The Blind Leading the Blind: How Not to Make an Omelet

My boyfriend, John, is always looking to me for cooking help. He knows a good amount but he assumes I know more, which I am very realistically modest about. I know what I know and I do have some sort of instinct for eyeballing measurements and the basic techniques needed for baking, because that is my specialty. I am definitely NOT an expert chef. I have a limited menu that I cook on rotation that I enjoy. The great thing about John is that he was very eager to learn and even jumps at the opportunity to chop onions for example. I wish I knew more about cooking so that I could be a better teacher but what ends up happening is what happened today on our leisurely Sunday morning, we decided to make omelets. This is what we did:

How To Not Make an Omelet:

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Shredded cheese
  • Olive oil
  • milk
  • Spray butter
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 4 small Portobello mushrooms
  • some spinach
  • 1 avocado

The Process

We chopped and diced the peppers, onion, and tomato. We ended up only using about ¼ of each pepper. We put a small pan on the stove at a high heat and poured some olive oil on it as it warmed. We occasionally stirred it as it cooked.

We put 12 eggs in a bowl with some milk and mixed it up to a good consistency. We put a larger pan on the stove and greased the pan with some spray butter we found in my refrigerator that my mom must have bought. Now we were ready for the magic.

We poured half of our eggs in the larger pan so that it covered the whole circular area. We then threw a bunch of shredded cheese on the whole thing. We grabbed a handful of spinach and put it on half of the omelet. More cheese then we put our cooked peppers, onions and tomatoes on it. We sliced our avocado in half and put some slices on it. Again all this is only on half of the surface. We eyeballed to see if the eggs we cooked. Then, the side without the veggies on it, we scrapped and folded itself onto the other side of our omelet. And there you have it…

As you can see, it’s way too stuffed. We decided for our second omelet we would roughly do the same thing just with less veggies on the inside. It was better…

I should mention that I’ve never made an omelet before. I’ve watched other people do it and just kind of faked my way through this whole experience, relying on common sense and intuition. Ultimately we concluded we used too many eggs and too many vegetables. However the whole thing was delicious but we both couldn’t finish our monster omelets. Success, we were full and satisfied with our meal.

After we cleaned the kitchen in my apartment we headed to John’s house to start a garden in the backyard. This is another situation where I might have a little more experience than John. John’s old roommate, Clifford, use to have a large vegetable garden, a small herb garden and an organic compost pile in their backyard. However Clifford moved out and his garden died and over grew. John really wanted to start fresh and get in the habit of growing some of his own food. Once we walked out into the backyard we realized we probably won’t get to gardening today. Today we were going to be clearing out the weeds and mowing the grass. Thankfully it wasn’t grossly hot and it was mostly cloudy day. I found some gloves and begun to clear out some weeds in the small garden by hand while John searched for a lawn mowed then wrestled with figuring out how to work the weed whacker. I found the place Clifford had his old compost pile and straighten up the edging.  I got tired fast and it felt like we weren’t accomplishing anything.

I went over to help with the weed whacker situation. He was having trouble finding a long enough extension cord. Together we covered more ground and took care of the problem. (Go Team John and Sarah!) Well we just gave up on getting the weed whacker to reach the back garden. (yay?) We took turns using it around the patio, touching up the small garden and fence edge and clearing a path to get to the recycling and garbage cans. (Go Team Go!) I also started straightening up the patio. It was getting late in the afternoon and we wore the weed whacker wire down to nothing. We figured we needed to make a trip to Home Depot for more supplies. We showed up to the complex only to realize how utterly dehydrated we both were. We called it a day and took a nap.

Now that we have a better idea of what we’re up against, we will be much more prepared for the backyard next weekend.

