Friday, July 22, 2011

A Monday in July (In Philly)

I'm going to just ignore the heatwave (Yesterday's high in St. Louis? 104. Yowza McFuckBuckets!) and tell you more about our Philly trip, instead.

After spending a restful day moored to our Philly hotel on Sunday (watching cable TV, ordering in pizza and blissfully finding a gas station before E became unusable fumes in a strange city), HUBS and I took to the streets on July 4 to see what all the Philly fuss was about. Several guidebooks had warned us about driving into downtown and trying to park; spaces are limited, garages and meters are hella expensive and the rules of when you can park where and for how long tend to shift. Or, so we had read.

We were planning on taking the bus into downtown to avoid all the parking hubub, but on Monday morning HUBS just wanted to get going. He convinced me to drive into the city from our home away near the airport. After a couple turns around the waterfront area, we found a spot right across from many of the seafaring attractions. We got six hour parking for about eight bucks. Not too bad, and just good enough to keep us driving into the city for the rest of the week.

Independence Hall

Our sight seeing goals were Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and any other historical stuff we could cram in during a downtown visit. One of the greatest things about traveling is coming across awesome stuff by accident. Our walk to Independence Hall was more entertaining because of the July 4th parade that happened to follow the same route we were taking.

Franklin Court

Well, now.

You know what this is, right?

We crammed all our history in before the Liberty Bell closed for a special party at around 2 p.m. After doing downtown and heading to a posh restaurant on a sailing ship for lunch (you'll hear more about that later), we drove to Valley Forge.

HUBS then took over the driving and we headed back to our hotel room. We got a kitchenette so we could store leftovers and reheat them. Best idea ever! We had planned on going into downtown to locate some fireworks, but were too exhausted from the day to move out again. Luckily, we found the local July 4th celebration with three hour concert and mega fireworks display was being broadcast on TV.

Leftovers and colorful explosions in the comfort of a cool hotel room? Yes, please!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Call Me Gunslinger McGraw

Me, on the shooting range. I am now in love with a Glock 9.

On our way to and from Philly HUBS and I made stops with our friends Zombie Apocalypse and his wife Gentle Teacher at their home in Ohio. They have actual acres up there, and Lake Erie passes behind their house.

This is their driveway, people!

As much as I love HUBS, it was nice to talk to someone other than him. I know how that sounds, but I did tell him that and he agreed! We both have fairly solitary jobs, and rarely do much talking with other people aside from each other. Zombie and Gentle showed us around their place when we got there (after about eight hours of driving and a few infuriating wrong turns that took us several miles out of our way) and made us an amazing dinner of grilled hamburgers, steaks and chicken with tater tots, Zombie style baked beans and fresh corn on the cob. Crap, y'all. It was so, so good!

Some of their ducks at the watering hole.

They have three dogs, a cat, ducks that they use for eggs, blueberry bushes and tons of flowers. They just moved in back in January. The house already had a guest room and a guest apartment with its own bathroom and kitchen. It also has granite on the walls in the kitchen. Swanky! They live out in the middle of nowhere, but it's beautiful there. Being a city person I couldn't spend my life in an area like that, but it's a lovely place to visit.

Even though we were exhausted we stayed up talking for a few hours, retiring at about midnight. The next day they took us out to breakfast at a local place they like to visit Mr. C's Restaurant. The food was amazing! God, I am a true sucker for breakfast.

After that we headed to the gun range. That's right, folks. Gun range. We shot a couple of revolvers, the aforementioned Glock 9, a civilian version of an AK 47 and a .357 Magnum. I did pretty good considering that I wasn't wearing my glasses (the safety goggles wouldn't fit over them) and I hadn't shot since I was about eight years old.

HUBS and Zombie getting ready for some long range shootin'.

The one drawback was that I was wearing short sleeves and an open neck top. Why was this a drawback, you ask? Because the shells would pop out of the gun, blazing hot and hit my bare skin. I even got one in the chest that almost went down my shirt. Yowza! I have a tiny scar on my right arm from a burn mark left from one of the shells. Is it weird that it makes me feel slightly badass?

Gentle, Zombie and HUBS leaving the restaurant.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music Monday: Wow, We're A Mess Over Here

Man, Philly was worth it, but that vacation definitely wrecked us! The photo above is proof of that. What you're looking at, my friends, is a baking soda anti-itch mask on the chesticle area of yours truly. Now, I was expecting to get a heat rash in Philly. HUBS and I did tons of walking, and since I sweat like a robber on a chain gang the minute the temperature goes above 75 even when I'm standing still, I was prepared for some part of my face or neck to break the fuck out.

However, I was not prepared for the itchy, red, bumpy, irritated-by-the-slightest-bit-of-clothing patches that invaded my neck, ears, chest, face and now arms. I've been battling this rash, which, by the by, looks like a serious infectious disease, since the Thursday we were in Philly. That's almost two the fuck weeks, internet!

For that time I've been covered in extra strength hydrocortisone, cold milk compresses, calamine, the blissfully new clear calamine and, as you've seen, baking soda packs. For a brief moment this Saturday it looked like I was rounding the corner; my ears were cleared up and my neck and chest infestations had dried to less itchy but still physically unappealing dark, scaly patches. But by that night I noticed a new infection on other parts of my neck and chest, and now my arms and a bit of face are screwed.

I write to you now covered in Caladryl Clear and having made a dermatologist appointment for tomorrow morning. I hope I don't have scabies or a parasite or something really horrible and odd like that.

Also messed up in our neck of the woods? HUBS. He started getting sick the same day my rash appeared in Philly and, after his own brief period of feeling better, has taken another turn this weekend. He had to take three and a half days off work last week! And now his voice is so hoarse that he sounds like Darth Vader. Poor HUBSY.

So, I want to know, is this what you do Philly? Lure vacationers in with all your history and awesome food and murals, let them spend all their monies and tire themselves out and them make them sick just in time to go home? Is it, Philly?! IS THIS HOW YOU HAVE FUN, PHILLY?!?! SHAME ON YOU!!!

In other news, Marc and J. Lo! Say it ain't so!


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