Road Trips

July 6, 2013: Day 2 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan


Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We started out the day by heading into Mt. Clemens for breakfast at Louie’s Ham & Corned Beef with Thomas and Becky Repp, owners of American Road Magazine.
Thomas & Becky Repp - American Road Magazine
After a very filling meal, we said our goodbyes and Pat and I headed into Detroit to start our westward trek on US 12, the Heritage Trail. I’m not a big fan of unfamiliar urban environments, because the area’s quality and safety can shift from one street to the next, so with our route plan firmly in place, we followed it precisely and didn’t make any stops until were were out of Detroit.

My Roadside America app alerted us to the presence of a statue paying homage to “Dearborn’s Jaunty Racist Mayor.” Interesting.

Statue of Dearborn's Racist Mayor

Always on the alert for old signs, my eye caught sight of this one in nearby Inkster:

Alpine Motel, US 12, Inkster, Michigan

We also saw this one in Wayne, but unfortunately, the diner is closed:

Brownie's Diner (closed) - US 12, Wayne, Michigan

The Chick Inn Drive-in is in Ypsilanti:

Chick Drive-in, Ypsilanti, Michigan

We then made a stop at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. Pat had always wanted to go there, explaining that it has become known as the unofficial Corvair museum, due to the connection of Yspilanti to the Corvair, and also to Hudson, Tucker, Kaiser Frazer, and also Apex Motors and Hydramatic transmissions. These are the companies with a direct connection to Ypsilanti, though the museum’s collection also contains items relating to other manufacturers. It’s very a interesting place for general automotive history, and for the specific manufacturers I mentioned. They have several models of each car they feature and plenty of other memorabilia and documentation as well. I am posting a few photos below highlighting the collection, but for all the photos from the museum, please see the slideshow, below or click it to go to my Flickr page where you can see all of the photos from the museum (and this trip).

1960 Chevrolet Corvair Super Monza

Chevrolet Corvair Neon sign

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet - 1952

Allen’s Root Beer Drive-in is in Coldwater:

Allen's Root Beer Drive-in, US 12, Coldwater, Michigan

Thomas Repp gave us a tip that we would be passing by an abandoned dinosaur/prehistoric theme park, so we were on the lookout!

Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park

This funky 70’s 7-Up-sponsored sign for the Knights of Columbus was in Bronson:
Knights of Columbus - 7Up sign, Bronson, Michigan
Unfortunately, lodging in  the area of Michigan we stayed was sparse (or a bit past our budget), so we stayed in Elkhart, Indiana.
Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634732633826″ width=”600″]

July 5, 2013: Day 1 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan


Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.


We got an early start today (good thing, it turns out). We started out on all local roads, following US 36 from the east side of Indianapolis. I have the iOS app “Roadside Attractions” from the people at the cool website Roadside America, as well as an add on to our Garmin Nuvi. These apps feature the offbeat roadside attractions from their site. I knew it would be fun to start adding visiting some of these places to our travels. I immediately had a few attractions I wanted to take photos of that I saw on the app. The first was this giant cow:

Big Cow - US 36, Indianapolis, Indiana

This bovine was closely followed by a plastered pink pachyderm:

Martini drinking pink elephant - US 36, Fortville, Indiana

We continued on US 36 east and in Greenville, Ohio was a tribute to the 1800’s sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, whose life was the basis for the musical, Annie Get Your Gun:

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Afterward, we happened upon a store called the KitchenAid Experience, which also featured a museum dedicated to the history of KitchenAid products, most notably, the stand mixer.

KitchenAid Experience - Greenville, Ohio

We also opted to pick up a refurbished blender, since the motor on my cheapie blender has started to sound not so good.

The next item on the Roadside America app was the Maid-Rite drive-in and its legendary “gum wall, ” which is almost as famous at their loose meat sandwiches. We opted for a couple of sandwiches and drinks to go as it was fairly crowded inside. The sandwiches feature ground beef, but not in the form of patties, it’s loose ground beef. A bit sloppy but very good! We’ve been to two Maid Rites before, in Missouri and Minnesota and enjoyed them.