First Day of School

It’s that time of year – back to school! The smell of newly sharpened pencils, the sound of freshly cracked books, the colorful array of new clothes on children coming back for another year of education is an exciting experience not only for students but also spectators. I always get a little nostalgic when school starts again. I loved school. How can you not? I mean sure, the people sometimes sucked and the food was awful and many of the assignments were bull shit but every new year was a chance to start over again. I miss the mind-set that anything could happen and I can do anything. That hopeful innocence gets lost over time. I still feel like I can do anything but it’s different. (that’s my niece, Madeline, in the picture on her first day of Kindergarten 2009 )

In Austin regular schools start today while the Universities and Colleges start on Wednesday. The whole city had been subdued in the summer and now is a hustle and bustle of activity and people. The blinking yellow light of the school zone I was biking through caught me by surprise today. College students clutter central Austin, jay-walking and generally being obnoxious. I’m starting to feel very bitter-sweet about the whole experience. On one hand, I feel an incredible warmth for all the hopeful grade schoolers and on the other hand, I’m very annoyed and feel rather cold towards the party-hungry college kids. Does this mean I’m getting old?

I recently got a teaching/mentoring job at a High School. I will be heading an after-school film club at Travis High School. I’m really excited but a little nervous. I was a relatively good high schooler. I wanted to learn; I wanted to be there. Will my kids? What if they don’t like me? They don’t have to show up because it’s an after school program, so what if they don’t? Do I have what it takes to inspire and teach?! When I think about my favorite teachers, they were always the ones who didn’t take any shit from anyone – student, faculty or administration – they were the rebel teachers.

I worry about the state of education, especially in Texas. It seems like the state would rather spend money on roads and parks than the future leaders, our prosperity. I feel like every political topic can all come back to education. Hey you Tea Partier, You hate paying taxes – you don’t want your tax dollars to pay for some “lazy” person’s wellfare, Well maybe if we had a stronger school system then, we could possibly have a technological, medical, and industrial growth then we would have a stronger economy and we wouldn’t have as many people mooching off a social system that is made for dire conditions. That’s probably an over generalized example. How about: Hey you Pro-Lifer (that ultimately mixes up personal preference and the government’s control over your body), maybe instead of protests and bombing Planned Parenthood, maybe you could use that money to help educate young people on how to have safe sexual practice so that they don’t have to accidentlly get knocked up and get an abortion OR have the baby, not be able to provide for it, get on wellfare, work a bad minimum wage job, leave the child unsupervised, the kid grows up turns to drug and violence and ultimately ends up robbing YOU, Pro-Lifer with your VW Jetta! Wow I should stop. I’m getting worked up. BUT my point is, most problems start with kids and can be fixed with proper education.

I know my teaching job doesn’t start for another couple of weeks, and I am not a student anymore but I have an impulse to go get a new outfit and lay it out on my desk chair for Wednesday’s day at work, to organize my backpack and make sure my pencils are all sharpen.

Eating Across America

As Amy and I went through our photos from the road trip, we came across a good amount of pictures where I’m eating, or drinking or had just eaten. I guess food inspires us to take pictures. I thought it was funny, so here you have it, me eating across America…

At Little Bigs in Houston eating a slider.

Eating fried chicken in the car somewhere in Louisiana.

Drinking a piña colada on Bourbon Street.

Rocket Pop by the Reflecting Pool in DC

Chinese food in China Town in Washington DC.

Philly Cheese Stake in Philadephia…

And Eating a Pinini in a New York City deli

Yep. I like food.

Things I’ve learned while at camp (in no particular order):

The summer 2010 I did something that I will probably never get to do again, I went to camp, an all boys camp at that, at the ripe old age of 25. Part of me wished that I had gone there under the guise of a sociological study of human behavior, specially males in their gender programming as done through camp.  I feel like I could have written and some sort of great thesis paper or dissertation on this that would eventually one day get published. Maybe I would title it What Boys Do When [They Think] Girls Aren’t Around: Male Gender Programing and Behavior at Summer Camp. But alas I was not their for social science purposes and I did not collect any solid data or conduct any real surveys. I did observe many things that I thought I would share with you.

Before I get into it I did also learned a lot about myself this summer when it comes to my prejudgments of country living and people I fondly use to refer to as “townies”, people from small towns. I went completely outside myself even though I was very uncomfortable at first and I came out a better person for it.

Boys like to dance. Oh yes ladies, the boys at camp love to get down. Every cabin clean up, cookie line, rest period, commissary, and shower-time the boys would dance to whatever music we played. It was amazingly hilarious. I ended up making two dance montage videos featuring just the campers and counselors dancing. However there is a small decrease in the dancers starting with the 11-13 year olds.

