ROAD TRIP DAYS TWO AND THREE

DAY TWO: FROGS, THE APPALACIAN TRAIL, AND ICE CREAM TRUCKS

(I’ve been saving this entry so I could put pictures in it, but my computer is refusing. Sorry.)
After our night in the tent, as I was using the shower in the bathhouse, I looked down to see that I had a shower buddy- a little frog was hopping around the stall. This wasn’t as disturbing as you might think, considering how he compared to the creepy spider that was crawling around on the opposite wall. I made sure not to crush the frog as I showered the best I could under the not-so-steady trickle of water.
Once we were both ready to go, we ate bagels mauled by my kitchen knife (I’m really bad at cutting stuff…) and then hit the road, headed for Kingston, New York. We wanted to visit the Trolley Museum because trolleys are the awesomest, but in Kingston, things are open on weird days, mostly not on Wednesdays. However, we had a great time walking through historic Kingston and before we left, we got some gelato at a local shop.
Off we went to our hotel in Purling. The hotel is a converted manor house, and it was super awesome and pretty. Because we were there midweek, we were pretty much the only guests, and it was kind of like staying in someone’s house because the owners spent the time, when they weren’t helping customers, hanging out on the porch. It was pretty cool.

After dropping our stuff off in the room, we went to find a place to eat our food. To keep the costs of the trip down, we had decided to live on sandwiches, fruit, and non-perishables, and most of our meals were classily eaten in the car, while walking, or at picnic tables. We found a park and settled down at a table and ate baloney sandwiches and apples and trail mix. Then I heard it: the far-off tinkle of an ice cream truck.

You have to understand what this means to me. I have never in my life lived in a place that had an ice cream truck. Stuart informed me that the town in which we both went to high school, where he lives, does have an ice cream truck, but I lived one town over, where we don’t even have sidewalks. My childhood summers involved much lamenting that tasty frozen treats would not be coming down my street anytime soon. And so whenever I see an ice cream truck, I must buy something from it. It was delicious.

I continued my period of childishness by insisting that we swing on the swings, despite the fact that even my short legs were bent level with my chest when sitting down on said swings. It was only when the park started to clear that we decided to go back to the hotel. Earlier that day, Stuart had said that he might want to pick up a bottle of wine, but never ended up doing so. Instead, we went down to the hotel bar, where we were served by a man who wasn’t technically the barman but knew how to do it. Stuart ordered one of the beers from the very German list and I decided that I wanted to try some wine. Even though I serve wines all the time, I had no idea what to order, so Stuart recommended White Zinfandel, assuring me that it was good.

Lies. Drinking that wine was a little bit like I imagined what it would be like to ingest battery acid. While Stuart and the barman chatted, I kept trying to drink it, turning my face away from the other two so they wouldn’t see me grimacing, probably very comically. I think I got down ten small sips of the quite full glass, even after Stuart advised me on how better to drink it. I just don’t think alcohol is for me; I hated the burning sensation in my mouth and stomach and the aftertaste was not great. The sip I had of Stuart’s drink was more bearably gross, but I didn’t have anything more. Bleck.

We wanted to go stargazing again, but since it was due to rain the next day, the sky was overcast. We went back inside and after laughing at comics on xkcd (mostly this one), we went to bed.

DAY THREE: THOMAS COLE AND THE END OF THE TRIP

It was in fact raining when we woke up, but stopped after our delicious breakfast of French toast in the beautifully homey dining room of the hotel. Stuart wasn’t feeling well, so even though I had refused to do so before the trip began, I drove his dad’s car to the Thomas Cole House.

Thomas Cole, if you don’t know, was an English painter who lived in and painted the Hudson River Valley. Stuart thinks he’s swell and though I don’t really jump for joy over art, I enjoy seeing historical houses, so this floated both of our boats. We learned after the tour that they were stunned that two young people were there and geared the tour to us. I guess we should be used to this- on Stuart’s birthday, we toured some cloisters and everyone else on the tour had about thirty years on us. But it was very interesting and historical and cool.

After the tour, it was about one o’clock and we decided that we should head home then so we could do it leisurely (and work our way through the streets of New York City, if need be.) We reached my town around 4:30 and got dinner together (not baloney sandwiches) before Stuart left for home.

I’m so glad we got to go on this trip; though it was short, it was a nice departure from every day life and I got to see a beautiful place with one of my best friends and we had a great time. Hooray for trips!

Next time, a story of a trip that went almost 100% wrong…

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