Maid Rite Drive-in, Greenville, Ohio

After lunch, the next roadside location was the graves of Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler:
Annie Oakley & Frank Butler's Graves - Brock, Ohio

Due to a nail in our tire, which was unfortunately in an area that couldn’t be repaired, we decided to go off our planned route in order to get to a Firestone to get it replaced. Several detours later, we made it to Napoleon for another roadside attraction:
Giant Campbell's Tomato Soup Can - Napoleon, Ohio

And a Campbell’s water tower:

Giant Campbell's Soup Water Towerb- Napoleon, Ohio

It was getting late, so we needed to unfortunately get going along the faster route, so we took US 24 to I-75. We finally made it to Michigan!

Pure Michigan

We stopped off for dinner at Monroe’s Original and got a coney dog and root beer.

Monroe's Original Hot Dogs & Root Beer

We had to take the superslab up to Detroit, and get to our hotel. Until tomorrow!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634499605795″ width=”600″]

July 5-7, 2013: US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan – Overview


This trip was inspired by one of the radio ads in the fine arsenal of “Pure Michigan” advertisements. I love Michigan, and it doesn’t take much to sell me on this beautiful state. But these Pure Michigan ads are pure genius…pure enjoyment…pure road trip daydream bliss. I stop what I’m doing to listen to the ads when I hear them each weekday morning. I am easily mesmerized by the music, Tim Allen’s voice beckoning me to visit various Michigan locations. For the past few weeks, I have been hearing this one on US 12, the Heritage Trail and Coldwater Country.

“We go this way to school, that way to work, one way home. Before we know it, we’re stuck in a routine. So when our days start to run together, let’s take a left instead of a right. Instead of the direct route, let’s take the scenic route…to Coldwater Country on the southern edge of Michigan, along Route 12 the Heritage Trail. Coldwater Country shows us the unexpected is just what we’re looking for. So belly up at the diner for an old fashioned root beer; get hooked catching walleye and bluegill on two chains of lakes. Watch the gladiolas grow and grow. Let the kids stay up late for a drive-in movie, and save room for a slice of Amish Berry Pie we’ll never forget. Sometimes when we go off the beaten path, we find something worth coming back for. Right this way, to Pure Michigan.”

Having been convinced to take the Heritage Trail, I started a Trimble map and trip plan, adding various POIs and then forming the route to one end, then the route (we were going to go east to west), and back home.

Here is the route and all planned waypoints (all possibilities of things to do, not necessarily see and do them all!).

Above is the trip plan I created using my Trimble Outdoors web account.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

May 10-19, 2013: Overview-East Bound and Down


Back home again in Indiana! Wow, what a great trip that was. It was loads of fun as Pat and I explored many two lane roads throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont (just a hint), New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Here’s the overview of our trip, and posts for each day will follow (and will be hyperlinked below as they are added).

  • May 10-11, 2013: Not much to report, as these were “get from point A to B as quickly as possible” travel days.  Slabbed from Indianapolis to Dubois, Pennsylvania on Day 1, and DuBois to Connecticut on Day 2.
  • May 12, 2013: Spent the morning in Waterbury visiting a friend, then my cousin. In the afternoon, it was onto the PEZ Candy Museum in Orange, then to Mystic, Connecticut.
  • May 13, 2013: Visited Mystic, Connecticut – downtown and Old Mystick Village. Meandered our way to New Haven. Spent the next two nights in downtown New Haven.
  • May 14, 2013: Rode the Metro North to New York City. Spent the day mostly hoofing it around midtown Manhattan, but also went downtown to visit the 9/11 Memorial. Took the Metro North back to New Haven.
  • May 15, 2013: Left New Haven, visited another friend in central Connecticut, then continued meandering northwest on some state roads, then on US 7 into Massachusetts. Took NY 23 to the Hudson River, then followed US 9 and NY 9J. Spent the night in Schenectady.
  • May 16, 2013: Today’s destination was Lake George, New York, a favorite tourist destination of mine from my teen years. Before heading north, we took a detour back east to Bennington, Vermont to have breakfast at the Blue Benn Diner. Traversed northwest and spent the afternoon and evening in Lake George on a cute motel on the lake.
  • May 17, 2013: Spent the morning in Lake George. There was not much open yet, since we were still in the off season (just a week away), so we checked out the site of the former amusement park Gaslight Village (now demolished) and figured out which motel my parents and I stayed in when I was a teen. Played a round of mini golf at Goony Golf, and then headed southwest / west on US 20, visiting an iconic tourist stop, the Tepee.
  • May 18, 2013: Continuing west on US 20 through New York state, through the Finger Lakes area, visited the town that inspired Frank Capra’s vision of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, continued on US 20 into Pennsylvania along Lake Erie on PA 5 (Circle Lake Tour).
  • May 19, 2013: Continued along PA 5 (Circle Lake Tour) by Lake Erie, visited a memorial to those lost in a bad train wreck in 1876, saw the longest covered bridge in the US, and the world’s two largest loaves of bread.

