Monday, January 31, 2011

Yard Art

We have run this particular route through Upstate New York several times.
Today, Tony was driving and I was able to get the camera out to capture this awesome yard art.

How does one even go about getting a piece of a train into their yard?

Here is a close up.

Yep . . . 
It is a real locomotive.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Bad Sign

This is one of the worst signs we can see . . . 

This sign was encountered on a "go around" route to avoid going through a tunnel with a load of hazmat.  


Luckily, there was enough room to avoid the edge and instead we just took up the entire middle.

Cuz' our truck and trailer are 13' 6" tall.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dreams . . .

This is the kind of thing that clutters my dreams.
I love color
I love fabric
I love buttons
I love thread
I especially love rick-rack.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Did I mention that it was COLD while we were visiting DC.  We wore light jackets the first day and froze!

Pulled out the work coats for day two.

Certainly not fashionable, but we were warmer.


we didn't wear the bib overalls that go with our coats.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Noodles . . . I Dream of Noodles

The second day we were in DC, it was COLD COLD COLD
Seriously cold.
We got up fairly early and headed out without eating any breakfast and when we arrived downtown to face the arctic blast, we both agreed that a bowl of noodles would help get us on our way.

With the help of the iPhone and a very nice tourist helper stationed outside the Metro, we made our way to the perfect hole-in-the wall Chinese food place
China Express
What a horrid name
What sublime noodles!
The man in the picture is making handmade noodles.
They were light and silky and almost fluffy.

I also loved the hanging meats.  The cook was slicing off bits to be used in the dishes.

We were warmed up enough to face the cold to hike around the memorials and reflecting pool.
Good noodles will do that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Washington DC Color

We spent some time in the China Town area in Washington DC.
Great Color
Great Food
Wonderful atmosphere

Not nearly as many people as New York City.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

National Portrait Gallery

Our very first stop in Washington D.C. was the National Portrait Gallery.

What a treasure.

We totally lucked out and got to join a Docent's Tour with only ourselves plus 3 others.
He walked with us for an hour and gave us such insights into the pieces.

This Clinton Portrait was an absolute stunner.

I am always drawn to artwork that is just a bit different than the norm.  How great is this piece up close!

We really enjoyed this afternoon. 
There is soooooo much to see here - we will make more time on another visit.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wrong Turn

One of the perils of driving a tractor trailer in the NorthEast is that the roads are TINY.
These roads were made for much smaller vehicles (think horse and cart here).  
The Interstates are good and most of the US highways are useable, but certainly not all.
We made a wrong turn in Pennsylvania and ended up on an extremely iffy, narrow roadway.
As we were paused and figuring out where we were going and what our plan might be,
I looked out the window and saw this . . . 

Just sitting there in a row between two houses.  I couldn't get out and get up close, but the stones were very thin and fragile looking.

This one reads:
In memory of 
Susannah Hartzel
Consort of Gen. Hartzel
was born Nov. 15, 1795
and departed this life
July 25th 1834
Aged 40 years
8 months
and 10 days

I found it interesting that she was listed as a "consort" instead of a wife.  I also noticed that all of the headstones in the row listed the departed's age fully in years, months and days.

Hauntingly beautiful in the cold snowy landscape of Pennsylvania. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

OMG . . . Keep Your Fingers Crossed

We might be on our way to a 2 day layover in WASHINGTON D.C.
We will be BOBTAIL.


"No, I'm not excited. Why do you ask?"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Real Job

I know by my recent posts that it seems like all we do is drive around the country eating at wonderful places and having great tourist adventures.
Not so.
Driving our 80,000 lb, 70' long truck around the country really is a full time job.  
Tony and I just finished a round trip from Wilmington, NC to Minneapolis, MN and back again.
No showers
No laundry
No eating out
Lots of bad weather
Truck repair

Really - we do drive 


It's just not that fun to talk about.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dear America

I have always strived to keep this blog away from politics and political issues.
I am going to make a step in that direction - I feel it is important.

So here it is . . . . .

Dear America,
Let's stop this atmosphere of fear and unbearable political division.
We live in the greatest country on the planet and it works because we are all allowed to have our own beliefs and express them in appropriate ways.
But why must we strive to fall into this atmosphere of "FEAR"?
Barack Obama is our elected president.  He is not the devil and he is not evil.  He is not going to load us all up into cattle cars and send us to some horrible end.  He will not create "Death Panels" to knock off senior citizens.  He is a man who knowingly took on a horrible mess and is trying his best to find a center lane that we can all embrace and find our way out of this horrible economy and more horrible war.

Nancy Pelosi is not "That Bitch", she was the House Majority Leader and her job was to get her ELECTED Congressional Majority Party's agenda put forward.  She did that very well.
Equally, John Boehner is not some "Weird Colored Tool for Big Business".  Again, he is the leader of the ELECTED Congressional Majority Party and his job is the same as Nancy Pelosi's was.  It is a thankless job and they are the forward point which receives a lot of pressure both negative and positive.

