If you have been reading along, the following may contain some repetition. If this is your first view, I hope you enjoy my trip stories. :)
July 1, 2005
The sweetest gift was given to me from my friend and co-worker Catherine Rohland on Friday. She gave me a ring with a picture of Judy Garland from the Wizard of Oz, so I will remember that "There's No Place Like Home." It is truly very special to me.
Towards the end of my workday a big thunderstorm rolled through Philadelphia. I finished some tasks and then finally left the office about 6:15. As I walked out the door and to the corner, I saw the most amazing thing...a full rainbow over Philadelphia. It was so beautiful. I wish I had my camera. Contrary to popular belief I do not carry one of my cameras everywhere I go.
My evening then started off right with a Cracker Barrel dinner with my sisters Patti and Chris. Cracker Barrel gets known for being home style while your on the road. I know I will probably stop at some along the way as I go, but it was nice to have dinner with some of my family. Then we picked up a couple things for the trip and headed home. I needed a chill night before all the forthcoming activity.
Live 8 - Yeah!
I love to go to concerts. I love it even more when they are free and benefit a good cause. It seems like more could have been done to benefit this cause from the attendees, but it was not a concert to try and get money from people directly. There was a petition that could be signed by sending a text message or logging on to an aol site. I sent a text message. The official Live 8 tables should have had more smaller shirts. I know they lost sales by underestimating the popularity of the sizes. I would have bought a shirt if I didn't think I would be swimming in it.
Anyway, it was a great experience to be at Live 8. Many people I spoke with expressed fears, but in my experience it was pretty calm. Carrie K., a friend and co-worker at PALINET, texted me early in the morning and we decided to try to meet up. Yep...how were we going to try and find each other among 1 million people?...Well, we did. :) Carrie, Mark and Chris got a pretty decent spot on the lawn area in view of the art museum and a screen. It was virtually impossible to get to the stage. My sister Chris attended the show with us and we had a blast hanging out. Chris and I headed back a little early and we ran into my friend Bob from the Well Fed Artists Gallery and also my friend Chris Boyd from high school. It was great to see them both.
The train station was packed and made it difficult for us to try and get back home so I could get my car and go to New Hope for dinner with Chris K. and Kevin. Ok, yes there are a lot of people named Chris around me. If you follow there have been 4 today. So Chris and I grabbed Starbucks and then tried to catch the bus...with my attitude in tact, we walked into the middle of the street and I knocked on the bus door to let us in. Luckily, the driver did. I know, it's risky, but, well, it worked. I eventually made it to dinner and had a great time with Chris and Kevin. Since Kevin is a professor, I decided to ask him about his take on Institutional Repositories and it seems like faculty and libraries may have to come to a compromise to fulfill both needs. Above all, I think that mutual education will help both libraries and faculty if they decide to take on the project of an institutional or digital repository. Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled program...The stars were so beautiful walking around New Hope. I also saw a buck on my way home and that always makes me smile too.
NY rocked. I got there very early. I was on the subway by 9am and I had a subway car all to myself. I have never experienced that in NY before. It was kinda odd and a bit eerie. I met a couple of librarians in Brooklyn. I had not spent much time there, but it was very nice. I just love NY in general. In total I met 4 librarians and took their picture. Then I got a manicure and I met the most interesting person. She worked with clinical trials for biomed stuff and was working on her creative side by marketing her homemade pesto to whole foods. While she was talking about her work she warned me against the risk of Hep C when getting tattoos. That was a calling that I shouldn't get another one. This woman had a good friend who was a librarian in Boston and was just such a positive influence to the people in the spa. It seems that everyone knows a librarian somewhere. Finally I walked around shopping and had dinner with my friends Thea and Bill at an Indian restaurant. :) On the way home I stopped at my parents to say hello/goodbye before my trip and my sisters surprised me with a care package for the road. They are so sweet. :)
Today was crazy running around taking pictures and getting ready to leave. I took pictures of Elton John receiving an award and of his brief moment at the street sign dedication at 13th and Spruce for Elton Way. Then I when home got the pictures developed, packed, got ready for the ball, went to the paper to drop of the pictures and then went to the ball and the concert. I met some other cool photographers and broadcasters there. It was nice.
Philadelphia has the best fireworks...I have been to other places and really we have the best...just when you think it's over there's more and more and more. The concerts were great. Bryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, Patti LaBelle and Elton John. I wish I was closer to the stage for the last 2. Unfortunately, press was not allowed to go up too close. I hope I got enough good stuff for the paper.
Traffic in DC/VA is pretty tough....in the future allow extra time.
NC is so beautiful...if you ever get a chance, explore Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I even went through a large thunderstorm and I still love it.
Just tipped into SC in the evening hours and stayed with one of my best friends (Meghan) from high school. It was so nice to see her. I am sad that it is so short though... We spent some time going over old times and feelings until we got too tired.
As I wake up in SC, I find out from Meghan that my storm is coming through too. What a weird coincidence!!! My name will be retired now. How wonderful!!
