In a very nervous state I pulled out of the gas station and started, very timidly, to drive away. All of a sudden I hear a clattering noise with what sounded like something falling off the top of the car. I immediately freaked out trying to figure out what it was while Patrick reassured me not to worry about it and to just pay attention to the road. About a mile down the road, it finally dawned on him what the clattering noise was... his glasses falling off the roof. By the time we got back (after I stalled out the car and it sounded like it was falling apart), we found the glasses completely smashed into the asphalt. So he had to continue the remainder of the trip slightly blind. Great,
We finally reached Richmond, VA where I drove through the city, terrified to try and stop the car. Once we got to a safer looking area for me to attempt to stop the car, we switched places and he drove around the more historic parts of town (I was looking at all the old pretty houses, while he was checking out everyone's bicycles). We finally found a hotel, checked in, showered and headed out to Carytown to find some dinner. We dined outside on the sidewalk at a little place called Weezie's. Patrick to our waitress: "Umm, are we still south enough to have Sweet Tea??"
The following day was filled with much driving. Through Maryland, Delaware, up the New Jersey Turnpike and into New York City. I drove through my first toll (there were Many to follow, and I officially hate toll booths!) New Jersey had cheap gas at only $3.17!! By the time we reached NYC it was much later than we had anticipated so we jetted to the hotel, checked in, secured a place for the car, changed clothes and hailed a taxi to take us to the theatre.
RENT was everything I had hoped for and more. I found it difficult not to sing out loud along with the songs!! Patrick bought us some very expensive, very tiny plastic glasses of white wine in celebration of our very first date one year ago. He's quite the romantic. During the intermission this British couple who were sitting beside us dumped my wine on me, but I didn't care. (And I did it to myself later so it was okay.)
After the show, we wandered around Times Square. I'm still amazed by the magnitude of it all!! We bought a couple of souvenirs (for my shot glass collection). Then we had pizza, because I feel like you sould have pizza in New York. It was tasty. Probably more because I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast...but who knows. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and curled up in our Junior Suite (we were upgraded upon arrival for some reason). It was lovely. And probably the best nights sleep I got on the whole trip.
Monday morning, we got up, checked out, had the hotel check our bags then headed out into the city. First we had breakfast, then we walked several blocks to the Empire State Building. It was pretty early, and very foggy, so we were able to get to the top in no time flat. When we reached the 87th floor there was limited visibility, but soon it cleared up and you could see everything!! All the way up to Central Park, over in Brooklyn and NJ. It was crazy!!
Afterwards, we decided to do a Hop on, Hop off tour that took us all over Lower Manhattan. We stopped at the South Street Seaport where we had a Nathan's Famous Hotdog and took pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge. We then loaded back onto the bus to continue the tour. Onward to Central Park.. or so we thought. Apparently we got on the wrong bus and ended up in Brooklyn instead. Which we didn't pay for, nor did we have any real desire to go over that way. We were trapped on that bus for about an hour and a half!! And unfortunately, missed the opportunity to go to Central Park at all. Oh well, maybe next time. We did, however, get back in time to see Rockafeller Center and the Waldorf-Astoria (which I thought was neat, being an HRTM major and all).
We then proceeded to book it back to the hotel, get the car and head out of the city towards New Haven, CT. We met up with Adam Cullum and Laura, had dinner and crashed at their place for the evening. The next morning, we went onto the Yale Campus were a saw a massive blow up Bulldog and went to the Post Office. We had originally planned to spend the next day with Adam and check out the campus, but that didn't end up happening.
We drove on to Boston where we had no plan (which was stupid on my part, I need some kind of starting plan). So we ate lunch at a pier overlooking the fish market and surrounding ports, got lost in South Boston, got frustrated in downtown Boston when we couldn't go see where the Tea Party took place due to heavy construction and closed bridges. So we left the city out of frustration, hopped on the Massachusettes Turnpike and set up shop in a rest area with Wi-FI. During this stop, I bought a 2008 US Atlas (which has brought me much peace of mind since) and we decided not to return to Connecticut, but to instead, drive west. Onward to Niagra Falls.
We drove (and by we I mean Patrick) through Mass. and New York where we stopped over night in Utica?? Finally, we reached the falls mid-afternoon Wednesday. It was beautiful! And sadly, to early in the season to be able to ride the Maid of the Mist (no reliving Bruce Almighty for me..)
We did decide we would do it next time when I go with my mother. Because she was real jealous when I told her...
Since the Falls we have been on a path headed home. Filled with much less excitement. Well, unless I'm behind the wheel. It was smooth sailing when Patrick was driving, but as soon as we switched, we came upon some crazy construction where we went the wrong way and ended up in downtown Pittsburg!!! As soon as the buildings came into sight, the roads started merging and traffic appeared, there were crazy bridges everywhere, and I freaked out!! I mean come on!! I'm in a car I can barely drive, so lots of traffic freaks me out pretty hardcore... I finally just stopped at a light and we switched places (thank God!) and Patty got us out of that mess I had created....
Our goal was to hit WV before we stopped, which we succeeded in. There were many stops in PA searching for a shot glass for my collection ( all fruitless attempts...) They don't care about my memories... Stupid! Now we are finally on what I hope will be the final stretch home... Still in West Virginia, and MANY more miles to go.... but I'm looking forward to being home again. Mostly because I can't stand being in the car any longer!!! Bah!!PS. We had Original Buffalo Wings from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo!!! (they were amazing!)
PPS. I'm finally home... making dinner for Patrick's fam. and mine tomorrow... Yay!