Boys love pop music. This mostly refers to the younger campers but I have never heard more pop music in my life than I did at camp. All summer long I heard Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus and Tik Tok by Ke$ha and Poker Face by Lady Gaga etc.

Boys will do things without any consideration for anyone around them but themselves. Granted, the camp that I’m not allowed to mention, does try make the boys more independent and self reliant. However a lot of these boys could just be called selfish.

Boys love ‘MERICA! Seriously I’ve never been around so many people with such extreme patriotism and national pride. Some of the campers asked me one day which country I was from. I didn’t know where this was going so I answered. They seemed surprised that I was from America because “[I] don’t say the pledge [of allegiance]” in the morning. I was taken back. I explained that being an American gives me the freedom to choose to actually say the pledge of allegiance but that I do love my country and give it my respect. I am always quiet and respectful during the whole flag raising. This didn’t satisfy them because they ended up calling me a “terrorist”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnUgAaea4M&fs=1&hl=en_US]

I feel like many of the boys actually felt like this song. Fuck Yeah!

Texas Two-Step. Every Saturday night all the counselors and basically the whole town of Kerville, Ingram and Hunt go to this rodeo and country-music club called, Criders. I was very reluctant to go to this club since I’m not really a fan of country music but my friend, Kevin, convinced me to go and it was actually fun. Some of the guys even took the time to teach me how to Texas Two Step. It was fun. I genuinely looked forward to going on Saturday and drinking the $2 Bud Lite Lime.

Friendship is probably one of the most important things there is. period. I thought a lot about the nature of friendship this summer. What makes two people come together and become friends – shared interests and likes? proximity to one another? The campers that liked camp were the ones that made friends and the campers that didn’t like camp and tired to run away were usually the ones that had a harder time. Personally, I had a lot more fun once I made friends too. It’s hard being a loner when everyone around you is having fun. I really appreciate of people like Kevin (in picture with a silly mustache I convinced him was a good idea), Ashley, Katharine, Andrew, Francesco, Kile, etc. Thanks for accepting me in the camp family.

Summer Nights from Grease has a whole new meaning. At camp people hook up and have relationships. I was guilty of this myself. Let’s look…
[him] Summer lovin’ had me a blast (Yeah It was actually fun)
Summer lovin’ happened so fast (meh I dunno)
[him] I met a girl crazy for me (I was not crazy for him. He was all right)
Met a boy cute as can be (he was cute)
[Both] Summer days driftin’ away, to uh-oh those summer nights (meh)
Uh Well-a well-a well-a huh Tell me more, tell me more, Did you get very far? (umm yeah)
Tell me more, tell me more, Like does he have a car? (actually he had a truck)
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
[him] She swam by me, she got a cramp (whatever, I don’t cramp up when I swim but we did go swimming together)
He ran by me, got my suit damp (again not applicable)
[him] I saved her life, she nearly drowned (now this is a funny inside joke but he actually almost drowned the camp nurse BUT later saved a campers life)
He showed off, splashing around (he was kind of a show off but it’s cool)
[Both] Summer sun, something’s begun, but uh-oh those summer nights (meh)
Uh well-a well-a well-a huh Tell me more, tell me more, Was it love at first sight? (no. I noticed him. But once I heard him talk I hated him)
Tell me more, tell me more, Did she put up a fight? (we fought all the time)
Uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh
[him] Took her bowling in the arcade (we did play games in an arcade and we sort of went bowling)
We went strolling, drank lemonade (n/a but there was lemonade in the dining hall which I’m sure we drank at some point)
[him]We made out under the dock (not at the dock, no)
We stayed out ’till ten o’clock (it was actually more like 1:30am and then he was done for the night)
[Both] Summer fling, don’t mean a thing, but uh-oh those summer nights (this I mostly agree with)

Other people’s summer flings ended tragically in real heart ache and sadness. Thankfully mine had an understanding from the beginning. Almost all the unattached girls at camp had a guy or two. It was all interesting. Those first couple weeks were probably more telling than I realize. I wish I could go back in time and watch it.

It’s pretty easy to ride a horse. I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it was really easy to ride a horse. Granted my horse did all the work but seriously piece. of. cake. I’m probably exaggerating but I kind of felt like I could handle myself on a horse but I felt bad about it. This animal could obviously crush and kill me at any moment, why on earth did it allow people to tame him.

