BU at LIU Post, or, Another Football Roadtrip

I often accompany Chuck when his football games are far away.  When his dad, brother, and/or friends cannot come in my stead.  As I have mentioned before, these road trips usually involve some kind of loving bribery that makes my company and navigational skills payment for a nice hotel room or a shopping spree or outrageously awesome dinner theater.  Yesterday, Bloomsburg played at Long Island University, Post Campus in Brookville, NY.  I tagged along and made sure to document the important parts.

First, the trip is long and full of tolls.  New Jersey and Staten Island are the worst offenders.  Normally, if you can avoid these places, do so.  And prepare yourself for the down time.  Fortunately, I am quite skilled at reading in the car.  Remember, I grew up road tripping – motion sickness is for wimps!  I finished A Dance with Dragons as we entered Nassau County, NY.

We decided to grab brunch as we had arrived a bit early.  The local diner had an hour wait, but then I noticed an IKEA and decided that meatballs would tide me over.  When out of town, I have a rule about never eating in a chain or franchise that I can visit at home.  In the sleepy mid-section of PA where we live, many novel stores and products take time to take root.  We have only recently discovered self-serve frozen yogurt bars!  IKEA is popular enough among my friends and family, but we have to drive to Philly or Baltimore to shop there and cannot get delivery.  Plus, those meatballs are bangin’.

Here is what I found in the parking lot at IKEA:

Do they make kitty Dalek stickers?

Best.  Family. Stickers.  Ever.

Then we went to the game.  BU won, the LIU Post fans were whiny and obnoxious, and a bunch of drunk students heckled everyone who walked to or from the guest seating.

I started reading Freakonomics and worked on some crosswords.  The campus of LIU Post is very pretty and wooded.  This area of “Lawn Guy Land” seems pretty swank.  There are lots of large houses and gated driveways.  Of course, the whole place is part of the flight path for JFK.  That would get old, fast.

Now, don’t laugh at me.  I have never been to NYC. If we had the money or time, we might have made this trip into a long weekend.  Alas, I never have the time or money.  I love the arts, I love cities, and I love history.  I know, I am a total bumpkin.  Look how excited I was just to drive past the city:

Central PA is a weird, ethnocentric type of place.  Most people here dislike New Yorkers  and city life in general.  I don’t think this type of billboard helps anyone overcome stereotypes:

Still, I find the city enchanting, even from a distance:

I abused my navigational powers and directed us to Manhattan.  We drove across the southern tip of the island and got stuck in terrible traffic.  I’ll blame the street festival we saw, but I know the city is not a place to bring a car.  Chuck was less than amused.  I thought it was beautiful, and I need to go back tomorrow.  Or ASAP.  Whatever.  I was busy looking at architecture but I did manage to snap a photo of us entering the New Holland Tunnel.

Okay, you can laugh at me now.

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A Post About Boating, OR, Kutztown at BU

Last Saturday was Kutztown at Bloomsburg.  Instead of going to that game, I went to the boat.

I have to do a post to explain boating.

But first I have to explain what boats meant to me before I was a boater.

Before I was a boater, boats were canoes.  Canoes are just another way you can die while camping. Canoes are scary. Boats that are not canoes are scary, too.  Ever see the Godfather? And fishing, which is what you do in boats when you are camping, is boring.  And fresh-caught trout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is disgusting.  I like eating fish now, but only fish I didn’t have to catch and gut.  I’m all about farm to table and low-impact food and buying local produce, but if I ever buy half a steer, I’m not going to butcher it.

Being one of seven children, I rarely experienced a hotel or motel until I was on the high school debate team.  We usually camped.   The first camping trip I remember was our trip Out West when I was four.  Mom packed me and my brother Jon (then two) into our Plymouth Voyager and caravanned cross-country with two other vehicles carrying my grandparents, Aunt Mary (mom’s baby sister, who at the time would have been nine at the time), one of my uncles, and some friends.  Like a bunch of hippies we spent three weeks driving for miles to camp in the wilderness of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, eating the fish we caught and only using flushing toilets when we stopped for gas or visited relatives.  I remember having a blast, but I think my camping experiences went downhill once hot showers became a priority.

