Thursday, August 12, 2010

My new home!

I woke up this morning in Massachusetts and am officially and east coaster now!

Since I arrived last night after it was dark that first thing I wanted to do was check out the backyard.....there is a corn field in my backyard! How crazy is that?! I will definitely take a picture and post it because there are barns with corn husks in them is quite a sight to see!

I also took my first bike ride to campus and tried to get a feel for my "commute" which was fun. I live in the country....literally right around the corner from my house is a working farm that also has horses and offers horse-riding lessons. So, at least for the rest of the summer I can walk around the corner and by extremely local produce. How cool is that?!

Now Im sitting a Barnes and Noble finishing up this blog and finally getting everything updated.....Im home!

The trip was so awesome in so many ways and am so glad I had the opportunity to do it and am also really looking forward to my new adventures that await me here in Mass. We covered over 4,000 miles in 10 days and were able to see some amazing beautiful sights and see some wonderful friends of mine along the way.

Tomorrow all of my furniture gets here and i will be able to set up house which Im looking forward to. And dont worry, I will be sure to take some pictures once Im a little bit settled so you can see my new place!

Thanks for coming along for my journey and I'll see you again once Im a little more settled here in my new home of Hadley/Amherst, Mass.


Day 10-Wednesday, August 11th

The last day of our trip!!

We drove from PA to NY and managed to get into Manhattan with hardly any traffic at all! We stopped in Manhattan to have lunch with my cousin which was really fun and the location was awesome....we went to this little restaurant hidden away that’s right next to the Hudson river!

After NY we headed up to CT and stopped at one of Walker’s friend’s house to pick something up and then stopped in at my mom and Bobby’s house for a quick hello and dinner. O’Malley got to meet my favorite doggie Tillie also! :P

After that we headed up to Walker’s house and I dropped him off there, which concluded his 3 months of travel, and began my trek to my “home” is Mass.

I got there long after dark so didn’t have a chance to see the outside but unloaded everything from the car and brought it into the house and just kind of wandered around for a while....the house is really cute! I got to talk to my friend Mariko back in Cali and then went to sleep!

Day 9- Tuesday, August 10th

Because we were up so late on Monday night we definitely got a little bit of a later start than normal...but even then we were on the road my 7a! hehe

We drove to Hershey and got there at about 2:30p and the first order of business after unloading the car was a nap! After that Walker and I drove around Hershey a little bit but decided that none of the attractions were really worth it so decided to go to a restaurant and grab a drink and share a couple of appetizers.

We headed back to the hotel and after that, had some of wine, went for a swim (which was soooo nice because of how humid it was), and headed to bed. exciting, right? haha

Day 8-Monday, August 9th

We got out of Chicago this morning with minimal traffic and a couple bags of popcorn from “Garrett's” and headed to Ohio! (Garrett's is the best popcorn unbearably delicious!)

We arrived there at 4:30p or so and had just enough time to unpack the car before everyone started showing up for dinner! We stayed with Pam and Ed and they graciously invited some other people over to dinner that I wanted to see so there ended up being 9 of us over for dinner. The dinner was sooo good! (It had a little but of a California flare to it as well which was fun!) ....and we had a great time chatting through the whole meal as well.

This post unfortunately has no pictures so go along with it and from after dinner until about 2a all I did was sit and visit with people. But nonetheless, I had such a great time with each and every person that was over at the house and am so glad we were able to stop there as well.

Day 7-Sunday, Aug. 8th

Marquetta got up this morning and made us a delicious breakfast that we were able to enjoy before getting on the road this morning at about 6:30. Dan got up before we left as well to say goodbye. I love them and am so happy we got to see them on our trek across the country! ☺

It was a pretty easy drive into Chicago until we hit traffic, which was just the worst thing ever! Ok, not really....but it was still unbearably irritating!

We arrived at the Red Roof Inn here in downtown Chicago finally and I must say that this hotel is way nicer than I was anticipating! Plus, they let pets stay for free so that makes me and O’Malley happy. ☺

We met my friend Amy and her sister down at Millennium park and saw the fountains, the bean, and the concert venue that’s all down there. There is also this cool spot where you can stick your feet in the water and sit which was super refreshing! (the humidity was out with a vegence!) After being in Chicago in December, I can safely say that it looks extremely different now! ....and the weather is slightly different too ;) Here are some pics our time in Millennium park.....

first here is a picture of the river as we walked from our hotel to Millenium park

the fountains at Millenium Park (the faces blink!)

then bean! :)

us and the bean....

the bean with the city behind it

me and Walker in front of the super cool concert area!

After that we headed over to Navy Pier, rode the Ferris wheel, and basically just walked around. Oh! and had delicious churros ;) The cityscape is just so neat to look back at from the pier! In is a pic of me and Amy and her sister Grace with the city behind us.....

cool, right?!

After navy pier we said goodbye (which Amy and I were not happy about!), and Walker and I headed to the theater district and went to dinner at Peterino’s. Sooooo good! I went there back in December with my friend Craig and am so glad I went back this time as was just delicious!

