Tag Archives: New York

Day 3: Church History… Will There Be A Pop Quiz?

Day 3 of infiltrate the Northeast with my slightly psychotic presence started out in a liiiiiiittttttllllleee town named Palmyra, New York.  Palmyra is beautiful… rolling hills, fall colors popping out of every corner and crevice.  I could live there if they provided free houses and money (hit me up Mayor of Palmyra… I’ll move out tomorrow… you can get a hold of me at 1-800-DREAM-ON-SCHMUCK!)  For those not familiar with the town, Palmyra is rich in church history for we of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faith (just helping out that one Baptist minister who says we don’t believe in Jesus Christ… oh, and Susan Sarandon might need some help too).  It was there that many of the key church founding moments happened.  I’m not eloquent enough to explain it, so I’m quoting from this website:

On a spring day in 1820 14-year-old Joseph Smith sought solitude in a grove of trees and prayed to know which church was true. God the Father and Jesus Christ, “two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,” appeared and spoke with him.1

Wondering which of the many churches to join, Joseph had followed the counsel in the Bible’s book of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.”

In short, for us, sacred ground abounds in that there city!

Our first stop was to the Joseph Smith family home…

I had no idea that they had orange construction cones and caution tape clear back in the early 1800s… it really does go to show you what a great invention duct tape was!

Y’all… now that’s a sink if I’ve ever seen one!!

I wanted to take a nap on that bed… but everyone was looking at me funny like… it looked cleaner than some of the hotel rooms I stayed in!

An actual Bible opened to James from the early 1800s… I bet it was hard to turn the pages with that glass case sitting on it.  They really did have it hard back in the olden days…

After taking a tour of the houses, the barns, and the grounds, it was time to head into the Sacred Grove.  They let you walk through the Sacred Grove by yourself… at your leisure, which I appreciated because talking in the actual grove seemed like such a waste… there was definitely a strong spirit there and Madre and I walked through it for a good hour and then sat on a bench in silence for another 30 minutes.  Madre said she wouldn’t mind pitching a tent and staying the night… then I reminded her of my failed sleep in the cabin attempt and she quickly changed her mind.

We’re playing a game… Where’s the Palmyra Temple… kind of like Where’s Waldo but without Waldo since he’s napping.

From there we also saw the Grandin Building and Peter Whitmer’s home.  We missed out on the Hill Cumorah because we got some ill-advised advice and then were dumb and didn’t plan our time wisely… but we did drive past it.  I am blessed to have had the experience to visit such sacred places.  We were lucky, in that it was a rainy day that day, but all the while we were walking through the grove, not a raindrop fell… not a one.  When we got back into the car, it began again.

Have a great weekend, friends.  Next week cometh beforeth thou knowest!  Enjoy the last weekend in October!

 

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Filed under Tripping 2011: New England

Day 2: Falling For Niagara…

Day 2 in Buffalo, NY began as any day at a Holiday Inn Express breakfast bar does… some chic telling me her life story after knowing me for all of 2 seconds.  I must have a face that says, tell me your deepest darkest secrets… either that or she’s gone mad… come to think of it I do remember seeing her talking to the wall on my way out.  Amidst that conversation, I did get a couple of words in edgewise… asking her what she’d recommend we do while here in her glorious city, to which she responded, eat Buffalo wings (which by the way, I never saw one Buffalo!?!?!?!  And certainly not one with wings… the name is MIGHTY deceptive).  Then, some dude at another table piped up with, and beef on weck!  Okay, then… while we’re in your city, your only suggestions are to eat 8 gallons of food… oh, boy.  Therefore, we hightailed it right on out of there and drove ourselves to Niagara Falls, NY.

When we arrived we pulled up to park in front of this hotel, which looked SO familiar to me.  It took me a minute to put my finger on where I’d seen it before, but then when I remembered, I took the opportunity to take 8 bajillion pictures of it… I’m FAMOUS!!  (by the by… only 2 of my 8 bajillion pictures turned out okay… the rest seem to have the giddyism disease… where I’m too busy shaking and rejoicing to get a nonblurry picture.)

Who else has seen it?  Give up!?!?!  If any of you watch the TV show, The Office, this is the exact same hotel that Jim and Pam checked into on their wedding day.  We then started hoofing it all over the place trying to find our way to the falls.  Instead we ended up at some gift shop/Indian food joint/welcome center and some true New Yorkian was talking us into taking the 3-hour tour (STOP, GILLIGAN!)  I think it was worth the $65 each because we got to see the falls from every angle possible and our tour guide was pretty rocking too… Cal… another true New Yorkian, Yankee fan, and true blue to his state.  He didn’t take too kindly to anyone saying that the Canadian side of the falls was “prettier.”  As he put it, there are no picnic tables on the Canadian side… I repeat… NO PICNIC TABLES!  The US side of the falls is not thriving economically, a lot of the businesses are boarded up and it seems that there are no jobs, unlike the Canadian side which is booming… but the scenery on the US side is breathtaking.

We got a chance to basically walk right underneath the falls when we did the “Cave of the Winds” tour.  They provided us with yellow rain slickers, which I managed to tear up the whole left side when it got caught on my purse while I was putting it on.  They then gave us these plasticy doo-daddy sandal majigs, which I also managed to break when I pulled the strap too tight.  Apparently, walking with half of my foot hanging out the top of the broken sandal (aka barefoot) is not the easiest thing to do… this from a chic who wears her rocking horse shoes 24/7.