I made it all the way to Sarasota and took pictures of 4 librarians. One at Clemson in SC, two in Atlanta, GA and one in FL. I feel good about that achievement. It was a long drive, as everyday is, but it was getting tight with timing. I even made it up towards the Tampa Bay to stay in the evening. Everyone was so wonderful. It was great to meet so many nice people. One thing I noticed was that people driving around in Atlanta like to state comments out the window. One group of guys even liked the fact that I was a photographer and they were trying to tell me they had some famous artist in their car...whatever...I am not going to fall for that, just let me take my picture of the capital building.
I got up at 5am EST so I could meet Robyn, my friend who I have not seen in about 10 years, at Denny's for coffee before she went to work and I started the day's journey. It was so great to see her, but unfortunate that it was so short also. I met a librarian near Tampa and booked it to Tuscaloosa, AL and got there just before sunset, which was nice. It was a great drive through FL today. The sky was perfect and the area I went through reminded me of the New Orleans area. Today is the earliest that I have gotten to my final destination. I think the extra hour helped that though. The family I am staying with has been so nice to let me stay and to use their internet access. I tried to go to a local coffee shop, but had no luck with the Internet. I am spoiled in the Philly area. I mean, there are free internet spots around the city there and it is hard to get some down south. It is easy to make the assumption that everyone has easy internet access cause I do at home, but that is just not the case. I have another early rise for a picture at 8 and I'm off to Dallas tomorrow. I really like driving. I hope that doesn't change after this trip.
Well, I got to Mississippi and it has started to rain. The librarian who I had scheduled to take pictures of is stuck in evacuation traffic, so I killed time. It looks like it's going to be a late night. Luckily, the next shoot is not until tomorrow morning. Oh, and they have a Starbucks in the library here, so that rocks.
This morning I took pictures of three librarians in AL, so I am doing pretty good for the day.
The librarian's assistant hooked me up with some sushi and cookies. Yum. It was very sweet of her. Who would have thought that they would have sushi in at a University in Mississippi. It was a long drive to Texas, but I made it.
Well, I am not in the heart of Texas, but I am in Texas. I stayed just outside of Dallas. I took a picture of a librarian in the morning and trucked it to NM. It was the longest drive yesterday with a couple of traffic jams along the way. One major one was due to a multi-car accident. Since I couldn't see what was going on I decided to blow bubbles that Kristin had given me and to take some pictures. It got some people around me smiling and waving. Thanks, Kristin!
I drove on a diagonal through TX. The traffic was so bad on the highway I decided to take a business route and take OK out of my trip. I didn't want to get to NM and go right to bed, like I did in TX. OK is beautiful and I have taken that route before, so I think I made the right move. It was strange driving along a business route. Without mile markers you forget that the goals that the highways help you to achieve. It was getting frustrating not knowing constantly how far I have to go or that I have gone. I was much better once I got on 40.
I saw a beautiful New Mexico sunset and then went into Albuquerque to find dinner. I drove around for a while trying to find parking and then finally got a decent spot. I walked a couple blocks and saw a sign that said Tiki Bar...I think it was Bob's. It looked like fun and so I walked over there, but unfortunately they had stopped serving food. So I told the doorman about my travels and when he was trying to think of places that I should try to get food, he suggested that I go to the Library. Yes, that's right, I went to the Library in Albuquerque. It was pretty much a restaurant that turns into a club and, yes, they have books too. I thought it was very interesting that people were carded, frisked and had to pay a fee to get into the Library in the evening. There were a lot of security guards so at least one would feel safe at the library. :) I was lucky to be able to get some of the guys to pose for me. Check out the photos in the slide show www.iamalibrarian.com for their picture. The waitresses wear school girl type outfits and apparently they dance on the tables or bar throughout the evening. It was quite an experience going to the Library. :) A couple of people suggested that I go to Frontier to eat and it was an interesting diner type place, except that you had to pick up your food when your number showed up. The food was good. They had nice spicy salsa, as you would expect in NM.
The drive through NM, AZ and CA was actually quite good. I expected that I might be a little sleepy, but I did well. I stopped in New Mexico to get a piece of turquoise jewelry. I got a Navajo bracelet, it is very simple, yet detailed. I got to CA in time for dinner with Michael (www.libraryman.com). He actually made dinner for me, which was quite nice and unexpected. I was all ready to keep going and this forced me to calm down a bit. Plans for tomorrow were a bit up in the air, since the reality of heading to northern CA and making it back down is pretty slim due to the traffic in CA.
Well, the traffic in CA is pretty crazy and so it was decided that it would be better not to venture out too much and just to take a chill day and hang in San Bernardino County. I took pictures of two librarians here today. And it was good for me to have a rest from the long days of driving.
Michael and I hung out and got Sushi and went to Starbucks and then finding a Cultural Center closed and me with a coffee stained shirt, I suggested that we go to the mall. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to go shopping, who knows, that sounds like me. And maybe it was because I recalled Paula telling me that I should check out the malls along my trip. Anyway, so I got some new shirts and then decided to get my ears pierced again for the 9th time. Michael was nice to put up with my guilty pleasures here in CA. We had fun taking pictures around and you can see some of the pictures in the slide shows on www.iamalibrarian.com.
