Hello, girls! It’s Monday! And before I look at the clock again and realize, “Oh, Lord, I’ve lost ANOTHER hour and half of my life to Doodle God 2, I’m gonna write a blog post! (Please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t google that. It’s too late for me, but you can still save yourselves!)
Alexandra: I know I commented and said it, but congratulations on being a married lady! I hope married life is living up to your expectations! I want to hear all about the wedding, and see pictures!
Carlyn: I had a feeling that my challenge would be right up your alley. :)
Casey: I hope everything’s going all right, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Christina: Isn’t Maureen Johnson absolutely, without a doubt, the most entertaining tweeter on Twitter? I love her! You especially, don’t Google Doodle God 2. Just don’t do it.
And now for my JAB post.
So, I wrote two weeks ago that I was on an impromptu road trip. I went to New York (the state, not the city) with my friend Maggie. Well, she read said post, and her response was, “Hey! This trip wasn’t impromptu!” And, to be fair, she was kinda right. I mean, she asked me if I wanted to go late July, and we didn’t leave until three weeks later. But for me, that’s impromptu.
See, I love schedules. And itineraries. And organizing things. I mean, you all saw my Neville notebook. My planner is very similar in nature. I got irrationally excited when Sharpie came out with a ten pack of highlighters, because with ten different colors, I only had to find one more to adequately color code my schedule (yes, you read that right. I have an eleven-color schedule)!
Now, I’m not completely OCD about it. I don’t need every minute of every day perfectly mapped out. I don’t have to get out of bed at the same time each day, or section off my life into hour-long chunks. But I like to have a sense of the big picture. If I’m going on a big trip, I want to know when and it’d be nice to know a decent length of time in advance. This has a lot to do with how busy my schedule gets; seven times out of ten, it’s just necessity.
So a big trip to New York that got thrown at me a mere three weeks before the fact? Pretty spontaneous for me, who just doesn’t do spontaneity. Spontaneity actually makes me pretty anxious. I was a wreck when, as August approached, I still had no idea where I’d be living in a month. As soon as my boyfriend and I decided to stay in Bowling Green another year, I was fine. I like to know where I’m going, is the point.
So this road trip to New York was a pretty odd occurrence for me, for a variety of reasons. The biggest? It simply wasn’t planned. Maggie and I had a vague idea what we wanted to do every day, but beyond that, our trip became a lot of “Drive until we see something that looks interesting enough to stop and see.”
Basically, we went to Niagara, New York. Maggie has a cousin/aunt/thing (first cousin once removed) who lives about five minutes from Niagara Falls, and so we went and stayed with her. We spent day one driving there. We spent day two exploring Buffalo. We spent a lot of money at a Borders that we drove past, and then, we just kinda kept driving through the city until we saw something worth exploring. We walked along the water front and got soaked by rain, and we found a Theatre for Youth where I nearly got into a fight with some guy who dissed youth theatre in front of me, and we visited a few more bookshops and spent some more money, and we came to the conclusion that Buffalo is one of the Wizarding areas of America. Why? BECAUSE WE FOUND A FREAKING CASTLE.
No joke. There’s a castle just sitting in the middle of downtown Buffalo. No explanation, no signs telling us what it was, just a castle. Sitting right there, taking up a full two city blocks. And when we got out of the car to explore, people were giving US strange looks. Wizards. No question.
Okay, fine, turned out to be an Army reserve base, or at least that’s the cover. But Maggie and I remain convinced otherwise.
Second day, we spent at the Falls. Now, I’ve been to Niagara once before, but I was eight, and we only explored the Canada side. This time, Maggie didn’t have her passport, so we couldn’t cross the border, but that was fine. There’s plenty to do on the American side. And the falls are incredible. Just absolutely breathtaking, and there’s plenty of little walks and woods and places to explore in and around the area. We rode the Maid of the Mist and walked the Cave of the Winds, which gives you free sandals so you don’t destroy your own shoes as you basically stand IN Bridal Veil Falls. It was incredible. We both got soaked.
Third day we devoted to hiking the Niagara Gorge around Devil’s Hole. We climbed up 336 stairs at the end of the mile-long hike after climbing down just as many, and THEN we had to hike the mile BACK to where our car was, but the view was worth it. After that, we drove to little towns around the area trying to find the company that offered boat ride down the rapids of the river, trying to keep up our streak of getting soaked every day. Unfortunately, at $60 each to ride, we decided to decline and find amusement elsewhere. We found an old book shop and spent, again, more money on books, and then we returned to the Falls that evening just to see them one more time, they were that incredible.
Last day was spent taking an underground boat ride through an old manmade cave, and then making me read my ENTIRE 80,000 word Sleeping Beauty novel out loud on the car ride back to Ohio.
It was a great trip, and a very freeing one. Not having the trip planned out was nowhere near as stressful as I thought it would be. A lot of that has to do with Maggie, I know. She’s the Gryffindor in the group of four I’ve mentioned previously, and while many things that she wanted to do prompted the line, “Maggie, that’s how horror movies start,” she did pull out some slightly Gryffindorish tendencies in this Ravenclaw. And you know what? That’s no bad way to spend four days.
Alexandra, I’ll see you tomorrow!