we only grew more disheartened at the poverty, disarray, and decrepitness of this city. Everything looked destroyed, abandoned or falling apart with some of the scariest people we had seen all trip. Detroit was a city we had to remain alert and cautious with. There wasn’t a whole lot we wanted to do here, but we did decide to check out this artistic neighborhood known as the Heidelberg Project. As we drove on through worse neighborhoods our ideas of this art project soon fell apart the closer we got. Upon arrival we were shocked to see that it was a block of mostly shacks or projects that had plastered with cardboard cutouts, religious icons, stuffed animals and babies burned, crucified, nailed, or hung. Some things were painted bright colors, others were just piled together. It was one of the creepiest places the both of us had ever seen. Think of a mix between a crazed carnies nightmare, and the shit you saw in the backyard of the Sandlot. There were also electrical wires and power lines strewn across the floor making zapping noises. When Mike said he wanted to go into one of the buildings to look around a bit more, I told him, “Sure, i'll wait outside for ya.” Michael eventually opted out.

Detroit, no offense, was a horrible place that was only depressing the further we drove around. We looked for a ray of hope or fun, but only found a tragic city of crime and poverty. The idea had been to stay here for the night before making our way to Chicago but that plan quickly changed. Unable to stay any longer the drive through was relatively quick before we got out. With a sigh of relief we looked ahead for our next move. A call to my cousin Rachel in South Bend Indiana proved to be our savior. Along the way there were loads of fireworks being set off, and vast amounts of firefly's. We pulled over at one point to snap some photos and mess around in this field lit up by this crazy bugs. About an hour south of Chicago we'd find our way to my cousin's house and get in to say hi to not just my cousin, but also my Aunt Maureen. It had been a while since I had seen my cousin so there was a lot of time spent on catching up. We'd all eventually get to bed close to 3 o clock in the morn.

The morning of July Fourth was a late one, and just what we needed to catch up on sleep, and wash away yesterday's bad experience. ( I say bad, but I also mean great, 'cause c'mon that's what this trip is about, seeing America!) Midday rolled around and we were treated to a nice breakfast with Rachel and Maureen. After breakfast we'd take a drive to Notre Dame. The walk around the stadium and college was great. We took pictures here and there of the duomo, church, stadium, and of course TOUCHDOWN JESUS. Take a look at the pictures if you can, he's right behind one of the end zones.

Driving back to Rachel's house in South Bend we decided to move on and get to Chicago for some 4th of July fireworks. Leaving proved to be a bit hard as we ended sitting around and talking more. Maybe an hour passed before we finally got up and headed out. The drive to Chicago had us excited as the two of us started belting out Florence and The Machine, or Taking Back Sunday, songs. Go ahead and judge, it's ok. We'd drive straight to Millennium Park and use the gigantic garage under the whole park as our starting point. I'd make a quick call to our connections in Chicago to see if we had a place to say before emerging up and out into the park.

Our experience with Chicago matched the excitement we felt. Millennium Park was a lot of fun. We'd walk around exploring the area, viewing the art and water fountains, and stretching our legs a bit more. There was an amphitheater with sections of chairs and lawn seating that had live music. This was all part of their music mondays, making the scene all the more magical. We'd soon discover this great piece of art known as The Bean. (OK bloggers what do you think? Are beans a magical or musical fruit?) This art structure was a lot of fun. Look at the pictures we have provided if you want. It is this giant curved sphere, not exactly bean shaped, that is one giant reflective mirror where you can look back yourself from the farthest corners, to the closest nooks of this bean.

Following Millennium park south, we entered Grant Park. There were little gardens full of flowers, and nice grassy green lawns to stretch out on. Fountains littered the area misting and spraying the frozen statues. There was in fact right in the middle of grant park a huge fountain structure, with dozens of animals spurting water back towards the waterfall center. With a stretch of fields in front of us, we opted to walk back along the waterfront of Lake Michigan. Here people were already setting up early to try and nab a seat for the firework show that would take place over the water. With the museums behind us in the distance we made our way to Navy Pier, a Boardwalk-like place of fun. It was certainly crowded though with throngs of tourists and city goers alike all trying to enjoy the weather, the rides, and 4th of July weekend. We walked to one end of the pier and back on the opposite side trying to push and move through the crowds.

We'd walk a bit in the city before going back to Lakeshore drive. Here along the water we now would look for our own grassy knoll to sit and watch the firework show that began at 9. Easy enough we chose a location and waited. Texts began coming in and going out as we wished, and others wished us, a happy fourth. Right at the stroke of 9 there they were, one after the other, huge explosions in the sky. Our seats proved to be prime location as the show was directly in front of us. The colors were beautiful and the sound that reverberated off the city buildings behind us made for a space battle with lasers and explosions.

The show would last 15-20 minutes, then everyone made their way home. Not ready to leave the area we decided to walk around some more and see what the Chicago night life had to offer. This would be the first and only time, surprising enough that we'd get some slurpee's. With slurpee's in hand and a candy bar or two we walked along the L. The night wore on, and we'd end up making our way to the parking structure. It took us a while to locate our car, then it took even longer to find a pay station, but after that it was smooth sailing. The drive to Wilmette, north of Chicago was not long, and easy enough. We'd get to our Chicago connection, the Kelehers, a little late, hoping someone would still be awake. Knocking at the door I panicked a bit, not entirely sure the memories I had of them were in fact correct. I didn't want to knock on the wrong door and find the wrong family inside. Everything came together though as Madeline, the oldest daughter, answered the door. We'd say hi to Brendan and talk a bit about our trip before getting set up and ready for bed. It was great to get some sleep, but for the time being the wonders of Chicago and Wilmette would have to wait unfortunately. Just a forewarning, the next few days were amazing!!!!!