Fox News is listed as an ENTERTAINMENT channel.  It is NOT a news channel.  I won't ask you not to watch it (I do occasionally), but balance it with some other sources of real news.  Try the networks or even CNN - they seem to do a fairly good job of covering all sides of an issue.  And if you watch Fox, give The Daily Show and Jon Stewart a chance every once and awhile.  He is entertainment as well, but often provides needed criticism and thought provoking looks at the major issues of the day.

And finally - Sara Palin needs to SHUT UP and be shut down.  She has almost single handedly instigated more contention and hatred in this already charged atmosphere than any other political figure.
Enough with the targets and guns and references to reloading.  The woman cannot even speak a coherent sentence.  Yes, she is cute and spunky and has a horrible train wreck of a life that we are all obsessed with, but she really needs to 
SHUT THE F%#K UP!!!!!!!!!

I have friends and family with political and religious views of all sorts and types.  We all do.  Find someone whose views are different from yours and sit down and listen to them - don't try to change their mind (it isn't going to happen anyway), but just listen and see what you have in common.  I'll bet you have much more in common than you think.

But please, let's strive to put an end to this atmosphere of FEAR.

Thank you.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

A Good Restaurant

This is the sign of a good restaurant.
What a treat to have yummy Cabot Creamery Butter available for delicious rolls.

And then . . . . . 

I fell into seafood Heaven.
I have always wanted to try a Lobster Roll and finally got the chance.
We are in Plattsburg, NY, about 25 miles south of Champlain, NY and the Canadian Border.

Mainely Lobster is a very unassuming, bland storefront looking place, but the reviews from Urban Spoon were all good.  Decided to try it for lunch and will be going back for dinner soon!!!!

As I said, the first thing I noticed was the Cabot Creamery Butter.  These people pay attention.  Our waitress indicated that they also use real Cabot Creamery Butter for the cooking as well as the drawn butter for lobsters.  

 back to the divine Lobster Roll.
Doesn't look like much, but it is simply fresh caught and cooked lobster with enough good mayo to hold it together.  That is all.  

Oh, and that lovely buttery toasted split piece of Texas Toast to stuff it into.


Tony had some delish hand battered Haddock nuggets with good french fries.
I could have cared less.

Did I mention how good that Lobster Roll was?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Would Like to Thank McDonald's

I certainly NEVER thought I would say, much less write those words . . . 


They are providing my wireless internet as we move around the country.
You can't count on much, but you can count on finding a McDonald's in just about any town.

We can usually manage to park close enough to one to pick up a signal.

Sitting in the parking lot of one in Plattsburg, New York right now.

Keep those interwebs up and running!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Running to Minnesota

We spent the week making a run from Wilmington, NC up to the Minneapolis, MN area and back again.

What a trip that was . . . 
we left balmy 65 degree weather in Wilmington and hit -8 degrees in Minnesota!

And then turned right around and came straight back to Wilmington.

Some days, it is difficult to even know what to put on for the shift.
It is not unusual for one of us to wake up and ask the one driving, 
"What state are we in?" 
and in the winter . . . 
"Is it snowing?"

Our truck is crusted with salt and crap from the snowy roads.

I often feel crusted with salt and crap, but not necessarily from snowy roads.
(oops . . . did I just say that out loud?)

Better stop while I'm ahead!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I have an obsession with old commercial buildings.
And particularly, the BACKS of old commercial buildings.
Nothing happens around back in new strip centers and other newer commercial buildings,
an entire separate world resides behind very old downtown buildings.
I almost feel voyeuristic when I take pictures behind buildings, but I can't help it.
Balconies and back doors are to be found there.
Often I find wonderful old painted signs like this one.

Furniture Co.

You just know there is a story there somewhere.

This was behind the Old Town section of Wilmington, NC.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cap'n Tony

While we were exploring the Battleship North Carolina -
Tony had lots of memories and stories about his days aboard ships.  

I learned much more about the actual operation of stuff that I ever have before.  He explained how the communications system via the sound powered telephones and speaking tubes worked.  
Pretty cool stuff,
pretty cute sailor!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


On our tour of the Battleship North Carolina, we found this print on a wall.

Captivated by it, we found out the story behind it.

On board this type of battleship, there is one plane that can be catapulted from the deck.  
These planes were called "Kingfishers" and they were intended for at-sea rescues.
In 1944, during a violent battle, this little Kingfisher was launched and the pilot was able to pull 10 men from the icy water.  
Unfortunately, there was simply too much weight to take-off with his precious cargo.  
So . . . 
The pilot  just plowed through the water with the rescued men clinging on for dear life.  After delivering them to another ship, he was able to fly back to his own ship.

What a great story.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

We started off 2011 with a delicious breakfast of shrimp-n-grits at The Dixie Grill in downtown Wilmington, NC.

Shrimp-n-Grits is a true Carolina Coast speciality and it was better than expected.  

So we decided to start a new tradition of a photo on New Year's morning.  Here we are in our "after a full evening of spirits and revelry" mode . . .