A Travellerspoint blog

Three days just isn't enough

New York City is really great. I have to say (again) three days just isn't enough. This place is like when you are thirsty and you just get a couple of drops, you suddenly are even more thirsty then you were before. Three days just made me wish I had spent two weeks. The "City Pass" is great! Not only does it save you on the combined priced for visiting the sites but it also gets you a discount on the audio tours.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was fantastic. I could have spent 3 days just looking at the piece it contained. The audio tour for the Met is better then any I have encountered yet. Not only is it informative but there are a lot of entries so you can spend hours in just one small area of the museum.

I was able to use the subway to get to the Museum of Natural history and the lady at the station told me that all I had to do was cut across he park to get to the Met. HA HA. Not only did I get lost both times, going across and coming back, but it was the start of a heat wave in NYC. I have seen tv shows where they represent a heat wave but there is nothing like the real thing. Not a breeze anywhere, humidity way off the scale and oppressive heat. I thought I might pass out AND there was a race through the park today. Those people are nuts.

The only thing I am not going to miss is all the people. I went from Joshua Tree where you are lucky to see one person in an hour to a place where you are never alone. This city is packed and on a hot Saturday there are even more people. I will miss you NYC. Off to Cooperstown. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 21:57 Comments (0)

Touristy stuff can be fun

New York City! What a wonderful place. In all its gritty, dirty, crowded splendor. It is one of the most amazing cities I have been to. I really love it here. The subway is easy to use and inexpensive. Stay in the city is something else because of the prices I have been forced to stay outside the city in New Jersey and train in but it is worth the sacrifice. I wouldn't say it is my first choice to live but I could see my self staying here.

For the first time on my trip I truly feel like a tourist. I bought a "city pass", which give me access to the Empire State building, MOMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, Statue of Liberty, and American Museum of Natural History. I highly recommend it, I have saved a few buck and the passes actually give directions to the sites.

The Empire State building was a neat experience. 80 stories is really high up, you can see the entire city and more. The Statue of Liberty was also worth visiting. I was prepared for its size. Movies always make it look so big but she is really only about 150' tall. The actual statue was also closed off so all you could do was walk around the island. Any kind of attraction here draws HUMUNGOUS crowds. I have spend a great deal of my time waiting in lines here or pushing through crowds. Walking in Time Square (which is just a bunch of stores) is like walking through a really crowded airport.

The MOMA has to be the highlight of my trip in NYC. I has a huge standing collection of Picasso's and Matisse as well as number of Van Gogh (including Starry Night) and one of Monet's larger pieces (which was breath taking). It also had some (please excuse me if I misspell their names), Degas, Chagall, Renoir, Pollack, Warhol to name just a few.

I visited the National Gallery of Art in DC and it was well worth the five hours it took me to go through. Rembrandt was the highlight of my trip there as well as the Da Vinci.

I have been lucky enough to catch a couple of baseball games as well. The Nationals are the only home team I have seen that has lost. I have to say there is only one thing better then watching the Yankee's lose on TV and that is watching it in person. The fans did nothing but cry and whine about how terrible their team is. I don't think they appreciate what an incredible team they have. Yankee Stadium is over 100 years old and it has aged well. I really liked the park, great views, good food and friendly people.

I have heard over and over how rude and unfriendly New Yorkers are and this simply isn't true. They may direct and share their opinions freely but they are very welcoming and friendly. I have had to ask a ton of stupid questions and nobody has blown me off or made me feel stupid. I have only given myself three days here and I truly regret it. This is the kind of city you could spend two weeks and not see it all. It is the kind of place that I can see myself coming back to over and over just because it is so much fun to visit.

Tomorrow I will see more art and I am very excited at the prospect. I have been getting up everyday at 7 to get to the city by 9 to spend 10 hour here and I am just exhausted by the end of the day. It has put a damper on my blogging but I will try to give a quick review of my last (sniff sniff) day in NYC before I am off to Bill W's (those of you in he know will recognize the name) and then Cooperstown for the baseball hall of fame. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 20:41 Comments (0)

Last friendly face

It is always hard to leave behind good friends. My stay with those wonderful people was an oasis. I left behind Atlanta and the last friendly face I am likely to see till I make it to the west coast. I am sure I will meet some nice people along the way but no one that will welcome me into their house and show me the hospitality I have seen in the last three weeks.

One of the things I like to do is drive with the windows down so I can really experience the area I am moving through. I was not disappointed with North Carolina, it smelled like honey through most of the state. It is a lush and beautiful state. I can see why so many people retire there (that and all the golf courses.

When I left I was feeling a mix of excitement and trepidation. I have never been to New York City and I was a little fearful of the unknown. This next leg of the trip is all big cities and that is way out of my comfort zone. I am a small town guy so I am sure all of this will be a bit of culture shock for me.

