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Archive for June, 2009

I haven’t had much of a chance to write these past couple of days due to lack of internet and lack of sleep, which is unfortunate since now I have to write furiously to catch up!

I think I left off on our second day of Pheonix, so I’ll start there.  Kristin made us an amazing breakfast of german french toast which was wonderful, and instead of hiking (the temperature was well over 100 and we didn’t want to die), we went to a Diamondbacks game.  The game was tons of fun, and it was the first time I’ve been in a stadium with a dome, so it was a cool experience.  It was also a nice way to get out of the heat.  Here’s some pics:

Ballgame 1

Justin enjoying his $1.50 hotdog

Justin enjoying his $1.50 hotdog

Ballgame 3

The Diamondbacks lost the game to the Angels, but since I don’t really care about either team, it wasn’t all too saddening.  After the game, we headed back to the apartment to get things in order (and take a shower which I missed due to getting the oil changed).  Justin and Kristin also had to take Bruno out to use the facilities (he’s a cutie!)

Bruno the 3 month old French Bulldog

Bruno the 3 month old French Bulldog

After taking Bruno out, we headed to dinner (well, at least to make reservations).  The place we went, Pizza Bianco, is world famous and, since they don’t take reservations, the wait is consistently over 4 hours.  The good thing though, is that they let you put your name in and leave, as long as you call to check in.  With 4 hours on our hands, Justin and Kristin recommended the Desert Botanical Gardens, which we agreed on since we really don’t know anything about Phoenix.

The botanical gardens turned out to be a great choice!  Since we got there at night, they actually had a “flashlight tour” with rangers stationed all over the park to talk about different species of plants and animals and give demonstrations.  We didn’t have flashlights, but it didn’t really matter since it wasn’t all that dark yet and some of the plants (including a lot of cacti) were lit up.  We saw a few snakes, beautiful vegetation, and even heard a story about a special wasp that does some nasty things (apparently, it injects its seeds into tarantulas, causing them to be paralyzed and making them the “host” for the new wasp babies).  Thankfully I’m not a tarantula.

Botanical 1

Snake!

Cacti!

Glass Cacti - Very Rare ;-)

Glass Cacti - Very Rare 😉

One of our wonderful tour guides

After the botanical gardens, we headed back to Pizza Bianco and had a few drinks while waiting for our table to be ready.  After about 10:30, we finally were seated.  The wait was well worth it though, as the pizza was absolutely amazing.  I got a marinara pizza (no cheese), and it was probably the best I’ve ever had.  It was a nice way to end our stay in Phoenix…good food, good friends, and a ton of fun!

——————

We left Phoenix early the next morning (around 6:30 AM) and headed towards the Grand Canyon.  Jo Ann, who we stayed with in New Mexico, told us to visit Montezuma Castle along the way to the grand canyon.  We followed her advice and saw a pueblo ruin in the mountains that is now converted into a national park.  It was an interesting experience and a nice stop:

Montezuma Castle

After Montezuma Castle, we headed on to the Grand Canyon.  Before we made it, we stopped in Cameron, Arizona, which is a Navajo Indian reservation.  Jo Ann told us to check out the Navajo taco.  We did, and it was great, sort of like a taco salad with a taco shell, but much much better!

We made it to the grand canyon about an hour later.  There’s not too much to say about it other than it is truly magnificent.  It’s hard to imagine something like the grand canyon…it’s almost beyond comprehension.  It’s actually so big that you can’t really tell how big it is…your eyes seem to put everything together and it looks like a flat picture rather than a canyon!  We stopped at a few check points throughout the south rim of the park and took a bunch of pictures to try to capture the grandness of the canyon:

GC1

GC2

GC3

G4

I was suprised at how fertile the canyon was.  I was always under the impression that it was pretty much just dry mountains, but, in fact, the drive through it is more like going through a forest.  There are trees everywhere, and it almost looks like forests in NJ…except for the massive hole in the ground!

We hung out at the canyon for about 2 hours and afterwards headed out back on the road.

A person that we met at Montezuma Castle told us to stop by an old fashioned diner called Snow Cap, which was on the historic route 66.  We did, and although I wasn’t exactly hungry and was very tired, it was a really cool place to see.  Sort of like going back in time!

Snow Cap1

Snow Cap 2

Snow Cap 3

We also stopped by the Road Kill Cafe for some pics!

