On vacation from our vacation

Game 7: Celtics lose to the Orlando Magic

We have been out of the US for 8 months now, and think it will take about 8 more months to complete our trip. Using frequent flier miles kindly donated to our cause from my father, we flew back to Boston for 3 weeks to visit friends and family, see some Boston sports, and do some errands that have been nagging us for the last couple of months. We also took advantage of the excellent internet connetions available in the US to work on several websites that needed our attention. It’s amazing how busy you can get when you’re unemployed and on vacation! We return to Ecuador on June 2, and will continue our adventure from there. In the meantime, we’re filling up on sushi, cereal, pizza, and all sorts of foods that just aren’t the same in Latin America. Hopefully we won’t forget too much of our hard-won Spanish skills, but it seems to slip away so easily if you don’t practice.

Boston sweeps Toronto at Fenway Park

The east coast post

We officially crossed the country when we arrived in New York City on July 28. All of the great museums, parks, and sightseeing opportunities aside, I think I was most excited to get a real bagel and good pizza. Despite the gourmet food and great local produce for which California is known, I haven’t had a good bagel or slice of thin-crust pizza in the 10 years I’ve lived in the Bay Area.

We managed to pack a lot of interesting sight-seeing and excellent eating in to 3 days. I’ll try not to bore with a long description of each place we visited, but needless to say we did a lot of walking despite the 90+ heat. We viewed the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, walked around Ground Zero, visited the Guggenheim, and ate some great pizza at Villa Pizza. This place is a total hole in the wall but served up the perfect New York style pizza – crispy crust, sweet sauce and savory cheese. The next day we planned our sightseeing around the perfect bagel, which we found at Ess-a-Bagel. Chris didn’t believe that good bagels did not need to be toasted until we tucked into these exquisite doughy, soft bagels with the ultimate crispy outside. With very full stomachs we then wandered around Soho and Greenwich Village before visiting a the International Center for Photography. On our last day we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge followed by a bike ride through central park. On our way back from Central Park, we biked through Times Square (video available here), at this point pretty comfortable playing Frogger with the taxis, pedestrians, and various delivery trucks.

After the bustle and noise of the city, we then enjoyed a couple of very peaceful days in Brewster MA on the Cape, as well as time visiting family and friends in Boston and Concord MA.  We’re currently in Florida with Chris’s family and will be heading for the Mexican border at the beginning of September.  A couple of weeks in the same place should do us some good.

How many people could you fit in a Honda Element?

Corn dogs and cold Buds

We entered the pretty rolling hills and pastures of eastern Nebraska, and took local country roads to cut north from I-70 up to I-80. We drove through the small town of Madison, and happened upon the Madison County Fair and a campground, right at the time we started looking for a place to stay for the night. 

After enjoying some corn dogs and watching the locals rope calves as part of the rodeo at the fair, we walked into the small downtown area for a beer at the local bar. We entered the Whiskey Run Bar, walked past the group of locals giving us the ‘you’re not from around here’ looks, and took a distant spot at the bar. The atmosphere warmed up quickly after meeting our bartender. Young and energetic, Scott would stop by to ask us questions about our travels and tell us jokes. Later on we started talking to a few guys who just got off from work at the carnival that was part of the county fair. Munchie, the oldest of the group, gave us a dollar bill to add to the collection of money taped to the ceiling. We are now officially enshrined at the Whiskey Run Bar of Madison Nebraska after taping a dollar bill marked with our website and names.
We told Munchie, Jester, and Frodo about our plans to drive to Central and South America, and they all disapproved. Munchie told us that the US Government puts alligators in the Rio Grande to dissuade Mexicans from crossing the border into the US, and how this plan was not working as the Mexicans were just catching the alligators and eating them. After this and many other stories would not persuade us to cancel our plans, Munchie gave us the ‘phone number’ of his friend Butch who is a marine in South America. He told us to call him if we ever found ourselves in trouble, and he would be there within 30 minutes. The phone number looks like it may have too many numbers, so if you end up reading this post Munchie, email us the number again to make sure we have it correctly! Jester also gave us his phone number as the carnival will be in Texas when we’re driving through to get to Mexico, and he guaranteed us a job if money was short. We’re a little tempted. We didn’t get to talk to Frodo very much as he took off with the 6 pack Munchie had just bought. All in all an unexpected and very entertaining evening.