-I ...dropped the screw... in the tuna!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Well we did in fact get into Boston close to noon. Bursting on to the downtown scene we were in the right place immediately. The faneuil marketplace was having some kind of fair or festival celebrating, I dont know, something. They had built a cake replica of the buildings in the area which we happened to get to just as the last few hunks of cake were being passed out. Score, yum! Munchin on our cake we headed into the actual marketplace filled with shops selling their specialty food. We bought some pizza bagels and a drink and people watched in the area as tourists and others rushed in and out of the plaza, restaurants, lines, and shops.

This marketplace was always busy, filled with tourists. After a while we would look for the Freedom Trail. There is a relatively short walk you can take through Boston that stops at all the old revolutionary sights and historic monuments. We would go to the Old sate house/ boston massacre sight, to ask the volunteers to ask some questions about the trail. We picked up a map and were told the hour long walk from one end to the next was only a couple miles. We would try and use the map to figure out where things were orientated but soon gave up and let our eyes do the walking, whatever we thought was old, cool, or interesting was our next stop.

We would end up visiting the Irish famine memorial, the original state hall, the gravitate of sam adams, other signers of the declaration of independence, fighters in the revolutionary war, mother goose, paul revere, and of course john hancock. It's kind of funny to see how john hannock's name is associated with his signature. Just like his big and bold name on the declaration so to are other things named after him very big and bold. Shrek might say he is overcompensating for something. For example out of all these small, thin, and worn graves, there was john hancock a huge mast of stone stemming from the ground shaped almost like a penis, with his face at the top looking down at everyone. We can go further and sight the John Hancock building in Chicago, which may not be the biggest, but is certainly just as loud and tall.

Other than john hancock it was also somewhat funny to see Franklin's' gravesite. Now I don't mean benjamin Franklin, for his resides in Philly, Instead his parents who were bostonians had a ginormous, tower with their name emblazoned on the front of it so there was no mistaking that this was in fact a Franklin! It was deemed very important and had a plaque in front of it to explain who these people were Now i'm not saying they don't deserve a grave stone or a little recognition, but as you learn history in school I don't think you ever hear anything about his parents. They’re grave was treated like a celebrity, as if to congratulate them on such a wonderful job. Congratulations, you gave birth to a founding father! It was a little over the top for two people who yes may have had the famous Benjamin Franklin but in reality you hear little to nothing of.

After the graveyard we walked to the actual capitol building, the one with the gold dome on it. We were told that if the gold leaf of the dome was scraped off it would only accumulate to the size of a grapefruit. I think I may call bullshit on that one. There were even a few protestors waiting around outside, taken up against the massachusetts law over immigrants, similar to the arizona one. Just wandering around we would bump into the old kings church and walk inside to listen in on a tour. We exited and made our way back the market place, failing somewhat on our freedom trail walk.

Unsure what to do, and with most things closing around us we decided to call up an old friend, Miss Lindsay Taylor. Telling us she just go off work she would make her way down to us from her college town Fitchburg. For the half hour or so wait mike and I found a nice grassy area and would throw some disc to pass the time. Remembering how fun Ultimate was, we both found that we still had a little disc magic left. This certainly wouldn’t be the last time we threw around.

When Lindsay caught up to us we hugged and exchanged stories while making way through the market again. Now we had an insiders point of view and were able to hear a new side of Boston. We just so happened upon a a street performer who had just begun a show. This poor, sad, awkward, little man led us on for 15 minutes as it seemed most everyone hoped he would get better. Leaving everyone else a bit disappointed and uncomfortable we walked on towards the stadium of the Boston Bruins. It was a nice walk full of great stories provided by Lindsay. Crossing into a different part of the city we were now in Little Italy, where street after street was lined with another italian restaurant. Everyone was hungry so we stopped in and got a few slices of pizza and a drink. We would take our spoils and look for a park bench where we could relax and enjoy. What we found instead, and i'm still not sure how we heard of this place was Andy's bakery. Grabbing a table and setting up shop we chowed down and also ordered a couple cannoli's. These were some big cannoli's, that lefts us all pretty full.

Not a whole lot planed for our evening Lindsay invited us back to her place in Fitchburg for the night. Thank you so much Lindsay!!! Following her car about 45 minutes north we'd park out front of her apartment, two cars side by side, both repping Nor-Cal stickers on the back. We were showed around the place, which was pretty empty, with all her roommates out or gone. Introduced to Lindsay's kitten Jack-Jack (think Incredibles Jack Jack in little devil mode) we played around a bit with this friendly and fun, spastic kitty. The idea was to go hit the bars, and “go boozin” as Lindsay would say, but after a long day, it turned out to be just a nice evening chatting and drinking in doors. A plan was made for tomorrow, and we went to bed both picking our own room to crash in.

The next morning was beautiful as we slept in late for the first time in a while. I would actually wake up to Michael talking with one of Lindsay's friends in the living room. The plan we had made the night before was to head with Lindsay, and her friends to a beach. Ashton who we were introduced to would in fact be the only other person to accompany us. Leaving closer to 11 we drove pretty far to get to this beach. At one point we wondered out loud, “Lindsay where the f&ck are you taking us!?” It took nearly an hour to get to the beach in question, and we actually had gone into New Hampshire. This was no ordinary beach, but a beach town, that thrived with summer tourists, vacationers, and locals all hitting up the long sand line filled with vendors, rides, and shops.

Choosing our location among the many beach goers we would put down the cooler and blankets. The frisbee almost immediately came out as the four of us tossed some disc in a near by area with a smaller concentration of people. Round and round it was good throwing, with only a few bumps as a disc or two may have crashed near a family or two. When frisbee got old we headed towards the waters edge. Cautiously making our way in we only ever made it to the thigh line. For all of you out there who may not know there are waterlines you must cross on your body when slowly entering cold water. There's foot, knee, thigh (right under the balls), then the balls themselves, belly button, chest/nipps, neck and head. This water was much colder than when we had swam in North Carolina, so the danger region was not too pleased at the idea of plunging into some icy water.