Roadkill Cafe

After riding through route 66 for some time, we reached an interesting little spot called Bedrock City…home of the Flinstones!  It was $5 to actually enter Bedrock, but we got a few pictures of the outside:

Bedrock 1

Bedrock 2

After taking in the cartoon memories of Flinstonian life, we made our way towards Las Vegas, with one more stop before we arrived at our destination.  Since we passed over the Hoover Dam, we thought it would be appropriate to take a few pictures of the tremendous man-made structure:

Hoover 1

Hoover 2

Since we were pretty tired at this point (we’d been up for awhile) we headed onto our final destination, My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Frank’s house in Henderson, Nevada just outside of Vegas.

When we arrived, their dog Sasha greeted us warmly!  She’s a cute little thing that wants to sit on your lap at every chance she gets!  Aunt Ruth and Uncle Frank gave us some bagel sandwhiches which were much appreciated, and we had a lovely chat.  It was really nice to see them after a long time being across the country!  After food and catching up, we setup our beds and decided to head out to the strip to see the casinos lit up.  We found a great parking spot at Tropicana which was pretty much empty, and we toured the strip, hitting MGM, New York New York, Ceasar’s, Paris, Bellagio, and a few others.  We didn’t stay too long since we were so tired, but it was nice to see the lights:

Vegas 1

Vegas 2

After walking around for awhile and losing $10 on slots, we headed back to Henderson to rest up for our next journey to San Diego.

—————–

We got some much needed rest and slept pretty late.  My Aunt and Uncle fed us, we chatted a bit more, and we headed back on the road towards San Diego.  I think we are finally starting to get tired, and the 5 hour drive across the desert felt a lot longer!

We did stop off along the way at a nifty 50’s diner, Peggy Sue’s, for lunch.  The waitresses were dressed up in hoop skirts with ponytails and those headbands from years gone by.  It was a fun place to stop, and the food was good.

This was our final stop before hitting San Diego.  There, my cousin Rick set us up with a Best Western hotel for a few nights…much appreciated!!!  Just before arriving, the rear left blinker on our poor car blew out so we stopped off at an AutoZone to pick up a new bulb and replace it.  I can’t imagine how anyone could have lived before AutoZones were around every corner..they are extremely handy!

Once the blinker was fixed, we finished the last leg of our trip into San Diego.  When we got to the hotel, Bret had a headache and passed out to get some much needed rest.  I, however, met up with a friend Emily and her boyfriend Dion for some sushi downtown in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  The food was great, and it was awesome to see them.  Its a weird feeling, being able to drive across the entire country to see people from back home.  Its an entirely different feeling than flying, and almost feels surreal.  Anyway, we hung out for a bit and caught up with some more of her friends from here before heading back to the hotel.  I got in and fell asleep pretty quickly!

Right now we’re deciding what to do here…maybe the beach, maybe a ball game.  To me, the weather makes everything amazing no matter what you’re doing.  I’ll be updating on the next few day’s events soon.

Take care and be well!!!

Matt

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So once again I am very tired, but I felt the need to update so I don’t fall too far behind.  I left off last in Hurst, TX.  Before we left, we got a quick lesson on how to check car fluids from Geoff who kindly showed us the ins and outs of minor car troubleshooting.  We stopped off at an Autozone to pick up a few supplies (tire gauge, coolant, fix a flat) and were on our way.  Texas is a big state, but its full of a whole lot of empty space.  In addition, I’d estimate that the car population consists of about 80% pickup trucks, 10% Big Rigs, and 10% other cars.  All the car dealerships along the way to Carlsbad sold pretty much only pickups, and thats generally what we saw on the road, so I think this is a pretty accurate guesstimate.

We were looking for a good ghost town to hit, but it wasn’t easy to find in the Middle of Texas.  What we did find, however, was a meteor crater site in Odessa with a tiny little museum and a nice man sitting at the information desk:

Crater

There wasn’t a whole lot to look at, and it was really hot, so we didn’t stay all too long.  We headed farther west and, despite the rather flat land, there were a few interesting sites to see.  Oil pumps where scattered all over the landscape, as were (suprisingly enough) many many many windfarms.  Its funny how a state known for its oil is putting up so many windfarms, but I guess thats a good sign.

