Thursday, August 17, 2017

Epic Road Trip 2017 Day 4

Wednesday was another beautiful day.  The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect.  I again got up to take Paul to the church he was speaking at, but on the way, we stopped at a deli for a Long Island bagel.  It was so, so good.  There is nothing like a freshly made bagel.  After dropping Paul off, I stopped at another deli and bought some to take back to the kids.  They scarfed them down.   I was excited this morning.  I had planned a lunch with an old friend of mine from junior and senior high.  I had not seen her since the day we graduated- in 1984- over 33 years earlier.  So we got ready and jumped in the van and drove to Huntington where the Christian school I went to was located.  Sadly, the building had been torn down many years ago, but it was fun driving down old familiar roads.  I dropped the kids off at a gorgeous park and headed to downtown Huntington to a Mexican restaurant that I had eaten at for a field trip for Spanish class back in high school.  (This picture below is from 8th grade.  Kim and I are on the top row.  She is wearing glasses and I am wearing the multi colored striped shirt.)
 It was almost surreal sitting down and chatting for almost 2 hours with Kim.  She is an amazing woman.  Her parents started and ran a rescue mission in Huntington for over 50 years and several years ago, after her dad passed on, she moved back and helped her mom run the mission.  Sadly and very suddenly, her mom passed away earlier this year, and Kim now runs the mission.  She is a true servant of Christ and I was just so thrilled to hear her story of God's faithfulness in her life.  I wish we lived closer to each other.  But the time we did have was so enjoyable.  The waiter snapped this picture of us below.

 We sat right in front of this open door with these gorgeous flowers.  It was a perfect day.

 After lunch I picked up the kids and we headed to Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's home.  Long Island is beautiful!  His home was right by the ocean, in this beautiful setting.

 The kids signed up to do a scavenger hunt throughout the museum.  Ellie was a great big sister and helped them find everything.
 Jack wanted me to take his picture under these guns.  For dad. :)
 One of our history sentences we learn in school is about Teddy Roosevelt and his rough riders, so this exhibit was especially meaningful to us.

 They each received a badge for completing the scavenger hunt.

 Beautiful, beautiful day.
 After we went through the museum, we left to go pick Paul up at the church, and then headed to Jones Beach.  Sadly, I do not have any pictures of the beach.  One of the only things I forgot when we left GA was the battery and charger to my real camera, so I did not have my read camera for the the first few days of the trip.  It was too bright for my cell phone at the beach, so no pictures.  But we did have a grand time!  The water was so cold.  I only put my feet in and only for a minute.  The cold didn't stop the kids though.  They swam and swam and swam and played in the sand and swam some more.  Even Paul got all the way in as he tried to show them how to ride the waves.  Ellie got in to her waist.  Jack was fascinated with it all.  Except the shower afterwards.  He did NOT like that and anyone in the vicinity heard his blood curdling screams.
Afterward, we went to Roosevelt Field Mall.  This mall used to be an airstrip where Charles Lindbergh took off for his flight around the world.  It is also where I used to come with my family when I was a kid.  It is a very large mall!  We only walked around a small portion of it.  You can see a partial list of the stores on the display in front of Paul.

Wednesday was a great day!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Epic Road Trip 2017 Day 3

 On Tuesday, Paul and I got up early and I drove him to where he was speaking and then I returned to get the kids.  After we ate and cleaned up a bit, we set out to visit some of the places from my childhood.  I was much more excited than the kids, but I didn't care!  I was thrilled to have these three days to do whatever I wanted to, to drive where I wanted to and to see what I wanted to!  First place, of course, was our house in Levittown.  (Above in yellow).  We lived in this house from about 1977 to about 1986 and it is the house that I grew up in.  Right before we lived in that house, we lived in the house below with the big willow tree in the front yard.  We lived here from about 1975 to 1977 when we moved across the street into the yellow house.

 This tree was here when we lived here, and we loved to climb it.  It is massive!

 Front view of the house with the tree in Levittown.

This Carvel was here when we lived here also, and we walked to it numerous times.  There is nothing like Carvel ice cream.

The old post office below was also there when we lived in Levittown.  It is exactly the same as it was so long ago.

 The library was one of our favorite places to go as a kid.  We could walk there, and we took advantage of it and spent many hours here.