Back to the towels we would soak up some sun, munch on snacks and drinks, and of course read some cosmo. The four of us would sit there and enjoy each other's company until it was decided we had to leave and continue our exploration of Boston. Lindsay and Ashton stayed at the beach after we said our goodbyes and thank you's. Closer to 3 we took off down the coast in search of Boston. When we arrived it was Freedom Trail round 2! We had learned that there was actually a red brick path that led anyone who followed it across the city, stopping at the various points of interests. A little embarrassed we didn’t realize this earlier we set off to follow the red brick road! No munchkins though.

Along this trail we would make stops at Paul Revere's house, a park dedicated to paul Revere, the old church tower where the lantern was hung, another special graveyard etc. It was only a few miles long but with the amount of stops here and there it took a couple of hours to complete it. We'd cross a bridge and walk int the old navy base where the USS Constitution sat. We would also find the Korean war memorial of boston. Along this whole journey there were little sights, and stops showing Bostons rich history.

For dinner we sat down at the old stomping ground for revolutionary spies and meetings. This pub/restaurant which was a favorite of Paul revere himself was called the green dragon tavern. It was a bit odd to see a bunch of old red coats sitting around going over stories and talking with tourists. We were wondering if these were just actors off the streets here to enjoy the food, or if they were part of some group for hire to entertain. Mike would have a good sized burger, and I would have the Irish sampler with bacon(Irish bacon), guiness steak tips, and sausage, with boston baked beans, and a salad. It had gotten to the point again where we both desperately missed vegetables. Being in Boston I just had to order the boston crème pie too. (Dad, it was great, you would have loved it.)

Done with dinner we'd walk back again through the market place. Mostly filled with tourists there were only souvenir shops and restaurants open now. We checked out the girls in the area but didn't see much of anything so we called it a night and headed to Michael's family friend Wendy for the night. We'd stay up going over what we had seen, and what was to come, also allowing Michael to catch up a bit with her.

It'd be another late morning as we slowly got up and tried to work on photos and blogs. Leaving before ten it was back to Boston for our last day in the city; and it would be a full one. Our first stop of the day was Trinity Church. (Disclaimer: The church we visited in New York was not Trinity as we said, but actually St. Patrick's Cathedral.) Trinity was also under a bit of repair, and was actually the one and only church on this whole trip that asked for an entrance fee. The next place we visited was back to the capitol building where we'd get a free tour of the building filled with interesting and historical facts by our young volunteer guide. It was a very extensive tour that took us into the executive office lobby, and even a viewing section for both the Senate, and House while in session. It said no pictures everywhere, but don't worry we got some. This tour also further destroyed my hope for a better government as we were told of stupid superstitions that would hold up and delay even the simplest of processes for the massachusetts government to work properly. The tour guide told us with such serious and respectful conviction, but I could only think of what idiots. For example they can't begin until all the chairs in the room have been adjusted so that everyone sits at the same level. Nor can they begin if their sacred wooden carving good luck fish isn't present. WTF!?

With the tour over our last adventure in Boston, and perhaps my favorite part was Fenway park. Unfortunately as we got closer to Boston we looked at schedules and found that the Red Sox would not be in town, but that didn't limit us to personally going and viewing the nations most historic and proud baseball park. Signing up for an extensive tour we roamed all over the park, stoping at various sties and sitting with amazing views while listening to great stories of tragedy, hope, and victory, about the Red Sox, their management, and the ball park itself. Our tour guide, a true bostonian, was great and made the tour unforgettable. At the end of the day we walked all over trying to find a Fenway frank that had been advertised but found no such luck. Maybe this was for the best as the baseball gods were telling us we would have to return for the real thing at a real game.

Boston was fun, but before we left there was one last thing we had to do, and of course that was Chowdah! (Emerald, I can hear you know) One last Boston treat, this bowl of chowder was nothing special, but necessary. (And yes of course it was a bread bowl Katie, only way to go.) After that it was back to the open road, making our way to Maine. Originally we were going to Vassalboro Maine for the topless coffee bar we had heard about, but that we would read later was closed by angry and prude towns people. So the idea was then stay at the capital, Augusta, but most everyone, including our handy dandy book told us there is almost nothing there so why go. So our destination would turn out to be Portland Maine, the next up and coming hip place to be on the waterfront, developing a culinary and artsy name for itself. (Let's not forget it's till Maine though people) We'd make one little stop in Portsmouth New Hampshire for some coffee and internet access. Surprising to us though this town was bumping on a saturday night. We had both kind of hoped to stay longer with many beautiful women running around, but we knew we had to get to Maine so off we went.

Here's a good chunk of our trip. I know I know we are doing a terrible job of up-dating and editing. The goal is to get all this out before we hit Pacifica again. Wish us luck. The trip is slowly coming to an end. Missing you all lots, those back home, and those we have met along the way.

-Whose Line Is It Anyways!?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The next morning proved to be great. In fact the whole day was great. I can't stop thinking about what an awesome day we both had. It started off early as Michael and I both walked a few blocks to a an authentic bakery and deli where we bought bagels and lox with cream cheese, to bring back for everyone. I can't wait to get back home and find more of this for breakfast.

A thoroughly satisfying breakfast led us to our first stop of the day. We put our best foot forward on the John F Kennedy, a ferry that harbored passengers back and forth from Manhattan to Staten Island. Free of charge we were able to view the Statue of Liberty from afar. As lady Liberty passed us we took the occasional photo before docking, and then getting back on the ferry. Back in Manhattan after viewing the other side of the ferry's journey it was on to the subway again. We would get off and walk along Wall Street, those fat cat bastards, then walk by the Trinity Church. Eventually we would end up at the sight of the WTC. With tons of excavation and construction they are was very busy, but we clicked off a few shots at the new towers being built, and just waited for a moment. In this moment of contemplation we remembered 9/11 ever so briefly at such a historic and tragic site. We even had to pay former Major Rudi Giuliani ten cents in order to say 9/11.