What a ride! Stay tuned.

Pat & Jennifer


May 19, 2013: Day 10 – East Bound and Down


Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

Today was the final day of our journey, and so far it’s been a great one!

After checking out of the motel, I opted for just coffee today. After having so many big breakfasts and a big dinner and dessert last night, I needed to give my stomach a rest. We continued into Erie on State Road 5, which was the Circle Lake route, and found a Dunkin’ Donuts in town. We made our way back to the scenic route and passed by this motel where we stayed several years ago.

Vernondale Motel - Erie, Pennsylvania
Along this route, the majority of the trip is in New York, and there is very little of Pennsylvania to go through. So before you know it, we were in Ohio. We continued to follow the Circle Lake Tour, and decided to stop at a park on the lake, Conneaut Township Park. What beautiful views! We decided to take a walk down on the beach and toward the lighthouse.
Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio

Conneaut Township Park on Lake Erie - Conneaut, Ohio
I checked out my Roadside America app again, which showed a town coming up called Ashtabula, featuring several interesting locations. The first was the longest covered bridge in the United States.
World's longest covered bridge - Ashtabula, Ohio
The next location were several memorials to people who perished in the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster, where a train bridge crossing the Ashtabula Rover collapsed during a blizzard, killing 92 of the 159 people on board.

Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
By the hospital, there is an audio memorial, and the hospital is relevant to the disaster, because there were no medical facilities nearby at the time. As a result, a local farmer left his land to be used to build a new medical facility.
Ashtabula Train Wreck Memorial - Ashtabula, Ohio
Ashtabula Medical Center - Ashtabula, Ohio

After we finished with the SR 5 portion of the Circle Lake Tour, we decided to take the Interstate home (at least for as long as Pat could tolerate it). We bypassed Cleveland and picked up I-71. After another obligatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn (and some free ice cream as a result of a Foursquare check in special), we continued on 71 until just north of Columbus, where we got on US 36. In Urbana, we found via the Roadside America app, two of the World’s Largest Loaves of Bread.
World's Largest Loaf of Bread No. 2
World's Largest Loaf of Bread
We continued on US 36 only a bit longer, then picked up I-70 east of Dayton and continued back to Indianapolis on the Evil I.
Back Home Again in Indiana
Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633538947210″ width=”600″]

May 18, 2013: Day 9 – East Bound and Down


Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We checked out of the motel and decided to have breakfast in town at the local establishment, the Chef Diner.

The Chef Diner - US 20, Richfield Springs, New York

The food was very good and very plentiful here, as was the local conversation. :)
The Chef Diner - US 20, Richfield Springs, New York

We continued west on US 20 throughout New York, and we quickly approached the Finger Lakes area, but not before passing through some nice country, with rolling hills.
US 20 West, New York

