Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One more night

The weather has definitely changed in our favor. We are able to plug in at Camping World but we don't even need to turn on the air conditioner. We were even a bit chilly during the night last night. But no complaints from us, we are happy to have the change in temperature.

We don’t know if it was the recent heat, but Bernie has a rash of some kind on her face. The itching is driving her crazy. She has taken some Benadryl and it seems to help a bit, but the rash won’t go away.

Bernie went into Camping World with some questions about the stuff we need for Bella. She looked around, got some prices, and some suggestions. They don’t have the mirror and they recommended silicone for the leak in the shower. The problem is that the last time she used silicone it only took a few months for it to start peeling off.

By then it was getting late in the day so we decided to stay in the Camping World parking lot one more night. We had to return the movie to RedBox so we did that and then came right back to our spot.

We met Jeff, the general manager for this Camping World. He was very nice and we had a nice chat. Then we settled in for the night and had another healthy meal for our dinner.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A little cooler

This morning we found out we were at the wrong post office and were given directions to the right one. On our way there we dropped off the RedBox movies at the same McDonald’s we got them from.

After getting our mail we drove north three hours to Greenwood IN. There we went to Camping World. They were already closed when we got there so we’ll stay here tonight and ask tomorrow about a replacement mirror for Bella.

The weather seems to be shifting and there is a definite coolness in the breeze. We are so happy for this.

Bernie found out recently that her cholesterol is a little high so we are trying to eat healthier. Tonight we had brown rice with squash, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms. It was pretty good.

Then we watched the movie we got from RedBox tonight and settled in for the night.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The mirror is gone

Today was a perfect day to walk around Frankfort Avenue. We just happened upon this interesting area of Louisville KY, with many small shops to visit. Bernie ventured out early to walk around.

First she went to the corner bookstore. Charmichael’s Bookstore is small and very cute with a great selection of books. Bernie purchased the Sunday paper then headed to the coffee shop next door. www.carmichaelsbookstore.com

Heine Brothers’ Coffee is an eclectic and fun place. Just like a coffee shop should look, smell, and feel like. She got an iced coffee and then went back to Bella. www.heinebroscoffee.com

A little later Bernie went back to explore some more and found a consignment shop and a wine shop. The cashier at the wine shop mentioned a restaurant nearby that had been on the Throwdown show on the Food Network. We looked it up online and it sounded good so we decided to go there for dinner.

Lynn’s Paradise CafĂ© is quite a whimsical place. Fun is written all over the inside and out. We had the Hoppin Juan, their unique version of nachos with black beans and sweet mango salsa. Mar liked it more than Bernie did. www.lynnsparadisecafe.com

When we came out from the restaurant we were surprised to find Bella’s drivers side mirror smashed. Someone from the shop across the street came out to tell us that it had been a U-haul that knocked our mirror off and also the mirror of the Honda parked in front of us. They never even stopped.

Bernie cleaned up the glass off the street and then taped a small hand held mirror in place for now, until we can figure out what to do to get it fixed.

We then drove north about 20 minutes to Clarksville IN. We got a couple of movies from RedBox, found the post office, and parked for the night. It seems to be a little less warm tonight, maybe it is finally starting to cool off a bit, thank goodness.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A second look

We took our time getting started today, we spent some time relaxing while looking up things to do in the area. Since we are so close to Kentucky, we decided to go to Louisville.

We had the address to two farmers markets that were open today till 7 pm. The first one was in the downtown YMCA parking lot, but it was already closed when we got there. So we went to the next one, about 20 minutes away and got some produce.

Then we went to W.W. Cousins, listed in the Food Network Magazine as the best burger in Kentucky. You order at the counter, wait for them to call your name, and then you take your burger to the toppings bar, with lots of goodies for you to choose from. It was a good burger, but not the best in our book.

Then we drove around downtown Louisville admiring the buildings and the sidewalk art sculptures. There are life sized horses in almost every corner, all painted in different colors and patterns. We saw a parked limo completely covered in red shiny stones. It was so funky, we had to drive around the block to go back and take a second look.

Then we went to Fourth Street, a restaurant and shopping complex, where we walked round for a bit. www.4thstlive.com

Then we went to Waterfront Park, a huge park right on the Ohio River, with lots of different areas. We went to the waterplay area and got in the water up to our knees, joining all the kids there who were having so much fun. www.louisvillewaterfront.com

After that we got a movie from RedBox and parked for the night behind some cute shops on Frankfort Avenue to go exploring tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

One down, 49 to go

Bernie finished yesterday the honey do list for both the old and new places. Today we did our final packing and then we hit the road but did not go all that far. We went into Bloomington IN to run some errands.