Then we walked back to the hotel and got to cross over the river again....look how pretty it is!

the riverwalk at night

and now here we are....Walker is asleep as I attempt to catch up on this blog! ☺

We have just a couple of days left before I will be “home” to my new home of Mass. I’m really looking forward to getting there but definitely am planning on enjoying these last 2 ½ days or so. Tomorrow we are headed to OH, Tuesday to PA, and then Wednesday to my “home” in Ma.

And one other brief thing...O’Malley is being such a great traveler this whole time!! He has some sedatives that take the edge off which has been a great thing for all of us! So, he just chills in his crate in the car and it’s almost as if he doesn’t exist whenever we are in the car! Seriously....he is practically silent! And he’s adorable ☺ So, yay O’Malley!

next update: Beavercreek, OH

Day 6- Saturday, Aug. 7th

I can safely say that both Walker and I wished we could have stayed in the Badlands longer but we got up and were on the road by 5:15a or so on Saturday morning. We drove all the way across South Dakota, through part of Minnesota and finally arrived at our destination at 3p or so. (we also lost an hr with a time change, so it took just under 9 hrs total). I also updated my ipod the night before so I had lots of fun songs from the “Glee Soundtrack” to listen and sing along too during the drive! (I’m sure you can only imagine how thrilled Walker was...)

So, we got to Arden Hills, MN where we had the awesome opportunity to stay with some long time family friends Dan and Marquetta and had just a great time with them. We just chatted for a while about a variety of different things and sort of caught up on life a bit. Then we had dinner and headed out to the St. Croix river for a cruise on their boat. It was so fun! We got to go super fast and experience some pretty good waves and also got to see some old Mississippi river boats that were so cool looking! (they reminded me of that broadway musical “Show Boat” that my grandma took me to see when I was little). We stopped for some ice cream on the way home from Culver’s and spent the rest of the night chatting more before heading to bed. It was such a wonderful afternoon/evening together. Oh! and they have the sweetest golden retriever name Joey! O’Malley wasn’t to fond of him though.....

Here are a few pictures from our boat ride....and also Joey and O'Malley meeting for the first time

Marquetta and Dan gearing up the boat for us!

The old Mississippi River steam boat

The gorgeous St. Croix river :)

us getting ice cream at Culver's

O'Malley and Joey....not quite love at first sight ;)

next stop: Chicago!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 5-August 6th

It is so hard to keep up on all of this blogging! haha--I'm going to try my best and get caught up now that we are officially back into civilization! ;)

ok, Day 5--that was Crazy Horse, Needles Highway, and the Badlands

Crazy Horse was interesting...we got there just after 9a which made it really nice because we beat most of the crowds.

They have an orientation video that you watch first and then there is a Native American museum followed by more info about Crazy Horse and the guy behind it (sorry, I cant remember his name), a museum of his home and also the sculpting studio. Overall it was really neat, although--it's not really comparable to Mt. Rushmore. Perhaps the patriotism behind Mt. Rushmore tugs at the heart strings a little more or maybe since Crazy Horse isnt actually finished Im not as excited about it. But, it still is cool and is really amazing. The statue is just huge! It appears smaller than it actually is, but you have to remember that the statue is like a mile away. Here are a couple of pictures:

what Crazy Horse looks like today

what it looks like with a scaled sculpture in front of it

and how it's all going to fit on the rock when it's finished!

Anyways, after Crazy Horse we headed back to our little cabin, loaded up and drove Needles Highway on our way out of town. Needles Highway was definitely cool and Sylvan lake at the top was super pretty!
here is a pictures from needles highway...
there are "needles" like this one all the way up the mountain!

and here is Sylvan Lake, which is what you see
at the top of needles highway. so pretty! :)

Then we drove to the Badlands....this drive was only about 3 hours which made is really nice considering a lot of our days have been between 6 and 10 hours of driving. So, I took a nap for part of the way there and woke up just in time to go to Wall Drug!! Wall Drug is HUGE!! I imagined it to be one store, but no--it has basically turned into a version of a mall except you are in the middle of nowhere in Wall, SD.

"thumbs up" from Wall Drug in Wall, SD

After Wall Drug we headed into Badlands National Park and were immediately blown away but the was GORGEOUS. Unbelievable, in was unreal! I immediately started snapping pictures and was so so so glad we decided to make this one of our stops. (thanks Jana!) We checked into our cabin, and shortly after decided to go on a hike. So we went out on the "Notch Hike" and I once again was blown away at how beautiful it all was. Here are some pictures! (sorry if its too was just so cool looking!)
one of the views as we were driving into the pretty!

more driving into the park....

Walker at the beginning of our hike!

me and the Badlands.

the beautiful canyon at the end of our hike.....

So, after finishing up the GORGEOUS hike we headed to the restaraunt at the lodge and each had a buffalo indian taco. Its fry bread with seasoned buffalo meat and other good! Super intense though...we were barely able to finish! See the pic?! :)

indian buffalo taco!

Went back to our cabin after that and relaxed until we felt tired enough to go to sleep and hit the pillow hard after setting the alarm for stop: Arden Hills, MN!

(note: I have everything all written up through today but need to upload pictures onto my computer so hang tight for the Arden Hills and Chicago update tomorrow.)