Thursday, June 11, 2009
Road Trip 2009: Day One
Well, I'm still alive after the first day. That's pretty good considering I only got four hours of sleep last night and we were up for eighteen hours today having driven all the way to Cleveland from New Jersey (a one day total of 540 miles.) Not too shabby.
But before I begin, be sure to check out the full trip report by Arp set up on the official road trip website here:
He did a great job setting it up and it's rather amazing the amount of stuff he's included on this micro-site. I'll be more than likely concentrating on specifics about the trip, but will do my best to recap as well.
Anyway, the day began a little later than we wanted (8am instead of 6am), but it worked out as our Pimp Mobile was waiting for us at the Hertz Rental Center. A white, 2008 Ford Explorer, with four doors, three rows of seating, leather interior, GPS, satellite radio, and did I mention how we were freakin' sweet it was? Check out the photo above to see the three of us standing in front of our brave (and sexy) steed. We decided as soon as we picked her up that as a new member of our family, she needed a name. Knowing that we'd need a little faith to get across the country, we settled on Faith (after Faith Evans.)
The trip across Pennsylvania was beautiful. Arp and I switched off driving duties while Kat sat in the back, playing her DS and taking notes on mileage and money. The sun rolled in and out of the clouds, and every so often, we'd hit some traffic, but nothing too bad. We got Subway for lunch, and before we knew it, we were off again.
While on the road, we visited Sheetz Service Station ("Good Food Travels Fast"), AND, I also ate a banana, which is significant as this is the first full banana I've had in a VERY long time. (I grew up with a complete aversion to fruit. Luckily, I've made a full recovery as I've matured.) Oh, and Kat pumped gas, which is funny, because she never pumps gas (in Jersey, all gas stations are always full service.)
We finally made it to the Rock and Roll of Fame in Cleveland by 6:30pm. The structure sits on the bank of Lake Erie, along with the Cleveland Browns stadium. Gorgeous area of the city. The main exhibition area is made up of six floors, including a history of rock and roll, memorabilia hall, special and rotating attractions (featuring right now, ironically enough, a full area devoted to Bruce Springsteen), not to mention the Hall of Fame itself. It was pretty impressive, featuring a number of interesting items, including John Lennon's "uniform" from the cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," a slew of David Bowie stage outfits, old stage equipment built and modified for many of the Who's tours, and for me, the most amazing thing of all...
Up on one of the top floors was an exhibit dedicated to Pink Floyd's "The Wall," featuring a number of "bricks" in addition to some of the original stage puppets from the tour. As some of you may know, Pink Floyd only performed the full album on stage 29 times. One of my most treasured items is a bootleg video of one of the full sets they did as the show is absolutely amazing to see. And here, in front of me, was the 30 foot puppet of the floating school teacher. And the sandbag version of Pink, sitting in front of his TV. And all I wanted was to be able to capture this most incredible moment. But NO. NO PHOTOGRAPHY.
I must admit. That's pretty lame. No FLASH photography would be understandable, but NO PHOTOGRAPHY altogether? That just seems a bit excessive for a place with so much cool stuff that you just want to share with your friends. (Speaking of cool stuff to share with your friends, I picked up a pair of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drumsticks that will be AWESOME for Rock Band one I return to the city. Complete Setlist 2 - you are MINE!)
So now, with the evening now waning, we had three final objectives. 1) Find some alcohol. 2) Get some dinner. 3) Make our way to the hotel before we pass out. And we were able to accomplish ALL of these goals by 12:15am local time. As I said above, not too shabby.
We DID make an interesting side trip looking for the first two, however, finding ourselves in the area between downtown Cleveland and Shaker Heights, a stretch of land that will forever go down in history as "That place with abandoned churches, Rally's Jumbo Wings, Shrimp Boat, and 100% Fresh Water!" Yes, as you may have guessed, we passed through a rather dilapidated area of Cleveland, which made for some very deliriously hilarious musings as we looked for our dinner destination: Ruby Tuesdays.
Dinner was fantastic, and afterward, we hightailed it for the first of many Best Westerns we will be staying at (thanks AAA!) Tomorrow, we hope to make our way to Cedar Point Amusement Park, and then Friday, we go to Chicago!
I will leave you tonight with some lyrics from a song on a mix CD given to me by my very good friend Tracy (Thanks Trace.) The song? "Road Trippin'" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Enjoy.
"Road trippin with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
Its time to leave this town
Its time to steal away
Lets go get lost
Anywhere in the U.S.A."