“One day at camp is like two weeks in real life.” There is a This American Life episode about camp which I heard awhile back and decided to relistened to it while I was at camp and it took on a whole new meaning. I understood what all the fuss is about. There really is a difference between regular people and camp people. If you’ve never really been to a summer camp then you don’t understand the weird inside jokes, the traditions and the deep friendships. Even though I’ve only known these people (my camp friends) for 2 months, I care about them and would totally back them up. “One day at camp is like two weeks in real life” is a quote from that TAL episode and it is completely true. Camp is a bubble in a time warp. The outside world only exists when the mail comes. I had no idea what was happening with the BP oil spill or anything really because I was at camp. I maybe got like 10 minutes on the internet each day, if that. All that was important was what was going on at camp, the people and drama.

The Stats (Inside Jokes):

Favorite Summer Drink: Ice water from dining hall, Bud Lime from Criders, Jam Jar Wine with Ashley and the girls.

Favorite Summer Food: Guacamole from dining hall, Chili’s Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers ® with mashed potatoes and broccoli

Favorite Summer Snack: Ice cream Snicker bars, Orange Dreamsicles, Cascadian Farms Organic Vanilla Chip Granola Bars®

Favorite Summer Activity: Swimming in the Guadalupe River then laying on the dock and letting the sun dry me while I listen to my ipod and watch the kidos play

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Day 11 of the Young & Stupid, YES! Road Trip:

Unfortunately Amy had to be at work later tonight so we left Houston in hopes to get back to Austin with a enough time for her to relax before her shift. Originally we thought we could make it all the way last night but it was better that we didn’t. The drive from Houston was comically short in comparison to what we had been doing, we were averaging like 300 miles a day but still longer than we wanted. Other than being complete exhausted, I was feeling good about being home. I went away this summer to get away from my life, to find something new and I did. Even though last summer on Jessica’s and my west coast road trip our goal was to have a life epiphany, it didn’t necessarily happen. However this summer, without even trying I think I had one. I feel like my head is clear. I’m feeling confident that I”m going to do what’s right for me. I’m going to work hard. Also on top of everything I have a new fondness for Texas and everything Texan, including me. My whole life I haven’t really been proud to be from Texas. I even taught myself to not say y’all. But after this summer in small-town Texas and then traveling across the country, I realize that Texas isn’t that bad at all. It’s actually pretty great.

More of the South: Sumter to Sara(h)land to Houston

Day 10 of ‘merica Road Trip:

I don’t want to say too much about all this because it will probably bore you. We drove and drove and drove through the eastern-southern part of the United States. We took 378 to Colombia then hit I-20 through Atlanta and Birmingham where we hit 59  so that we could hit I-12 which would become I-10 in Baton Rouge which would take us all the way to Houston.

The only thing worth mentioning about this leg of the trip is that my dad told us over and over and over that we’d have perfect weather the whole way home. Hot and sunny. Shouldn’t be a problem. And you know what, it rained for 3 states straight. Mississippi had the worse rain. So much for the Weather Channel. Thank goodness for This American Life podcasts on my ipod to take our minds off the crazy rain that hit us from all sides. The deadly rain did take our minds off being sad from the trip being over but we were both very pensive. We reflected about everything we saw and did.

Amy was not looking forward to going back home while I was looking forward to getting my life back. After being at camp all summer then going on a cross-country road trip, I was ready to start over and do things the way I want to do things. I was going to get another job and make things work in Austin or I was going to leave. I now know more cities I would like or could to live in: New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York City, maybe Nashville, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Ausitn. We when get to Houston we crash out on the beds. 

Read Amy’s post

NYC to Sumter

Day 9 of the Young & Stupid, YES! Road Trip:

Another night of no sleep and we were about to drive for 12+ hours. What.A.Mistake. I got everyone up for one final time. We were all sluggish, half because we were tired and half because it was over. We quickly packed and headed down to the car to load it up. The boys were going to catch a bus to Vermont to go stay with one of Sam’s friends. It was all happening very fast. They left us before we were even done packing the car. I gave them long hugs because I didn’t know when I would see my foreign brothers again. They were leaving. We were leaving. Amy and I had sort of took care of them and I wanted to know that they were going to be okay. I told them to call if something went wrong. Franco made some joke that made me smile. I felt like crying. Sam seemed to have been holding back his emotions. He was very short with the good bye. Amy and I were both sad.

