Saturday, August 14, 2010

day 88

got up this morning to a full house, people sleeping on mats all over the floor, lots of other couchsurfers. we finally got all ready to go and headed to new york. we wandered around a bit to find a place for breakfast and went to au bon pain, which was not very good, sorry au bon pain fans. i then decided that i wanted to find a barbershop to get a haircut and a shave so i found one and we headed over to it. walked right in and they sat me down, classic barberstyle place, and i told her that i wanted a short haircut and a shave so thats what i got. evan and matt were laughing probably the entire time because she cut most of my hair into a bowl cut and then moved onto my beard so we all thought she was done cutting my hair. she then shaved my beard off but i told her to leave the mustache but trim it up. she then finished cutting my hair and i moved into the shaving chair. i'd never gotten a barber to shave me, i never shaved with a knife razor either so a lot of firsts. it was a super relaxing experience and i got like a face message too, it was glorious. got all cleaned up and thanked the two ladies who tackled that daunting feat. i really feel like a whole new person and i look at least 10-15years younger, its crazy. i keep laughing at myself because i don't recognize myself looking so neat and trim. we headed out and had to say goodbye to matt, he was making his way back to his car in new haven and then heading back to upper new york. it was so great having him along for the end of the journey and always fun hanging out with him. he went his way and we went ours, down to the financial district to see wall street then on down to battery park. we got tickets and waited in line to go to the statue of liberty and ellis island. last time i was in nyc, it was shortly after 9/11 so the statute of liberty wasn't open to the public so it was nice to be able to go out and see it but sadly the tickets to get up into the crown were sold out. it was still a pleasant boat ride out there and it is amazing how big it is. we then cruised over to ellis island for a bit to learn about how people immigrated over to america and we tried to lookup some family members (they charge money to do that at ellis island but you can search all the same records online for free so i'm going to search online for free when i get the chance). they do have a search computer to see if any relatives of yours are in the databases and there were 2 leonard hacketts in 1912 and 1922 so i will have to do some more research on that and look into my other side of the family! i'm actually really excited about it. we got back to the mainland of new york and took the subway all the way down to coney island. we got nathan's famous hot dogs for dinner and we walked the boardwalk. a once thriving boardwalk scene was now only a block or two of rides and shops. it was just nice to be next to the beach people watching. we decided to head back to the house and catch up on the blog (catching up as we speak) and check some stuff out for tomorrow. we made the long subway ride back to brooklyn and just spent the evening chatting with several other couchsurfers before heading to bed.

day 87

this morning we set got up and ready to set off for new york city. matt left earlier to bike down there since the subway doesn't allow bikes at peak riding times so evan and i just met him down there. after a little bit of confusion, we found the train station and then the bus station. i grabbed some breakfast and we loaded onto the bus. the bus ride was about 4 1/2 hrs to new york but it wasn't too bad, but then again i'm used to traveling by my own pedal power. all three of us read, listened to music, or napped along the way. we pulled into nyc and unloaded from the bus. we then started the journey of learning the new york subway system. we decided to go straight to our couchsurf surfing host, paul's, house. it was a fairly easy ride over to brooklyn and his place is right next to the subway so that is nice. we settled in and dropped off our stuff and chatted for a bit before heading back to new york to find some dinner. we were going to go see our favorite mewithoutYou tonight, so we decided to head to the venue and grab something to eat close to it so we wandered into the edges of chinatown and enjoyed a dumplings and soup. we then wandered around since we had an hour or so before the show started. the thing with new york is that it is so big you can wander and always see new things. i love it! we wandered to the venue and waited till the doors opened. we grabbed a table upstairs until mwY started. the first two bands, whoever they were, were not doing it for me so i was just eagerly awaiting them to finish. when mwY started i stayed uptop for the first song to soak it all in and snap some pics then i moved down to the front with evan and matt. it was a great show and i am so glad to have finally seen them. when the show got over we wandered around broadway and stopped in at tgifridays for some late dinner, it was like 1am. after we ate, we made our way back to brooklyn to go to bed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

day 86

we left diana's place and hit up an abandoned club on the waterfront which was awesome. a three story building with lots of graffiti was what we got to explore. it was neat to see what once used to house bands such as kansas and other bands. we headed out and grabbed some breakfast at dunkin donuts then headed to the stuck-up bridge which is an old bridge that is in the stuck-up position. it was cool to climb around it and see this massive steel bridge just pointing up towards the skies. we took some photos there then continued our final ride to the boston coast. it was a cool day and things were just going our way, it was great. along our way, i noticed a street sign that was named, "hackett" and was totally thrilled! it was our day for sure, sadly there wasn't a chaney, gilroy, or even a matt or evan nearby but still it was cool. we kept riding and got a little lost due to no street signs but made it into the boston area but needed to weave through some busy streets to get to old harbor where we would end our trip. we cruised down some sketchy torn up streets and through busy one ways and finally arrived at the coast, where we've been imagining 3 months prior. it was a surreal moment, not fully realizing that all this hardwork, sweat, tan, time, energy, money, laughs, tears, smiles, anger, and sheer love of travel was finally coming to an end. i don't know if it even seems real now, a few days after being done. i know we were super excited and anxious to roll our bikes down into the ocean to finish the trip. in our excitement we seemed to have rushed the experience a bit but it was a good time nonetheless. we took some pictures and had the lifeguard take a final pic of matt, evan, and myself. we made it folks! thank you so much for your support, prayers, encouragement, faithful readings, and excitement for us along this journey. we wrapped up the trip but still had to bike a couple of miles to alex's house, lia's brother. ha. when we arrived, our good friend mike bartlett was sitting on the steps waiting for us; he had been in boston doing some work and stayed an extra day to hang out with us, it was so great to see a familiar face. we gave hugs and handshakes then started our way up the three stories to unload our bikes and gear into alex's living room. so thankful for alex and his roommates for taking us in with all our stuff. we sat around and chatted for a good amount then decided to go celebrate with some boston clam chowder! so we took the "T" (subway) downtown and got a table at a great restaurant. they had unlimited corn bread (which we all ate a ton!) then savored the large bowl of soup and i got the pot roast which was very tasty. it was a lot of food  but we fought through it all. we then wandered around philly watching some bocci ball games but mainly chatting with one another about this, that, and the other thing. we finally made our way back to the house and we stayed up watching arrested development, man i have missed that show. i can't wait to take some time and relax and watch a movie or tv shows! it got later and we all decided it was time to go to bed. calling an end to the bike trip. i will continue to add new posts about our travels to New York City and Boston but once evan and i part ways, i will be moving away from this blog and be posting on my regular blog so follow me there at Tall Tale of a Life Well Lived