This was our church while we lived in Long Island.  It is so different today, although this part is pretty much the same.  Being pastor's kids, the church was our second home, but other than the front part, I almost didn't recognize it.

 After my trip down memory lane, I decided to take the kids to an authentic Long Island diner.  It was a fun meal, yet very pricey!  I had forgotten how expensive it is to do anything on Long Island.  We ate very frugally but it was still alot.  After lunch we headed to Eisenhower Park, a very large park near where I used to live.  It had a very cool playground that the kids loved.

 This was pure excitement.  My children have never bought ice cream from an ice cream truck before.  I had told them stories of when I was a kid and would hear the music.  I would run to find some quarters and run out to the street to buy an ice cream.  They were thrilled to have the chance to do that.

 After the park, we picked Paul up and headed to Jones Beach, anticipating swimming in the ocean.  Only Sam had memories of the ocean, and the other kids were really looking forward to it.

 But it wasn't to be.  As you can see in the picture above, the sign says swimming was prohibited.  There was a lightning storm.  It was so disappointing.

So we left the beach and drove around, had dinner,  and headed back to the place we were staying.  Even with the disappointment of the beach, it was a great day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Epic Road Trip 2017 Days 1 and 2

 We left Macon on Sunday, June 25th at about 4:00 PM.  There were, of course, many last minute things that had to be dealt with after church that morning.  The kids were almost beside themselves with excitement!  We had bought a new van a few days before, and they were armed with notebooks, pencils and movies.  You can tell by Ben and Emma's faces that they had NO idea how long they would be in this van.
 Jack had no idea either.  He just knew everyone else was excited.  As you can tell by the next picture, he was asleep before we even pulled out of our driveway.

 And we were off! It was such a relief to finally get in the van and head out.  The plan was to drive all night, or until Paul needed a rest and arrive on Long Island Monday morning. Paul was scheduled to set up at a church on Monday afternoon, and then speak at a CC practicum on Tuesday.
 Paul drove for a few hours, and then I took over so he could get a nap before nightfall.  I'm not usually a good night time driver because I get so sleepy.  Actually, I'm not really a good morning driver either for the same reason. :)  But I drove until 1 AM so he could get some rest, but I'm pretty sure he never slept.  I listened to The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis, which I thoroughly  enjoyed.
 The next morning found us in New Jersey.  Paul pulled over about 7 and the rest of us got out and had breakfast while he slept in the van for about an hour and a half.  He came in, had breakfast and coffee and we were good to go.
 The Verrazanno Narrows Bridge.  What a familiar sight!  I was so excited to see this because it meant we were growing close.  We were all shocked that we had to pay $15 to get across this bridge.  (And, in a serious oversight, we had no cash on us! We went through the toll anyway and were told the camera would take a picture of our license plate and mail us a bill.  As of today, over six weeks later, we still haven't gotten the bill. )

 We arrived on Long Island around 10.  His meeting wasn't until 1, and we couldn't go where we were staying until 4, so we found a park so the  kids could play.  The weather was amazing.  Breezy and comfortable!  Coming from hot humid Georgia, it was a welcomed treat.
 So after the park, we ran to Walmart.  What a mad house!  The people in Walmart drove their carts around the store just like the people on the road drove- CRAZY!  We almost were run over by carts several times.  It was insane.  We drove Paul over to where the Practicum was so he could set up.  The kids and I stayed in the van and I closed my eyes, ready to doze off, when I heard him loudly calling my name.  Turns out the secretary of the church was a schoolmate of mine, years ago!  We had in fact, ridden the same bus for a few years, so we knew each other very well.  What a small world.

 After he set up, we went out for real Long Island pizza.  It didn't disappoint.  So, so good!  By this time, we were getting very tired, but we still had some time to kill, so we drove around and took in this very different culture.

We arrived at our friends house around 4.  These were friends of ours from college, and I hadn't seen them in over 25 years, but it didn't take long to get reacquainted.  They were very hospitable and served us a delicious meal.  Another friend, Dennis, came over and ate dinner with us.  I have known Dennis since I was about 15.  We attended the same church and then the same Bible college, but I hadn't seen him in about 25 years also.  It was fun to reconnect and talk about the old days.  After supper, Doug treated us all to authentic New York Italian Ice.  Oh I have forgotten how good that really is!  It had been a long day and we were ready for bed.  All of us slept soundly.