When we got farther out west and made a turn north towards Carlsbad, NM, we found a little town called Orla, Texas.  The buildings stood, but people were no where to be seen, and we knew we hit our first true ghosttown.  It was an eerie feeling being there, as the houses remained relatively untouched, and it just appeared as though people picked everything up and decided to leave one day never to come back.  The signs were still up, the gas meters still attached to the homes, but the walls were crumbling due to earthly forces.  I guess its not something that you see too much of outside of Texas, and we took a few pictures, of which I’ll post so you get an idea of what I’m talking about:

Orla 1 Orla 2 Orla 3 Orla 4

Orla 5

After taking our pics of Orla, we headed on to Carlsbad.  We got to the house where we were staying (with Jo Ann) a bit early and no one was home, so we decided to go to find a place to eat since we were hungry.  We found an amazing Mexican Restaurant called The Cortez.  I had a chicken chimichanga and Bret had a burrito.  It was great, and it was really really cheap.  They also gave us free desert!

Cortez 1 Cortez 2

After eating, we headed back to Jo Ann’s house and she was there this time!  Her two dogs came outside to greet us, and they were absolutely lovely.  We met her and played with the dogs a little bit and then brought our things inside to an extra bedroom reserved just for us!  Jo Ann was so kind, and chatted with us for a long time, offering us travel advice and helping us plan out our route.  She actually served in the airforce for a number of years and had travelled all over the world.  Now, she works at Carlsbad Caverns and has a few houses scattered throughout the midwest.  She was a lovely, interesting lady and was yet another example of the kindness in strangers hearts around this world!

Because we were tired, I just posted my photos from the day (as you can see in the previous post) and went to bed in preparation for the caverns and the long drive to Phoenix that followed.

The next day (today actually), we woke up around 7:30 and headed to the caverns around 8:30.  The caverns are set in the mountainside, and the drive to reach them was beautiful. Actually, the entire day’s drive was beautiful, and Bret found many ingenious ways to get his camera outside of the car while driving to take some gorgeous shots!

Anyway, the cavern was quite stunning.  It is about 750 feet deep, and although you can walk down it, we were advised not to due to the sheer length of the walk (about a mile) and an additional mile and a half around the Big Room of the cave.  Stalagmites and Stalactites sprouted from the ceilings and floors, and the natural beauty made it almost impossible to believe that it was naturally formed:

Carlsbad 1 Carlsbad 2

Carlsbad 3 Carlsbad 4

Carlsbad 5

We wandered around the caverns for a couple hours and afterwards headed back on the road towards Phoenix.  There’s a ton of scenery along the route to Arizona, and we were lucky enough to catch a few spots along the way, including Guadelupe National Park, which has some beautiful mountains and even a rance called Frijole Ranch where water flows through to create an amazing habitat of vegitation and trees in the middle of the desert.  We were also lucky enough to meet Carl at the first stop, a lovely gentleman who told us about the park and directed us to Frijole where his wife was stationed.  They were both retired and volunteered for the National Park Service, who puts them up for the summer and pays them for food…not bad!

Guadalupe 1 Guadalupe 2

Guadalupe 3 Guadelupe 4

The rest of the drive to Phoenix was very long, but very beautiful.  We stopped off at a Whataburger (a staple down here in the south) in El Paso, but other than that we pretty much drove straight through until we reached our destination at about 11 PM at Justin and Kristin’s apartment.  It’s great to see them, and we had a wonderful dinner cooked by Kristin, homestyle!

Tomorrow we are planning on going hiking and doing a few other fun things (and hopefully resting a bit as well).

I’m sure I’ll have more updates soon!

Matt

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I am pretty tired right now and do not believe I can do justice to a blog about the proceedings of the day (although most of it was just driving), so I will postpone a more proper post until a later date.  I will, however, give you a link to some pictures that I’ve taken so far along the way.  Hopefully that will hold you over for a couple days!

http://picasaweb.google.com/MaLeibow

Enjoy!

Matt

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So we arrived tonight in Hurst Texas to visit our great friends at the Quince residence.  We were able to take a much needed rest with great food, hearty laughs, extremely comfortable beds, and wireless internet that is letting me update the blog.  I’ve found that its one thing to envision writing down every last detail of your trip and its an entirely different story to actually do it.  From posting and editing pictures to writing in the journal to posting on here it gets tiresome, but I’ve found that the farther in the past events are, the shorter the stories about them become.  For that reason, I’ll try to ellaborate as best I can without my eyes shutting on me from sleepiness (and the dread of a long drive to Carlsbad, NM tomorrow).