On the way out we even caught a glimpse of some film shooting for the show White Collar on USA. (Hailey you know what's up.) Keeping up with tradition I stopped into a Jos. A bank and bought some nice dress shirts and ties before leaving for our next sight. From here we would head to the Brooklyn Bridge. Among the other hoards of tourists we'd walk across taking photo after photo of the bridge and surrounding beauty, and occasionally get yelled at by bikers. Our sole purpose to make it to the other side was for Grimauldi's famous pizza. This classic coal brick oven roasted pizza place had people lined out the door waiting to get inside. A traditional New York thin crust sausage and pepperoni pizza waited inside. Standing in line for 15 minutes or so we passed the time by staring at girls, until it was our chance to take a table. Oh yeah it was great. We savored the flavors unsure whether we should gobble it up, or try and slow down such a momentous lunch.

Not wanting to walk all the way back across the bridge through the crowds in the hot sun, we decided to find a subway station. From there we would ride it to Times Square. What a place. I thought LA was plastered with billboards; this place had every spare inch advertising or flashing some game, movie, show etc. Wandering aimlessly we took pictures and popped into stores. At a certain point, and I still can't tell you what led us into this store, we happened to go into a Billabong Surf store.

Looking around not really interested in anything particular I was approached by a beautiful employee. A little dumbstruck at first I didn't realize she was asking if she could help me with anything in the store. Snapping out of my trance, the first thing I thought to say was, “No thank you”. Because who ever wants or needs someone following them around the store. But something was different. She seemed less interested in helping me buy something but more so just generously interested in what I had to say. She was so friendly it caught me off guard. Her cute Irish accent and pretty green eyes had captured me.

I learned her name was Zita as we exchanged pleasantry's. Later I would learn that she finds herself shy when approaching people in the store, so i'd hate to imagine what would have happened if she let that get the best of her. Not a care in the world where Michael was at, Zita and I continued to talk. She let me look around the store some more, but I kept coming back to her. She asked what I was doing in New York, and what I had seen. I asked her the same. Rushing through an array of topics at one point we stumbled upon Irish dancing. I told her how my family has traveled to Dublin Ireland for Jake's World Champion Irish dancing competition. (Jake I think I may owe you one for this conversation starter) We discussed Irish dancing a bit, and the lack of clarity I have when viewing it. It got to the point where Zita had me practice my 1-2-3 steps in the store, and when a gorgeous girl like that asks you practice your 1-2-3's you don't say no. I hadn't noticed but after I would learn that Michael and most everyone else in the store was chuckling to themselves at the sight of me. Oh well, no worries.

Time and time again we would approach one another continuing our conversation learning about one another. By this time Zita's manager's began keeping a close eye on us. It was a bit obvious what I was up to, distracting her from work. Not wanting to get her in trouble Zita directed me over to a part of the store where I could get socks or a belt for cheap. This actually worked out beautifully later in the trip as I ran out of socks and had these to use, plus I had forgotten to bring a belt, so kudos. With Michael no where I sight, I wanted to spend more time with Zita, hear more from her, and maybe get a different view of the city. Approaching 3:45 and after spending nearly 2 hours in Billabong I finally mustered up enough courage to ask Zita what she was doing later. I had hoped I wasn't coming off as too forward or creepy, she simply smiled and told me to come back at 4:15 after she gets off work. I was walking in the clouds, ecstatic and excited for the time to pass.

I stepped outside and wandered around a bit, before calling Mike to see where he had gone to. He too was just looking around Times Square looking into a few shops and stores. We met up at the base of Times Square and people watched for a bit on the red-bleachers. After a few moments we walked into the giant M&M's store, and a couple more tourist shops to pick up some items. Around 4:15 I stopped back in and waited for Zita. Mike got the heads up that he could leave, (sorry man) as Zita walked up in a change of clothes. I wasn't too sure what to do in such a big city, I was going to let her lead.

So then what was the first thing we did, head into a Forever 21 of course. It wasn't really my scene, but we were on the look out for a specific kind of shoe, and possibly a dress. Searching down the aisles we were unable to find what was needed and decided to head back out to Times Square. From here Zita would take me into Flanagan's, an Irish Pub. Not being exactly 21 until September this could have been a bit of a bump in the road. The great friend that Mike was, he had lent me his expired id back in New Orleans. Zita and I made a quick game plan going over if something were to happen. Explaining to me that a disheveled and stressed Irish woman can damn near get anyhting she please there wasn;t a problem at all. Up at the bar we ordered a pint each, and they checked our I.d.'s The bar man glanced at her passport but stared a bit more intently at my I.d, before finally settling. With a beer in hand we walked over to table and enjoyed each other's company.

We talked for two hours or so sipping our beers and sharing an order of fries. The conversation ranged from our lives, family's, experiences, thoughts, etc. Deciding to leave and walk around a bit we tried to search for the toy store FAO Schwartz. That was kind of a fail, (Zita unfortunately I was just told that is a big toys r us now in its place, sorry). Instead we stopped in at Trinity church. Here we would quietly wander the aisles looking at all the holy artifacts and stained glass. Zita touched a lot of them as we walked out. It's one of those quarky habits. For the most part we just walked the streets of NY and talked. We stopped in at Central Park and journeyed around some more taking in the sights and sounds, stopping at the pond at a nearby grassy knoll. We'd sit and lay down, listening to one anther and the noise around us.