Phew... at least ma had her toes did...

 

Smiling because I'm dry... so far...

You walked up these steep stairs onto different levels of decks… the highest one called The Hurricane Deck for obvious reasons because the wind and the spray that those falls put off is blinding!  Everyone else seemed to be fine and dandy in their little worthless rain slicker and didn’t get that wet, but I ended up looking like a rat who drowned in a vat of Cheez-Whiz.  I could wring out my clothing and my hair and Madre was all walking around dry as a fiddle bone… stupid torn up slickers!

When that was done, we hopped back on the bus (20 people deep) to head to the Daredevil Museum.  This museum contained too many psycho people per square inch.  Apparently, some doofuses think it would be a fun day trip to lock themselves up into a barrel and ride off of the falls.  The statistics are pathetic… something like 15 people have attempted to do this at different points over the years and only 4 have survived.  Yet, people keep on deciding to defy the odds!  They had some of the contraptions people used to throw themselves over the falls on display.

Two people rode in this one… notice how it’s all torn and beat up… that’s due to the power of the falls and rocks it hit on the way down.

Some madman even tried to attempt jumping the falls on a jetski… may he rest in peace.  At the end of the tour, we hopped on the Maid of the Mist boat, which actually took us on the water pretty much underneath the falls… For you Office fans… this boat was also where Jim and Pam tied the knot… on the actual boat!

This time they gave us quality blue ponchos!!  I was uber tempted to keep it to use on the rest of the rained out trip, but I ended up chucking it.  Notice Madre’s dry hair.  SERIOUSLY!?!?

Totes fun… couldn’t see a lick out of my glasses when we got back to the dock and it probably would have felt better to be sopping wet on a warmer day, but it was an amazing sight to behold!!  You all need to see the falls at least once in your lifetime.  Worth it!

Question of the Day:  Have you been to Niagara Falls?  Did you get as wet as I did? 

The big buildings over yonder would be the thriving Canadian side.

That’s not fog… that’s mist from the falls… and the boat is the Maid of the Mist!

 

 

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Filed under Tripping 2011: New England

Day 1: From Salt Lake City to Denver to Chicago to New York!

Did I ever mention how weird I think airplanes are?  Let’s load ’em all down with 8 bajillion and 50 pounds of crap and then make it soar amongst the clouds in a rainstorm.  Who came up with that idea anyway?  It’s like flying in a metal death trap up in that there thing.  Day one of Whitney’s Bucket List Slaying adventure was spent traveling.  Which is cool if you like to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to make it to the airport 90 miles away at 5:45 in the morning… basically that means Whitney did not sleep this day!  Who needs sleep when there are vacations to be had!  We had a layover in Denver, Colorado where I got to meet up with my FAVORITE sweater-wearing hottie… and by hottie I really mean, it must have been real hot like in the summertime wearing that sweater!

Be Still My Ruptured Arteries!!!

We then hopped back onto the flying death trap to make our way to the 2nd pit stop of our journey… Chicago, Illinois.  OPRAH TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!  😛  For some reason, I’m pretty durn sure my friend Oprah stood me up at the airport.  For rudeness… after all that stalking I’d been doing.  Instead I got kidnapped by some chic wearing a Peeps shirt and driving a PT Cruiser.  She tied us up, threw us in the trunk amongst our Godzilla luggage, drove us to the nearest Olive Garden, and made us eat stale saltines… no water… I repeat… NO WATER!   Okay, that never happened, but that there part is going in my book I’m writing entitled, The Day I Got Stood Up By Oprah!

What really happened was I met my long lost penpal from years back… the Avster and her Madre!  She was super sweet to pick up these random hitch hikers on the side of the road and drive us around the shady part of Chicago.  She even brought awesome gifts… and homemade peach PIE… oh, and a bag of Peeps, which went untouched by this chick… get it… Peeps chick!  After that, she drove us to the wrong airport and made us hitch hike back to the right one… okay, okay… I’ll stop with the horror stories!

We then hopped back on the plane to head to our final arrive-by-plane destination, Buffalo, NY!  Go Meeses!  That would be a FULL day of traveling… 3:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night.  Then, after we waited for our rental care and I did my sanitize the hotel room routine and dance number, I finally got to bed at 2:30 in the morning.  Plain ole TUCKERED!

I also learned that recycled cabin airplane air makes one crave ice chips and honey roasted peanuts… or so our friendly flight attendants seemed to think so.  I love how they call it “complimentary” peanuts… I spent $400 bucks on my 2 airplane seats and all I get is 3 peanuts and an ice chip!?  I’m thinking gold-plated teeth or you know… thinks like money would be more in order next time I fly.  Oooo… or a date with Oprah!!!  Maybe she likes honey roasted peanuts and ice chips!  I’ll find out next time she decides to feed me stale saltines and crick water!

Day 2:  Niagara Falls… coming tomorrowish… let Oprah know I saved her a seat!

Question of the Day:  Do you enjoy plane travel?  What is the longest time you’ve been on a plane? 

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Filed under Tripping 2011: New England