Thursday, August 10, 2017

Montreal, QC

On the surface, it seemed like any other big North American city if it weren't for French speaking. And Old Montreal, the Montreal version of French Quarter that is only more upscale -- no seedy Bourbon street. Industrial buildings and Valero refineries dotted the outskirt of the city. Then we went to Jean Talon Market that looked more like a traditional Korean outdoor market than North American. And the mannerisms and attitude of people are definitely more French than American.

The phone stopped working as soon as we crossed the border. I postponed booking a room just to make sure that we don't run into a problem at the border and we had to scramble to find a public wi-fi. We were going to Universite Shebrooke dorm, but it was 20 miles out of the way. So we settled for Motel du Paysan, a cheap roadside motel. No roaches, but it had refrige and microwave making it easier to cook.

2 days of whirlwind coming up from White River Junction along "Quiet Corners of Vermont" followed by an Montreal tour, and I was pretty tired this morning. So we are staying here for one more day to rest. Two days of activities followed by one day rest seems to work well these days. And that is an improvement from the original plan of one day activity and one day rest.

Monday, August 7, 2017

White River Junction, VT

Boston was anticlimactic. I suppose any city would be after NYC. The Freedom Trail was the main attraction and I can't walk 2 miles. But I've done it decades ago, so I haven't missed it much. So we drove to a few spots instead -- Bunker Hill, Boston Common, etc -- after visiting Harvard Square and then called it a day. Then we visited MIT and Boston Harbor the next day before heading north to White Water Junction bypassing New Hampshire.

It actually was cold when we arrived last night. We must be quite a ways up north. We settled in Super 8 motel in White Water Junction for a couple of nights to rest. It's rather airy motel in an airy place. A bit of road noise when you leave the door open, but it feels rather home.

We rolled around all morning and then visited Quechee Gorge in the afternoon. We'll rest the rest of the day and then head up north along the RD drive #93, Quaint Corners of Vermont. We'll charge up the car in Magog QC and then bed down somewhere near Montreal.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Waltham, MA

The trip along the RI coastline costed me 11,000 steps and I was back to my normal CFS self today. That plus the lingering cold. Still, it's an amazing feat not to be bed-bound with all those maladies. I definitely recovered from NYC lull since we started out on the return journey.

I sure would've liked to have rested one day in Wickford but the price at Extended Stay shot up for the weekend. So we packed up and headed to Cape Cod as planned.  The first stop was Tesla Supercharger at Sagamore at the mouth of Cape Cod. I plugged car in, ordered food at Dunkin Dounut, stopped at the bathroom, and the car was all charged up. Super fast for some reason. Same thing repeated in Dedham. The charging speed must went up since the last update. Or it could be a coincidence.

From Sagamore, we followed the RD drive #99. We skept several between Sandwich and Dennis. It was already past 1 PM and we still had a long way to go.

I'm glad we didn't skip Orleans. We arrived during the low tide and the water at Rock Harbor was way out over the horizon. The tidal pools and sand stretched out as far as eye can see. I couldn't walk all the way out of course, but I managed to take some spectacular picture.

From there we went up as far as Wellfeet before turning around. By the time we got to Waltham Extended Stay, it was past 9PM.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Warwick, RI

A swing of one end to the other today. Morning started out sickly with the cold worse than yesterday. It was a complete exhaustion that made just holding arms up difficult. It was just like, well, CFS. By the time we got Westerly, I started to improve. And by the time we left Napa Tree Point, I'm almost as good as a CFS patient could ever be. No idea if the activity helped or it's just that the cold was waning. It improved yesterday after the outing  to New London, only to get worse this morning, so it could be the latter. We'll find out tomorrow morning. Today's outing plays out that registered 10,000 steps.

The weather started out cloudy too and then turned sunny. The sun was too hot in Napa Tree Point, I gave up on the idea of laying around on the beach. We came back to the bay side, rested for a while, took some more pics and then went into the town. An ice cream break and  we were on our way to Ninigret Nature Preserve. There wasn't much of bird there -- it's too early for bird migration. We moved on to Galilee.

