I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I am 30. Yes, it is true! There is no rhyme or reason, just one of those silly things we wake up one morning and realize would be pretty fandabulous.
After I suddenly found some not-so-employed time on my hands, I decided to head for the hills for a couple of weeks. Not the hills really, but the flat plains of Ohio. I knew I may never get the opportunity again in my life to spend so much time at home.
I let mom and dad know that I'd be taking off for a week while I was home to tour the New England states. Most of that area needed to be crossed off my list despite the fact that I have been to New York half a dozen times. My mom was able to get off of work for a few days to come with me! So.....here you have it:
Thursday October 4: We crossed the border to Niagra Falls, Canada, then made our way to Rochester, New York. I stopped a near calamity when I realized mom was leaning over the railing by the Falls with her camera draped precariously over the side.
Friday October 5: Mom realized how close we were to Palmyra/the Sacred Grove, so we took a little trip to that area. Not before, however, getting misguided by Mom's GPS (lovingly named "McMappy") two times. We wandered around the Sacred Grove for awhile. I was enjoying the serene walk and then I realized Mom was looking for the exact spot at which Joseph Smith has his vision. The exact location isn't known, so after some convincing we tried to find our way back out - what a maze!!!!
We then headed for the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont, or what I lovingly refer to as "Mecca." Two holy locations in one day!!! The tour was kinda amusing. Getting misguided every block for about 5 blocks in a row by McMappy was not amusing. Picture this - I got SO frustrated, I literally grabbed the printed instructions from my mother and ripped them up so that we would only have the map and McMappy to consult. All three sources were telling us different ways to go and we simply were not getting anywhere!!! I do not recommend the Creme Brulee ice cream, nor the Caramel something or other, but I highly recommend the Pumpkin Cheesecake- yumminess!
We pulled into Bangor, Maine at about 12:30 AM. My mom's best friend's mom lives there - follow? My mom's best friend also happened to be visiting her mom at the time, so it was a good time with good company.
Saturday October 6: My mother's friend, husband, and mother showed us all around Bangor. We visited Stephen King's home, toured the coastal town of Bar Harbor where I tried my first Lobster (no butter, please!), and relaxed for awhile. This was also the day my mother's friend introduced me to a ginormous cookie sandwich with my name SCREAMING from its' every molecule. I engulfed it accordingly. This became the night of "Here some frosting, there some frosting, everywhere some frosting, frosting." I don't know how, but that cookie sandwich haunted me from the second we became one. I found frosting on my shirt and teddy bear, so I changed into my PJs. I went downstairs only to discover the frosting on my PJs, then my hair, then almost everything I touched. I awoke the next morning with frosting in my bed, frosting on my throw-blanket in the car, and on my water bottle. How the ????
Sunday October 7: We headed off to Salem, Massachusetts. I have never been big for all the hullabaloo surrounding this place, but since we were so close on our way to Boston, the visit had to be made. I literally felt like I was walking through some weird part of an amusement park. Everything there is entirely commercialized, and you have to pay $12 to get in any museum or attraction. On top of that, we made the mistake of being there in super-crowded October and would have to wait for two hours just to get in any tours. No thanks! I just walked around by myself for a couple of hours and then we were on our way. I realized later this night, after we had checked into our hotel in Lexington and were trying to find food, that my mother can no longer see to drive in the dark. Every curb became an object highly desireable for hitting. My mom and I walked into a restaurant, her looking highly frazzled, and I took the keys from her while saying, "I am taking the keys from you. You can't drive right now." I wonder how many people thought she was drunk?
Monday October 8: Boston, baby! I graduated BYU with a most excellent young lady who was so amazing as to meet me in Boston, despite her home being in New Hampshire! Her brother, who lives in Connecticut also met us there, as did her five year old nephew. Later in the day, I was surprised to have her husband join us as well after he had returned from work/school. FUN! Her brother happens to be the best tour guide I could have asked for and she is super cultured. I believe I received a better tour from them than the one I had paid $25 for earlier in the day! We ate some amazing Indian food for dinner. They had me try my first Mango Lassie (sp?) and I am in love! My mom thought they were all so wonderful even though she had decided to part ways with us early on in the day.
Tuesday October 9: Off to NYC! We stayed in Edison, New Jersey and commuted into the city via a train! Mom became amazed with my intuition regarding transportation to, from, and around NYC. Yes, be in awe of my wonderous abilities! We didn't get into the city until around 6pm, so we just had some time to walk around, visit H&M, and devour some devilishly divine frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity. As is typical in NYC, where the city loves to torture tourists, we walked an hour in the rain back to the train station. I was soaked from top to bottom, yet was more amused than upset. Sometimes you can only laugh. Of course, when McMappy is misdirecting you is NEVER a laughing matter. I'd long since banished him from directly us though, so we were headed in exactly the correct direction with me in control.
Wednesday October 10: All day in NYC! Mom was tired, so I ran around by myself most of the day. I was able to see "Mary Poppins!" Tap dancing on the ceiling people! It was spectacular!!!! I am SO surprised it isn't more popular, as I am pretty sure I could watch it ten times in a row. I felt as if I were watching a magic show the whole time! And I am serious, the man tap danced on the ceiling!!! Mom came in just in time to catch the evening show of "Legally Blonde." Definitely a fun little show - way better than I expected it to be actually. Ironically, we returned to Ohio to discover MTV would be broadcasting the show three days later! I made mom stop at ESPN Zone for my favorite salad and dessert before the show. Can I just say cookie baked in a pan topped with homemade ice cream drizzled with fudge, caramel, and shaved chocolate? If any food were sinful, this would be it....and I am a sinner through and through!
The attempts to sleep this evening were somewhat thrwarted by an air conditioning unit with a vendetta against my mother. Every three minutes on the dot, the darned thing would kick on with a noise that sounded like a train barreling through the room. She described her experience as Chinese water torture. Luckily, I have been blessed with being able to sleep through just about anything when I am exhausted. Not so luckily, that meant I had to drive all the next day while my mom tried to recouperate in the back seat of the mini van. Oh, did I mention having to drive the mini-van through NYC? What a joke!
Thursday October 11:
The drive home....*sigh.* It all happened so fast! We took a slight detour to visit Delaware, the last of the New England states on my list. I followed my printed instructions exactly only to find out....wrong! McMappy was in his usual state of blissfully telling us to go around an entire block until we were back where we started, then having us do it all again a block later, so he was banished again. We were left with me, my rage against directions, and my mom. Mom was desperately attempting everything she could to keep me from exploding while she tried to decipher the highways and back roads in Pennsylvania. There is a reason I am not a mother yet and that is because I cannot yet handle the lack of patience my children will have. I will forever be in awe of my mother's ability to keep her cool while steam of rage is shooting from my ears. I used to have a horrible temper, which has not manifest itself in quite a few years. Needless to say, I was so disappointed in myself and quite embarassed. I knew we'd get home eventually, so why get upset? Ugh. Anyway, by the time we rolled into Piqua around 1 am or so, I was so hyped up on energy drinks that I couldn't get to sleep until about 4. Oy!
So....that's the trip! 46 states down, 4 to go!!!