Philadelphia and New York

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005:

me: i’m driving to new york tomorrow
cal: Gee…
me: 16 hours of driving. it’ll rule!
cal: what for?
me: with 2 kids!
cal: That’s a long drive to make out with a chick
me: nah, this is for the kids. i could make out with a chick after they leave.
cal: Sure it is
cal: The kids LOVE New York
me: it is. i’m moving to oregon. they won’t have many more opportunies to see nyc.
me: free lodging makes it affordable
cal: Sounds like a pretty good rationalization

Like I would drag the kids 16 hours in the car to a place they don’t want to go just so I could see a girl. This vacation is 100% for the kids. I only have them for another 20 days and I wouldn’t go and waste a week of those days if I didn’t think they wouldn’t enjoy it. Like I can’t just go and see Jammie in September. The kids and I sat down and discussed where to go and NYC is the place that all of us decided on. I didn’t talk them into it. Cal has known me for 1/3 of my life. I challenge him to come up with 1 example of me putting a girlfriend before the kids. Cal is my best friend and I love him. But what a fucking jerk.

So all that aside…I’m leaving for NYC tomorrow. We’ll most likely make 1 stop for the night instead of driving straight through. I’m trying to find a good place to stop in between. Jammie recommends Philadelpia but that’s still 14 hours from Alton. I’m looking for more of a 1/2 to 2/3’s of the way to NYC kind of place to stop. I’m guessing it will either be somewhere in Ohio or western Pennsylvania.

Thursday, August 11th, 2005: Woke up at 6:30am and was on the road by 8:00am. The kids were great in the car – just played video games and watched TV mostly. We watched (well, I listened mostly) Austin Powers, Ozmosis Jones and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. For lunch we stopped at a Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio. The trip went by surprisingly fast. Made it to Somerset, PA around 8:30pm and found a hotel. Tomorrow we’re planning to hang around in Philadelphia for awhile, then get to NYC in the evening.

Friday, August 12th, 2005: Drove to Philadelphia. It took about 3.5 hours to get there. Then getting through downtown traffic took another 30 minutes. Finally found parking and started walking towards the Liberty Center. Security was insane. They had sections of grass all blocked off and were screening people and making them go through a metal detector just to walk up to the Liberty Bell. The line was super long so we decided to skip it. We got a glimpse of the bell through a window. Went to a visitors center and looked around for awhile, then got on a tour bus which gave us all the basics of Philadelphia in about 80 minutes. It even drove into the Delaware river.

Emily on the tour bus/boat Payton and me on the tour bus/boat
This is Dana Barett’s apartment from Ghostbusters. The one that the marshmellow guy attacked. Taking a break from our walk back to the car.

After the tour, we got back in the car and left the city. As we approached the end of New Jersey I missed my exit and instead of turning around, I just decided to take the next one. This took me into the Lincoln Tunnel which made my very first New York experience involve dealing with Manhattan traffic. I’ve done plenty of big city driving before but I’m pretty sure I never want to drive through Manhattan ever again. We got to Jammie’s house around 8pm. Our total drive was just under 1,000 miles and gas cost approximately $85.86. I may have forgotten to get a receipt once so maybe it was more like $100 even. But still, not too bad considering gas prices were between $2.00 and $2.50 per gallon.

Saturday, August 13th, 2005: Me Jammie and the kids spent all day in NYC. After having some breakfast/lunch at Mcdonalds, we went to the seaport and watched a bunch of street performers, visited an 18th/19th century toy display, bought a few souvineers, looked around a Sharper Image store, visited Toys R Us (the largest in the world, Jammie claims) and ate supper at Mars 2112 which was a cool Mars-themed restaurant. Got home at 10pm, all nice and exhausted. Jammie gave me my very own Metrocard today! She’d lost hers earlier in the month, then found it. So I get the extra one to use all week.

Jammie and an alien from the restaurant Walking back to the Subway from Mars 2112 Alien guy and Toni share a cigarette after a hard day in NYC

Sunday, August 14th, 2005: Jammie, me and the kids spent all day at the science center in Jersey City. Stopped by a pizza place in Jersey City for dinner, then back to Jammies.