We went to Walmart to get milk and return the movies to RedBox. We went to Office Depot to send a fax. We went to the auto parts store to get a new gas cap, because ours broke.

We actually wanted to stick around until dinnertime so we could go try out the best burger in the state of Indiana, according to an article in the Food Network Magazine.

The restaurant is Farm Bloomington. It has both a funky farm feel and a new age feel. The two are mixed in the funky upholstery and the traditional chairs and even a collection of bedpans hanging on the wall next to the restroom.

The burger was a bison burger. It was a good, tasty burger. Not the best but it was a different taste and we were happy to try it out. It was a pretty big burger too, one was enough for the both of us. www.farm-bloomington.com

The FN article is about the 50 best burgers in the 50 states. We think it might be fun to try them all. The problem is, we’ve already been to half the states. Oh well, at least we have one less on the list now.

Then we drove south two hours and headed to the free concert in the park in Jeffersonville IN. By the time we got there they were already finished so we pushed on and went to the Founders Day Festival in Charlestown IN, about 20 minutes away.

We walked around the crafts tents and the food carts. We were still full from that bison burger so we weren’t even tempted. Then we walked around some more and Bernie got to shoot a paint ball gun for the first time. She was able to hit five out of the six targets dead on.

After that we sat down to listen to the live band play for a while. It was a hot night tonight. We returned to Bella, in a church parking lot across the street from the festival, to spend the night.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Off to work

Today we woke for the second day in a row with lots of shade and didn't need the ac for some time. Mar's latin blood can handle the heat better than Bernie's northern blood, which seems to boil at low temps.

We had our coffee and waited for Merribeth to pick Bernie up to go work on her new house. She has a honey do list for the new house: hanging shelves, staining woodwork, some yard work, and more.

Bernie spent the day over there and finished up about half the list today. It was a productive day. At the end of the day, Merribeth lent Bernie her car to get back to Bella at the old house, so she can go back to the new house tomorrow morning and finish up that honey do list.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the shade

It doesn't take long to get Bernie going when there is work to be done. Today it was all outside yard work, with lots of bending over and pulling things out that grow where they’re not supposed to. She was out there working until almost 9 pm. Lucky for her the property is nearly all shaded.

Mar worked on her online classes - in the shade of course - and did the laundry. She also had the opportunity to take care of all the paperwork that seems to accumulate while we’re traveling. It’s nice to have the time to make phone calls, return emails, and write letters.

Tonight after Mar’s shower we noticed that there was water on the bathroom floor. We could not believe it. It might be that Bella is just a bit unlevel and the angle got the water going again.

We have some EternaBond left from the hole in the roof. Bernie used it to cover the shower corner in every angle possible. Then she took her shower and it seems to have taken care of the problem. Hopefully this will be the end of the water on the bathroom floor.

By then we were exhausted and decided to call it a night. Bella is parked under some huge, beautiful trees and the shade sure helps in the morning, when the sun comes out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The 27th state

After such a fun night at the drive in, it is very different to wake up here. The place is totally empty now, we are the only ones here, and it looks like that scene in the movies of the empty, lonely town with only a huge dust ball blowing through it.

We got ready to go and then drove east almost three hours to Bloomington IN. We did not take the highway, opting instead for the scenic route that took us through many small towns along the way. Time seems to have stood still in these towns. There is very little sign of modern progress. You can go miles and miles without seeing a fast food place or any mega stores. It is a nice change of pace.

After about an hour of driving, we crossed the state line from Illinois to Indiana, making it the 27th state we have visited since we started our trip last summer. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can see a map of the states we’ve visited so far. The white ones are the ones we have left to see.

Once we got to Bloomington our gps, Lola, took us to Bernie's next job. Merribeth has moved to a new house and emailed us to hire Bernie to fix up a few things at her old place. This is where we’ll be staying while Bernie works.

When we got here we took a look around and hooked up the water and electric. We met Merribeth and her huge dog, a German Shepherd and Akita mix. We sat and spoke for some time while getting to know each other.

Then we called it a night and tomorrow Bernie will start her work here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Closed on Sundays

We woke up in the Barnes & Noble parking lot and it was hot. Even though we had parked in the shade, it was still too hot.