Seneca Falls was recommended by a friend to be a good place to spend a little time, a nice town with shops and restaurants, etc. But it turns out that there’s more to Seneca Falls! I remembered reading about this, but didn’t remember the name of the town or where it was, but once we got there, I found through my new Roadside America iOS app, that there was a bridge in town that was called the George Bailey Bridge. Filming location for “It’s a Wonderful Life” perhaps? No…not quite. Turns out that the town of Seneca Falls was visited by Frank Capra in the mid-40’s as the screenplay was being developed. There are many similarities between the fictional Bedford Falls and Seneca Falls, which they have noted at their website, the Real Bedford Falls. We didn’t have too much time to spend in town, but we did enjoy some gelato at a local Italian shop, and then a walk over to the George Bailey Bridge (the Bridge Street Bridge). The bridge in the film certainly did bear a strong resemblance to this bridge.
Bridge Street/George Bailey Bridge - Seneca Falls, New York

Bridge Street/George Bailey Bridge - Seneca Falls, New York

After leaving Seneca Falls, we continued on US 20 through Buffalo and along Lake Erie. We knew that Erie, Pennsylvania was difficult to get a good, reasonably priced hotel room. The better hotels are expensive and lesser hotels and motels with sketchy reviews still had pricey rates. We stumbled upon a little mom & pop east of Erie, but no one was to be found in the lobby! We followed the instructions to ring the phone (basically the base of a cordless phone that you press to ring the phone). Despite many rings, no one came. A guest who “sort of” checked in was just as confused. He was able to find a check in card and key, but no owner. They weren’t sure if they followed the right process, but at least they did have a key and room. The husband went over to the local bar / restaurant across the street, but no one knew where the owner was. The clock on the desk indicated they would return at 9, but it was a long time away, so we decided to move on. Just down the road, we found another mom & pop called the Colonial Motel in North East, Pennsylvania, and it looked very clean, so we decided to stay. It was reasonably priced and had good wifi. Winner! :)

We had dinner at a nearby restaurant called the Freeport Restaurant, highly recommended by the motel owner. Before we did, we stopped at a park right down the road on Lake Erie to watch the sun set:

Sunset along Lake Erie

After a good dinner, it was back to the motel. Tomorrow was our last day and we’d be heading home.

Pat & Jennifer


Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633529592554″ width=”600″]

May 17, 2013: Day 8 – East Bound and Down


Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We were initially thinking of spending an additional day in Lake George, but considering the peak tourist season didn’t start for another week and very little was open, we decided to plan on coming back another time in season. After checking out of the motel, we did a little exploration of the site of the former Gaslight Village Amusement park, comparing some areas of the site to old photos we found on the Internet. I don’t remember much about the place, except the Cavalcade of Cars was a very cool exhibit featuring one of my favorite custom cars, the Munster Koach.  The site seemed fairly small to house an amusement park, I’m used to the very sprawling grounds of Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.

Afterward, we decided to play a round of miniature golf, and Goony Golf happened to be open. Pat did very well beating me this time! :)
Goony Golf - Lake George, New York

We then headed southwest out of Lake George on State Road 9, and in Lake Luzerne, picked up a local road that followed along first the Sacandaga River, then the shore of the Great Sacandaga Lake. Very nice ride on twisty roads, and such great views.
View of Great Sacandaga Lake

We continued southwesterly on a couple of other state roads until we picked up US 20 near Cherry Valley. At this point, I knew we would be near another must stop recommended by my coworker Tina, that would be the TePee, a souvenir shop overlooking Cherry Valley on US 20.
TePee Souvenirs - Tepee Pete's Chow Wagon, US 20, Cherry Valley, New York

We noticed there was a small travel trailer off to the side of the TePee that served as a restaurant. We talked to the owner of the TePee inside, and she explained that her brother ran the restaurant, TePee Pete’s Chow Wagon. We bought a few souvenirs and decided to check out the fare at the restaurant. We had a nice talk with Pete, who explained that his parents, who had owned the TePee prior to his sisters’ purchasing it, were interested in him running a restaurant at the TePee. They even found an old trailer for sale in Connecticut that was being used as a hot dog cart, but Pete was quite happy as a chef downstate. They bought it anyway, in case he ever changed his mind, but didn’t tell him. Some time later, while recuperating from a back injury, Pete’s employer basically insisted he return to his job or lose it; not being cleared yet for return to work, Pete asked his parents if they still wanted him to run a restaurant at the TePee. They surprised him with the trailer, and TePee Pete’s Chow Wagon was born. Pete is quite the character, and his food is awesome. I had a grilled veggie wrap that was just delicious and Pat went for the “double barreled shotgun,” which was two chili dogs wrapped in a tortilla. Here are a few photos:
Tepee Pete's Chow Wagon, US 20, Cherry Valley, New York
Tepee Pete's Chow Wagon, US 20, Cherry Valley, New York
Pete’s view from the kitchen is beautiful!
View from TePee Souvenirs - Tepee Pete's Chow Wagon, US 20, Cherry Valley, New York