Payton was really into this computer that drew things with a laser. Emily and Jammie playing virtual vollyball with some blue screen video game thing

Payton and a lizzard Jammie holding a live cockroach

Monday, August 15th, 2005: Worked a bunch this morning while the kids played on the net and watched TV. We drove to McDonald’s for breakfast, then went to the park and for a long walk around the neighborhood. Around 5 we took the subway to Jammie’s work to pick her up and I got introduced to a few of her coworkers. Walked around Union Square for awhile, played at the parks, then Jammie took us to see Slava’s Snow Show at Union Square Theatre. It ruled and the kids loved it. Near the end of the show, there was a blizzard in the theater, which is why most of the pictures below have tons of “snow” in them. After that we stopped at some cafe for sandwhiches. Got home at midnight.

We were the last few people in the theater before we left At the cafe afterwards

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005: The kids and I spent most of the day visiting the Statue of Liberty. Then we walked forever to find some kind of Sony Wonder place that Jammie suggested but it ended up closing right as we got there. Hung out on the sidewalk for about 30 minutes, then went and found Jammie.

Kids posting with some guy in a Liberty costume in Battery Park This is about the best I could do with a picture of Emily and Payton in front of the statue. A slightly better shot of them in front of the Statue while taking the boat home. Even though it’s the back of the statue. Posing on some immigrant statue.

We all went to downtown to meet RTF and Murd0c. After nearly a decade of knowing RTF, I finally got to meet him. And after meeting murd0c this time, I didn’t end up fleeing the state in fear of the police. So it all worked around really good! I also got to meet I-ball, MikeTV, Enamon and RTF’s sister Fina.

We hung out for a few hours at some restaurant, which I’m told is the 2600 hangout after the 2600 meetings. At some point, Jammie and Emily left for about 45 minutes to play in some nearby park. RTF presented me with a framed original drawing of his winning entry from one of the PLA contests. And I presented everyone else with old school PLA stickers.

Me, Jammie, Murd0c, RTF and Emily Murd0c, Mike TV and RTF I-Ball desperately trying to connect to a wireless network.

Murd0c & Emily use the golden pay phones Me being gay with murd0c RTF, me and murd0c

Payton battling RTF outside the restaurant Emily and Jammie Emily, Jammie and Payton on the train home.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005: Did nothing all day until Jammie got home from work at 3pm. Then went to Breezy Point and spent the evening at the beach. Had dinner with Jammie and her dad at a pizza place.

Emily boogie boarding Jammie boogie boarding

Thursday, August 18th, 2005: Jammie’s dad took the kids to some science center/museum thing today while I hung around the house. When they got back, I took the kids to Central Park to meet up with Jammie. Hung out with her for about 45 minutes, then she had to leave for a concert. The kids and I wandered central park for another hour and rode the carosel. Took a train to Times Square and had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, stopped by Mars 2112 to pick up a new plush alien (Payton lost the one he bought earlier in the week), stopped by a pharmacy for asprin (I’d had a headache all afternoon), then hung out in Toys R Us (the biggest in the world) for about an hour.

Taking a rest in Central Park Times Square

Took a train back to Central Park and eventually met up with Jammie after her concert ended. Got to meet her friend Rob and some other guy whose name I can’t remember. Walked to the train station and went home. We were all 4 extremely exhausted and fell asleep immediately after Futurama.

Friday, August 19th, 2005: The kids and I went to Jammie’s work to pick her up, then she took us to the Empire State Building. Got back home by about 5 or 6pm and stayed home the rest of the evening since we’re all pretty much exhausted from our busy week.

Saturday, August 20th, 2005: Jammie’s dad took us all out for a goodbye breakfast. Said our goodbyes and got on the road by noon. Managed to get through Manhattan traffic in just over 20 minutes this time. Drove until about 9:00, then found a motel in Ohio.

My synopsis of the vacation: New York rules, Jammie rules and her dad rules. And everything just rules. I think my only real complaint about New York would be the traffic. I’ve never driven in a place where people have such complete disregard for traffic laws. You’ll see an entire block of people double-parked and people constantly cut you off or force you out of your lane. Driving is just insane there. But they make up for it with awesome public transportation so I guess it all works out. Thanks, Jammie, for creating such a kickass vacation for us! Now to update my map

Sunday, August 21st, 2005: Got back to Illinois at about 8pm. Or maybe it was 7. These time zones confuse me. Didn’t do anything the rest of the evening, just picked up my mail at the neighbors, drank milkshakes and watched TV.

One comment

  • Sounds fun. I wish I could go to New York for HOPE this month, but even though I can pay for plane tickets, there’s no way I could afford a hotel room. Any suggestions?

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