Friday, August 27, 2010

Photos Are Up!

If you are interested in seeing pictures of our road trip, have a look here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home again!

I left Providence after a nice hot breakfast and a parking ticket. Apparently street parking between 2-5AM is illegal (not that there are signs to say that). I parked in an area that had 2 hour parking between 8AM and 6PM. I guess in Providence that implies no parking after 6PM. I am so glad that my car was not towed.

It was raining of course as I pulled out of Providence (it didn't ever stop since our night at the circle c), and my full speed wipers got a full work out along the way. It's so much easier to drive long distances when the rain stopped, so I found myself taking very few breaks. The drive was faster coming home because the GPS told me to take toll roads almost the entire way. I guess driving to Connecticut made me miss some of that.

I ended up stopping for gas and caffeine, a few times, enjoying the wifi at the service stations, and resting my brain from the high speed traffic concentration.

At the superwalmart in upstate new york, I loaded up a cooler of Boca Burgers (veggie burgers that they used to sell in Canada) for my family, and headed to the border. There was no line up, and the guy seemed concerned about whether I was bringing in fire arms, mace, pepper spray or firewood. As I had none of that, it was easy to cross.

I got to Kingston, set up a wet tent, hung up wet groundsheets, washed 3 loads of wet and campy laundry, and visited with my family until I realized how tired I really was.

Today I'm going to sort through trip photos. Some will be posted here when I'm done.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Productive and frustrating

Today we met a very helpful group of people at Brown. The first person
is the custodian on Evan's floor. She introduced herself and offered
cleaning supplies, got him hangers, a mirror, a rug, and several
lamps. She might even know of a used fridge he could get. She gave her
phone number and said that if he ever needs directions or a ride to
the grocery store to call.

She also have great advice about getting repairs done on the room. The
plaster is chipped and the paint is peeling. Hopefully Evans phone
call will get some action.

Next we went to explore the furniture rental group called the women
and men of Brown. For under $60 Evan pocked up a bed side table, desk
chair, shoe rack, phone, TV, coffee maker, and two lamps. What's
better is that when he returns them he gets half his money back!

We were thankful that the furniture was being distributed from the
building across the green from Evan's, so we didn't have all that far
to carry them. Of course there was a fine rain today, a constant
blowing mist.

Next stop was lunch at a cute diner called Johnny Rockets, there are
juke boxes on the counter and at each booth. The decor is 1950s and so
is the music available. The wait staff wear white shirts, bow ties,
and a little white hat, and when you sit down, they bring you two
nickles for the juke box.

We had delicious hamburgers and onion rings, and a shake served in a
tall glass set on a doily, with the rest of the shake served in a
metal glass. It made it really easy to share!

We were exploding by the end of the meal, and set off to Seeconk MA to
go to Target (a first for us both). We spent a really long time
getting all that Evan needs for school. From pens, to speakers, a
bookshelf in a box, an ironing board, a laundry hamper, a coffee
grinder and thermos, we got it all and much more. Amazingly we could
carry it in only three trips to his room.

Next we set off to the movies to see Inception as an IMAX. The plan
was great in theory. Of course movie theatre have parking (or so you'd
think). We could even see the parked cars, and we found the exit from
the lot but even with close to an hour of searching for the entrance
to the secretive world of subterranean mall parking we gave up,
figuring that street parking after six might be ok. In our search we
had found five other lots all charging $13 for 3 hours, we asked
pedestrians, drivers, parking attendants, and still were
unsuccessful. We did find out that there's a highway to Boston right
by the mall. Twice we were headed in that direction. So, just for the
record, when your GPS tells you to go down Francis street to get to
the mall, don't do it. Go a bit farther and turn, and you will find
parking. We found parking from inside the mall and backtracked to find
out this vital information.

So, arriving 10 minutes late for the movie, we missed previews but not
much more. It was a pretty good movie. There were parts that were
pretty fast for IMAX (I felt a bit dizzy) and others that were so
violent that it was overwhelming. Overall it was a good break from
parking nightmares.

Returning from the movie we unpacked all Evans new things and tried to
assemble a bookcase which said that it had all the needed pieces
inside. All except the two varieties of screwdriver and hammer. So, we
did what we could with a set of nail clippers and a butter knife (not
much). I can try my pocket knife screw driver tomorrow.

My parking expires at 10am so I will start the long drive back at that

What a fun vacation this has been.

Sent from my iPod

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a morning!

We packed up camp in the pouring rain, drove to Providence in the
pouring rain, got Evan his room key (very lucky to find parking near
by). Walked, in the pouring rain, to his residence. It is a big
residence building with a door swipe card to let him in. Unfortunately
it didn't work. So after waiting a while (in the pouring rain) someone
else used the door and we got in behind them. His room key works, and
the room looks like a nice one. Huge closet, bed, desk, dresser, book
shelf. Blank off white walls, and two windows! There'll be a great
cross breeze in the summer and potentially a wicked draught in the

After locating bathrooms, kitchen, fire exit and lounge, we headed
back (in the rain) to get his door swipe fixed, and drive his baggage
over. We could get pretty close by car, but there was no legal parking
spot in sight. Four ways flashing, he carted his stuff (and some of
mine) to his room, while I repacked the car to look empty inside.