We got on the road. Amy and I both maybe got 3 hours of sleep. Our plan was to take I95 all the way to South Carolina and then cut over to Sumter. After we got out of the city, we hit up a convenience store for gas and caffeine, Lots of caffeine. We took turns driving about every 2 hours. We were both so so so tired. I started playing some of my episodes of This American Life I had put on my ipod for this occasion. I was glad Amy liked it. She drifted in and out of consciousness while I drove and I did the same when she drove.

Somewhere in Virgina we hit traffic, stand-still traffic. It was amazing because there wasn’t even a service road to turn off to to try and avoid it. We put the car in park for awhile and traded places again. We ended up talking to the car next to us that said it was beach traffic but according to our road maps, the Virgina Beach was like 4 hours away. We went a little crazy in traffic. Thankfully we had gas. Once we started to move a little and see some civilization we got the fuck off I-95. We lost about 2-3 on our trip. We ate Chili’s and complained about I-95 and Virgina. We kept saying “What the fuck” over and over.

With our tummy’s full we got back on the road. The landscape from Virginia all the way through to South Carolina all looked the same. Trees and road. Amy and I continued to take turns driving every couple of hours. My brother, Andy, my sister-in-law, Marsha, and my dad were expecting Amy and I to be in South Carolina for dinner around 7 or 8. I had been calling my dad all day updating him on the traffic situation and I told him not to wait for us and to just eat without us. He insisted that they wait for some reason. We didn’t actually get there until about 10:30. Andy was a little cranky from being hungry. Amy and were a little sick from being in the car and were thankful for another home-cooked meal. While I caught up with Marsha, my dad talked Amy’s ear off. We ended up crashing about midnight or so, hoping to be refueled for the next day, the longer day of driving.

The (big) Apple of my Eye

Day 8 of ‘merica Road Trip:

Oh New York City, if I had more talent I would write and perform a song about you in front of everyone. We woke up ready for another great day. I was happy to get out of a king-sized bed that all four of us slept in. I ended up crashing on the floor for part of the night.  As we got ready, we all started to realize, this was also our last day together. We had to make it count. All our traveling brought us here. We went down the street to a little deli and had a lunch-flavored breakfast and headed to Time Square. Since the boys had never been here, but Amy and I both had, it actually for the first time felt like we were in control of what we were going to do for the day. The closer we got to Time Square the more we were bombarded with people stopping us to offer us stuff. I made the mistake of making eye-contact with one of them and got roped into a conversation. He wanted to “give us the opportunity” to see this great comedy show, happening later tonight – It was going to be awesome and it would only cost us $10 per person. This sounded fine but then I got more information: it turns out it’s $10 per person plus a 2 drink minimum (the catch). I playfully asked how much the average drinks were and he said, “oh only $8-12.” (Only?) When Amy and the boys heard that they started to walk away. I explained to the guy that it wasn’t worth it. He was really asking us to spend $30 per person which was ridiculous. He made some crack about that this wasn’t Texas and that we weren’t going to find another deal like that. He also started teasing Amy because she said something like “Sorry I can’t commit” and he said, ” is that why you don’t have a boyfriend” This was the last we saw of this man.

Time Square has changed since the last time I was here (summer of 2007). They seemed to have closed off a couple of the streets and built these bleachers. It’s more of a pedestrian area now. They also built a big color statue of the famous photo V-Day in Time Square (trust me you’ve seen this photo). It was all very bizarre. Also we had been telling the boys all about Virgin Records in Time Square, which we discovered had closed. I was a little conflicted: change is good and all but I miss the way Time Square use to be. I wanted to show the boys the New York that I know and loved. We didn’t have a ton of time. While the boys were in awe of the size of the buildings, the amounts of people, and the wonderful aromas of street vendors, Amy and I shopped in H&M. I love H&M and don’t understand why they can’t just build one in Texas. We did our thing and I have no idea what the boys were doing. When we finished shopping, we found that the boys had made a friend, a friend trying to sell them tickets to a comedy show. Louis is actually really cool to talk to and his comedy show will only cost us $5 per person with a 2 drink minimum where drinks cost about $5 plus Judah Freidlander was going to be doing stand up. We decide to to do it because we didn’t have any other real plans.