Throughout the years we camped at the beach and in the mountains, with family and with friends, mostly in Delaware and Pennsylvania but occasionally we trekked to the Outer Banks or Out West again.  We even camped at my grandparents’ house! I learned how to braid my hair to hide the grease if we didn’t have showers.  Once, I ate nothing but fish and peanut butter and honey sandwiches and raspberry breakfast bars for three weeks.  Bug bites, sunburn, being almost eaten by a bear, twisted ankles and torturous climbs to see pretty waterfalls  (as in, they all pretty much look the same, people!) have turned me into a disappointing non-enthusiast for camping.

Of course, I’m talking about TENT camping.  While I longingly ached for more than a sleeping bag on the cold ground, people known as “Not Real Campers” had travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes parked in the camping space next to ours.  It was like they were rubbing my nose in it!  They have TV and power and soft cushions on which they can rest.  I guess, since everyone I knew back then thought sleeping on rocks was awesome.  It’s not like I got to go into those vehicles or anything.

My Father-In-Law has a boat. Now I’m a boater.  When Chuck and I first met almost 10 years ago, I fell in love with boating.  These boats have big engines in them and you can use them as transportation, like a car.  They have flushing toilets, showers, and some even have bathtubs!  The beds have mattresses and the windows have curtains, but unlike a hotel, your view is always waterfront.  In the slip, you have cable and internet.  Everything even has cute nautical names like “head” and “galley.”  I’ve been on a boat with a dishwasher in the kitchen and chandeliers in the dining room!

When I first went on one of these boats, I immediately thought of those “Not Real Campers” in their RVs.  They are quite similar.  When you go camping, you can camp in a tent or you can camp in a recreational vehicle.  When you go boating, you can boat in a canoe or you can boat in a powerboat.  Obviously you know which one I would choose.

…….

Okay, so blah blah blah, my husband went to a football game and then did even more football stuff, and I went to the boat.  I just wanted to be sure you understood that I was NOT camping on the water.  Here is the awesome stuff I did on the boat:

  • Read more of A Dance with Dragons.  I guess I am dragging it out because I know it will be an eternity until the next book is published.
  • Did the puzzles in the newspaper.  I like the Jumble and the Crypto-Quip.  The answer is always a pun.
  • Went to a catered dinner at the Nauti Goose.  Again, I love puns.  We met new friends and saw old friend and had some very good food.
  • Took a sunset cruise and watched the sun go down while we slowly rode around on the bay.
  • Back in the slip, my FIL “practiced his religion” (this means he watched college football -the apple does not fall far from the tree) while I shared drinks and cookies with more friends old and new.
  • In the morning, we took another long boat ride.
  • Went out for “lupper” on Sunday at a new place in town called The Port House Grill.  I had the Southwest with a side of their fresh fries.  I gobbled it up so fast it was embarrassing.  Yum!

I took this picture on a sunset cruise a few years ago.

Awesome Stuff I Did This Weekend – Edinboro at Bloomsburg

Despite the atrocious weather forecast, Chuck went to two football games yesterday.  Instead standing in the rain watching football, I did some awesome stuff.

FRIDAY:

  • Took delicious brownies to a work party.  Did not bring any home.
  • Hosted the children’s activities at the Lancaster Public Library’s First Fridays For Families event.  Our artists, Jessi and Art, were amazing.  Also, we painted rocks.
  • Went to Frozen Yo Cafe for dinner.  Because I am a grownup and I put fruit on my yogurt so it can be a meal.
Image

Me with a rock painted like an eye. On my eye.

SATURDAY:

  • Spent the afternoon with Mom wandering around rural North Hampton County looking through antique shops.  The best loot was found at Sleepy Hollow Antiques!  I found a flashlight screwdriver combo for Chuck’s antique flashlight collection and Mom found some cool presents and projects as well- something to save fro Christmas, something for her best friend, a utensil holder for her picnic table outside, and some old books to turn into a cover for her router.
  • Played Spoons with Mom and my littlest little sister (LLS) and my littlest little brother (LLB).  They kicked my butt.
  • Discussed the world premiere of series 7 of Doctor Who with my LLB.  He’s 10, and totally obsessed. Suddenly he seems a bit cooler.
  • Went to Spice India with Mom and LLS.  Was very impressed with LLS as she is 15 and she still managed to find food to eat on their menu!
  • Went to Hobby Lobby.  Didn’t need anything, didn’t buy anything (shocking, I know), but still had fun browsing the entire store with my mom and sister, who are also avid crafters.
  • Came home with presents!  Mom gave me a bottle of Moscato (a regift; the ‘rents don’t drink but could never say no to a bottle of wine!), a scrapbooking organization bag she got on Freecycle, and a sample of K-Cups for my Keurig.  Dad gave me a bulb of garlic he bought at the Garlic Festival last week.  (NOTE:  I will post more about my father’s agricultural interests and how I am a total snob about produce).  The variety is called Spanish Roja and it is spicy!  I can’t wait to use it in cooking and to plant a few cloves for harvest next year!
  • Came home very late in part due to a sobriety checkpoint.  They talked to the lady in front of me for a loooong time.  Don’t drink and drive!