We continued on US 20 west for a bit, then decided to spend the night in Richfield Springs. There were a few mom & pop motels in town, which all had reasonable reviews from Trip Advisor. We opted for the Fountain View Motel. We pretty much stepped out of 2013 and back into the 50’s & 60’s again, but the place was very clean.

Fountain View Motel - Richfield Springs, New York
Humorously, after having recently watched the movie “Vacancy,” Pat was compelled to look in the vents and other places to see if there were any video cameras. LOL

It wasn’t too late, and we had passed a place called Tunnicliff Creamery that was still open just a short distance back, so after we settled in, we decided to go get some ice cream. I think we may have had ice cream almost every day on this trip so far! Here’s the black raspberry.
Tunnicliff Creamery - US 20, Richfield Springs, New York
We checked out the town a little (pretty small, so it didn’t take long), then went back to the motel to get some sleep.
Until tomorrow,

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633529653312″ width=”600″]

May 16, 2013: Day 7 – East Bound and Down


Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We left Schenectady and after getting my Dunkin Donuts fix (153 feet from the hotel!), we were off on a side trip to Bennington, Vermont for a side trip to the Blue Benn Diner, highly recommended by one of my coworkers.

Blue Benn Diner - Bennington, VT

We briefly took the Interstate until we reached State Road 7, which we took northeast, then SR 279 into Bennington. After discovering the Blue Benn is cash only, we quickly found a nearby ATM, and headed back with our wallet full and our stomachs empty!

I’d been hearing about how wonderful the crunchberry pancakes were, so I already knew that was what I would order. I added a little bacon so I could have some protein to offset the carbs! The pancakes were as good as they look, if not better!

Breakfast at the Blue Benn Diner
Pat opted for a slightly more protein-heavy meal of eggs, corned beef hash, and home fries with toast.
Breakfast at the Blue Benn Diner

After filling our stomachs and emptying our wallet, we headed out of Bennington on SR 9, and took it until SR7. On the way in to Bennington, we had seen a cool country store and would pass it on the way back, so we decided to stop. It was called the Big Moose Deli & Country Store in Hoosick, New York. We stopped to pick up some snacks and small souvenirs.

Big Moose Deli & Country Store - Hoosick, New York

We headed north on a local road into Hoosick Falls, and onto a few state roads until we picked up US 4. In Hudson Falls, we saw this neat old Rexall sign at the local pharmacy.
McCann's Rexall Pharmacy, Hudson Falls, New YorkPat was in need of some ibuprofen, so we decided to stop and provide them some business. I also happened to find they had some homeopathic ear drops which provided some very much needed relief from the discomfort of my scratchy eardrums.

We continued west on SR 254 until we intersected with US 9, and took that north into tonight’s destination, Lake George, New York. Lake George is a very popular tourist destination in the Adirondacks with loads to do for all ages. I’d been there as a child (don’t really remember) and again as a teenager with my parents and friend Joann. That trip was loads of fun, as we went to the now-defunct amusement parks Gaslight Village and Frontier Town and hung out in the bustling Village of Lake George. I was curious where we stayed on that trip, and had some vague recollections of where our motel was. I know it was in the actual Village, on the main drag, and recalled it being on a slight hill. Sure enough, I found two locations side by side, one of which was likely our motel. One was currently a motel, and the other was a nightclub with an area on the side that looks like it was at one time a motel. A little searching on the internet revealed that it was in fact, a former motel. This is the geeky stuff Pat and I really enjoy. :)

This trip, we stayed on the north side of the village, at the Sundowner Motel, right on Lake George. We were a week away from the start of peak season, so as we walked around town, though some businesses were open, more were not. We still got a feel for the place, and from what I described to Pat, he thought it would make a good place to add to our list of vacation destinations. It was actually about the same distance as his favorite childhood vacation destination of Park Rapids, Minnesota.

