Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Madcap Recap

I've been back for two weeks now. Almost. And now it's time to tell about ED's Adventures in New England. (ED=Erin & was a Courtside thing.)

Wednesday, 7/2 -- I fly from B'ham to Philly, but not without amusement. In the B'ham airport, someone pages Mr. I. P. Freely to the concourse. I'm stunned. Did that really just happen? The connecting flight from Detroit to Philly required me to sit between 1 teenager with BO (Overheard cell phone call: "Hi, Mom, I just wanted you to know that I'm not dead.") and one large woman with olfactory offending food items she purchased in the airport. Nauseating. Daphne picked me up, and we jumped in the car and Garmin-ed our way to East Orange, NJ, where we stayed with Daphne's mother's cousin's friend Carol for the night.

Thursday, 7/3 -- Up WAY early, taking the first train into Penn Station (cute porter). Then taking a Taxi to China Town (new cabbie...didn't know where he was going). Then catching a Lucky Star bus to Boston (uneventful, except for the man sitting across the aisle who coughed and hacked without covering his mouth...eeew). We did stop for a little while at a Burger King in CT, potty break and all that, but we rolled into Boston in about 4 hours. Then, we bought T tickets, jumped on the subway, and made our way to our hostel at Boston University. We had lunch at UBurger, which I highly recommend. Then, since we were so close to Fenway Park, we decided to investigate touring it, but then didn't want to spend the money when we found out how much it was, so we just walked around the outside of the park (the Red Sox were at Yankees while we were in Boston). It was still early, so we walked around Boston, went to the Public Gardens, rode the Swan Boats, and eventually made our way to the Memorial Hatch Shell for the Boston Pops Concert, free to the public. We returned to our hostel late, realizing that there was now evidence of a third person in our room. Hmm...

Friday, 7/4 -- Up early for the colonial army parade from City Hall and all that Fourth of July hoo-hah. We went to the grave of John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Mother Goose (really), listened to the Declaration of Independence being read from its original spot. We wandered down to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, went into some interesting shops, got some free toothpaste from some college kids who were handing out samples. We wandered a little more and found the Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea) and went to the harbor for the 21-gun salute from the USS Constitution. Then, we went to Harvard and walked around Cambridge. I felt very smart just being there. After a long day of walking, we went back to the hostel, found some food (BeerWorks--good stuff), and went to the lookout at the top of the building and watched the most spectacular fireworks show I've ever seen. Amazing. And my nachos weren't half bad, either.

Saturday, 7/5 -- Our last day in Boston, we decided to take a guided walking tour of the Freedom Trail, and our guide was Mr. James Otis. Very interesting tour. After the tour, we decided to go to the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum. Lots of old stuff that some woman loved. The courtyard in the center of the building was amazing, breathtaking. We explored all three floors of the museum. I was sad that the gardens were closed for the season. We went to B&N, which had been closed the day before (Is July 4th a store-closing type of holiday? I thought not.), and bought some books from the bargain shelves. Back to the hostel we went, to get some rest before returning to NY in the morning. And we finally met our Irish roommate. Love her accent.

Sunday, 7/6 -- Out early to catch the bus back to NY. We pulled over once so the driver could use a port-a-potty in the middle of the highway, and we stopped at the BK again, and somehow, miraculously, we made it back to NY in 3 hours and 30-ish minutes. Scary. We took the subway uptown to Penn Station, and found out that since September 11, 2001, there have been no lockers at train stations. We would have to check our bags for a fee. Hahahahahah. No. So we carried our backpacks with us, and walked around, going to M&M World, and Hershey World. We saw the broadway production of A Catered Affair and then made our way back to Penn Station, and then back to Jersey for a good night's rest. But no! We were invited to dinner at Daphne's mother's cousin's house, so we went and ate Fourth of July leftovers. It was good company.

Monday, 7/7 -- We head into NYC with the aim of meeting up with Patrick, Daphne's second cousin once removed, who works for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. We get there early, so wander over to Rockefeller Center. Later, "Pat" shows us around the studio, which was dark this week, so no John sightings, and then takes us to eat at this fabulous restaurant, VYNL (highly recommended). We say our goodbyes and then make our way uptown, walking up 5th Avenue, going to Tiffany's and FAO Schwartz, and down into the depths of the Apple store. We walk through Central Park and sit to rest on a bench near a jazz band. We read our books. It's beautiful. Finally, we decide to walk down 5th Avenue to find Saks Fifth Avenu, but we never find it. Weird. What we did find was Nintendo World, where we got to play with the new Wii Fitness game. Fun! Then, we ate hot dogs from a vendor outside Penn Station, and then took the train back to East Orange (but not before getting some NY Cheesecake and a couple of Cokes).

Tuesday, 7/8 -- We've decided that we want to get on the Today show, so we get up early and take the first train in, truck it to Rockefeller Center, and then make it on TV! It was awesome. We shook hands with Ann Curry, Al Roker, and Meredith Viera. Matt Lauer didn't really shake hands with people. After this adventure, we started walking north, our mission being the Met. We finally made it to the Met and wandered around. The best parts being the Comic Hero exhibit and the roof garden. Then we had to get back south for our hair appointments (see the picture below), and back WAY north to the Cloisters before they closed. And then back down to Broadway, where we ate a quick dinner at Sbarro and saw the show XANADU! I loved it! Great show, highly recommended. Afterwards, we bought our I Heart NY shirts, and said goodbye to the Big Apple, as we boarded the train for East Orange for the last time.

Wednesday, 7/9 -- We are up at a reasonable hour, trying to time our exit to coincide with Carol going to work. We've decided that we are going to go back to DE via Princeton, NJ. We stop and walk around the BEAUTIFUL campus. Why didn't I apply there? I don't remember. Then we head back to Wilmington. Before we get home, we stop at Wawa and get sandwiches. Cool stuff, for sure. Josh comes home shortly, and we go to dinner at the brewery restaurant in Newark (I can't remember the name, but I've been there with DJ before). When we get home, Daph and I try to play Dance Dance Revolution on PS2. Colleen gave it to Daphne sometime earlier this year, and she had never played, but the back sensor was broken, so it wasn't as much fun as it should have been. Bedtime.

Thursday, 7/10 -- I fly from Philly back to B'ham. Exhausted, and ready to be home. Ready to sign a lease and get packing for our move to Auburn.

And that's our trip in a nutshell. The last two weeks have been spent teaching writing camp, and then sorting through all my junk, trying to come to terms with what I will be taking with me to the new apartment, and what will be sacrificed to the trash/Goodwill gods. Continue to pray.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Haircut

I'll write more about my trip to NYC and Boston with Daphne, but first I must tell everyone that I FINALLY got a haircut!