After nearly six hours Zita had to take the train home. Down one block after the next we made our way to Grand Central Station. It was truly a spectacular day, relaxing in New York, making a new friend, but unfortunately it had to come to an end. We said our goodbyes and Zita hopped on a train. With a sigh I walked back into the main hall and looked up at the starry ceiling. Slowly I made my way out and walked towards Times Square. Here I would snap of a couple more shots, seeing a whole new side of this area. I grabbed a subway train and made my way back to the apartment.

Michael was outside waiting to let me in and hear about my day. I would go and hit the sack, but not before explaining my day, and hearing the rest of his. In comparison he had a pretty good day too. After Billabong, Mike took the Times Square subway home and spent quality time with the family. They would grill veggies and skirt steak on the bbq located on the fire escape. After some family time, and a nice meal, Michael contacted an old coworker and friend from Chico named Jackie. Living in New York Jackie would subway over to Mike who was waiting outside. The two of them would go hit up the town, catch up, and have a few drinks. I think it's safe for the both of us to say that it was in fact an amazing day.

Once again Zita, thanks for a great New York adventure. I'm glad I met you. Hope your dream to become a fashion designer comes true.

As you blogsters out there can see, these days in the big city are pretty extensive, filled with a lot. I can assure you though that after Boston things begin to settle down and not so much happens in a day. Hoping to pump out a few more of these for ya, thanks for following.

I <3 NY (SF you're still #1)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We woke up a bit later than normal after such a long night. Michael introduced me to Bobby's wife Patty, and their daughter Anna. Bobby had gone out while walking the dog Betty, and picked up a nice array of croissants and a baguette. We feasted with jams and coffee getting ready for our late New York morning. I forgot to tell you that Michael's family lives up 5 or 6 flights of stairs. We were living the high life! After descending down the stairs and opening up onto the streets of New York, it was like a breath of fresh air (figuratively speaking of course) There was hustle and bustle, movement and stagnation, and noise, oh the noise. It was perfect.

The subway was our first stop. Michael had been to New York a few times, but this was my inaugural trip. Everything was new to me, and I was ready to take it all in. The subway system, one of the most well known public transportations, and we were about to get on it. Never mind the fact that we got tickets, waited, and then realized that we were on the wrong side and had to get back in on the other side with a new ticket.Yes there were bums, performers, and people who you didn't want to mess with It's all part of the experience.

Getting off the subway we emerged into Central park. This was a gorgeous park with so much going on. We were trying to compare it to golden gate park in how they are similar and different. Swallowed by giant skyscrapers and the noises of a city this park was a relief from the strain and stress of city life. Golden Gate park on the other hand has a much more open feel to it. Maybe for those reasons Central Park was so magical, because it felt like, just for a moment, you were in a whole new world, an escape. Here kids were running around, women suntanning, family's picnicking, old geezers playing softball hardcore softball I might add!) carnivals, ponds, statues, vendors, wildlife, sooo much! After a quick walkthrough checking all these goings ons we left the park for a quick bite

We had a big day ahead of us and weren't too keen on stopping in at a sit down place. Why not try a hot dog vendor off the streets huh!? I got two hot dogs and a drink, and Mike got a sausage dog. Somehow this equated to 17 dollars? Pretty sure I got ripped here, but hey once again I was happy. I got a shitty dog off the street and was ripped off, too cool.

MOMA here we come. Utilizing Bobby's passes we got in for fairly cheap. This would be one of the mother of all museums. This is another one of those instances where i'll tell you to try faceboook if you want to see some of the highlights of the exhibits. Im not really a fan of surreal art, because I feel like a lot of it is hit or miss. Even some of the abstract work was a bit odd. But coming from Santa Cruz and going to art shows there I can safely say MOMA was pretty tame compared to some of the weird and screwy shit we produce. What else did we see? Hmm there were sculptures, architecture,and inventions. I would have to say the upper floors were the greatest in terms of priceless works of art. We saw Pollacks, Warhol, Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Van Gogh, Frieda, Boccioni, Dali, and so many more. It was amazing!

I did forget to mention some of the special exhibits set up on the top floor. The german modernism was ok; very dark, intense, but the South American fellow was just odd. Besides us it didn’t seem as if anyone else really cared what he did. There was thought behind his works of art, videos, sculptures, and drawings but not much point. It became rather boring. In the museum till closing we were through, tried, and enthralled. Back on the streets we looked over the Rockefeller center, and went into a couple shops, including a huge LEGO store

At home for dinner at 7, we were treated with dishes of salmon, roasted tomatoes, chilled cucumbers, and asparagus risotto. Such a delicious meal, relaxing after would have to wait as we rushed out the door with Bobby headed towards the subway. We were going to BAM, a film show, where some of the best independent films made in New York were being shown. Bobby had been invited because one of the films used his house as a set. We tagged along to this Indie event and viewed something like 8 or 9 shorts. We had our favorites and least favorites all for good reason as we discussed the night while walking back to the subway. Arriving home we stayed up and talked a bit before going to bed. This couch was heavenly compared to the car. We had some deep and sound sleep while in New York.
-A Rac-Ra-Rice
On our way to Portland Maine we are going to try and relive Philadelphia for you, (even though we are posting this in Chicago!) It's been a while so bare with us, but we are retracing our photos to get things in order. It's hard to think we only spent one full day in Philadelphia because we did so much. The day began parking right in the middle of the historic hub area. Michael got his annual morning black coffee and we walked to Independence Hall. It was early enough that we didn't have to wait in line to get free tickets to the first guided tour of the Hall. The visitor center proved to be a bit funky as there were old colonials pretending to be important figures. Fun but always weird when they take it too far; “I'm Thomas Paine by the way, if you didn't know!” Yeah ok sure you are, just tell me how much the British sucked.