Lobster role lunch in Galilee. Then we swept along Sand Hill Cove Road, stopped at Salty Brine Beach. There must be a retirement community near by. Lots of old people with sagging lumps were lounging there. After that was the Judith Hill light house. It looked just like Santa Cruz, I swear, complete with surfers. And drive from there to Narangasett was just like Pacific Grove.

We closed out they day in Wickford, another  quaint town along the RI coastline. We took a few pics around the Wickford Cove, hung out in the town for a while and then arrived at Extended Stay in Warwick in the evening.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Groton, CT

It's filthy as hell, but it's big and has a long picture window looking out to greenery. Decent continental breakfast too.  All for $42. It has kitchenette, compete with everything except for a cooktop, so we'll cook for lunch and dinner today. Good thing we are carrying a portable stove.

We are stuck here in Econo Lodge for a couple of days. I contracted a cold while moving out of NYC and it has already moved from my nose half way down to my throat. I'll have to rest and stop the progression. Else it'll move to my lung and I'll be coughing for 2 months. And I left Bronchaid at home -- I wasn't counting on getting sick.

We left NYC on 7/31. We drove north after charging the car in Tarrytown, along the Hudson river following the Reader's Digest drive #99 to Beacon. Then we drove East to Hartford. It was getting late by the time we left Kent, so we just drove through Litchfield and other towns without stopping.  I would've liked to stop and take pics in those picturesque New England towns. I was going to go as far as Warwick following the RD drive #101 along the RI coastline, but it was after 8PM by the time we were done with the dinner and charging the car. So slept in Holiday Inn in East Hartford, a 3.5 star hotel which was about 2 stars in reality. The next day we drove here to rest and get ready to tackle RI coastline and Cape Cod.

I felt fine yesterday despite the beginning of cold and after registering 12,000 steps while moving. Today, I'm sickly. Not sure if it is the effect of moving out after 48 hour delay, or the cold. It's hard to tell when you are constantly sickly.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The End Is Near

Yes, our time in NYC is coming to an end. We'll pack up on Monday and get back on the road. I haven't finalized the itinerary yet. But we'll head north, probably toward Boston and Vermont. Then westward or continue north to Canada. Chicago and Yellow Stone is definite after that. All the rest, we'll research as we go along.

For a while after the novelty faded, I felt homeless in NYC. Now that we are about to leave, NYC feels like home. It took about a month to get comfortable once the excitement was gone. And now coming back here for good is a possibility. We'll see. For now, we need to go back West and take care of some businesses.

I may get a job and make a living again when we get back to SF. Not that I need money, but I need to rebuild my life. What was remaining after I retired was all but gone since I got sick.  And I need to work again to get re-rooted. If I can handle, that is. And if I can find a meaningful work, like solving CFS. I'm still manage only about 4 hours a day, but I might be able to push it if I cut down my daily walking. These are all ideas for now though. I'll decide when I get back to CA.

Meanwhile, photography has been sucking up a lot of my time. It's tough to get 2 hobbies going at the same time and my writing has been suffering as result. It's even tougher when you are up for only a few hours a day on average. Writing gets the priority, so I'll just have to cut down my time on photoing. I'll select just one picture a day, work on it, and upload to my collection. No more than 1 hour, and the rest goes to writing.

These are a few pics from the Bronx outing on 7/23. I took 2 train to Grand Concourse and then 5 train to Yankee Stadium. Then I stopped by Molino Rojo for a quick bite, walked back to Grand Concourse, took Bx12 bus to 149th Street.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Harlem Street Photography

I've been improving. I got sick three times in June after we settled in after a long journey. Another case of post-trip struggle. I've been walking more since then, and I managed not to get sick, so far. It's same pattern as before: hyper activity during the trip followed by post-trip struggle and then rebound settling somewhere in between the during-trip and post-trip level.

Today I went back to Harlem, for photography this time. I took M11 bus to La Salle and then walked up St Nicholas before switching over to Frederick Douglas around 130th. I walked up some more and then finally walked down Malcolm X. I was gonna stop and take the bus, and then I got over-ambitious and walked all the way down to 110th. It was a nice hot day and my NYC days are drawing near. I figure I may never have another chance, so I decided to walk down the whole length. A total of 8000 step days. That after 10,000 step day and 7000 steps the day before.