We went to see the Lawrence Memorial Library designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but it is closed on the weekends. We only got to see the outside which was not designed by FLW.

We then drove east an hour to Decatur IL to see the Scovill Oriental Gardens. The gardens were very beautiful with several sculptures, but somewhat overgrown, and we were disappointed at this.

We drove east another hour to Arcola IL. We went to the visitor center but it was closed. We drove by the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Museum, which was also closed. www.raggedyann-museum.org

We were sad about that but we got to see the Hippie Memorial while we were there and that was a pleasant surprise.

Then we drove south an hour and a half to Newton IL. First we stopped to get some groceries and then headed to the Fairview Drive-in to see “Up” and “Land of the Lost”. www.earlann.net

How do you spell fun? … The smell of popcorn in the air … lighting bugs flashing before the screen … the soft breeze drafting in the windows … kids laughing and people going to the snack bar … this was our night and we spent it at the drive in. That’s how we spell fun!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An architect and an arthitect

We awoke quite excited to go see our next Frank Lloyd Wright building, the Kraus House in Kirkwood MO. We drove a couple of minutes from the church parking lot and were the first ones there. We met our tour guide, Larry, and were pleased to find out he is a huge FLW fan too.

The tour was great. Larry was able to tell us a lot about the history of the house. This house features angles not typically found in any building, with the same geometric shape repeated over and over again in every aspect of construction. FLW exaggerated this point by using the same angles even in the construction of the beds. www.ebsworthpark.org

There we met an architect and her husband. We gave them the address to our blog and they gave us the address to their blog. They have built the house of their dreams and invited us to visit them in NC. www.cassilhaus.typepad.com

Then we drove north about two hours to Springfield IL where we were able to catch the last tour of the Dana Thomas House. www.dana-thomas.org

This one was done early in FLW’s career and it is quite different from his other houses we’ve seen so far. The house has 35 rooms, it is 12,000 square feet, and has three main levels. The windows are all stained glass that FLW designed.

It is a beautiful house and quite impressive. But his later projects are much more characteristic of how FLW designed organic buildings. This makes for an interesting comparison and helps to understand the development of his vision.

Next we found a Staples to make some copies and then went to Barnes & Noble to get out of the heat. We spent the night in their parking lot.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back on the road

Today was our last day at the campground. We checked out and went to find propane, because we were almost completely out. We found a Flying J, they had propane for $3 per gallon.

While we were there we decided to get gas too. Today gas was $2.45 per gallon before the discount with our Flying J card.

Then we went to the Community Christian Church in downtown Kansas City MO. One of five buildings in Missouri designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This building is quite interesting and intriguing. www.community-christian.org

This church is done completely in stucco, which we have not seen before in any of the FLW buildings we’ve been to. However the typical characteristics of his design are obvious in the use of natural lighting, smaller doorframes and hallways, and his trademark fretwork.

Then we drove east almost four hours to Kirkwood MO, where we found a church parking lot to spend the night.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mar's birthday

Today we spent the day at the campground getting some serious R & R. It was terribly hot today so it was nice to be able to use the AC.

Mar was happy to watch the Food Network all day long.

Bernie was nice enough to do the laundry at the campground's laundromat as a present to Mar, since the laundry is Mar's chore.

Mar's kids sent her several books by some of her favorite authors and she was having a hard time deciding which one to read first.

Tonight dinner was a lovely steak with grilled veggies. We had chocolate cake and peanut butter ice cream for dessert, after singing happy birthday.

It was a perfect day and a wonderful birthday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bella to the campground

It was a hot night last night. It was so hot this morning that the heat woke us up early. Once we were up we decided to go to a local coffee shop for some AC and wi-fi and iced coffee.

The coffee shop we found was a little store in a row of shops. It is called Muddy’s Coffee House. They have sandwiches and lots of interesting coffee drinks. We shared the turtle mocha iced coffee. It was delicious and refreshing. www.myspace.com/muddys

When we left there, we drove around downtown Kansas City MO. It is pretty neat for a downtown. There are unique sculptures and whimsical artwork almost everywhere you look. There is a wall made of recycled water bottles that actually looks like a waterfall.

We drove by the public library where the outside wall is covered with giant books spines. They are so realistic they almost look like you could pull them out to read them - if you were a giant, of course.

