Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

wrap it up... and thanks border patrol!

woke up early to get on out to Buffalo and Niagara. Being held for the night in Erie was not horrible but I had places to go.
I had no problems making it into Canada from the US and was shortly on my way to the falls. After paying a sort of ridiculous amount for short term parking in the official niagara lot I went inside to check it all out and I signed up for the behind the falls tour. a self guided tour that lets you look out from behind the falls as well as go on a special platform to look out from the side on the falls. This tour is probably awesome during the spring/summer, but during the winter the ice is everywhere and you just can't see much. The lower lever view is really nice so in some ways it was worth it, but i think i could have been fine from above. At one point i took my gloves off to take a picture and my hands froze nearly instantly. It was cold there, to say the least.

I then grabbed a few canada gifts for ppl and decided to head back. upon arriving in my sweet country of the USA, a country I had left for two hours (if that) I was immediately reprimanded. Though customs had no real reason to do this, they decided to cowboy up and take me in as i was driving back from canada (oh yeah, i TOTALLY had pot... not) and i didn't have registration for the car so maybe i stole it. (yeah, i stole it when i had a contract with the guys name and dates for delivery) They hassled me for a while and made me wait an hour or so until telling me i was ok to go. um.. duh? I just didn't buy the seriousness of what they were selling. Also, they couldn't believe that I wasn't doing this to make money. That I'd do this to help someone out and have him help me out. what a crazy concept.

I fled to Buffalo to try the original hot wings at duffs. they were fine, but they weren't BLOW ME AWAY different than a lot of places. Next stop, Syracuse!

So, a friend told me to check out Dinosaurs BBQ in Syracuse. the chain has a spot in NYC that I always meant to check out when i lived there so now seemed like a good time to try their food. There was an incredibly long wait, which is bound to happen at popular restaurants, so i just read my book while the servers pushed their ways around everyone. after about an hour i got seated and my waitress was AWESOME. Lil' Jess is the shit. real down to earth and funny girl. she def took good care of me. As for the food well it was good don't get me wrong but after eating up and down the bbq belt i was left a little disappointed. Sure, for syracuse NY this was good bbq, but compared to what i had been eating the prior few days this just did not compare. however, they do make a mean deviled egg.

I left dinner, went to my hotel room. chatted with jill (always a pleasure of the night) and then proceeded to pass out so that i could wake up early and clean the car and organize what i had scattered throughout the car. when that was done, I drove to Brad's (the owner of the car) place and dropped it off with him. He then gave me a ride to the train station where i waited for about 1.5 hours for my train and then bordered for home/needham.

The train ride home was long, about 10 hours. luckily i was able to email and txt with jill who helped make the trip go faster and mare it more enjoyable.

now I'm back at home and trying to figure out the next steps in this little game of life :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cleveland Rocks and near death experiences...

In the morning I got up and headed to cleveland with two things in mind. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Skyline chili. Apparently it's an Ohio thing.

upon arriving in Cleveland I set the GPS to take me to a skyline. Skyline Chili i found out is chili on spaghetti and sometimes hot dogs are in the mix as well. They also dump a shit load of cheese on it. Considering the day was very cold, the chili hit the spot.

Next up, Rock and Roll.
The hall of fame was impressive. It's a beautiful looking building and it's filled with tons and tons of.. well frankly.. rock and roll shit. I found at many points I was overwhelmed. There was music everywhere, artifacts all over the place, pictures, movies, stories... etc...etc... I was overloaded very quickly.

I did have a good time, but it was just a lot of sensory information going on. Also, my third music hall of fame in 4 days.

From Cleveland the plan was to go to Buffalo for wings.. sleep the night, then go to Niagara in the morning.. of course plans don't always go as you hope...