Independence hall was great, as our tour guide was very loud and lively. She definitely felt very passionate about the history she was sharing with us. We toured the various rooms seeing where the first Congress met, where meetings, editing, and signings took place, and where they held court. Unfortunately the outside of the building was under renovation, typical, but the park in the back was gorgeous. The heat and humidity was beginning to die down and with a breeze the benches covered in shade welcomed us with open arms. We sat for a few minutes just enjoying the surrounding area, before heading into the Hall of Congress. Here is where they held an expanded congress as the city and sate of Pennsylvania grew after the revolution. We became honorary senators and representatives, repping it big Cali-way. The guide led us through the various rooms where congress met, and showed us important artifacts, like the ink well they signed the declaration with. One of the tour guides was actually from California, (even if it was LA) and we were able to talk with her about our trip and she gave us a few tips on what to see and do while in town.

Leaving independence Hall we would walk to the adjacent building and get in line for the Liberty Bell. This line was filled with many tourists from all over the world, all excited to see this bell. I hadn't realized that this bell was a symbol of hope not just for Americans but other cultures too. We took our snapshots and left the area, walking towards Washington Park. This open place of leisure has a statue dedicated to General Washington. It stands over an unmarked grave of the few lost and unidentified men of the Revolutionary War.

From here we would drive deeper into Philly to a restaurant recommended by a tour guide. The place in question was Bobby Flay's Burger Palace. Now I personally don't like Bobby Flay, can't stand him on Food Network, but I was open to trying a high class restaurant that served burgers. Before I get any further let's just say we were both highly disappointed in just about everything; service, décor, and most of all the food. Ver lame. (Yeah I meant to use the word “ver”)

Afterwards we headed to the outskirts of the inner city to the only remaining Philadelphia home of Edgar Allen Poe. The adjoining area was a bad part of Philadelphia surrounded by projects and people hooting and hollering out on their porches. This small national monument stood out with statues, information, and pictures depicting this strangely misunderstood man. We were given a tour of the house, exploring deeply into the life of Poe, and even watched a video of the man.

With time to kill before the 7 o'clock baseball game we headed to Reading Terminal Market. This semi-underground market place, was bustling! Tons of people moving left and right, selling produce, meals, meats, candy, ice cream, and tourist things. This crowded market was a lot of fun as we made rounds a few times taking a look at all things we wanted to try.

The day was cooling off when we arrived at Citizens Bank Park, located right in front of Lincoln Park where the Eagles play. Quick to park, we made our way to the ticket booth and asked for best available extra cheap seat. For 20 bucks we got the front row of the top deck. MLB was still in the process of inter-league games so we got see the Philadelphia Phillies play the Oakland Athletics. Go Giants, but hey close enough, I can root for the A's. Actually interesting tid-bit, before the A's moved to Oakland they were the Philadelphia Athletics. So this may not have been a rivalry but it had some history to it. We got their early enough to see batting practice by the A's. The feel of this park was much different than Ted Turner Field in Atlanta. This was classier, more well respected. You could tell this was America's pastime, as everyone was a die hard fan involved with the game, and not the cheap gimmicks.

It was a much better game all-around compared to the Braves game we saw. Both Trevor Cahill of the A's and Cole Hamels of the Phillies are great pitchers, but even then offensively and defensively there was enough to keep it exciting pitch after pitch. The A's would win it even when Philadelphia staged a late comeback. Phuck the Phillies! Exiting the park there weer some familiar and comforting names on shirts, like Burrell, and Rowand. Before leaving Philly though there was one last thing we had to do...Philly Cheesesteaks!!! Down the block a ways there was the two original cheese steak kings. Pats, and Geno's. Geno's line was a bit longer so we went to Pat's. Parking was crazy and i'm not sure how or where Michael got a spot but it worked out. We got 2 cheesesteaks “wit” onions, and “wit” peppers. They were great, and I think I can still feel myself digesting it. I wouldn't say it was life changing, but it was sure something I had to authentically try. And if any of you are asking about the other place, don't worry, the big secret out there is that both places serve almost identical cheesesteaks, so no worries.

Next stop New York, New York! Catching a little traffic while trying to get out of Philly we flew into the dead of night. What we thought would take only an hour two would end up taking closer to 4. Not only was traffic bad heading out, but also getting in. It really is the city that never sleeps, because at 2 in the morning there was still gridlock. What made matters worse was the highway leading into New York was under repair, so there were various detours set up that the gps could not handle, and the signs were not good at explaining.

The Holland tunnel was a great experience as we waited to pay toll. There was something like 15 toll booths but only 3 of them were cash. Expectantly everyone piled up trying to fit into these 3 lanes spread out. This was great classic new york driving as everyone was honking and yelling. No one was willing to let anyone in. It was something I had never seen before. These people were cutthroat, i'm talking about inches away from hitting the next car, simply so you don't let the next guy in. It's one of those moments that if you just cooperated the whole thing would sort itself out. But sadly no, this was a dog eat dog kinda place where you had to be aggressive and fend for yourself. Oh I loved it, such a great experience.

Well we popped out the other side of the Holland Tunnel and headed for Soho where we would be staying with Michae;'s family for the next few nights. We are so sorry for getting in so late, thanks for staying awake for us Uncle Bobby. We chatted a bit before bed, and finally got down around 3 o'clock. New York would be waiting for us in the morning. We were excited, but for now we had to sleep.
-Pearl the Landlord.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hey y'all, we'll see when this one get's posted but I know its been a while and we have left you dry. New York was amazing. We were constantly out and about running around the Big Apple, so we had very little time to settle down and get any writing done. Sorry to leave you hanging, let me fill you in on the last couple of days. It's unsettling to think that you guys are left in D.C. when we are on our way to Provincetown right now. So much has happened in between, I'm going to start condensing what we write so I don't go crazy and drag it on. Like I have said before if you have access please check out facebook if you want photos of the trip to give you greater description of where we have been. Without further ado, here is Day 2, a full day, of D.C.

