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Stampie Reader
12/26/15 10:09 p.m.

Yea I just sent you an email Pat.

As far as NYC, central park was my idea. Talking to Asa today what he'd like is to see the Lincoln tunnel, Statute of Liberty, and tall buildings. By drive by I mean a true drive by. We're not planning on getting out of the truck or stopping. So looking at it I think we can come in on the Lincoln tunnel, come down West St to battery park, wave to Ms. Liberty, and head up FDR drive to 87 getting us out of town. I'm trying to avoid 95 just because well 95.

Wall-e MegaDork
12/27/15 10:53 a.m.

In reply to Stampie:

Good plan. When you go up the FDR keep going past the RFK bridge to the end at Dyckman St. Bear right into 10th Ave up to 207St, make a right and that will take you over the University Heights Bridge to 87 North. That save you a toll and bypass the worst part of 87.

Stampie Reader
12/27/15 10:07 p.m.

Fourteen hour day and we're in bed 5 min after getting to the bed and breakfast in Hope, NJ. I'll try and update tomorrow morning before we head out.

Stampie UltraDork
12/28/15 7:11 a.m.

Wow yesterday was long. It was going to be a long drive so it was highway most of the day. We headed up 85 with the highlight being the giant peach water tower in Gaffney, SC. 77 north of Charlotte through North Carolina took us to 81 on Virginia. Nice country interstates but after the hundredth cool barn even we got bored. After stopping for lunch outside Roanoke VA, we got back onto 81 to hit a traffic jam. This is where I got amazed by modern technology. I looked to Google maps to see how long the traffic jam was and it rerouted us off the next exit. Went down some winding roads until we came to the main road parallel to 81. Looking ahead Google maps had us turning away from that road and going further out before circling back to 81. I thought surely Google is wrong. Nope, when we got to that intersection the main road was clogged from everyone else going around. I trusted in Google and saved 41 minutes. I know that everyone likes pictures but remember that a 7 year old was in charge. Mrs. VCH should feel much better because we got a bunch like this. So we were on a sprint to Washington, DC but arrived after dark. No matter we can still do our tour. We came in at the Lincoln memorial, turned north to see the White House, came back south for a better view of the Washington monument, turned down the mall for a drive by of the Capitol and our 45 minute tour of DC was done. Asa did get this decent picture of the Washington monument. He was actually most excited about his first view of a Lamborghini in the wild. I swear that the guy was not slumped over dead at the wheel. From there we headed north through Baltimore and on to Philadelphia. I think you can see Independence Hall from 95 or at least something that looked like it. Our last tour spotlight was crossing the Delaware river at Washington's Crossing. Cool then we moved on to back roads through New Jersey to our little bed and breakfast. We're only 1.8 miles from this: So after breakfast we're going to explore.

RedGT Reader
12/28/15 7:55 a.m.

At least this morning you have closer to winter temperatures than the past few days. It was probably 65 degrees at your B&B on christmas eve.

Stampie Reader
12/29/15 9:01 a.m.

So yesterday we left off with, as some of you may have guessed, the search for the mystery TVR building. Unfortunately we didn't find a TVR.

Looks like they've put a new roof on. It makes sense as the satellite picture doesn't look like the roof caved in. Google must have just gotten it after they took the old one down. We looked for signs of someone living there as there was a late model Cadillac out front but couldn't find anyone. Just a couple of old Jags on the side of the building.

So on to New York. This is a picture of a very handsome man with something in the background.

We went through the Lincoln tunnel where we discovered that I'm fine in tunnels if we're moving but if you're in a traffic jam I start thinking about all the water on top and freak inside a little.

Popped out of the tunnel and got onto West St easy enough. We head down with the plan of taking a picture of the Statute of Liberty as we got on FDR heading back out of town. Right as I told Asa to get ready for the picture FDR went into a tunnel. What the hell? So found a place to turn around and got back to where we could see her but he couldn't get a good pic. Decided to call it good and got back on FDR and headed out of town. From entering Lincoln tunnel to getting on 87 took us an hour and half. Not bad considering we went back.