SUNDAY:

  • Read a bout 200 pages in A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin.  I call this “pulling a Carol” after my beloved Notorious MIL, who is known to make reading a priority over almost everything on her days off.
  • Chuck took me out to eat for breakfast.
  • Set up the “new” cat tower that I bought at Sal’s Boutique.  Cats are in love.
  • Went shopping with Chuck.  We bought clothes and OMG so many shoes for me because they were all on major sale.  I have three new pairs of flippies and a new pair or strappy black heels.  And a new filter for my vacuum.  You know, essentials.
  • Dinner at Infinito’s, which is the BEST pizza buffet in the world.
  • Read Post Secret.
  • Pinned a lot of geeky stuff.

What did you do instead of going to a football game this weekend?

Football Road Trip to Ohio 2010 Part II

Tonight Chuck is going to another football game in New England because he is in New England and there is a football game there.

Instead of tagging along, I am hanging out with Chuck’s parents on their boat.    My FIL has had a boat on the Chesapeake Bay for more than 10 years.  The current boat, Final Review, is a beautiful trawler.  My Notorious MIL and I will probably stay until Monday.  We might shop, we will definitely eat out, and of course there will be pool time, lots of reading, and HGTV and TCM on TV.  Before you ask, the boat has cable when we are in the slip.  And a slip is like a parking spot for boats.  I’ll write a post about the boat later.

For now, I want to continue reminiscing about the Ohio road trip Chuck and I took two years ago over Labor Day Weekend.

After Toledo (not just a G-rated epithet) we went to Akron to see a football game there.  Actually, this game stands out because I thought their marching band was really good.  I am hardly a judge of such things, but I did go to a high school with a large marching band and a terrible football team so any games I went to back then typically ended after the halftime show because once the band was finished playing we went to the movies.  Also, they played Syracuse and so it was a game of ridiculous team nickname versus ridiculous team nickname.    An action and a color?  A fabric fastener and a citrus fruit?  These teams’ nicknames are not helping be visualize the fight.  And I need help getting into football because I don’t fully understand it (despite having just celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary) and I have a vivid imagination so I get distracted easily.

The Marching Band at Akron

Akron is the home of Goodyear Tires.  The founder of Goodyear built a beautiful estate, called Stan Hywet, which is now open to the public.  It reminded me a bit of Longwood Gardens – country home built by an industrialist, extensive flower gardens, great place for an expensive outdoor wedding, etc.  There is an indoor swimming pool, a tea house, and a player ORGAN (not piano).  The bathroom suite built for the male children is nicer than most you would see on HGTV.  There are flower beds and themed gardens throughout the estate and fresh flower arrangements in every room in the mansion.

Beautiful Stan Hywet

OH MY GOD THAT DAHLIA IS AS BIG AS MY HEAD

Aspen-Lined Path

Stan Hywet was lovely and I would love to see it in the spring, too.  Maybe when they develop a college football schedule similar to ice hockey?

Football Road Trip to Ohio 2010

Every year around Labor Day weekend there is a Big Special Game that involves a team that BU does not usually play.  This means that to get to the game, one of the teams has to travel.  Really far.  Today, Chuck is in Easton, MA to see the season opener.  Google tells me the game is the Bloomsburg Huskies at the Stonehill Skyhawks.  I’m kidding; I was actually planning to go along and once the plans changed, I kept the day off from work.  I worked on the kitchen and had someone hook up a propane line for my range.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a weekday off to tie up loose ends.

Two years ago this weekend I travelled with Chuck to Ashland University for the season opener.  It was an epic football weekend road trip.  Chuck scheduled four games in three days because moderation is not known in the football vernacular, and I tagged along because I guess he had no one else to bring along.

