March 15, 2012

Doll Arms and Chicken Wings

Our move is over. As we were packing up our stuff at the old apartment and the movers were emptying out our home, I started giggling, wondering what it will be like when we do this the next time - except our stuff we'll be going into storage and we'll be heading out on The Trip. EGADS!

We're in the new place. And it's....fine.

Truth be told, I'm warming up to the new apartment. I even like it a little. But it took some serious TLC to get me there. Among the obstacles to true affection: 19th century drapes, Rug Doctor, hornets, rotten refrigerator, 20 year-old dust, door removal, naked baby cherubs. Put lightly - the apartment was a disgusting mess when we got here. We have been cleaning for 10 days. No joke. But we got a new refrigerator out of our landlord, so that was helpful. And the slats on our mini blinds are seeing the light of day after 20 long years buried under dust and grime.

Because of the move, we've been a bit distracted about the trip, but it's back to focusing now. We made the decision to leave SF in early September (instead of October), so that was exciting. And now, I give you Part III of our cross country adventure. (If you want to review, check out Part I  and Part II.)

After we leave Chicago, we'll drop down into Indiana and hopefully make a pit stop in Indianapolis to visit a friend we haven't seen in years. And there is NO WAY we are getting out of the state without visiting a few places.

Oh hello, traveler.
Conner Prairie, Indiana

I really can't resist historical town replicas. We used to go to Olde Towne Missouri (what's with the extra E's?) when I was in school and, while other kids rolled their eyes, I completely dorked out and intently listened to stories of butter churning and wagon trips. I loved it. So, Conner Prairie would be a great pitstop - and they do actually have actual people dressed like the Prairie peeps, but I would have been just as happy (if not more) with wax statues everywhere.

The maid is efficient, but she lacks conversation skills.
Museum of Miniatures, Indiana

Not far from Connor Prairie is the Museum of Miniature Houses. Creepy, right? I hope there's a room that's called the Doll Hospital and has scary doll parts lying around. 

After our thrilling time in Indiana, we'll cross into Ohio (which is not in the Midwest) and visit friends, Tony and Cara, and their daughters, in Columbus. Then I'll do something I've always wanted to do. I'm going to walk down Middle Path at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. That's where Tom went to college along with a great group of guys (and gals, Bernie!), and I've never been. It's one of the things I'm most excited about. I want to eat in the dining hall and visit the football field and listen to funny Tom stories.
Middle Path - The whole campus is ridiculously gorgeous. 
Then we'll drive on to Cleveland (I hear it rocks) to visit Tom's BFF (though I don't think Tom uses the phrase 'BFF') Terry and his wife, Emily, who we love. We might drive up to Terry's family's cabin at Lake Chautauqua, NY, for a weekend. They got married there and I'd love to visit again if the timing works out. From there, we're high-tailing it to NYC. There doesn't seem to be much of interest between Chautauqua and NYC, so my goal will be to find the best chicken wings.
This pic has me salivating. Seriously.
In NYC, we'll visit more friends (Brian and Carrie!!!) and Tom's dad and also spend some time in Tom's hometown, New Canaan, Connecticut, visiting the rest of his high school crew. And then we'll try to make it from NYC/CT to Wilmington, NC, in a day or so - making a quick stop in Philadelphia and DC to see friends. Tom's mom, Maria, lives in Wilmington, NC, and I've always wanted to visit, (more on that here), but she comes out to see us often enough that I've never made it out there. We'll spend a week or so with her and, hopefully, our friends, Mark and Kat, will drive up from Raleigh, NC, to spend some time with us. North Carolina is our last stop before we leave the country, so I'm sure we'll be making last-minute purchases and checking our vaccinations. (Ugh - more on vaccinations later.) I'd love to visit some of the beautiful beaches in the area before we go. We'll be leaving our car and a few important things (nice artwork, computers, etc...) with Maria for the duration of our trip. Then we'll leave NC to fly out of DC or NYC to India. I can't imagine how we'll be feeling before we head off. I can't wait.

So that's the American portion of The Trip, consisting of 17-ish states, lots of friends, and a TLC Show's worth of roadside attractions. I'm really excited about the chicken wings.

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