Monthly Archives: May 2010

Pennsylvania Is A Long State

Monday morning found us in the center of Pennsylvania, in a town called Centre. I hope we were also in the center of Centre, eh? After politely waking up Dave (shaking him until he falls out of bed) we headed out for a run through the area.

Rural Pennsylvania is different than New York City in a million ways, but the one that hit me hardest was the nature of the terrain. We ran down the street from our hotel, saw a sign that said “bike path”, and turned to follow it figuring it would be scenic. BAM. Immediate hill. We both pushed through it to the top, and made it carrying a steady/slowish jog. Once we reached it I was bent over breathing like a madman. Since moving away from Staten Island three years ago, I haven’t had an opportunity to run on anything but 100% flat ground. That hill left me so winded it was both painful and glorious at the same time. Whew!

We continued on through a park, walked a bit, ran back and then sprinted it in to the hotel. I’d guess we ran about 2 miles. Running with a boyfriend rules.

Then we hit the road and had some pre-packed emergency pb&j’s for breakfast. The goal was to reach the border of Lake Erie, and then follow the lake around and cross to Lake Michigan. The biggest city we saw on the map (based on the size of the dots over the cities..) was Erie, PA. We stopped off at a gas station, fueled up, got some beef jerky a.k.a. snack of champions and real men, and then drove, and drove, and drove. We came upon some beautiful landscapes on the way and jumped out of the car to experience them.

The first one was a small row of trees in a huge field in Brookville, PA. There was one old sturdy tree that reminded me of three movie scenes: 1) Forest and Jenny sitting in a tree as kids like peas and carrots, 2) an opening scene in Dances with Wolves when the woman is crying, 3) a scene in Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins is burying his tin box under the stone beside the tree.

After this adventure, we hopped back in the car and kept driving for another three hours. I passed out in the passengers seat, and woke up to Dave spontaneously pulling over to the side of the road so we could capture another beautiful scene.

The night ended in Erie, right on the lake. Day of frolicking complete. Next stops: Cleveland to Indiana to Chicago.

Philly Cheesesteaks and a Car

The roadtrip is in action!

Sunday was jam-packed with things to do, starting with me waking up at 5:40am and not being able to fall back asleep (cue the coffee). Dave and I met each other at Penn Station in the city to catch an 8:10 train to Long Island to grab my car.

First stop: Philadelphia! We’ve both never eaten a cheesesteak before (blasphemy), and thought it would be awesome to have the most authentic we could find to start. I asked around a little before we left, and someone told me that everyone goes to Pat’s or Genos, but that those spots are very touristy. Then we got a hint that this place called Tony Lukes was where the real deal cheesesteaks were. So that’s where we went.

Looks kinda shady, no? We both got a regular cheesesteak with American cheese and onions, trying to keep it classic.

The verdict? Dave loved it. “I could eat five more of these right now.” My thoughts? It was okay. I thought it was a little bland and I dipped it in ketchup.

From there, we figured since we were in Philly we should check out the historic area and see the Liberty Bell. We drove a little further into the city and found a parking lot. Our self-guided historic tour took about 45 minutes. Not bad. One might even say.. the best.

What you can’t see in this photo is the mob of tourists facing us waiting to jump in next to take their picture. Pretty funny. Doesn’t the bell look small?

After seeing the bell and walking around a bit we got back in the car and decided we would just drive as far as we could up towards Lake Eerie. Three hours of fields and fun times in the car later, we stopped in Centre, PA, and got a room at a Ramada for the night. The potential plan for today is to go for a run in the morning (!!) and then head back on the road. Now I just need to wake up Dave :).

The Unplanned Roadtrip

This Sunday I am going on a roadtrip with the boyfriend to escape the city for a week. We’ve both had crazy lives for the past month, and planned this a while back knowing it would be a nice finale. So our plan is…

… we don’t really have a plan.

We are getting in the car and pretty much just going. Originally I was pushing for us to end up in Nashville and then turn around and come back, but due to the flooding that plan is out. We quickly pulled up a map of the U.S. earlier this week and looked for a plan B.

The only requrements of this roadtrip are that we head west, see things we’ve never seen, and make it back here in one week. I’ve actually never been west in the U.S. (except for a few business trips, but those don’t count because you don’t get to sight-see). With these considerations, we came up with this route which I very roughly sketched out using PowePoint, so excuse it’s complete inaccuracy:

The three definite things planned:

  1. Eat a philly cheese steak (never had one!)
  2. See Chicago
  3. Pack a multitude of pb&j sandwiches should any pbj emergencies arise

Other than that we’re wingin’ it. We’ll have a GPS, and will be punching in a city or town and following directions. Which cities or towns will we punch in? I have no idea.

Any suggestions from locals or travelers are welcome :).