So this is where I screwed up. I thought 87 sent parallel to 95. I didn't see that we were supposed get onto 15 heading through Conn. So by the time we turned around and ate lunch I figure we're 3 hours behind. No big deal. Back on 15 and we're good. This is where we figure out something strange about Connecticut people. They like to run out of gas and everyone else likes to slow down to see the guy that ran out of gas. Seems like every 10 miles we'd get into a traffic jam. We'd come up on some guy obviously out of gas and traffic jam over until 10 miles down the road.

So last stop on the way was F40 Motorsports. They had already closed so a quick selfie out front and on the way.

So then through Connecticut, slight detour to hit Rhode island, Massachusetts, up 95 through New Hampshire, and into Maine. We got into the hotel at 9:30 last night and snow was supposed to start at 1am. Perfect timing.

Here's our state map all updated with stickers. He's added 12 states/DC in two days.

That brings us to this morning. We went down for breakfast and walked outside for just a minute.

We're about to get really dressed for snow and go look for a park to play in.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/29/15 9:34 a.m.

I see he wore shoes for that picture. Ha.
Now maybe a hat and some gloves.

Very cool.

How far before you found snow?

Stampie Reader
12/29/15 10:44 a.m.

We're in Portland, Maine. We spent about 45 minutes in the snow before he was worn out and cold. We're going to rest a bit and then go get some lunch. After lunch more snow play.

Brian MegaDork
12/29/15 11:00 a.m.

Looks like a fun trip for him.

02Pilot Dork
12/29/15 11:48 a.m.

If that last photo is in front of your hotel, I know exactly where you are. Just a couple blocks up from there is Duckfat, which, as the name implies, is a place that fries everything in duckfat. Go there to eat. Now. There's also the Shipyard Brewery literally right behind the hotel. And Flatbread down on the water (just across from the ferry terminal) makes a damn good wood-fired pizza.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/29/15 12:13 p.m.

Have you done some sledding?
I highly recommend it!
You should be able to get a round saucer at Walmart, hardware store or general store like dollar general.

Myself as an 8 year old, sledding was awesome!

Wall-e MegaDork
12/29/15 6:57 p.m.

I'm glad you guys found some snow. I hope you take it all back with you.

lrrs Reader
12/29/15 7:20 p.m.

In reply to Stampie:

Glad you made it and so did the snow !


Stampie Reader
12/29/15 7:24 p.m.
02Pilot wrote: If that last photo is in front of your hotel, I know exactly where you are. Just a couple blocks up from there is Duckfat, which, as the name implies, is a place that fries everything in duckfat. Go there to eat. Now. There's also the Shipyard Brewery literally right behind the hotel. And Flatbread down on the water (just across from the ferry terminal) makes a damn good wood-fired pizza.

Yea I looked at those but if I'm in Maine for probably the only time in my life I want lobster. The other factor is my son is a very picky eater. We settled on Boone's. Great meal but damn that lobster should have given me a happy ending for that price.

Wall-e wrote: I'm glad you guys found some snow. I hope you take it all back with you.

No thanks, I had my fill in South Korea during my year there and I think after the walk back from dinner Asa is about done.

So there are some things I forgot. I've been hitting Craigslist but not much on there except these.

Found these in Waynesboro, VA about a week before the trip for a very good price. They have 800 mile Direzzas on them that'll go to the DD. He was having problems selling summer tires in the mountains of Virginia during December. The only problem was I'd be heading through there Sunday afternoon but he was heading to Florida for a cruise that morning. After discussions he ended up throwing them on top of his car and dropping them off with a friend of mine in Jacksonville. Really cool guy and neat CL deal.

I want to give compliments to the drivers from Connecticut and north. They actually understand the fast lane and you always knew what their next action was going to be.

