Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Before I forget

Oscar had a moment and I replay it in my head a thousand times and I hope I never forget it, but just in case, I want to write it down.

While we were at the Smithsonian of American History we were wandering around an exhibit. An older child, maybe 8 years old, came bounding through and jumped high into the air and reached up to touch the archway between 2 rooms.

Oscar watched this (he loves to watch older children) and his expression was of utter delight watching this boy jump high into the air.

Oz then squatted down and tried with all his might to lift himself into the air. His eyes shut tight and smiling big and threw his arms wide open. I know behind his shut eyes he was doing the exact thing he saw the older boy do.

He used so much energy just thrusting himself he almost lost his balance, but steadied and grinned so big at me and Griff. It was one of the most magical things I had ever seen.

From Pennsylvania, I update You

Eventually I will add photos and talk about the different places we've been. Promise. For the moment, it's just general updatey-ness.

First, We have really loved Pennsylvania. It's been so lovely (even when it's been raining) and yeah, it's some place we will definitely be coming back to.

Unfortunately, we are in some sort of sucky limbo because of some bitch storm going by the name of Irene. (I've always hated that name). I know I should be more concerned about the potential damage, but at the moment, while we have pretty blue skies, all I can think about is how this is ruining our route.

After consulting the map I discovered we are *RIGHT* next to Jersey so kinda in the projected path of the storm. We are here for another 2 nights and then I guess we will be making our way further inland. *sighs* I guess we'll try and see Northwest Penn and maybe that side of New York and the Niagra Falls a bit early. Originally, we would be seeing those things after coming down from Maine to Vermont and start heading out west. Now we thinking of going backwards, hoping the storms aren't too bad and then backtracking around and heading West.

In my best Charlie Brown impression I say "UUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGG".

In other news, we are in a heavy debate about the cloth diapering situation. The biggest problem is cost. It costs about $5 for one load of diapers. That's not factoring in the cost of washing our other clothes. Just the diapers. Which is a lot every few days. We've been doing a few days of sposies just to have a break from it all. The smell is another thing to try and keep down. I try to not do a load till I have 2 bags full, because one bag is a lot of money to spend and 2 bags is a lot of smell. So I just don't know at the moment. I'm not ruling them out completely yet, but Griff is most certainly ready to.

The Grovias ARE out tho. Seriously, they are not a camp friendly diaper. It takes way too long for the inserts to dry, and if it's not a fabulously sunny day, you can pretty much forget it (and that's AFTER letting them dry a cycle in a dryer! seriously, they takes ages!).

And, that my friends, is all I have for the moment. I want to post a blog about Natural Bridge and Amish Dutch Country and the Philadelphia Maze we went thru, but I only have so much time. They are all on my To-Do list.

O and I've FINALLY had time to start knitting. Thank Maude....

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Learning our Lesson

Well, we did it again. Last night we were driving around until almost 1030 looking for a place to rest our weary heads. We should have gotten our first clue when all the campsites we rang up were booked up for the weekend. When we finally made it into Lancaster ("I guess we'll just get a hotel for the night...") Every. single. one. was booked up.

I asked a guy at the first hotel we looked at what was going on that it would be so busy. He didn't know. No one knew. The only thing anyone could figure was that it being the last weekend before school is back in, everyone has decided to try for one last summer fling. In Amish Country? Okay.

So we found a room at a hotel and paid way more than we wanted to. Sucks. I was able to soak my back in a hot bath for awhile. Why are hotel bath tubs so shallow? It's cruel. I could only soak for about 15 minutes.

Bizarrely, Ozzy sleeps better out in a tent then in a hotel. When we're camping he just settles down and goes straight to sleep. Last night he was beyond tired and didn't know if he wanted to play/sleep/cry/nurse and I finally just fell asleep and let Griff sort it. Oz was happy to just flick lights on and off for about 10 minutes and then settled to sleep.

We were going to go straight into Amish territory, but checkout is not until 12 and we figured letting Ozzy have one more good nap in a bed would be a good thing. SO there ya go...

I hate looking for a place to sleep at night. It puts me into a mild panic. I like to know my surroundings by daylight and at night it's just too disorienting. I'm sure this won't be the last time, but I hope it doesn't happen again for awhile.

Busy Days

Wow. It's really hard to blog on the road. We'll have days of being with internet access and then have none. But even then, internet is for a kick check of facebook and gmail and then it's on to doing something else. I will recap the best I can.

From Virginia we made our way to Baltimore, but it was a bit further out from DC then we liked. So we stayed a night in a Comfort Inn (which was nice because it was a Sunday so I was able to watch the new episode of True Blood and wash some diapers) then in the morning we did a bit of backtracking to the KOA outside of DC. There was call for rain so we spent the extra money and stayed in a Cabin. It was cute and had a little porch swing on the front porch. We were able to still cook all our meals, so it was kinda camping, kinda not. But our days went like this:

Wake up
Cook breakfast
Eat Breakfast
Make Lunch
Clean up
Get dressed
Head to the station
Metro into DC
Tourist Tourist Tourist
Head back to camp
Go to bed.