The big city tour will consist of baseball games, historical monuments and museums and I started it off in style. I had the pleasure of visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. I have been here once before and it was as wonderful (better) then I remember. I also got a chance to attend a Nationals game during their inaugural season. What a beautiful park, if it hadn't rained during most of the game causing two rain delays and dragging the game past midnight it would have been great. Also DC is a scary and dangerous place at night so there is nothing that will get your heart racing like having to walk to your car alone in the dark at 12:30. Glad to still be here.

From here it is off to NYC and the Yankee's I am very excited. All the touristy stuff will be reported on. I look forward to sharing. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 07:07 Comments (0)

Good friends Good times

Sometimes there is nothing like spending time with good friends. Atlanta is as wonderful as I remember. This time of year the weather is perfect and the company is even better. I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend with my friend John and his family camping on a nearby lake. His boat is 30' which according to him is the minimum length for a yaught. We met some of his friends, after speeding around the lake for a while, and BBQ'd and swam the days away. I had forgotten how much fun kids can be to have around. Especially when they are doing something new to them. We had a bonfire and cooked smores and I slept the first night on the deck under the stars. It couldn't have been more perfect weekend.

Once we got back to town it was off to the baseball game. Turner Field was as nice as I remember and just as hot. Our seats were in the outfield and we baked in that Hot-lanta sun. Again it was a great experience just because of the company.

I am really surprised. I had heard that Yankees and Red Sox tickets were at a premium. I had no trouble getting them directly from the teams site. I didn't have to pay a StubHub prices (I did spend a bunch) but I still had to pay good money. Still both games are between home and 1st, not bad! All I have to do now is figure out how to train from DC to NY to Boston to Philli. I know it can be done. After that I will solve the all the worlds problems. Its just something I have no experience with. I figure it will save me a lot of gas and I should be able to get around on public transportation in all those cities. I know it will be an exciting adventure, I look forward to sharing. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 07:35 Comments (0)

Halfway Point

I have reached the halfway point of my journey. Not the literal halfway point but the point at which I feel I am on beginning to wend my way home. From here it will be baseball games, big cities and museums. DC, NY, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philli, Cleveland, Cinci and Chicago. The only fear I have is that I won't be able to make it back home before the 4th or worse yet, my mothers birthday.

From here I will be on my own again until I reach home and I am looking forward to it. I love staying with my friends but I also love being to go at my own pace without having to take anyone else's schedule into consideration. I know that some of the place I want to see are going to have to be a whirlwind tour but I believe it will all be worth it.

I recently reflected on some of the things I have learned since I have been on the road, some of them meaningful and others plain silly.

I learned this one the hard way... Never go out without bringing extra batteries. It really sucks to have a great shot and miss it because your camera dies.

I like to be alone. I kind of knew this on some level but this trip has really brought this fact home. I am comfortable being alone (even in a crowd) and I actually enjoy it. The time I have had to think/ponder/reflect/stew has been priceless. A character in a movie I really enjoy said "I am alone not lonely", for me, this is true. I haven't been lonely yet, although I do miss my family and friends I know that they are there for me and with me in spirit.

Take the slow way there every chance you get, you never know what will come your way. (I think I have already said this but it bears repeating).

Meet people whenever possible. I have had the pleasure of encountering some of the nicest people on the road (Ryan, Kaleb, Albert, Jon to name just a few) and been lucky to make their acquaintanceship. Smiling and being open has gotten me further then I could have imagined. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I think the happiness and serenity I feel is apparent and attracts like people to me.

Trust your instincts. My mother has always said "Trust your instincts but use your intellect" an adage that has been driven home again and again on this trip. I have had so many experience where I have just let go and listened to that little voice and been rewarded that I can't count them. I only know that I am grateful for this lesson.

I have been blessed with the best friends. People that will help and support me. People that love me for who I am. It makes me feel rich beyond all means. I have been lucky enough to stay with a number of them as I have travelled and their generosity has been overwhelming.

For some people there will always be "something" that prevents them for doing what they want. I was one of those people before last year. I have been asked innumerable times "A road trip? With the price of gas?!?" (Europeans' laugh here). I believe, sometimes you just have to do it, consequences be damned. My motto in life is "Kiss the Girl". (huh?). Have you ever watched a romantic movie and the main characters come close to kissing but they don't for one reason or another? Then later they get together down the line (or in real life they don't), wasting a lot of time and energy. If they had just taken that chance it would have saved them a lot of heart ache. You have to take that chance, I had to take this chance/opportunity.

One of the primary reasons for going on this trip was to enlarge my spiritual life. I feel as if that is in fact happening. This blog has been a great tool for introspection. During the day I take notes, some of them make it here while other simply reside in my heart. All of this has lead to growth and for that I am truly grateful. I will be running around for the next couple of days so there probably won't be much to come for a while.

Posted by JustJ 10:00 Comments (0)

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