Now New York drivers on the other hand, man. They'd all of a sudden hit their brakes to change lanes randomly all over. WTF?

Tomorrow morning we're leaving Maine and heading to Utica, NY by way of Vermont to get our last east coast sticker. Looks like some smaller roads so hopefully they'll be cleared by then.

Wall-e MegaDork
12/29/15 7:40 p.m.

Going across Vermont stop off at Hemmings museum http://www.hemmings.com/aboutus/station , then take Rt 9 to NY where it turns into NY7. It is a nice ride into NY. If you hit the Schenectady area for lunch you stop off for some steak sandwiches here http://www.morrettesonline.com. You're not far from the Erie Canal if that's something you and your son are interested in.

Stampie Reader
12/30/15 6:19 p.m.

Today was an easy one. Before we left I had to represent my state so it was flip flops for the drive.

We stopped at the Hemmings museum.

But unfortunately ...

So quick lunch at McDonald's (yea I know but first one of the trip) where we found out that they hire meth heads at Micky Ds in Vermont just like they do in Florida.

We are in Utica, NY for the night and on to Ohio tomorrow.

patgizz PowerDork
12/30/15 11:31 p.m.

see you tomorrow. if you need any recommendations for dinner in cleveland call me, or i can maybe point you something decent around here. most of the best food is up near downtown, i rarely go out to eat in this county. i recommend if you get off to selfie at the rock hall like you've been doing to all the other museums to hop back on the highway right there, as downtown is a tad torn up and there are protesters angry over the police shooting that kid thugging around with an airsoft gun with the orange tip removed.

burrito? ohio city burrito on west 25th just across the bridge from downtown.

comfort food? george's kitchen at the corner of berea and triskett right up the street from the Hood Depot that we go to a lot for work.

sandwiches and pierogi? sokolowski's university inn at w14 and abbey, across the other bridge from downtown.

soul food? hot sauce williams on carnegie at e79th. not a nice area, but i enjoy the food.

hot dogs? happy dog, detroit and west 58th. $5 gets you a dog with unlimited toppings. and it's a big freaking dog.

honestly i'm drooling thinking about hot dogs and pierogi now.

XLR99 HalfDork
12/31/15 4:31 p.m.

Glad you were able to complete the Prime Directive on this trip!

Looks like I was away from GRM for too long this week and may have missed your stop here. Bummer.

Kylini HalfDork
12/31/15 5:31 p.m.

You should detour to Iowa. We have snow. And Miatas.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/31/15 6:36 p.m.

In reply to patgizz:


Im a big fan of Sokolowski's and it is convenient to my deliveries to Metro Hospital.

I'll have to add the Soul Food place which sounds great and is convenient to The Clinic.

Heck, I should try them all.

Pat, If at Detroit Ave & w58, head north on w58 till it dead ends at The Park View Night Club.

Triple D episode... https://www.ovguide.com/tv_episode/diners-driveins-and-dives-season-7-episode-10-dives-worth-a-drive-1372991

patgizz PowerDork
1/1/16 12:02 a.m.

Stampie and son hung out here for a few hours. we were no match for trying to load 2 extremely heavy truck axles, so they will be heading south in september unless he gets here sooner.

my son colin and asa had a fun time it sounds.

XLR99 HalfDork
1/1/16 6:46 a.m.

Oh man, you guys should have called me! I can mobilize lifting help fairly easily.

I figured they had already been here and left by the time I logged in here.

Stampie Reader
1/3/16 11:39 a.m.

Yes the GM 14 bolt kicked our ass. The cold didn't help either.

So I'll start trying to catch everyone up.

Leaving Utica I figured that we'd try and buy a lathe. First guy was only an hour away in Syracuse, NY. Called him and got the address, he said that someone was coming at noon to look at it but we were going to be there around 9 so we're golden. Guy calls back 10 minutes later and said that he felt he owed the other guy dibs. OK I can understand plus there's another one near Cincinnati that I liked better.