Actually, I had a great time.  I can read in the car and I love hotel rooms so as long as I have daylight and an indoor pool I will go anywhere.  I’m no stranger to “roughing it” but my husband always tries to keep me comfortable when I tag along on football-themed road trips.  So I usually milk him for a room with a Jacuzzi.

spa tub

Our hotel room in Kent, Ohio, 2010

If you ever have to drive through Ohio, one place you cannot miss is Mike’s Place.  This has nothing to do with football (well, if you are a Kent State fan or alum, it might), but has everything to do with kitsch and good food so actually, everyone wins.  If you do not love tacky, geeky, cluttered décor and hundreds of menu items, you probably just need to take an Adderall.    Leave extra time to explore the contents of the restaurant’s walls.

Me in front of the X-Wing Fighter at Mike’s Place in Kent, OH

We also went to Toledo, Ohio for a football game.

To make up for it, Chuck took me to the Toledo Museum of Art.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s either, “I don’t know anything about art so this new blog is clearly not for me,” or “Toledo, Ohio is not a place where any reputable artwork will be found.  C’mon.”  Well, you are wrong.  This experience more than met my expectations. The Chuck Close was not on display for some reason, but the collection includes works from many of my favorite artists, the special exhibits are accessible and interesting (when we were visiting this temporary exhibit featured 1960s psychedelic rock posters!), and the glass pavilion did not disappoint.  The Matisse mural “Apollo” was my favorite.

Me in front of the Matisse

My next post will be about the other things we did on our football roadtrip to Ohio in 2010.

Things I did today instead of driving the whole way to Massachusetts to watch a football game:

  • Stayed home from work anyway
  • Met the propane technician and hooked up the range in my new kitchen
  • Bought a newspaper and worked on the puzzles while eating a BLT in a booth at my favorite diner
  • Filled my new china hutch

Must Be Football Season Again

“Can we wait to go to dinner?  I paid $5 to watch something on the internet.”

This is what my husband said to me this evening.  Don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Tonight I came home and Chuck and I debriefed each other on our days.  He had the day off as he originally planned to go to a game in Worcester, MA tonight, but at the last minute he found an opportunity to carpool to the Friday and Saturday games in New England with a fellow football fanatic so the schedule changed.  Actually, he was going to go to the Kutztown game tonight instead, but I guess he wanted to spend one last night with me.  The day off gave him some time to work on the kitchen, which is about 90% remodeled at this point.  Soon, baby, soon!

So, I told him about this awesome new machine I tried at the gym.  It’s an ab twister and it cracked my lower back as well as Dr. Ed, my chiropractor.  He told me about the great prices at the contractor counter at the electrical store.  We oohed and ahhed over the china hutch, which has been sitting in its box in our living room (and then hallway) for two months and is now unpacked and in place, ready for me to fill with pretty dishes.  Then he cautiously mentioned needing to go to the ATM.

Usually any errand is an excuse to eat out in my book.  The impulse has been made worse by our kitchen remodel.  When I heard that Chuck might need to go to the ATM, my first thought was a flicker of recognition that the cash was for his trip to New England this weekend.  My brain almost immediately moved on to the more important thought “this means I don’t need to eat cereal for dinner tonight.”

“Do you want to come along?  We could go to City Wok* or something?”

“How about Subway?”

“Can we wait to go to dinner?  I paid $5 to watch something on the internet.”

Before you go assuming my husband is paying to watch videos of adorable kittens (or perhaps something more perverted), let me assure you; this is an honest marriage and I am completely comfortable with his choices.  Yes, he was watching a pay-per-view internet broadcast of a football game.

And the season begins…

* This is a non-politically correct reference to South Park.  Neither of the Chinese restaurants in our town is called City Wok.

Stuff I did tonight to celebrate football widowhood:

  • Went to the gym.  It’s been a while because of the kitchen remodel and because I had the Swine Flu/bronchitis/walking pneumonia.  I finally don’t feel like I am obligated to work on the kitchen every instant I’m not sleeping/going to hack up a lung.  It was good.
  • I dyed my hair.  It’s auburn-ish.
  • I started watching a miniseries on Netflix called The 10th Kingdom.  Technically I am re-watching it because I saw it on TV when I was in high school.