We then picked up bags from the raddisson ( there was not enough space
in the car to do it earlier!). We found a parking lot that would let
me stay until before 8 on Wed, but it was far from campus, so we drove
back to Rez (there are far too many one way streets and construction
zones here for my liking). We then drove back to the parking lot,
dropped off the empty looking car, and walked (in the rain) to get
some much needed pizza and caffeine.

I've had enough of the rain, but all will be better when I've had a
shower and put on some less stinky and damp clothes.

Sent from my iPod


We have survived thirty plus hours of rain now. Yesterday was a very
lazy day. We just hung out in the tent making sure not to touch the
walls until we slept. Mid afternoon the heavy rain stopped and we
ventured outside to create a cooking shelter and made some lunch. I
tried a recipe for peach cobbler on a camp stove. It was hot and sweet
and the peaches were good.

We played with the water collecting on the tarp, and collected our
dish water with the runoff.

We hunkered down for the heavy rain and rumbles of thunder in the
afternoon and slept on and off until morning. We awoke to wet sheets
and airmattress and a puddle at the foot of the tent. I'm glad my
girlguide training prepared me for wet camping. It isn't so much fun

We packed up our stuff this morning, wet stuff in one bag, dry in
another. We ate and then are now ready to leave this place. I'm
looking forward to four walls and a hot shower.

Off to Providence to get Evan settled--glad I got new wipers before
this trip!

Sent from my iPod

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Six Flags

Here is Evan's account of our day at six flags

Even though the forecast Rachel and I saw last week, the weather was totally clear, rather too hot. Actually, it's very important fact because it was our big big "amusement park" day! Since we hadn't been a grocery store for a couple of days, we decided to just finish the leftovers – bacon, granolas with milk and tea – for our breakfast. Right before we start, we accessed the wi-fi to post the blog which Rachel composed last night, and check an email for my own for a few minutes.


The GPS said it would take a little bit more than an hour to get the amusement park, Six Flags, which is in Springfield – exactly the same city name as from "The Simpson"! (Actually, I'm big fan of the Simpson.) We took a few freeways and highways by turns and thanks to the good traffic condition, it didn't take a so long time; almost on time – the noon. We took a shuttle to the main gate and entered there. Frankly it was kind of fun experience because everybody had a security inspection. It is definitely rare in Korea.


The park was very big, crowded and full of happiness. Rachel and I chose a white-wooden-roller-coaster for our very first attraction, and got in a line. Even though the weather was so hot (Rachel mentioned today's weather reminded her of the "Phone booth of Kyoto") that we got easily tired, we soldiered on for our turn firmly. However, when we almost got there, an attendant announced that they will temporarily close because of some technical problem. Since we had waited for a long time, we decided to just wait a little bit more. We kept waiting for the coaster to be fixed without any idea how long it takes and it took almost a half hour to be fixed. It turned out a bee nest on the coaster rail. Anyways we finally could enjoy our very first riding at the Six Flag, and it was very "bumpy". Rachel broke her 7-dollar-gogeors-sunglasses due to the impact. The next one we tried was very "monster-y"; it was the biggest roller coaster I've ever seen. Even though we had to wait for almost 50 minutes, I can still insist, there's no piece of regret for the waiting. It was amazing we could enjoy such a long time despite of the crazy speed.


After a few more rides, we had a lunch at such-a-fake-Chinese-restaurant. We both agreed that it was the worst Chinese food we ever had. It was kind of OK anyways, because we were too hot and thirsty to try other rides. As much as we had recharged from the lunch, we kept going for other attractions. Boat ride which makes a big water splash, tea cups which we can make a crazy g-force by ourselves, small coaster which has spinning seats, another big coaster which seats are below the rail so that we can feel we are flying, etc. Since the Six Flag closes at 9:00pm, we should choose for the very last ride. Doubtlessly, we both agreed to try the "monster" thing, Bizzarro, again. Although it is almost closing time, there was such a crowd. We could ride the attraction near the closing time, and we both tried with no hands! It was too dark to anticipate the course, so I barely could control myself. Such a tough attraction. Rachel was totally excited that she survived.


Just right after we got the car, it started to rain – almost pour. The way to the campsite, we stopped by an ice cream store, Twinny's, (we got confused because we thought it's 'Friendly') and I experienced my very first banana split. Rachel told the clerk it was my very first one, so she made an extra special decoration on it. I had a very good experience and I guess I could remember this memory forever, especially when I could have some awful Chinese food.

It's raining

We are stuck in the tent in the pouring rain. This is the first rain
we've had, so I'm not sure how water tight things are. Time will tell.

I'm glad we're not packing up this morning. Still one more night at
the circle c.

Sent from my iPod