So backing up a bit, we arrived in NOLA (New Orleans) 2 nights ago.  It was fun navigating the streets to avoid drunkards, and we found a spot close to where we were meeting our hosts Heather and Richard.  As soon as we pulled in, we were greeted by a lovely lady who insisted we come into her bar for a drink before heading up to our New Orleans residence.  We obliged, and Gina The Great, (our welcoming party), told us that her family owned the bar since 1991 and that she really liked my hair.  We also met a few others hanging out in the bar, but because we were late getting to NOLA (due to car battery trouble and Robert Johnson’s grandson’s kindness), we wanted to get up to meet our new hosts.

When we left the bar we walked over just a street to meet Heather and Richard.  They were extremely welcoming, and offered us wine and pasta with vegetarian sauce (which was extremely good).  We chatted and acquanted ourselves with one another, and the two gave us a tour of their place, complete with a balcony that contained tons of wonderful plant life.  Here’s a shot from the street, its the mint green apartment above Johnny’s:

NOLA Lodging

Since it was rather late and since we were rather tired, we decided to call it quits for the day and prepare for an adventure in the morning.

When we woke up, we decided to take a trip to the Barataria Preserve to try and catch a glimpse of some alligators.  Unfortunately, we did not only miss the alligators, but we found out that wildlife in the Bayou is a lot more buggy than up north (with red ants that bite and really big spiders too).  After walking through the Bayou a bit and being slowly eaten alive, we decided to call it quits and head to our next stop at the NOLA cemetaries.  Here’s a bayou pic:

Barataria Preserve

After the bayou, we headed back towards the French Quarter (the main tourist spot in NOLA), to see some of the cemetaries.  Along the way, we saw quite a bit of damage still apparent from Katrina.  It’s really saddening to see such a beautiful and culturally diverse city like New Orleans still be in such shambles after this long (its been almost 4 years).  Bret took a good number of pictures of this, including some signs spraypainted on houses to advertise lost pets that were found or other markings from the rescue effort.  While a good number of houses do appear to be rebuilt or restored, quite a few are left in ruin.

We traveled to two cemeteries that we could find without too much navigating around.  The interesting thing about NOLA cemeteries is the fact that they are built above ground as mausoleums due to all the water thats close to the surface.  This creates an eery sense of closeness to the dead, partly because you actually are closer to the bodies, and I think partly because the site of rows and rows of compartments is humbling and frightening at the same time.  The cemeteries were closed by the time we made it there, but we did take some pictures:

Cemetery 1

Cemetery 2

Cemetery 3

Cemetery 4

After visiting the cemeteries, we headed back to the apartment to take a breather and look for a place to eat.  We found one, just outside of the French Quarter, where they had all you can eat boiled crabs for $10…something unheard of up north.  The place was called St. Charles Tavern, and the crabs were amazing, especially for the price!  When they say all you can eat, they mean it…you basically get a take out box and go up to a large cooler, scoop out the crabs you want, take a few potatoes, and you’re good to go.  They don’t give a hammer or any of the ammenities that we have up north, so after some struggling with a knife and fork, the waitress and some kind fellow crab-eaters showed us the “proper” southern way to get the crabs open.  Amazingly, I got a lot more meat out of them after my lesson in crab-opening-with-a-knife.

After eating a ridiculous amount of crab, we decided to head back to the apartment yet again to clean up, as the crabs were pretty much covering us from the pulling and prodding that we did.  Heather (our host), was coming home after her pottery class and said she wanted to go out too, so we waited up for her and after cleaning up a bit, decided to head to Bourbon street to experience what New Orleans is known for (drinking?)

Our first stop was Pat O’brien’s, home of the dueling pianos and hurricanes, huge drinks with 7 shots in them for $7!  Actually, the drink is 10, but if you give your glass back when you finish, you get 3 back…what a bargain:

Pat O'briens 1

Pat O'brien's 2

After Pat O’briens, we ventured to two other bars.  One was an awesome place located at the end of Bourbon street that was completely lit by candlelight, creating sort of a pirate-esque atmosphere that was definitely cool.  After some of Heather’s friends and boyfriend came, we took a walk down the street to our final bar of the night.  I won’t bore you with details, but it was lesbian night at the establishment, there were drinks involved, and there was dancing involved.

