Travel Day 3

What happened to Day 2, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Day 1, 2 and for all of today, I have had ZERO internet access. My freakin’ (and I say this lovingly) laptop has decided it’s not going to connect. Right up until I get to a hotel that offers free tech support with their connection service. I tried three times to connect and then called. No sooner does the lady on the other end introduce herself to me than do I get instant connection.

“Shit!” my laptop said (I could hear it). “She’s called tech support. She must really be serious!”

Cussed laptop.

We have made excellent time on this trip and (knock on wood) so far everything is going really nicely. We’re exhausted. Robin’s incredibly exhausted, but we’ll be in New Hampshire tomorrow and then we’ll have four days of non-stop rest and writing in which to recover before beginning the trip back home. I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the authors I’ve worked and Facebooked with for the last many years. Now I get to see their faces! Yay!

Right now we’re in New York. Liverpool, to be precise. I got to visit with Dinah McLeod for a couple hours, but it wasn’t long enough. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I was so tired and I could tell Robin and Laura weren’t going to be awake much longer. So we had to call it an early night.

We did do some sightseeing. We went to Niagara Falls, but we couldn’t get parking close enough to do more than glimpse the water as we drove by. Never saw the Falls at all, sadly. I’m going to have to come back someday and get an earlier start. I have to say, it wasn’t what I expected. Admittedly, my mental picture of Niagara is pretty much what I remember from the original Superman movie when Lois Lane took a dive over the rails and he had to swoop in and rescue her. There’s a whole tourist trap city built up around that thing and a casino… yeah, a casino, right there on the water where all the decent parking ought to be. I don’t remember those from the movie. Frankly, it should be a felony to go to someplace as wonderful as Niagara Falls only to sequester yourself in a smoky casino and barely (if at all) look at the water. You can’t see anything from inside a casino!

Of course, I suppose the argument could be made that you could throw money into Niagara all you wanted, but the water won’t throw it back at you, either. So… touche.

By the time we got there, all the parking lots were full and blocked off so no more cars could be received. We drove around the tourist trap for about 15 minutes and when we finally found another place to park, it was too far from the water for Robin to walk there, much less back again. They had shuttles, but the parking could only be paid for for a maximum of 1 hour and that was nowhere near enough time to get there, look at the Falls, and shuttle back again before our time expired. So we swallowed our disappointment and made the incredibly grownup decision to park for an hour and at least look around. We got some nice pics of us with some big animals at the Rain Forest cafe. We visited the Barnes & Noble Culinary Institute, which is FANCY as HELL (and also lets the public sneak in and use the bathroom if you buy a canoli on the way out). And there’s a haunted house! Yes, we paid our fees and walked inside, and it was awesome! I’ve got pictures there, too. The most memorable was of the massive T-Rex head with the human arm hanging out of its mouth. I so need one of those in my bedroom.

Today was also the first day we got stuck in traffic. It only lasted about four miles (i.e. about forty minutes), but my sister caught six Pokemon while I was driving, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

The funniest thing about New York is their Turnpike rest stops. These are some fancy ass stops, and I wasn’t the only one taken aback by all the shiny wonders to be had in those bathrooms. I mean, they’ve got restaurants in those things. Well, not IN the bathrooms. Those are outside of them. But there’s gift shops, restaurants, gas stations, and yes, fancy FANCY bathrooms. Like I said, I wasn’t the only one who noticed. I was washing my hands next to two women and their kids. One kept asking the kids to show her how the faucets worked, and the soap dispenser, and finally the towel dispenser. Well, I actually had that one down, so I piped up and told her, “Just wave your hand in front of it and it’ll spit paper at you.”

Now, if I hadn’t been so tired, I’d have recognized she was teasing the kids. She turned to me and mouthed, “I know,” and kind of laughed. At which point I got the joke.

“Sorry,” I said. “I’ve been driving for three days and I’m really tired. Plus, I’m from Kansas. We’re still showing each other how to use the indoor plumbing.”

I’m signing off to get some sleep. Tomorrow, New Hampshire!

We’re going to be back in Pennsylvania in the Philly area on the 10th. Anyone know where we can get some good Scrapple?

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