Not my camera! :-(

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 9, 2010 - 10:56 PM CT - MILWAUKEE -
Very sad day for me. We woke up very early to get to Mammoth Cave for the first tour of the day. Before the tour started I dropped my camera in water...ok I'll admit it, it fell out of my pocket into the toilet. Laugh if you must, I actually did at first. Yes it was clean water!!! But than I almost cry....well ok I did cry. My camera is toast. My precious camera, the thing I love more than life itself! After I freaked out, Eric calmed down and I realize I still have a camera on my phone. Granted the quality is pure crap, but none the less I can take pictures and that is what is the most important thing. So the pictures aren't up to my standards, but its the best I can do with what I have. So after that we drove up to Lincoln's Birthplace. That was cool, it was a school field trip day there so there were people dressed in period clothes and even a very life like Abe with the beard and all! But this also meant millions of little rug rats. Apparently I'm a teacher because I heard kids say Mrs. Williams all over the place. We stopped briefly in Louisville to see the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory with the gigantic bat outside the front. From there we made our way through Chicago (at rush hour no less) and made it to Dylan's apartment by 7:30...just in time to see the Vikings get smacked by the Saints. Boy this day as a whole pretty much sucked. Tomorrow we make our way home. Hooray. I can't wait to see Swirl again but that also means I'm one day closer to school. Oh yes, school again. I can't wait to be done. Ok, time for bed. Nighty Night.

Where is the road???

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8, 2010 - 6:25 PM CT - CAVE CITY, KY -
Yesterday we drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was very beautiful but like the name says very Smoky...hazy. We hiked up the Clingman's Dome which is the highest point in NC at 6,632 feet. It was a 1/2 mile hike straight up hill. It was the longest 1/2 mile hike of my life. Then we made our way down to Gatlinburg, TN. Very touristy for my taste. We walked around a little bit and had some dinner. It was pretty busy for a week night after the summer season. We checked out where we need to go for the tramway and suck. BUT today started out crappy....Rain, Rain, Rain. So we had planned on a cable ride to the top of the Gatlinburg...but obviously that wasn't happening! So we decided to head out. We ventured up I-75 to Knoxville, TN and across the Kentucky border, drove up 11 miles, turned around and drove back into Tennessee to get the silly Tennessee sign. Then we went to Cumberland Fall State Park for the Niagara of the South. It was a nice waterfall but no Niagara. We ventured over to Big South Fork NRA to do some hiking above the beautiful gorge of the Cumberland River. We decided to head to Mammoth Cave. This is where it gets interesting. Our AAA map, Rand McNally Atlas, Google Maps and my phone's GPS told us to go on KY State Hwy 9008. There were no signs for KY 9008, nothing. We continued driving for a few miles and this stupid road was no where to be found! We saw KY 80 which eventually intersects this phantom highway in 14 miles and after we couldn't find KY 9008 we eventually figured out that it was the "Cumberland Parkway." It never said 9008. None of our maps said that the other name was Cumberland Parkway. Very stupid! On our way we listened to Betty Bath on the Trader on the Radio. Very funny old women dj. She loved to say the word V-HICK-ALL (vehicle) we cracked up at the various things people were trying to trade/sell (bunnies, "hard worker" looking for some work in the Tobacco fields and many many V-hick-alls). I think Kentucky folk is funny. We finally got to Mammoth Cave at 5:30. The last tour was at 4:30. Oh well, we get up early for the 8:30 tour. We are back in central time zone so it should be easy. Cave City is a bit of dump. I'm glad to not be spending much time here. Now Eric is watching some local Country Blue Grass music on the old color tv...Eric don't like country...I mean doesn't like country. Here are some "vital" statistics as of right now; Miles driven: 2,290, cops seen: 75, states/prov. seen: 48