The day began early, like most days so far, as we contacted our friend Shayna to get directions to the place she is staying at. Driving to a nice town in Maryland, north of D.C. we parked the car and met some of Shayna's family members. From here we drove to a public transportation station and took the D.C. equivalent of BART into the city. It was astonishing to see how similar the two systems were. Not having to worry about parking we got into the city pretty early and hit up the Smithsonian quick. If you don't know already, the great thing about the Smithsonian is that admission is free. At the History of National Sciences Museums we walked through every exhibit, and I mean EVERY exhibit, taking loads of pictures between the two of us. Dinosaurs, whales, minerals, cavemen accompanied us down the halls. This place was loaded with creatively displayed dioramas, informational stories, and knowledgeable docents. There was so much to see around every corner with giant squid, insects, planets, and skeletons coming as us. Our little noggins were full to the brim and so were our memory cards as we exited the building four hours later. It was time well spent, but at the same time very draining.

Our feet were tired but still capable as we walked down the street in search of lunch. What we would get for food was much more than anything we expected. This may have been the highlight of D.C., thanks you soooo much Shayna for this great experience. The restaurant in question is Oyamel. If you have heard of it, good for you, you should be jealous. If you haven't, look that up and then you can start being jealous. With Shayna's hookups this would be one of the best places we have eaten at on the whole trip. During lunch hour there was a crazy rush of business men and women in suits as the three of us California bums looking all scraggly walked in.We were introduced and said our hi's to all the workers before sitting down. Menu's were presented, but never needed as Shayna had a great idea of what we had to try . The food just kept coming one after the next, with each dish better than the last. It doesn't sound possible, but this heavenly treat was an amazing experience. Just to list what was given we couldn't believe the flavors that were produced, from the homemade chips and salsa, table made guacamole, chorizo and pepper queso, tuna ceviche, steak tar tar, beef tongue taco, carnitas taco, veal and lamb taco, a weird corn and rice fungus specialty, mole and cheese fries, a rum infused cake with dulce de lechee and whipped cream with pineapple, and last a coffee ice cream with lime chunks on top of a mexican fudge with buttery thin cinnamon cookie crumbles. Yeah all that, and it was damn good.

This was one of those few instances where you don't eat because you're hungry, but you eat because it tastes good. It was glorious as we sat there in contemplation for long periods of time just savoring the flavors that sprung up through each dish. Afterwards we even were given a tour of the kitchen area. It was such a great experience. We were certainly full, but unbelievably content as we stepped back outside. Almost on a food high we made our way to the American History Museum. Stepping in, the walls were lined with iconic inventions, props, and signs. There were automobiles, trains, planes, and boats documenting their history and evolution. There were specific exhibits that focused on various points of history for the United States; Revolutionary War, Civil War, Civil Rights, Vietnam, etc. There were rooms dedicated to presidents, first ladies, pop culture, and art. With so much to see we still ended up on every floor in every room, with pictures of it all.

Next Shayna wanted to show us Georgetown. Jumping on a bus we got off with small little shops all lining the streets. Walking to and fro we stopped to look into a couple. It was decided we would go to the famous DC cupcakes, but before we did so I had to stop and get some milk. It had been quite a while since I had any, and if you know anything about me you know I need my milk fix. Stopping in at a cornerstone I grabbed a quart of milk unsure if I would share at all. We waited in line for a while before stepping in and witnessing a large display with platters of many types of cupcakes. With a cupcake box in one hand, now half a quart of milk in the other we all made our way town to the river's edge. Here we sat on a park bench looking out over the river as the sunset with a view of Virginia and it's cityscape before us. Emptying the boxes and cartons out it all soon disappeared. Walking around Georgetown a bit more we ended up getting back on a bus and made our way to our subway station.

We would drive back to Shayna's family's house where they were gracious enough to let us shower after a nice sweaty day. With a little down time we talked and then said our goodbyes, back to our Walmart. It was then we became fed up with such humid and sweaty nights that we devised a plan. We went into Walmart where we both bought two small battery powered personal fans. We had been driving with the air conditioning on full blast to keep the car nice and cold. We were shivering at first but it soon evened out. The fans were a nice touch that really helped cool things off. Ever since, the A/c and fans have come in handy making nights much more tolerable. So tolerable in fact a simple blanket does the trick at night in the back seat.

Another night in the books getting out of the car we still had some unfinished business in D.C. We drove to a closer subway station where we had a few items on our list. Getting out a bit early we walked around the city streets around all the monuments. We just happened to come across the White House as we made our way back to the museums. We then checked out the farmers market sponsored by the house of agriculture where we got icees that helped cool us off. Next we would check out the Air and Space Museum. Hallways filled with different aircrafts of each field throughout time, once again we would see all that it had to offer. NASA, the Wright Brothers, Airliners, and pilots decorated the various exhibits. We spent a lot of time in this museum and were real hungry when we got out. Looking for something quick and easy we stopped in a Gordon Bierchs for some fries and burgers. Afterwards we headed to the Capitol Building and Washington Monument. Form there we would get in line at the National Archives. This was something I had missed out on my 8th grade trip so I was ecstatic to see the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and, Bill of Rights. There were other old documents of importance that bordered the display case as we waited in line again and then shuffled a long to get a view. Unfortunately the Magna Carta was being restored elsewhere, oh well. The last exhibit we visited in the archives documented our governments history and involvement with food.

Leaving the archives our last stop in D.C. was the Korean War Memorial. From here we would take a long walk back to our station, and then a long train ride to our car. Getting to our car the next stop was Philadelphia. We drove through Baltimore without stopping. It had been a long couple of days and we just wanted to get to Philly so we could sleep, before getting up again the next morning to see the sights. As you can guess we stayed again in a Walmart parking lot that night with a cold car and fans directly over us. Nights were getting easier without any trouble from security guards and now a system to keep us cool during the night.