Call the other guy. Says that he can't be home till 4:30 but we're rolling through around 2:30. Finally agreed that we'd delay and meet him at 4:30. He says that someone else is coming at 5 but gives me the feeling that I have dibs.

So we're going through upstate NY and I'm trying to figure out how to waste time. Then I see a sign for Niagara falls. Quick check of Google maps and its on like Donkey Kong.

So when we get to the parking I see that it's $10 but hey probably the only time we'll ever get the chance. Get the ticket and notice it's free under 20 minutes. Speed touring is our theme this trip so we take that as a challenge. Asa got to see his first foreign country.

Asa and Canada

Then the falls (the mist in the middle)

Six minutes after parking we're in our truck high fiving over our free parking. We stop for lunch and a home depot for straps and we're on time to be slightly early for the lathe.

So I'm expecting a gas station at the guys exit to hit an ATM but he's in BFE so as I pass his house at 4:15 I call him and let him know that we're heading to the town to get cash but will be there at 4:30. He tells me that someone is already there and buying it. WTH happened to not getting home til 4:30? OK berkeley it we're going to see Pat.

Check into the Bed and Breakfast and head out the door to Pat's. As we're going out the lady tells us that they're having a Murder Mystery dinner party for New Years Eve. Asa ask me what that is and I see an opportunity to get him. Now I have a very dry sense of humor. I can deliver something with the straightest face ever but my son knows me well and it's hard to get him.

We get into the truck and I explain that it's a New Years Eve tradition to invite people to your house for a party. At some point in the evening the host picks out a victim and kills them. Then everyone else tries to figure out the mystery. At this point I know that I've gotten him. His eyes are big and he gets a really worried look on his face. I pause and he says "But Daddy they might choose us!!!" I start laughing and he figures it out and laughs with me. Not easy for me to get him that good.

So on to Pat's. Man I wish I lived next door to Pat. I'd be that E36 M3ty ass neighbor that's always coming over asking to borrow tools and can you help me do this real quick? Pat cuts a dually 14 bolt rear out of the truck and we start trying to figure out how to get it in my pickup. At one point he takes a shock shaft to the foot (still feel bad about that) but we finally use my truck and a tow strap to stand the axle on end with plans of flipping it into the bed. Soon afterwards it falls over and we both know it isn't going to happen. So we shake hands find my kid who's lost in the house and head to the B&B.

I let Asa stay up til midnight for the first time and 8am we're on the road to my Dad's again in SC.

He's not to good of a traveling companion when he stays up partying late.

Stampie Reader
1/4/16 6:12 p.m.

On to the last day. Soon after Tucker made the deal on his new to him Miata he asked if we could bring it down to Gainesville since we'd be in the area anyway. Sure just adds to the adventure.

So we were planning lunch at The Varsity in downtown Atlanta. Asa's never been and he loved it. It's been 15 years since I've been there but it hasn't changed.

So after eating a quick trip south to pick up the Miata. Steve couldn't have made it easier for us. Everything was loaded up and ready to go. He even walked out as I was backing into his drive to direct me to the tongue. I think less 15 minutes later we were on the road.

Somewhere around Valdosta, GA I realized that I was ready for the trip to be over. Searching for a radio station I got excited when the Bee Gees Staying Alive came on. Yep I was losing it.

Stop in Gainesville and Asa played video games while Tucker and I unloaded the Miata. Everything went smooth and was nice to meet Steve for the first time and Tucker again

Hour and a half later we arrived home 7 days and 12 hours after leaving. We covered 3130 miles, 18 states, DC, and spent $88 in tolls. We achieved our goal of finding snow and had more bonus side trips than a man and his son should be allowed.

patgizz PowerDork
1/4/16 9:51 p.m.

Colin had a blast playing with Asa, he hasn't stopped talking about him since you guys left.

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