Mike and Nicole

Monday, February 8, 2010

Link to All Trip Photos on Photobucket

Here is a link to our newly created account on photobucket that has all the pictures we took - the site isn't especially user-friendly, and you may have to use your brain a bit to follow them in order, but Flickr was sucking and Blogger will only allow 5 pictures per post...enjoy and if you have questions, hit us up!


Home Is Where the Heart Is Where the Home Is

Having reached our temporary destination at Nicole's parents' home in Gap, PA, we felt this would be a good time to gather our thoughts (and our stones) together. There will be a time to cast away stones at a later date yet to be specified. First, however, the specifics from the last 2 days of or trip.

"It was just a fucking shitshow...we couldn't see more than 3 inches in front of the car and were going 15 mph on the turnpike...we had to stop in Bedford fucking Pennsylvania and in the morning we had to dig our car out...I was livid..." - That would be Nicole describing the last two days of the trip to her friend Julia over the phone, and it sounds pretty accurate.

We definitely were going 15 mph down the highway at 8 pm, sliding back and forth in the dark and hoping not to hit a snow bank (not too bad), a guardrail (bad), one of the 18-wheelers flying by at 50 mph (worse), or the bottom of a gulch (worst). We managed to avoid all these options.

Actually, Nicole managed to maneuver the car past these obstacles. I relieved myself of driving duties after it became exceedingly apparent I am not cut out for snow driving. Especially at night. I never had any close calls, but my high level of stress almost gave Nicole a heart attack. I also squeezed the life out of the steering wheel like it was Bart's neck and I was Homer Simpson (now that I mention it, Mr. Plow would have been nice to have around at that moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWxF1Q022L4&feature=related).

We decided to stop driving to be safe and pulled off the turnpike/toll road. Nicole gave Tollbooth Wilma a small earful about the lack of snow plows (Plow King drunk much?) on the road we paid to drive on, and we slid our way to a motel parking lot. They had a comedian at 9 in the lounge but we were a bit tired and seriously...how good of a comic would be performing in Bedford, PA in the middle of a snowstorm? So we watched Look Who's Talking Too and Groundhog Day and then got some sleep.

The next morning we had a free hot breakfast, dug our car out from beneath 20 inches of snow, and finished the last section of road to Gap, PA. Ten miles from Lancaster, the epicenter of the bustling Amish community in the United States, Gap is a lovely town that has been covered in a beautiful layer of snow since we've been here (we're expecting at least a foot more of snow tomorrow and Wednesday).

We're going to continue blogging, albeit less often, as we move to New York City and find jobs and an apartment. We actually will be in NYC on Thursday and Friday, as I have an interview on Friday afternoon and we're going to see Kate Luckinbill perform a one (wo)man rendition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (actually it's a show called "I Forgive You Ronald Reagan" - I'm just assuming it's a 1980's take on the Shakespeare classic). I plan on providing more analysis of the different places and people we encountered, with more of a focus on how America functions differently in different places, for different reasons, and at different paces, in the weeks ahead.

We also will take more pictures going forward, and will post all of the pictures on another site that allows us to post them all, but we haven't decided yet where that will be. We'll let you know when we figure it out. Don't worry your sweet little hearts one bit.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Clearance at the Gap

The Corolla (and its inhabitants) reached Gap, PA safely without incident. Then we unloaded all our belongings and reduced the pressure on the shocks by about 1000%. We made it! There will be more blogging to come tomorrow before the "Big Game" (TM). We're both tired and had a delicious home-cooked meal. Pictures of our trek through "Snowmageddon" will also be forthcoming, and they should be wild and woolly (I just took them, I haven't looked yet).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Storm Escapers

There has been a change of plans. Unfortunately, Mother Nature finally managed to divert us from our planned route. Seeing as there is supposed to be a major winter storm (as the Weather Channel likes to call it) in DC, we will be headed straight to PA. The plan is to drive north through Kentucky and then east from there. Wish us luck and stay tuned!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Memphian Visuals

Visual Accompaniment


First and foremost, for all of you Elvis lovers out there:

1. I am not a huge fan of Elvis. Mike likes him more than I do, but still is nowhere close to being a fanatic. We both have a healthy respect. That's as far as it goes.
2. We did not actually pay to tour Graceland, but we did swing by the gates and see it from the street on our way out.
3. Susie, don't worry, we didn't actually see Elvis. He's dead.

Moving along to the rest of our Memphis experience. Memphis proved to be cold and rainy, and unfortunately, it also lived up to its status as a poor and dirty city. Most of the short time we spent there was taken up by homeless people asking us for money. Now, I'm happy to help the homeless, I tend towards giving them food as opposed to money, but on certain occasions, I'll shoot them some change or maybe if they're super lucky and I'm feeling super rich, a dollar. Mike on the other hand, will just open his wallet up and give them everything he's got in there. OK, I'm exaggerating; however, we very well may become homeless (me for the first time, Mike for the second - this time without camera crews following him and for more than a week) in NYC if Mike continues to give to the bums as he's done so far on this trip. haha

Our day started off with a trip to Cotton Museum Lobby. Eight bucks each is a bit much, plus they had a lot on display in the lobby. We then ventured to the Peabody Hotel to see the infamous Peabody Ducks. What started as a drunken practical joke has been going on now for 77 years. We fell for it. Every day at 11 am the Duck Master (yup, that's an actual job) walks the ducks from their rooms on the roof, into the elevators, and out onto the red carpet that leads them through the lobby into the duck fountain. They spend the day there mesmerizing guests (because ducks are VERY rare creatures) and then are walked back to their rooms at 5 pm. It was cute, interesting, and most importantly, free.

From there, we stopped for some Seafood Gumbo to warm up, drove by the Victorian Village, and then swung by Graceland on our way to Nashville in the rain.

*We will be posting pictures of the last few days later this evening!*