I-26 in NC

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7, 2010 - 3:18 PM ET - I-26 somewhere in NC.
It is very interesting what a day makes. Sunday driving through Myrtle Beach was crazy. Tons of people on the streets, all the places are open until 11pm or later and it is overall a hopping town. Last night after we watched the Season Finale of Eric's favorite show, The Secret Life, we decided to hit a mini golf place. (because the 36 holes that we had already played for the day wasn't enough). The place was closed!!! 9pm! They really take the seasonal hours seriously. We found one that was open but as soon as we paid he slapped the "Closed" sign on the door. That was the quickest round of mini golf ever. We were the only ones on the course so it was great. We drove down the main street and again...DEAD! I kind of liked it. Now our hotel had quite a few cars still and we saw a lot of school aged children around so apparently they don't go to school (or they are home schooled...don't know). I dragged myself out of bed at 630 for the sunrise and I'm glad I did it was great. I hung around the beach for about an hour. I found this awesome seashell and put it by my shoes as I waded in the ocean....somebody took it! Seriously who low must you go to dig in a shoe to get a stupid shell? I pretty much collapsed into bed and tried to sleep again. We packed up and said our good byes to the Atlantic. The beach was very DEAD, they didn't even put out the chairs and umbrellas! We are now on our way to Great Smoky Mountains. We should be there soon. How exciting!
Here are some "vital" statistics as of right now; Miles driven: 1,854, cops seen: 59, states/prov. seen: 44 (wow more cops than states!)

Rip currents are fun

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6, 2010 - 8:00 PM ET
Oh so sleepy. Today was great. I love the ocean! The waves were very high. There were rip current warnings and I could definitely feel the current tugging me away. It was fun! And I certainly learned a lesson last year and wore a shirt so I wouldn't get burned. I got a little on my neck so it was a good thing I wore the shirt. We spend most of the day in the ocean and pools at the hotel. Around 4pm we went to Boardwalk at the Beach and played 36 holes of mini golf in the blazing sun. It was hot! After that we made a trip to Wal-Mart for new swim trunks for Eric. It was quite exciting...we saw two young pretty Lindsay Lohan-type girls getting arrested for shoplifting. Handcuffed behind their back and everything. Cool! They had pink purses....need I say more? We came back to the resort to chill out for a while. Eric has to watch the Season Finale of Secret Life of the American Teenager...he loves this show. Then we are going out for more mini golf. Eric loves mini golf...

Ocean is my calling

September 6, 2010 - 6:21 AM ET - Myrtle Beach.
It is 6:21 in the morning and I'm sitting on the deck waiting for the sunrise. But that doesn't happen for another 30 minutes. Why am I up so early then? I had a dream I missed it and woke up at 5:56 am in a panic. How lame! And of course my body says...I'm Up, I'm up why are you still in bed. So alas I'm out on the deck. Eating Golden Chocolate Oreos (first thing I could easily grab), drinking water, listening to the waves and writing. Awesome! Let see, Duke was interesting. Lots of skinny people running. The campus looks very regal. I suppose if you pay a fortune to go there you expect that. We tried to check out the chapel....but ran into a incident. There was a wedding but it was over by the time we got there. The bride and groom and all the guests were standing around outside and getting in the limo. So I, along with a bunch of other people went in the side door and were standing in the vestibule. This very rude woman said "You need to leave! You can't be in here there is still a wedding going on" (the church was empty they were all outside). She then said the wedding party still needs to take photos (you mean the dress fancy people that just got in the limo?) If I was cleaver I should have told her asked her if she was St. Peter at the Perily Gates! So I peaked inside...I didn't go up the steps or nothing I just turned my torso to see the main stain glass window and she pushed me! I'm like seriously women? get a grip. So anyways we all got kicked out....literally. I also was tempted to say...well it's no St. Peter's anyway so I'm not missing much...but I was nice about it. So we left Duke kind of late and headed south. I must say Google maps had us going some random route. My hubby and I were going a long Sunday drive on NC back roads and I mean back roads. But when I looked at the map, there really was no other way to go that didn't involve a lot more driving. Oh it is 5:39, the sun is suppose to rise in 13 minutes but it doesn't look like it! Very cloudy...hum...disappointed!

WV is actually beautiful

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5, 2010 - 3:32 PM ET - on I-40 East near Durham, NC!