Rinse, repeat. It's go go go and it's hard to find a minute of quiet, but it's becoming clear that while it's important to go, it's important to rest. Especially for Ozzy.

After DC we made our way into PA and stayed at a really lovely park that I do no remember the name of. But we freakin' loved it. Much more scenic than KOA but still had bathroom facilities. Unfortunately while playing ball with Ozzy my back went out and I was stuck jack knifed over the car trying to convey to Griff that I was freaking the fuck out and couldn't stand up straight without scaring Oz. It sucked so badly and I was out the rest of the day in tent.

I'll take a minute to tell you how awesome my husband is. He did everything he possibly could to make me as comfortable as I could be. He went above and beyond to entertain and keep Oz happy, while also cooking and cleaning up camp. He is not afraid to step up and take care of his son and knows what he is doing. I have no idea what I would do without him. ANYWAYS....

While we had to cabin at KOA expecting rain, there was no rain. While camping in the park DID WE HAVE RAIN. I've heard the term "rolling thunder" but never really experienced it until you are sitting and listening to thunder nonstop going for a good 2o minutes. It was absolutely amazing. Oz was such a trooper tho. He wasn't afraid of the thunder at all, even when the storm was right on top of us. I wish I could say I slept better for it, but I didn't.

Backtracking a second, let me tell you about DC. It was a hard 3 days in the city and we STILL didn't see everything we wanted to. We are definitely going to go back (if anything, I need to see the staircase from The Exorcist!). We learned that the stroller is actually better than the moby in long day in the city trips and packing a lunch and taking it into the city is the way to go! O and buying bottle water OUTSIDE the city. We made that mistake only the once and never again.

Today we were in PA visiting some of my "imaginary" friends and bebehs and it was another nice relaxing day. My back is still fucked, but I can stand up straight so that's better, right? We are going to tough it out and camp out for 2 more days. I'm a crazy person and I want a hotel on sunday so I can watch True Blood. Priorities, eh?

Things to remember for Virginia

Next time we come to Virginia want to remember a few things.

1- Stay in Charlottesville longer and really enjoy their downtown! It's hella cute!

2- Take the Skyline Drive up to Winchester

3- Take a wander around Winchester. Patsy Cline lived there! PATSY, people, Patsy. What the hell. I'm still kicking myself...

4- Get a "Virginia is for Lovers" sticker for Loretta's hat.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

So we broke a few "Rules"

I'll start by saying that we went up Charlottesville VA to meet/visit a friend and her family and it was awesome. I thought Charlottesville was adorable and I now want to take my little sister up there and go camping. I will make her enjoy it (no seriously, I think she will).

We needed a roof rack. We have been packed like sardines in the car, hoping we could make it work, but we just couldn't. So we spent a good 2 hours trying to find one. Dick's Sporting Goods had 2 but couldn't find the keys to unlock them. The Subaru dealership wanted $500 (!?!?!??!) for one plus installation costs. Finally we found the perfect one at Sears, ON SALE and was easy to install. We call it "Loretta's Hat".

So then we decided to go a bit out of our ways to see Dinosaur Kingdom in Natural Bridge. Natural Bridge is weird, but a good kind of quirky weird. Their attractions consist of some caverns (that we didn't go see, because the country is full of caverns and I really would like to see the caverns in Carlsbad again, and I'm assuming if you've seen one cavern, you've probably seen em all. I could be wrong tho). ANYWAYS, their other attractions included Dinosaur Kingdom, a Haunted House, a Wax Museum (with a factory tour!) and a toy museum. O, and Foamhenge (like Stonehenge, but made of foam). We did 3 of these. Dino, Haunted and Foam. They were all awesome and completely worth the trip out.

But the plan was to see these things and then head up to the outskirts of DC and set up camp. So we started driving and realized we are not going to make it to camp before dark. Not good, and against one of our "Rules". So we decided we'd drive till we felt like stopping, eat dinner and stay in a hotel for an evening. We had said we'd do a hotel when we wanted/needed it, so no biggie.

During our drive we were caught in a HUGE rain storm. I'm talking driving down the interstate at 30 with hazzards on rainstorm. Not fun at all, but it made us all the more happy we weren't camping because that would have sucked. So we sorta dodged a bullet there.

So we find a Cracker Barrel and stop for dinner. I had chicken fried chicken with a side of fried okra and steak fries (to dip in the gravy). SO GOOD. mmmmmmmmm. Then we pull into a hotel for the night. Only they are all booked up. What the hell? It's not like we're near anything important. So we pull into the next. AGAIN. All booked up.