While driving up to Buffalo I hit a snow storm around Erie, Pa. The car I'm driving is a '97 mazda miata with summer tires. needless to say it is not a car for icy cold roads. I could feel that I didn't have the best traction but I figured the storm would pass by quickly, like maybe it was just a flurry. Well, I was wrong and I hit a patch of ice and proceeded to do a 720 over both lanes of the highway. I ended up on the far end of the highway with some car lights looking at me... shit, i was a bit scared. but i was alive. and the storm seemed to be passing, so i pressed on a little more past the next turn off as I felt i could go further. However, up ahead I just kept feeling less secure and less secure so I decided to eventually turn off. As I slowly went down the ramp i hit another ice patch and slid out of control doing about a 180 into a snow bank. The car was fine cosmetically , I was jarred mentally and also stuck on snow facing into oncoming traffic. Slowly i got the car unjarred and slipped into a nearby hotel for the night. Unsure if i would stay for the night or just wait the storm out I hung out in the hotel lobby using free wifi. after a talk with my rents, it was decided i should stay the night here. I was in no real hurry to get to buffalo so why not go in the morning.

I checked in and decided to get dinner. I found a local place on yelp that apparently was really good cheap chinese buffet type place so i went to check it out. Now I love cheap chinese food, love it. But I now know where the worst of this kind is... Erie, PA. This place was pure crap. nothing had flavor at all. it was protein, grease and that's about it. even the soft serve tasted poor. and they had a mongolian style thing going on, but the "chef" hardly heated the food. yay for cold broccoli. BUT... it was possibly the cheapeast dinner buffet i've ever been to, at around $7 so i guess i can't complain too much.

Back to the hotel to video chat with Jill and then turn in early to get up and drive to Niagara and Buffalo tomorrow.

you can't forget the KY

Things that I never thought I'd say. "I really loved kentucky!"

I started the day with a leisurely ride from Bowling Green, KY to Mammoth Caves National Park. This cave is the longest natural occurring cave in the world, and is pretty impressive. I felt sort of bad for the tour guide that day, as i was riding on only caffeine and very "giddy" to say the least (lot of questions asked...) It's a two mile walk filled with slipper ground, tight squeezes, and for someone my size a lot of "watch your head" comments. When we were back outside, i was pretty excited as it meant I now got to drive an hour and a half out of my way to get some BBQ!!!! Kentucky BBQ, which means....wait for it.... MUTTON!! I never had mutton bbq before so i was rather excited. I got in the car and the GPS gave me a route. however this route ended up putting me on a single lane dirt/gravel road. It couldn't have been better as I got to see nature at it's best. Beautiful skies, bare trees, pure woods, and.... a doe. This little doe rambled in front of the car and then stayed about 25 ft away. We shared a few moments of staring at each other. I then tried to lure the doe to the car. I tried cat calls, weird noises, and even throwing gold fish near it hoping it would eat them and want more. I was a bit afraid to get out of the car as I don't know if deer are naturally friendly or not. I mean, it is a wild animal, right? Also the vultures nearby sort of freaked me out. I ended up yelling at the deer "Come here you. Get your deer ass over here." Of course, this didn't work so i drove on down this tiny little backroad. Eventually I got to the main roads and onto the highway and then arrived at Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, what some call KY's best BBQ (mainly the management calls it that). Moonlite offers a BBQ buffet for $9.89. This is one thing I LOVE about the south. BBQ is CHEAP!!!! The buffet was huge, full of sides, a salad bar, porks, chickens, and mutton. There was also a dessert buffet of various cobblers (cherry, strawberry, blackberry) banana pudding, a lemon pie and then my favorite, bread pudding. and it was very good bread pudding, indeed! Then they also have a soft serve machine to dump ice cream all over your already caloric desert The mutton was a cool novelty for me, but I think pork is really my go to for BBQ. I know, a bad jew, right? Oh well.

From there I headed back cross the state to meet Sarah's boyfriend Danny. Originally we were going to get dinner or a drink and chill but I was so full from bbq and him tired from a long night before that we just chilled at his place with some of his friends. I actually pulled my computer out and did some prep work for the next few days of travel, what a good guest i am.

After a few hours there I headed out to Cincinatti to spend the night at the house of a good friend of my brothers from college. Very appreciatory for the Monarchi's great and short notice hospitality. Also, as an FYI, Mike makes a mean beef jerky.

Next stop, Cleveland and then more north

beautiful open roads

spent the night in cincinatti with a friend of my brthers.
got up and headed out to cleveland.