We all made it home safely, and got to sleep for some much needed rest in preparation for the drive to Hurst Texas (where we are now)!

We’ve only been here for a few hours, but its been great to see Gyasi and Missi and the kids.  Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss someone until you see them again and realize how amazing they are!  We’re heading out to Carlsbad, NM tomorrow and I need to get some sleep right now, but here’s a few pics from the Quince’s!

Mike, Kate, Geoff Bret, Gyasi, Missi, Me

Bret, Me, Gyasi

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So far, this trip is adding up to quite a memorable experience, and we’ve only spent 3 days on the road.  It’s been a bit more difficult than I thought to find time to write and record everything, so I’ll try to catch up on our experiences to this point. It’s also been tough to find internet, so posting pictures has been all but impossible.  I have a off-and-on connection right now, so hopefully I can add some.

Backing up a bit to our first day, the picture (2 posts down) is of Pollo Rico in Arlington.  It’s a Peruvian chicken joint that was pretty amazing, considering the price.  We got to see a friend living down there, so that made the stop off even better and gave us some much needed leg stretching time!

After stopping for lunch, we continued on to the Gaeta’s in Winterville North Carolina.  It was great to see them, and we were welcomed with an amazing meal and great company.  I got an extremely comfy couch/recliner to sleep on, and caught up on some much needed rest.

Gaeta's Couch

Unfortunately, we had to set out early the next morning for the 14 hour drive over to Memphis.  Mrs. Gaeta made a wonderful breakfast (pancakes and all the fixins with eggs, bacon, etc etc.) On top of that she packed us sandwhiches for lunch, which we enjoyed at a rest stop by Smokey Mountain National Park.  We got to take some pictures there…sort of reminded me of northern jersey, just a bit more massive.  We passed what appeared to be a mountain lion on the side of the road…I dont know if they have them around here, but someone one got loose and found an unfortunate fate on the highway.

Smokey Mountain National Park

After many hours of driving (not much to say about that except Bret has been introducing me to some great music and expanding my auditory horizons), we arrived in Memphis to our Couch Surfing hosts Nick, Ben, Paul, and Monica.  When we pulled up to the street, everyone was sitting on their porches, eventhough it was about 10:00…something you don’t really see all too often in Allentown, New Jersey.  We were greeted by Aster, Monica’s amazingly loving dog, and Paul, who welcomed us with some amazing vegetarian bean dip and chips.  In addition to us, two other couch surfers were staying at the house.  Erik was travelling around the states all the way from Holland, and Emit was a happy, red headed bearded gentleman from Oregon.  Both were incredibly nice, and when the rest of the housemates arrived (Ben, Nick, and Monica) we sat outside on the porch and chatted for awhile.  The housemates are actually starting a community collective to improve the community and teach people how to be self-sufficient.  Apparently the Memphis government isn’t exactly up to par, and many people in the area are struggling.  Ben, who is heading up the initiative, is extremely passionate and driven, and has some great ideas for giving back to the community that raised him.

After some time, we decided to venture to a bridge that crossed the Mississippi into Arkansas.  The gang knew a way to get to the catwalk underneath the bridge, and after some crawling and venturing where we probably weren’t supposed to go, we found a railed beam to sit and enjoy the amazing view of the river.  I have some great pictures…

going down the holeMonica and ErikUnder The BridgeMonica, Ben, Emit, Paul

We were going to go to Liberty Land, an abandoned amusement park that holds Elvis’ favorite rollercoaster, but by the time we returned from the bridge it was too late and we were all really tired.

The next morning we woke up at about 10:00 AM and walked over to the local McDonald’s to get some breakfast.  Its unfortunate that such a historical town has so much poverty apparent on its streets, and it makes you wish that there was someway to help bring the area back to where it deserves to be.  Seeing the abandoned amusement park, run down homes, and closed shops was quite depressing…it is, however, good to know that people like Ben, Nick, Paul, and Monica are working to do something about it.  We, unfortunately, don’t have much clout in helping the effort with one day in the area…

While talking to Paul, we asked if we should visit Graceland.  He told us instead to go to Graceland too without offering much explaination other than knock on the door hard, bring the guy a coke, and have an open mind.  We figured that was possible.

When we left the house, we decided to drive by Graceland anyway just to check it out.  Turns out it is set pretty far back from the road and tours are ridiculously expensive, so we just took a few pictures, signed the Elvis wall, and drove off.