Apparently the 40 miles garage sale was going on this weekend and EVERY hotel in the 40 mile radius was completely full up. Not good. Oz was seriously done with being in the car and he has acquired the highest squeal EVAR. I was on complete edge and feeling sick, hearing his cries an it till us close to an hour to finally find a hotel to stay in. A bit more than we wanted to pay, but we got a good night's sleep. And thereyago.

O The Rules. We had said we would never do the late night driving not knowing where we'd stay and have Oz all stressed out. *sighs*

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Virginia is for Lovers

Greetings from our Road Trip! I am currently sitting in a Starbucks in Richmond, VA trying to not look like a complete douche by typing on the laptop. I'm probably not succeeding. I'm sure people trying to enjoy their frappacino's are a little annoyed at a very hyper Oz as well. Ah well. What can you do?

So the drive up was pretty uneventful, but that's a good thing, right? AMAZINGLY, Oscar slept most of the journey up, which was awesome.

Once we got into Richmond it was close to 630 so we had to find the KOA campground site we had a reserved a tent site for the night. I know, I know, KOA is hardly rustic, but considering we have 0 camping skills between us, it seemed like a good idea to start our journey at. We got the tent up with no problems and started cooking up dinner, which was a chicken/cheese/saucey/bread crumb mix. It was good, and I only burned one side just a bit. Totally edible :D Oz even ate the chicken so I took it as a good sign.

Unfortunately, Oz wasn't a fan of the site itself and he was a bit freaked out during the evening and just wanted to be held. By the end of the evening he was happy to be in the tent, and he laid down to nurse with me easily and was asleep by 930, with Griff and I to follow by 1030. We woke up bright and early at 7 and it was LOVELY.

Seriously, we had such a great morning. Oz woke up dancing to the alarm clock, it was nice and cool outside. Griff and Oz had a shower and then after getting Oz dressed I was able to take one (see, another KOA perk!). Then we set to cooking breakfast. Griff made us tea and set out some blueberries for Oz, which he of course devoured. Then we had french toast. YUM. It was a great morning and we were set to head into the city by 1030 and it was just starting to get a bit warm.

Overall, I'm sorry to say, I don't really like Richmond. The city is laid out wacky and is difficult to get around. We went to the Edgar Allan Poe museum and the Museum of the Confederacy; which I felt weird about at first but we enjoyed it. History is history, even the parts that make us uncomfortable. Ozzy was SUPER loud in there tho, which makes me a bit anxious about taking him to the Holocaust museum in DC. So we finished the day early, allowing me time to blog some and then we are heading to the store to pick up dinner for tonight.

I think we may pick up a roof rack for the car tho. Our car is uncomfortably pack like a sardine. I thought we were over packing, but hell, we're packed for about 3 months and it's pretty minimum compared to what I've seen people back for a weekend at the beach before! SO hopefully today we'll get a roof rack and an electric blow-up-the-mattress-thingy.

We have a few more things to see in Virginia and then it's off to DC!!!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Simon Pegg doesn't like to talk about himself. He really doesn't and tells you straight from the start. So how does a memoir written by someone who guards their privacy work? Well, surprisingly well. Pegg waxes nostalgic a lot about his childhood and how his belief in chaos theory- all the interests he had and choices he made- brought him to the point he is at now.

But in my opinion, the book shines when Pegg talks about the things he loves. Like Star Wars and zombie movies, and being a fan of those myself (who also studied film theory as a major at university) it was hands down the best part. Honestly, if Pegg just decided to write a book about films and general geekdom it probably would have been a more interesting read.

Because there was some disappointment. It took so long for him to finally start writing about his professional career, and when he finally did it was highly glossed over quickly and then the book ended. As a huge fan of both Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, I think he could have written more about those times without pointing the finger at anyone who maybe was less than stellar to work with.

Gossip-y Hollywood Memoir it is not. Which was nice, but there wasn't a lot of substance as far as his professional career is concerned either. Oddly enough, when it was over I didn't feel like I had wasted my time, I kinda just wanted to sit down the pub and talk Star Wars.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Countdown (the sequel)

So we are leaving on Tuesday. Originally it was going to be Monday, but due to finances and the bank it will now be Tuesday. We said we were going to make our first stop Roanoke Island in North Carolina, but we've decided to spend the first day booking it thru NC and straight into Virginia. The logic being, if we live in South Carolina, we have a lot of years ahead of us to spend time in NC. I've been busing myself with buying a few last minute essentials (boots, fan, book-bag etc) and laundry. I need to still finish mapping out some of Virginia/DC/Pennsylvania. I am so ready to hit the road I can hardly stand it!