We were all getting a little tired but wanted to keep on truckin’ so we head to Central Park. We manage ourselves through the subway crowds to get to the park. I know how much Sam loves John Lennon so we went to Imagine and Strawberry Fields. It had been a few years since I had been there but I still knew where it was. We could have easily spend a couple of days just wandering around the park and checking out the site but again we were on a time crunch. We parked ourselves on a bench at Imagine and watched some mediocre musicians play. I was focused on some NYU film crew illegally filmming people. We walked along The Lake passing Cherry Hill towards Bethesda Fountain where there some street performers and a man making giant bubbles. Amy’s and my friend Allen, who had just recently moved to NYC was planning on meeting us so we walked back down to the more southern part of the park, down The Mall with cool statues, towards The Pond. We all laid in the grass as we waited for him, half falling asleep. When he got there we caught up. He told us all about his experiences in New York. Allen does film too. We actually graduated together. It was good to see he was doing pretty well for himself working and living in Williamsburg. Should I move to New York City?

We all headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner. We were taking the boys to Little Italy for dinner. As a weird turn of events we actually bumped into the Hungarian dishwashers from camp. It was really strange. I didn’t stop and talk to long, mostly because I was starving and really just wanted to eat. Little Italy was busting with things to do. There were all times of shops and merchants. Amy and I bought raffle tickets from some Catholic nuns for a chance to win $2500. I even bought some blessed rosaries from them as souvenirs to give. Finding a restaurant was some what of a challenge. Sam didn’t want to spend any money, I was just impatient to eat anywhere, Amy wanted some place good, on top of the fact that every Italian host to each other restaurants was begging for our business. The food was good but right after we had sat down I wished we had gone to the other place. It was a lovely meal.

Allen left us and we tried to find out way to the comedy club. We ended up calling Louis a couple of times because we were a little lost in an area we didn’t want to be lost in. The club was small but quaint. I felt like it was an authentic comedy club and not one that you’d see on Comedy Central. It wasn’t super crowded but full enough of people that we had to sit in the back. Sitting in the back is good at a comedy club because then you don’t have to be apart of the act. There was a table of girls in the front who every comedian used for material. They were from Jersey and in town because one of them was celebrating her 22 birthday or something.  Judah Freidlander didn’t show up but the other comedians were hilarious so we hardly cared.

We stayed our later than I wanted. We stumbled our way back to the hotel. If this trip were a movie, this would be the climax of the trip but it didn’t feel like it. Yes we had fun but it didn’t feel epic. We had lots of laughs and smiles but really was this it? One of my favorite things about New York City is that I feel at any moment anything can happen. It’s unpredictably beautiful and complex. Even at 2am as we walked through the Village hoping for a subway station there were a good amount of people out to ask for help.

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Philly to Jersey to NYC

Day 7 of the Young & Stupid, YES! Road Trip:

We woke up at Terrence’s parents’ house, which apparently is in New Jersey and not Pennsylvania, feeling refreshed. Well, Sam had a rough night of puking and was a little bit hung over. Actually he had blown chunks in Amy’s Styrofoam longhorn cooler that we had to inevitably throw away. Terrence flew back to Austin before we had woken up so we didn’t want to stay too long. After we hung out with Terrence’s mom, we packed up the car and headed out to check out Philly’s tourist mustsees.

It was a nice day, maybe like 80 or 90 something but not too hot and cloudy. We headed in town towards the The Liberty Bell. Navigating through Philadelphia in the day light was a little easier. We did get a little lost in Camden which apparently is a bad neighborhood but we found our way. In the sunlight I noticed that the Ben Franklin/676 Bridge is actually really nice looking. Driving over it, I fantasized about how it would be to bike over it. I miss my bike. We found the Liberty Bell at Market and 6th but parked a couple blocks down at Washington Square park. As the boys and I were feeding the meter (we only had enough for a little over an hour) Amy managed to shut the car door on her boob. It was pretty funny, not that I take pleasure in her pain. I‘m sure it hurt, I’m just not sure how something like that actually happens.