We have been having an excellent day. We drove some mountains, saw some high bridges, deep valleys, waterfalls and rivers. Wow West Virginia is beautiful. We took the Midland Trail (US Hwy. 60) from Charleston, WV. The Midland Trail was commissioned by our very own George Washington! SO it is old! The views were amazing. Good thing Eric drove as I would have stopped every 5 miles to take pictures. The roads were twisty curvy and not much keep us from going off the edge. We stopped at Eagle Nest State Park and got a great view of the New River Gorge. Shockingly we saw a long train carrying coal...imagine that in West strange...HAHAHA. We drove across the US 19 New River Gorge Bridge. This bridge is the longest single arch bridge in the western hemisphere (so the sign says) and at the time it was built it was the tallest. Seriously tall, the pictures don't do it justice. Every year they close the bridge and people parachute off it so you know its high. After that we drove down the gorge under the bridge...this was the old road and it was a single lane most of the way but the view at the bottom was great.

After that we decided to skip the tollway and head down the state highways to Babcock State Park so I could take a picture of the Grist Mill. According to them it is the most photographed spot in West Virginian so of course I had to have a picture. After that we dropped down some more mountains to Virginia. The most exciting thing about Virginia was $2.45 a gallon gas! Considering we have been seeing $2.75/gallon this was awesome. Lets see we also were traveling north and south at the same time. Weird thing. We were on I-77 South and I-81 North. Granted we were actually going east but I thought it was cool so I took a picture of the signs. (I think the only other person that would find this cool is my nephew Dylan....we are atlas/map crazed people). We are currently on our way to Duke University for my Duke fanatic husband. Then we make our way south to Myrtle Beach. Ciao for now!
Here are some "vital" statistics as of right now; Miles driven: 1,322, cops seen: 44, (16 in OH I thought WI was bad!, states/prov. seen: 39 (wow more cops than states!)


September 5, 2010 - 7:03 AM ET - West Virgina
Ok so I know I'm suppose to be up already but we have another resident in our room that keeps me from getting just a few more winks of shut eye. This annoying cricket that keeps making that cricketing noise. Oh how annoying! Recap of yesterday, drove through Illinois - Corn, drove through Indiana - more corn, drove though Ohio - State Troopers, 16 in all! Thankfully all buy 3 had somebody stopped. Crazy! We finally got to our destination of Charleston, WV. We stopped at this tiny town gas station that had the cheapest gas in miles and I had the feeling they were going to tell me "we dun't like yer kind har" But alas the people seem very nice. We swung by the capital building. It looks like most others. The grounds were very nice with fountains and flowers. That was the excitement for the day. Exciting, eh? Oh now I hear a train...Nice hotel, except for the cricket, in a weird part of town. Hey the cricket must be all my typing has intimidated him....Ha!

East bond and down

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 4, 2010 - 1:15 PM ET - 15 miles west of Indianapolis.
Well we have been making good time. We got to Rockford, IL by 10:30 last night which is amazing considering the 90+ mile thunderstorm we drove through. I actually had to slow down to 50 mph on I-94! We decided to avoid Chicago like the black plague and drove south on I-39 to I-74. So like I said we are about 10 miles now from Indianapolis. Lets see what fun have we had so far? Well how much fun can you have driving through Illinois and Indiana? We saw a lot of corn, semis and fibs (if you aren't from Wisconsin you probably don't understand). We also have been listening to the tunes. We belted out "Sweet Caroline" when the local station had a Neil Diamond Marathon. Reminds us of old times at the Dome. Ah...memories. Hum, we just past Jeff Gordon Blvd. Apparently they really like NASCAR here, I wonder if we will see the brickyard? Who shot MLK? Just wondering....Eric said Jack Ruby. I had to remind him, no that was Lee Harvey Oswald. Weird topics of discussion.... Here are some "vital" statistics as of right now; Miles driven: 656, cops seen: 13, (6 of which were last night in WI!), states/prov. seen: 31....well we are in Indy so time to help Eric navigate! Love ya!