Bernie got to see the hotel Mar stayed in and the Convention Center she worked in, which is about two blocks from the hotel. The Convention Center is so big, she had to walk another 4-5 blocks once inside. She spent her days reading hundreds of student essays for eight hours a day. Mar got plenty of exercise both mentally and physically these past eight days. She is tired and her feet hurt.

Tomorrow is Mar’s birthday and she wants to spend it doing absolutely nothing. We decided to go to a campground so she could watch the Food Network while getting some much needed rest. There aren’t many campgrounds in the area but we called The Campus RV Park and got the last space they had available. www.campusrv.com

But first we headed to Walmart. Eight days ago we had to empty out the fridge and most of the pantry, so we had to stock up again.

Then we went to the campground in Independence MO. Bernie hooked up the water, electric, and cable. We turned on the AC for the first time since last year. Then Bernie made chicken alfredo pizza on the grill for our dinner tonight. We are happy to just stay put for a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Back to Bella

Today Mar woke up at the Marriot knowing that she did not have to go to work for the first time in eight days, and that felt good. All she had to do today was check out of the hotel and go pick up Bernie at the airport.

Bernie had a great visit with her family in Orlando and made it to the airport just in time for her flight. She took a two and half hour flight straight to Missouri. Then she took a shuttle to the parking lot where Mar and Bella were waiting for her.

While unpacking, we told each other stories of everything we did and filled each other in on things. Then we talked about what to do next and where to head to in the next couple of days. It was kind of late by then so we spent the night right there in the airport parking lot. The economy lot cost $5.50 for 24 hours.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A year on the road

We started fulltiming a year ago. We moved into Bella on June 1, 2008. The time has gone so fast, it is hard to believe it’s been a year already.

We have driven 20,000 miles. We have seen 25 US states and 4 Canadian provinces. It has been one adventure after the other. We are not like the typical RVer. We hardly ever stay in campgrounds. We need to find work along the way to keep the tank full and the credit cards empty.

Bella has four 6 volt batteries and an 1800 watt inverter for most of our power needs. Bella also has a 4000 watt generator, but we rarely use it. We wish we could add some solar panels but so far the price of solar has kept us from doing that.

On the other hand we are just like all of you out there who are dreaming of traveling like this some day. It takes a lot of planning, tons of research, a bit of courage, and perhaps even a tiny bit of insanity. Whatever it takes, somehow we have done it.

For starters, we took our time to purchase the motorhome we wanted. This is crucial. It required intense research and much legwork. It almost felt like a second job for a while. It is important to spend time in different models and get a feel for what you like and dislike about them.

We made a list of those things and then dwindled the list down to the things we couldn’t live without. We found a 22 ft 2000 Ford v10 Four Winds Five Thousand, with a full kitchen and a full bathroom. We paid cash for Bella because we didn’t want payments. We were able to pay cash by selling our previous vehicles, which we owned free and clear too.

Once we bought Bella, Bernie remodeled the inside to suit our needs. We added laminate flooring in the living area, reupholstered the couch, and took out the dinette to add a permanent bed. Bella is the perfect home for us.

This trip has been a lot of fun. We have learned so much about the states we’ve visited. We have met many friendly people. We’ve had some wonderful meals and some amazing desserts.

We have seen some spectacular places. Like the sand dunes in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the leaves changing colors in New England, a snowstorm in upstate New York, and scenic drives like the Natchez Trace, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive. We have gone to sleep listening to the ocean waves. We have woken up on top of a mountain, next to a huge drop with a great waterfall.

It is a great idea to have some agendas, setting some goals, which help decide where to go next. We have decided to see all the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and to go to as many Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives restaurants as we can manage. This gives us something to look forward to. And it adds to the fun!

We hope to continue to travel for another couple years. We want to visit the rest of the lower states and maybe visit Alaska and Mexico too. We would like to go back to Canada too. So far Bella has been the perfect travel partner, with no mechanical problems or worries. If she keeps it up, the adventure shall continue. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 8, 2009

This week

Bernie got up early, packed her bags and caught the shuttle to the airport terminal. She made it to Orlando by evening, safe and sound. She will spend the next week visiting with her family.

Mar drove from the airport to the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. She will spend the next week there at the reading of the College Board Advance Placement Tests at the Kansas City Convention Center across the street from the Marriott.