Bret at GracelandMe at GracelandOur Signage at Graceland

After Graceland, we visited Graceland too.  Since I don’t have all that much time left to be writing and since its hard to explain without being there, I’ll just say look it up.  It is basically the craziest place I have ever been to, where a man collects everything Elvis and has the largest collection in the world.  He’s also open 24/7…its his home, but if you bang on the door he’ll wake up and give you a tour for $5…oh, and don’t forget to bring him a Coke 🙂

Elvis Pink CadillacAll of us with PaulPaul Explaining his Records

After Graceland too (again, look it up!) we headed off to New Orleans.

After driving for about 3 hours, we stopped off to get some gas in Canton Mississippi.  When we went to start the car again, well, it didn’t start.  Several people came up to us to offer to help, something that probably would not happen in the North, so that was pretty amazing!  Eventually, someone said that it looked like either the battery or the alternator, especially since we were driving for awhile and the battery should be charged.  I asked the store clerk if she knew about any open mechanics (it was 8:00 PM), and she said to drive down the road to O’Rally’s and ask for “Billy.”  We followed her directions after getting the car temporarily jumped by a kind Cantonite and arrived at O’Rally’s to find out that the “Billy” who we were referred to was actually in jail (I guess he did other things than just being a nice mechanic.)

Instead of Billy, a nice gentleman named Gregory came out to check the car.  While he was checking the battery (turns out it was busted), he asked if I knew Patrick Droney since I was from Jersey.  Turns out I do and booked the 15 year old blues guitar wonder a few times at Conduit Music Club.  In a strange twist of fate, Gregory is actually Robert Johnson’s grandson, just about the greatest blues guitarist of all time.  Its amazing how you can meet people 1,000 miles away that you’re connected to in some way.  Gregory told me about the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation that he started to help inner city kids with music education and paying for going to college for music.  We chatted for awhile, and after he brought out some tools and guided me through installing a new car battery, (something I never thought I would do in my entire life), I took his info and we parted ways.  Quite an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget.

Tomorrow I will share our experiences in New Orleans…so far, it appears to be quite an amazing city, with a lot of drunk and happy people, a ton of music, and some touchy feely bar owners 🙂

Good day!

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When I was little, my family frequented Bethany Beach Delaware for one week a year every summer. I have many fond memories of Sea Colony, the 8 or so towering apartment buildings that we called home for the week. I remember the pools, the view of the ocean, the conveniently located video game arcade, and the unforgettable pebble covered interiors of the elevators.

I was never a big swimmer, let alone ocean-goer, but my dad and brother loved te water and often attempted to coerce me into a waste level wade into the ocean waves. On one particular occassion, my dad decided to swim out to te sand bar, and bring me along for the ride. I think I might have been hesitant, although at this point it’s too far in the past to remember specific details. Regardless, my dad hoisted me up on his back, and clinging tightly, I rode out for what seemed at the time like an hour through waves and salt and sand. I was scared, but my dad swam strongly and I held on tightly. Eventually, we reached a point at which the waves leveled out and my dad stopped the forward motion that carried us there to stand. We had reached the sandbar, and standing on tiptoes I remember feeling accomplished and connected, staring back on people along the shore resembling the minatre G.I. Joes that I frequently played with. I was no longer scared, and was peaceful. The trip back to the shore, which felt much shorter and was more enjoyable, made me realize that some risks are worth taking as long as you trust the person who’s showing you the way.

To me, that exemplifies the role of fathers and family. Although I was scared and felt vulnerable, my father forced me to experience an adventure that I would have been otherwise oblivious to. I am grateful to have a father who constantly encourages me to explore and discover, and who has made me a better person because of it.

Happy fathers day

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I am writing from my phone, so this post will be a rather short one. We got off to a late start at 9:50, but we fit everything into the car, so that was a relief! I’ll take a picture of the car… It’s not exactly packed, but we don’t have room for an extra passenger.

We started off with the route below. Tomorrow, we’ll be following the second route over to Memphis to visit some new couch surfing friends.

The drive was pretty decent today, nothing special, but we were glad the car made it. With a few traffic delays and an hour stop off in Virginia to have lunch at pollo Rico with a friend, the trip was roughly 11 hours. I’ll post some more pictures from my camera when we get some wifi!

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