Next you'll get our long and adventurous day in Philadelphia. Still having fun, and hoping you all are too.

-The Delegates from California
I know we are running a bit behind, but the last few days have been crazy. We've seen so much there has been little no down time to try and write. So let me try and get y'all up to speed.

As cool as Atlanta was to us, we can't say the same about the night spent there. After the game and Varsity's, Walmart was our next destination. So far this has been our worst night spent in the car by far. We tried to get to bed by 11:30, but we probably didn't fall asleep until 2-2:30. Throughout the blog we have said how humid it is, just to try and convey the stickiness and heat felt along the way, but do not underestimate how bad this night was. Neither one of us could get to sleep as we tossed and turned the night away perpetually nagged and tormented by the humidity. At one point it was considered whether or not we should sleep outside, but not even that would help us escape. We even turned on the car and air conditioner full blast for a few minutes. Like frosty on the 4th of July we were dripping profusely with no end in sight. Streaming sweat and out of our sleeping bags, at some point we must have dozed off. We would end up waking very early, ready to get out of the sweltering oven-like car.

The Atlanta Aquarium was pretty much the only thing on are list, and we expected it to take up most of the day. With visions of grandeur, referencing the Monterrey Bay Aquarium this one was touted as the biggest in the world. We expected it to be extravagant and out of this world. Well to put it bluntly, it wasn't. We may have misinterpreted the word “big”. When we thought of the aquarium as “big” we expected it to be like 5 times the size of Monterrey Bay Aquarium, instead the word “big” most accurately meant they just had the worlds biggest tanks. Don't get me wrong though, it was still way cool. They had whale sharks, beluga whales, tons of different species and environments, it was just that they were all mashed together. The whole museum only really took us 2 hours or so. Please go and check the photos on facebook if you can if you want to get an idea of the place and what we saw.

The surrounding area of Atlanta was real nice. We walked around the World of Coca Cola Center. Ryan, you'll have to go and take the tour, free samples and all! Downtown Atlanta was nice as everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The park that was built for the 1996 Olympics was a great sight with hundreds of kids running around playing in the ground fountains. There is even a 15 minute show that plays to music accompanied by the “oohs” and “ahhs” of the kids watching the jets of water jump into the air.

We hadn't exactly eaten today but we were certainly presented with a nice option. All we had in the morning was a cup of coffee and a pastry. But at the park they were handing out free peanut butter moose tracks ice cream. For every scoop you ate they would give a dollar to the Salvation Army. Lunch was served. Michael musty have jumped into the wrong line because he got a skimpy amount compared to my 2 and a half scooper. After we finished our first serving, we said what the hay, and went back for more. This time the sizes were relatively the same. All in all we must have helped donate 6 dollars, go us! We were also given this weird new snack at a kiosk called Combos. As Michael put it they were stale pretzels hollowed out and filled with that shitty cheese from school you dip mini breadsticks in.

The underground mall and financial district with it's many parks was also a great experience as we walked deeper into the heart of Atlanta. With part of the day well spent we walked back to the car and drove towards the coast. Kure Beach, North Carolina was our next destination. Michael has family here, his Uncle Michael, and his Aunt Gladys, who are both great people. Up through South Carolina we would make it to Kure Beach around 8 o'clock . We both agreed that after growing up and living in a California beach town such as Pacifica, seeing the other coast like this caught us off guard a bit. It was essentially a normal beach town, with less surfing and more fishing, there wasn't really a different feel. The few things that you could distinguish as different were the houses and people. Even though they spoke in a southern accent and dearly loved their confederacy, they still held some sort of a stereotypical California beach vibe.

Getting to Michael and Gladys' home we were greeted with a beautifully cooked, and much appreciated hot meal. Driving through the south when veggies are offered as candied yams, fried okra, and canned peaches, you will take what you can get. This healthy meal was such a welcomed change. A quick drive along the coast we were given a tour of the local beach area. With stories of spirits, sharks, gators, and locals, it was interesting to hear about the small vacation town. We even stopped off at the pier, the local hangout spot for kids and fisherman alike; it was even used as a spot for dates. Walking up and back we looked to see if anyone had gotten lucky and hooked one or two fish. The cool night air, and small wind felt great across our faces walking along the pier. You could already tell the heat and humidity next to the coast was beginning to settle down.

With a good nights rest the following day was open to the books. A hearty breakfast, something we haven’t had at all on this trip, got us up and going. Excited that we were on the other side of the country the first thing we wanted to do was go to the beach and check the water out. How would it compare!? It was amazing!!! We approached it as if it were the Pacific, ready to dab a toe in and test the water. I don't think we were ready for how warm it was. Like a luke warm bathtub we plunged in and spent nearly 2 hours messing around and just bobbing with the ocean. Unfortunately there weren’t any beach babes, but the experience was great all the same.

The sun never really showed its face, but that didn't matter. With a little time on the beach drying off we would eventually make it back for a shower. Cleaning out and prepping the car we would leave Michael and Gladys at 1'o clock. Thank you so much for your warm hospitality. The Carolina BBQ was great too, thanks for the heads up. After eating some vinegar based Carolina BBQ our next stop would be 6 hours away. D.C. Here we come!

The sun was just beginning to set as we entered D.C. Parking close to the Jefferson memorial we were excited to get out, stretch our legs, and explore the area. Darkness would settle in but that didn't stop us from walking all over and finding one memorial after the next. On this particular warm night we would visit the Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, and FDR memorial, with shots of the adjacent monuments. Midnight came fast and we left for our Walmart 20 minutes out. The next day would hold a lot in store for us as we would meet up with our friend Shayna. At this point in time our trip has reached 4,500 hundred miles, right around half way in terms of distance. We'll get this post up as quick as possible, and follow it with our tales of DC. Hope everyone is having a great summer, have fun errrybody!

-Step Up (to) the Streets!