Posts Tagged ‘Road Trip’

Hubby on the Road: Coming Home

January 15, 2012

The Hubby made it home safely on Saturday! His road trip from Connecticut to Minneapolis was a little more snowy than the ride out.

I stopped at this rest stop in Ohio twice. The shot on your left is on the way out, the shot on the right is on the way back home.

Nightly sight at rest stops and diesel gas stations.

 

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Hubby on the Road: At Work

January 12, 2012

The Hubby wrapped up his job in Connecticut yesterday, and he should be starting back home today unless the site calls for a last-minute look at anything. While he was on-site he wasn’t able to take photos of the really cool, confidential-type stuff that he was working with, but he did manage to take a few shots outside of the camera-restricted areas. Here are the Hubby’s photos from work:

Caution: I may drop something on you.

Outside eyewash and safety shower in case I spill bad stuff on myself.

Connecticut license plate – it’s the little things are different.

Hubby On The Road

January 10, 2012

The Hubby is an environmental testing technologist. His company tests air, water and soil for contaminants and composition. He is in the air division, which means he spends a lot of time outdoors climbing those huge stacks that you see rising up from large plants and factories, or working on hot tar roofs, or sitting in company vehicles waiting for data collection. He uses a number of cool instruments to do analyses like GC/mass spec (gas chromatography mass spectrometry) and FTIR (Fourier transform spectroscopy), which are ways of separating samples into their various components and identifying those components.

Every once in a while out-of-the area companies will contract the Hubby’s company to do air testing for them. In these cases one or more of the technologists in the Hubby’s group will have to fly or drive out to location. The Hubby has recently been sent out to Connecticut, and he’s driving because there is a trailer full of equipment that needs to go along. Connecticut – how fun! I wish I could have tagged along for the drive, but it’s pretty busy at work, so that wasn’t going to happen. Instead I asked the Hubby to take photos along his drive and send them back to me so I could share the road trip.

These are from the Hubby’s road trip to Connecticut. I hope to have new photos every day or two.

Sunday:

Driving Through Chicago – Sears Tower spotting!

The Hubby with his rig at dusk in Indiana

Monday:

A farm in Pennsylvania. The Hubby also hit New York and Connecticut today.

Road Trip: The House on the Rock

June 17, 2011

It’s time for another adventure!

I’m heading downtown now to catch the MegaBus. *shudder* I’m not a huge fan of riding the MegaBus; they sell incredibly cheap seats (I bought a ticket to Madison for $5), so families with lots of kids tend to ride. Also, the last time I rode they oversold the bus by TEN SEATS, and it took the driver an hour-and-a-half to sort everything out. Also, on my last two experiences people were noisy and rude – they pushed, talked loudly on their cell phones, and wandered the cramped aisles of the bus rather than stay in their seats, jostling anyone who happened to have an aisle seat. But $5 ticket to Madison. So there you go.

My Mom, who is in the middle of an EPIC solo road trip (Southern Illinois –> Washington DC –> Chicago –> Minneapolis –> Seattle and back to Southern Illinois), is going to pick me up in Madison tonight, we’re going to stay overnight in a hotel, and then tomorrow morning we’re going here:

House on the Rock is an odd collection of rooms that contain odd collections of items perched on a literal rock in the middle of a forest south of Spring Green, Wisconsin. It factors into Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods, so in honor of the trip, that’s what I’m rereading on the bus ride down.

After we tour the HOTR, Mom and I will drive together back to Minneapolis. She’s visiting for two weeks and I’m going to take her EVERYWHERE  that she’ll let me take her during that time:

  • Minneapolis Raptor Center
  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Minnesota Opera
  • Beyond Therapy @ Theater in the Round
  • MN Zoo and IMAX
  • Social Science at the Science Museum of Minnesota
  • MN Arboretum
  • Walker Art Center
  • MN Institute of Arts (MIA)
  • Mall of America Aquarium and shopping
  • St. Louis Park outdoor mall off of 394
  • Dinner with The Hubby’s family
  • CONvergence (She already has a ticket!)
  • Gay Pride Parade and Pride in the Park
  • Padelford Riverboat Mississippi River cruise

Did I miss any of the big ones?

So excited. Love me some Mom time.

New CUP Contest tomorrow!

May 13, 2011

Okay, I want to write about my week, so you can either bear with me OR if you just want to learn about tomorrow’s CUP Contest scroll all the way down to the last paragraph of this post.

START READING HERE FOR DRAMA! INTRIGUE! BETRAYAL! TOW TRUCKS!

This past week has been amazingly stressful, both in good ways and bad.

On Friday I drove eight hours down to Chicago to visit with my Mom. On Saturday we went to the Art Institute, enjoyed a lovely tapas lunch at Emilio’s, and went to Cirque Eloize that evening. After the show we ate a light dinner at Petterino’s and then came back to the hotel and packed. The next morning we got up early, I dropped Mom off at the train station and I headed over to meet Chicago cool cat and fellow blogger Jeremy and his Chicago cool cat wife, Tina. We puttered around snapping photos in a relatively famous cemetery called Graceland Cemetery, then battled the Mother’s Day crowds to have lunch at Marietta’s (phenomenal lunch and well worth the wait!). I’ll have more info and pics of the Chicago trip in a later post.