We went to the Liberty Bell park which I was a little disappointed to know that it’s in a museum that you have to wait in line to go see. The boys really wanted get some food, specifically Philly Cheese Stakes, but Amy and I wanted to just see the bell. While we were talking about all this, one of Amy’s dad’s best friends walks by and stops Amy. It was delightfully strange coincidence for them to see each other. She shot the shit with him and his wife and then we went to check out the Liberty Bell. The line was long. The boys weren’t back from their Philly Cheese Stake stand by the time we got in there. It was a cute museum. I was disappointed to read the actual history of the Liberty Bell. See the boys have been asking Amy, who has a minor in history, and me all about American history while we’ve been on this trip. I thought the Liberty Bell got it’s crack after it’s first ring which became symbolic. Amy thought it was something else, like it was hurt in a battle or something but I think she agreed with me about it broke on the first ring. While in the museum we discover that it broke gradually over time and they kept repairing it. LAME. It was very crowded but we still wanted our Liberty Bell picture, which proved harder than I thought. People were constantly walking in front of each other’s shots. We finally catch up with the boys who were stuffing their faces with Cheese Stakes. We headed back to the park to continue eating and relax a little.  It was the best Cheese Stake I’ve ever had and I don’t even like Cheese Stakes. Unfortunately, we were a minute or two late for the meter and got a $30 ticket! The worst part was we were right there the whole time. Philadelphia was not treating Amy well.

Amy flicks off Philadelphia

The last thing we had to do before we left the City of Brotherly Love, The Rocky Steps. Franco is actually a semi-professional boxer in Manchester, England, and LOVES the Rocky movies. The steps are actually apart of the Philadelphia Museum of Art which I wish we would have actually gone and seen. We all ran up them. The boys were in bliss. They loved loved loved it. After sneaking into the museum for a quick restroom pit stop and a brief combing of the gift shop for postcards, we got back in the car and got on the road.

We were close to our final destination. So close. Our spirits were high. It was my turn to drive and everyone took this opportunity to take a nap. While the boys were nodding off, I end up getting lost in some small town, Bristol. Being lost wakes everyone up and then the ridiculousness began. Amy and Franco had a fight in the car. It’s hard to describe, other than Franco pushed Amy’s seat forward so that she couldn’t move and then rubbed his gross feet all over her. It begins to drizzle and after losing an hour or so of time, we get back in route, Amy drives, taking the New Jersey Turnpike (aka I-95) all the way up to Route 3 in Northern Jersey. Amy’s Polish Grandmother, who lives in Rutherford, was expecting us for dinner.

When we get there, we are exhausted. Thankfully Amy’s amazing grandmother and uncle had made us a wonderful homemade meal, a vegetable stir fry with rice – YUM. At dinner we recapped what had happened, and what we’d seen. Amy’s grandmother told us some stories about Amy as a kid. They were very warm towards us and wanted us to stay the night but we declined. After dinner, Amy and I took a cat nap on the bed in the office. I couldn’t tell you what the boys were doing during this because I was so tired I was dead to the world. I’m sure they entertained Amy’s uncle with their stories of foreign lands. We wake up after about 45 minutes of sleep and get going to the Big Apple.

As we get closer to the city, the boys and myself were pressed against the windows staring at all the lights. I start texting people for advice on things to do and places to go in NYC. My friend Ariel who was an actress in NYC and lived in Harlem overwhelmed my phone with options and advice. Thanks Ariel. We had vague plans to stay with a friend but After our friend didn’t answer his phone, Amy got us a hotel room off 28th and 7th Ave. Amy’s friend Steven met us at the hotel because we were going out!

Steven went to high school with Amy and had moved to New York a while back. He was a great tour guide and drinking buddy. He took us to a bar that really I don’t know how to describe. It was just a bar. We drank and laughed. Some man tried to pick me up while I was playing the the juke box. I gave him some silly bands and flirted but not enough to give him the idea that he could get any where with me. We drank until closing which was 4am then stumbled back to our hotel. We said our goodbyes to Steven. You will be missed.

Amy’s Philly post

Amy’s New Jersey post

Amy’s New york post