Mar will be grading the psychology essays, along with over 400 psychology teachers from all over the country. They have a week to score 300,000 tests.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Free showers

Today we woke up, got ready to go, and then we drove through some small, lonely streets with lots of industrial looking buildings until we found the riverfront street again where the Arch is located. It’s hard to believe how big it is. It is truly massive. The pictures do no justice to its size. www.gatewayarch.com

It had started raining by then and we drove west for more than four hours until we got to Kansas City MO.

Along the way on I-70 we saw signs for a Nostalgia Village. We decided it was a good time to stop to stretch our legs. This place sells lots of cool stuff from the 50s and 60s. It was fun to look. www.nostalgicstuffusa.com

After another hour or so of driving we saw a truck stop and decided to make a quick stop. Once inside, the employee offered us free showers so we decided to stay. We took our showers and did our laundry too. This is the first time we’ve showered at a truck stop and it was really convenient. www.tatravelcenters.com

After another hour of driving we made it to the economy parking lot at the Kansas City International Airport. We parked here for the night because Bernie is catching a plane home tomorrow morning to go visit her family in Florida.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life is good

It was pretty hot when we woke up today so we decided to get going pretty quickly. We found the Round Table Literary Park at the Hopkinsville Community College.

We walked around the park where we saw a replica of King Arthur's Round Table, the Muse of Tragedy, a Greco-Roman amphitheatre, the Delphian Tholos Temple, and the Sword in the Stone.

Bernie tried to pull the sword out. She did not succeed but wants everyone to know that she loosened it.

Then we headed west on Highway 68 once again in search of more yard sales. We stopped at a few sales. Mar found brand new ‘Life is Good’ socks for $2 per pair. Their retail price is $7. She was a happy camper.

We drove over some beautiful bridges and drove through the Land Between the Lakes. We finally made it to the end of Highway 68 in Paducah KY.

There we went to a very cute coffee shop, called Etcetera. Mar got the Spanish Latte and Bernie got the drink of the day: ginger tea with lemonade. www.etccoffee.com

We left there and continued on our way west. About an hour later we got to Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, MO, the home of the ‘throwed’ rolls. www.throwedrolls.com

There were so many people waiting outside for a table that we didn’t think it was possible to get in, at least not without starving to death first.

When we asked how long the wait was, they said at least an hour. Then the hostess handed us a number of someone who had left. The number was called in less than ten minutes and we couldn’t believe our luck. We had fun eating and catching the rolls thrown at us. These rolls are big, hot, and delicious.

Then we drove north for about two hours to Saint Louis MO. Downtown was alive on this Saturday night, there were tons of people everywhere. We drove by The Arch and will go back tomorrow to have a better look in the daytime.

Then we found a casino parking lot to spend the night. The casino is right across the river from The Arch so we can see it in the distance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

National Donut Day

Last night we parked right next to a small park, where there are ten murals along the floodwall in downtown Maysville KY, that illustrate four centuries of history and represent the four seasons. www.cityofmaysville.com

After admiring the murals we crossed the passage to the Ohio River at Limestone Landing. Here we were able to take in the majestic sight of the river, and we saw up close the bridge we took to get here last night.

Then we headed to Highway 68 for the four hundred mile yard sale. Sixty communities participate in this annual event along scenic byway historic Highway 68, which crosses the state from east to west. And we plan to drive it the whole way.

There were so many yard sales that we had to come up with a system to decide when to stop. We decided we would count and stop at each seventh sale on our side of the road. After a couple small ones, we stopped at a huge one with tons of vendors where we did a lot of walking under a very hot sun. After that, we decided we had enough for one day. www.400mile.com

We went to Lexington KY and found the Krispy Kreme and the Dunkin Donuts. Today is National Donut Day and they were giving away free donuts. We are always up for celebrating any sweet national holiday.

We then kept going west on Highway 68, which seemed to disappear at times or change names. It became the Bluegrass Parkway, the Western Parkway, and the Pennyrile Parkway. Four hours later, we stopped for the night in Hopkinsville, KY in a grocery store parking lot.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Loving Frank

Our day was filled with driving and not much else today. We drove over five hours, first south on I-79 and then west on I-64 and I-52.

To pass the time Bernie decided to read aloud while Mar drove. We chose a fictional book about Frank Lloyd Wright, called “Loving Frank”. We got through several chapters today and it does make the time go faster.

While we were in West Virginia we kept seeing signs for Biscuit World. We decided it was a must see. We ordered the 5 for $5.95, where you get to mix and match any five of the biscuits they advertise.