I left for Minneapolis at around 2pm, but immediately became stuck in traffic on I94 leaving Chicago. I survived that and stopped at the Belvidere Oasis for road snacks (i.e., junk food that can’t be justified in normal day-to-day existence), and then I made it four hours NW to Mauston, Wisconsin when my car broke down. My bought in February of this year/60-day bumper-to-bumper warranty expiring less than three weeks ago/NEW CAR broke down. When I stopped for gas in Mauston, the engine wouldn’t start again. I called AAA for a tow truck. When I went into the BP to let them know why I was blocking a pump, I was browbeaten into pop clutching the car by this horrific bully of a woman who mocked me for  calling for help when it was so obvious that all I had was a dead battery. We got the engine started and I agreed with her that I should just head for Minneapolis and not stop anymore.

But instead, the second I left the  BP gas station I drove over to a local KMart to buy a battery, just in case mine quit on the trip home. At KMart the car died as I was pulling into a parking spot. Not a good sign, but my first reaction was  joyous indignation as I thought “Ha! I knew that pushy b*tch was wrong!” But then I realized “Oh wait, my car is broke good, innit?” Still, I decided to replace the battery and try for home.

As soon as the battery was in, I started the ignition and the engine roared to life. I headed for Minneapolis, but made myself nauseous with worry for the next three hours. I tried all sorts of tricks to relax including listening to different kinds of music and podcasts to distract myself, breathing deeply and calmly, arguing with myself that even if I did break down I could call for help, and really a breakdown was just money and time.

None of that worked.

I worried for the entire time up until I actually did break down again outside of Hudson, WI, which is about 40 miles from Minneapolis.  I was THIS close to making it home! It was about 9:30pm and night had fallen. I glanced down at my dash and saw that it was completely dark. I glanced at the road in front of me and was horrified to realize that my headlights had gone out. The only reason I was able to see was because the traffic behind me was illuminating the road and the tail lights of the cars in front of me were guiding my way. I pulled off the road just as the engine died. Alternator.

Aych eee double hockey sticks.

To make an already long story slightly less interminable: AAA came and towed me to Stillwater where some nice friends rescued me and put me up for the night.  

Monday was gray and depressing. I had left my glasses in the car at the repair shop and my contacts had conked out, so I spent most of the day with fuzzy vision, which gave me a headache. The car wasn’t ready until 2:30pm. So, many hours and $600 later I left Stillwater. I drove right to the house of some friends in North Minneapolis to relax and be around nice people, because I was so bummed out that I didn’t want to be in an empty apartment by myself. Who knows what kind of damage I could have done the Ben and Jerry’s container in the freezer at my place?

On Tuesday I had to go to the dentist AND I had a doctor’s appointment. Also, work got very…involved that day. The one bright spot was a crazy spring storm and an evening of drinks and gossip at the Independent with a friend.

On Wednesday work was very busy again, and I spent the evening doing laundry and cleaning the house.

So, you see…it’s just been an often crabby, sometimes enjoyable, busy few days.

But yesterday was pretty awesome. Work is crazy busier than usual, but I’ve taken on an interesting new project. After work last night I headed over to the Be’Wiched Deli in Minneapolis to enjoy dinner, drinks and conversation with the Minnesota Skeptics meetup group.

And today I felt like blogging. Woo-hoo!

START READING HERE FOR CUP CONTEST INFORMATION!

So, now that I’ve completely tricked you into reading about my personal drama by putting a misleading title on this blog post, allow me to announce that TOMORROW at 6pm I will post the next Close Up Photo Contest entry. I actually have the CUP Winners page up to date, so stop on by to read the rules, learn about past entries and take a gander at the current player rankings.

See you tomorrow!

New CUP Contest Tonight!

May 4, 2011

I’ll open the next CUP Contest TONIGHT at 11pm CST. I’ll keep the contest open until tomorrow late afternoon, so answers and points will be awarded on Thursday night.  If you’re new to the contest you can visit the CUP Winners page for more information (I should probably update that bad boy with last week’s results, too).

In other news:

This weekend I’ll be driving to Chicago to celebrate Mother’s Day and my birthday with my Mom! We’re both arriving in town late Friday evening, and we’ll probably hit a jazz bar for drinks that night, but I need ideas for things to do on Saturday. Saturday is the only full day that we have together, so we definitely want a plan. My first instinct is to hit the Shedd Aquarium, Mom always likes the Art Institute. We could take a trip down memory lane and drive out to Tinley Park where I grew up, or we could do something outdoors if the weather is nice. We used to do Miracle Mile a lot, but I could take a pass on the window shopping. We’ll also look around for shows that we might like to see on Saturday night.

If any of y’all have ideas, I’d love to hear them! Especially if you have any knowledge of special local events happening on Saturday.

Mom’s train leaves early on Sunday, and after I drop her off at the station I’m going to try to meet up with my blogosphere pal Jeremy and his wife, Tina, for brunch. Jeremy blogs at Le Cafe Witteveen and writes about religion, politics, and the hilarious, serious and zany things going on in the world and in his life. I’m hugely excited. Then I’ll turn around and do the eight hour road trip back home.

I once again realized what a geek I am when I was planning the drive and my first thought was “Oh good, I can catch up on my podcasts!”

And then Monday is my for real reals birthday, so I’m sure I’ll find some trouble to get into when I’m back home in Minneapolis.