I got up early, got some coffee, and gas for the car and headed for the highway. I stopped for lunch in Vegas. One of the guys at the stop kept telling me to smile and they didn't even have postcards in the shop, how strange. I made it to Utah. I got an oil change in this state. I wound up near Arches National Park. I saw an awesome sunset and achieved a goal set in 1999 of talking with a Mormon. I went to Cove Fort and talked with Elder May. He was a nice guy. He told me how a stain of the wood was made and I asked him if he saw the Red Violin. I was surprised that he said that he had. That is one of my favorite movies. Apparently he likes to watch movies and is a musician, so it was a good fit for him. It was also good to hear about some of the history of beliefs of a different religion and how the Fort was build and used. This was also the first encounter that I had with Raven in the West. The only other time I saw them was at the Tower of London about 10 years ago.
I had some horrible sleep cause I was so nervous about missing the sunrise at Arches. I was happy that it was only $10 to enter. I was expecting it to be $20, due to prior National Park trips. I was so happy that I saw Ravens along the way. I was hoping to get a picture of that sort on this trip. :)
Then I headed for CO. One librarian who I met made me a fabulous salad for lunch. It was so sweet of her to think of me. Then I headed towards Boulder for another picture. So two today was pretty good.
I achieved another goal set in 1999 today...I saw a sunset in CO. I think that it is important to make small and sometimes silly goals. I even went to a "Point of Interest" to see the sunset. I climbed a tower about 6 or 7 flights with the last two bits being a very small ladder. From this tower you could see 6 states on a good day. There were many antiques in the rooms to the top of the tower, some of them were quite unique. Unfortunately many of the books had water damage or subsequently mold. There were some interesting things like stuffed freak animals, for example a calf with two heads. Being there alone with all that stuff walking around with a flashlight could have sounded like a horror movie, but the gentleman was very nice and non-threatening. I like to think that I am a pretty good judge of character and if I had felt completely uncomfortable I would have left. My friend Bob said it would make a good comic, so I will share the pictures with him and hopefully see something come of the story.
Well, I made it to Kansas. I was not as far along the state as I would have liked to be, but everything happens for a reason.
Early on I realized that I was two hours east of where I wanted to be. But I made it to Topeka by lunch and then headed over to Kansas City, MO for some librarian pictures. I was amazed at how busy the library in Topeka was. It was wonderful to see. It was also nice to go to the Memorial where there was a nice skyline of the city. Ray gave it as a great suggestion. He posted about the meeting and my project on his blog. You can read the post at http://raybarker.blogspot.com/2005/07/i-am-librarianalmost.html
I was happy that some friends and family called me along the way today. It was nice to chat for a while with some people from home.
I made my way into Champaign, IL late at night and the family I stayed with was very nice to ok my late arrival. I had called earlier and stated that I would stay at a hotel, but they gave me the ok to come late.
This morning I got up and had some MorningStar (Soy based) Sausage and tea with the family. I eat that for breakfast at home on the weekends, so it was very nice. I generally have coffee, but tea was a good change of pace. I then walked the kids to daycare with their father. It was very nice to just walk around for a bit. And the kids were just so cute. :) I took pictures of the father who is a librarian and currently in Med school. I love the combo. Shortly after taking pictures I headed towards Michigan and then to Ohio. The traffic in Michigan was very bad due to construction. They even had expression signs as mile markers for the amount of construction left. Sad at seven happy at 1 mile left. So, this was supposed to be an easy driving day but it actually lasted pretty long. I got a little lost in Ohio. This was the first time that I was steered off course by Mapquest. They were exceelent for the majority of the trip. Apparently the road they tried to take me on was a very small road and not easy to find, so I don't lay blame. When I finally arrived at Sandy's house, I was greeted by her and then her daughter and her friend who made a sign for me "Welcome Cynthia." It was so sweet. She then put me right into relaxation mode and gave me dinner and a drink. As well as a piece of birthday cake that her daughter had made for her friend. I was entertained by the girls theatrical shows and as a thunderstorm rolled in I entertained the ladies with some tarot card readings. It was good practice for me, since I was to read at a party the next day. It wound up being a pretty late night. I got to bed about 2am, but it was fun. :)
Since last night was a long night, I decided just to trek on home. Going through southern OH and WV into PA, helped save some money on turnpike tolls. It also saved time. I did not plan as well as I would have liked with the folks in OH. Luckily they are not that far away and I can make another trip. I made it through the thunderstorms home and then went to two parties at my friends' houses. They are very close to my apt, so I did not have to travel much. In fact, I could walk to one of them. Well, I could have walked to the second, but it would have taken me about 30 minutes. I did some card readings at the first party and I feel like I was able to help people, so it was worth it. I was pretty tired by the second party, but it was nice to see many friends after the long trip with much alone time.
I hope that you have enjoyed the story of my trip. Thanks for sharing in the experience with me.
Have a great day!