Saturday, July 23, 2011

3,505 miles

Monday July 18
States commuted through: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri
Notable Sites: Mississippi River, St. Louis Arch, 10,000 Adult XXX Shops, 10,001 Pro-Jesus signs
Notable Culinary Adventures: Backyard BBQ, Greenup, IL and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, St. Louis Ghetto
Baby Hats Knitted: 3
Notable Photos:

Tuesday July 19
States commuted through: Kansas and 1/2 of Colorado
Notable Sites: Amazingly vast Farms, 500 Adult XXX Shops, 501 Pro-Jesus signs, Thunderstorms and hail in Denver, CO
Notable Culinary Adventures: Java Break, Lawrence, KS for amazing iced coffee and not amazing service (if you work with the public you should actually like people) and Noodles (chain noodle house, probably will never go back). oh and Fat Tire Beer.
Baby Hats Knitted: 2
Notable Photos:

Wednesday July 20
States commuted through: Other 1/2 of Colorado and Utah
Notable Sites: Utah. The whole thing. It's beautiful. Great Basin National Park was amazing too.
sidebar: **Notable Strangers** : The nicest thing happened to Forrest and I as we entered Great Basin National Park, extremely tired from a long travel day. The welcome center host told us that we could find camp sites in one of four sites and if the camp was sold out, a sign would be posted at the base of the park. We wanted to camp at Wheeler Peak campground, at 9,800 ft knowing that we certainly didn't want to sweat any longer and need to escape the heat wave of the previous three days. Forrest drove the car up an extremely winding 8-mile road to the Wheeler Peak campground. We drove through the campground and did not find any open sites even tough the sign 8-miles earlier said there were vacancies. I was pretty upset and completely exhausted. I thought perhaps we should chat with the camp host, an extremely nice couple that had just retired out of North Carolina and were camp hosts for the summer. The host said that he was very sorry, the campground was full and i explained the story of our long travel and just passing through for one night. He understood my disappointment. Forrest and I decided to park the car anyway, and take a short walk in hopes of viewing the ancient Bristolcone Pines, that only grow in this park. We only did a short walk, since it was getting late and we still needed a campsite, and i was more upset by the minute that we wouldn't be camping in such an amazing place. We walked back to the car and the camp host was parked next to us, waiting for our return. He said, "so you like it here?", Yes, very much, i replied. "ok then, follow me! I have a site for you!" i know it may sound extremely dorky to be so jazzed about a campsite, but i was so excited!!! Turns out some picnickers were parked at a campsite and the area is not for day use. Regardless, we felt very fortunate to have camped in the cool and for such hospitality from the amazing camp host. what luck!
Notable Culinary Adventures: Forrest made Eggplant Punjab and Rice at the campsite and he made me oatmeal and coffee the next morning. He's all over campsite cooking.
Baby Hats Knitted: 1
Notable Photos:

Thursday July 21
States commuted through: Nevada and most of California
Notable Sites: The loneliest highway in America (US-50), Sand Mountain, Nevada and Lake Tahoe in Nevada/California. oh San Jose (the end of the road).
Notable Culinary Adventures: Nothing really tasted good today. We are tired of Subway, no offense.
Baby Hats Knitted: 0.5
Notable Photos:

Friday July 22
Today the relo-cube arrived, we unpacked it in about 30 minutes, we're professionals. We also did laundry and packed for next weeks trail maintenance experience.

Of course I took at least 200 more photos, when i sift through them I'll post the link.

Lastly: This morning Forrest said to me, "can you believe we did that? we drove here, from Boston, we didn't even take an airplane." Yes Forrest, I believe it. It was a long experience, but America is truly a beautiful, magnificent place.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First 900 Miles

Forrest and I left 02138 (Cambridge, MA) yesterday at 8:30am. Sometime later, and through MA, CT, NY and PA we ended at my Aunt's house between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though we arrived around midnight my love for hot air balloons propelled me awake at 6am today. My Aunt recommended we view a portion of the Mid-USA Ohio Challenge.

Perhaps I should take you back to when I first fell in love with hot air balloons. Once (as 12 year old Sara) I was stuck in the very back bench seat of the 15-passenger van owned by my parents to lug all (six) of the Gulick kids around to various campgrounds and miscellaneous after-school events. One trip, completely nauseated in the back of the van, I gazed longingly outside the window hoping for either a smaller van, less kids, or time travel. Instead I saw a hot air balloon and grabbed our video camera and filmed the (not so eventful) path of the hot air balloon. 20 minutes later i knew the giant floating nylon orb was for me. and that I'd probably get busted for wasting 20 minutes of tape and battery.

Knowing my back-story on the balloons, my Aunt recommended this mornings event, and I'm so glad she did, it was probably the most spectacular sight I've seen in a long while. At least 25 balloons emerged from the mist and floated past us, simply amazing. Photos

Tomorrow our goal is Kansas. Watch out Dorothy and Todo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finishing Touches

We checked out a baseball game at Fenway Park last Friday night, special thanks to our neighbors. There was a fight.

The next morning we had a garage sale, where we worked quite hard to earn a dollar, but were overall successful.

Now, we are frantically packing our most treasured (might not feel as treasured after we shuffle them from MA to CA to NZ) possessions into boxes and further into our relo-cube. Forrest has been doing most of the work, as I am still working. He's the greatest.

Last night my neighbors held a goodbye bbq for us. It was quite nice, and they presented me with a lovely parting gift. I will sincerely miss them.

Oh and, I have a new job! Hooray! I will be working for Opus in Christchurch New Zealand as a Senior Environmental Engineer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blue Eyes, S'Mores Cookies and Lobster

We were lucky enough to travel to Maine for the Independence Day holiday. My Aunt and Uncle have a beautiful home-away-from-home in Maine. If you'd like to check out their site and book a week please let me (or them) know.

My older sister and her family also came up from the greater NYC area. They brought the prettiest blue eyes I've ever seen, which belong to my niece, Claudia Jean. She's very lucky because her parents (and all of us) love her so much, and also her parents have lovely eyes that they have passed on to Claudia.

She tries to keep her smiles from me, that's ok. I can wait while you try a pickle, Claudia.

Also I will keep waiting for my smile while you swim in the lake.

Don't mind me, Claudia, I'll just be eating lobster and clams, and making s'mores cookies.

time for a bit of holiday merriment ...

oh yeah, Forrest was there too, relaxing.

I'm probably not going to win Aunt of the Year award with this next photo, but I find it extra hilarious. We're "celebrating" the first birthday, or practicing for the first birthday, since it technically isn't scheduled to occur until July 12. Note the "Happy Camper" bib.

But hey, this morning, I finally got my little smile. Precious.