We chose two fried apple biscuits, two egg and cheese biscuits, and a potato melt biscuit. These biscuits are huge, bigger than a hamburger bun, and pretty yummy too. www.tudorsbiscuits.com

Then we drove through the southern tip of Ohio and crossed the Simon Kenton Bridge into Kentucky. We’ve never been to Kentucky before. Finally a new state for us, we have not been in a new state since March. We found a hotel in Maysville KY to park for the night.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cereal choices

Our first stop today was the Beth Sholom Synagogue in Elkins Park PA. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1954. This was the only synagogue he designed and it was the last project he completed before his death.

The building is shaped like a hexagon. FLW chose this shape because when hands are held together in prayer, they form something that looks like a hexagon. Which reminded him that when people worship they should feel welcomed in the hands of God.

Both the outside and the inside are magnificent. Even things like the door handles and light fixtures represent FLW’s attention to detail and his unique design style. www.bethsholomcongregation.org

Then we hit the road … and we drove and we drove and we drove.

We drove west over five hours to Morgantown, WV. Here we went to a cereal bar called Cereality. They have many different cereals to choose from. You can mix and match any cereal you want, and get all kinds of toppings too. It is a bit of a crazy idea but something different and fun, and a good snack too. www.cereality.com

Then we went to a laundromat that is open 24 hours and that turned out to be a good thing, because by the time Mar finished doing the laundry, it was already past midnight. Then we drove a few minutes to a hotel parking lot for the night.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rock concert

First thing today, we headed to the post office to pick up the mail that Mar’s daughter had forwarded us. Turns out there are three post offices on Main Avenue and the first two were the wrong ones. So yes, today we visited three post offices!

We also got in the mail a Mothers Day present from Bernie to Mar. A little late but Mar is very excited about her new miBook with recipes from the Food Network. www.mibook.com

Then we drove south and west for an hour and a half to Ringing Rocks Park in Upper Black Eddy, PA. This is a small park where you follow the trail to the end and you will find rocks. Yes, lots and lots of rocks, all of various shapes and colors and sizes. If you come, bring a hammer.

Bernie climbed the rocks and began tapping them with her hammer. Why? Because these rocks ring. Not all of them, but we found many ringing rocks and it was fun to play a “rock” concert.

Next we drove south about an hour to Elkins Park PA. We stopped at a Chili’s for dinner to use our last gift card. We enjoyed the triple dipper appetizer platter and saved room for dessert, the chocolate chip paradise pie.

This Chili’s is right next door to a Barnes and Noble, so we decided to park here for the night.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Falafels and cupcakes

We were very happy to find this Walmart parking lot to spend the night, which is right on the bus route to NYC. We walked just a few steps from Bella to the bus stop where we got on the bus for the 20 minute ride into the city. It’s $3.15 per person to ride the bus.

Once in NYC we climbed up and down stairs to the subway station. This was Mar's first time ever on the subway. It’s $2 per person to ride the subway. We went from Times Square to the Staten Island Ferry.

We took the free ferry to Staten Island and then back to Manhattan. They do make you get off once you get there, even if you’re returning right away. The weather was lovely today so we got to see very clearly the magnificent NY skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

Then we got on the subway again and went to Chelsea Market, where the Food Network is located. We kept our eyes wide open but didn’t see any famous people.

We did find a great store with lots of free food samples. Mar finally found a Food Network tshirt at Chelsea Market Baskets. Unfortunately the only sizes they had left were huge but she got one anyway, being the fan that she is. www.chelseamarketbaskets.com

Then we walked to Taim, which is famous for its fabulous falafels and we can definitely see why. This is one tiny restaurant but they were crazy busy! The line went out the door. The place is so busy, that people eat standing outside holding their plates. And these are real dishes, at Taim nothing is disposable. www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/taim/9237960101

Then we walked to Magnolia Bakery. Any ‘Sex and the City’ fan knows that this place was made famous when Carrie and Miranda stuffed themselves with cupcakes here. We felt it was only fitting to do the same. It is a cute store but terribly busy and the cupcakes are only ok, not fabulous. www.magnoliacupcakes.com

By then it was starting to get dark and with full bellies, we took the subway back to Times Square. From there we walked a block to the Port Authority to catch the bus. It took us home and practically to our doorstep and for this we were very grateful, because our feet were so sore we could hardly walk any more.