Here’s the view of Lake George from our motel:
View of Lake George from the Sundowner Motel

We had dinner at a neat little restaurant south of Lake George called The Loft:
The Loft Drive-in, Lake George, New York
This restaurant was directly across from our motel and just looked like it was straight out of the late 50’s:
Mario's Restaurant - Lake George, New York
This motel was directly next to ours. Nice sign!
Surfside on the Lake - Lake George, New York

Despite coming down with some bad traditional allergy symptoms to something in the area (that I never usually have!), we went for a late evening walk, with only locals around, at the few bars open on a Thursday night. This would look quite different in about a week, when the area would be teeming with tourists.

We settled back in at the motel and had a peaceful sleep by the lake.

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633529679406″ width=”600″]

May 15, 2013: Day 6 – East Bound and Down


Above is today’s trip map created using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We left New Haven this morning and met up with another friend for coffee. We couldn’t resist stopping off at the Big Dipper in Prospect for some ice cream!

The Big Dipper - Prospect, Connecticut

then we started northwest through Connecticut, meandering on a mix of state and US routes into Massachusetts on US 7. We picked up 23, which crossed into New York. In Craryville, we found the Chief Martindale Diner. Cool spot and great food; but the owner is very touchy about photos. I asked the waitress if it was Ok to take a few shots, she said no problem, but then came back out, saying the chef/owner didn’t want any photos being taken. Hmmm…

Chief Martindale Diner, SR 23, Craryville, New York

Chief Martindale Diner, SR 23, Craryville, New York

We continued on 23/23B until we reached Hudson, New York. Along the way, I’d post things to friends and family on Facebook and at this point, my cousin Leigh suggested that we visit Olana, which was the Persian style home of artist Frederic Edwin Church. Glad we stopped! Even though the building was closed, the site was open and had beautiful views of the Hudson.

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New York

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New YorkWe continued north along US 9/ SR 9J along the Hudson River as the sun set.

Hudson River - train tracks along SR 9J

View of the Hudson River from Schodack State Park at Sunset

We booked a Priceline hotel, and ended up with the west side of Schenectady.

As we crossed into Albany, I saw a neat theatre called the Palace that I had to test out the HDR camera on!

Palace Theatre - Albany, New York

We made our way to the hotel and got some sleep. Tomorrow, on to Lake George!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633513798365″ width=”600″]

May 14, 2013: Day 5 – East Bound and Down


We woke up early today so we could catch an early train to New York. We walked the short distance from the hotel to Union Station and caught the 7:31 AM train, which would arrive at Grand Central at 9:07.

Main Concourse, Grand Central Terminal, New York

We really didn’t have any plans, just stroll around midtown really. I didn’t want to take the time to go into any of the boroughs, and while a slice of Lenny’s Pizza in Bensonhurst would have been awesome, I didn’t want to spend 50 minutes each way. Our farthest destination from midtown would be the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade center site. After leaving Grand Central, we walked east on 42nd Street to the United Nations Building. I’d never been there, and I thought I’d snap a few shots to use as filming locations for the Alfred Hitchcock suspense film, North by Northwest, starring Cary Grant.

United Nations - New York

We worked our way back west to 5th Avenue and walked north to FAO Schwarz. Another place I took my daughter to alot when she was a little girl, I was feeling nostalgic when I saw the clock face on the wall, that used to be a clock tower in the entry, and was featured in the 1988 films, “Big” and “Big Business.” I have screen shots from the movie and from a time I was there in 1991 in my Movie Filming Locations post. The clock face now sits above an escalator leading to the lower level of the store, and plays the signature song “Welcome to Our World of Toys” every 15 minutes.

Clock face at FAO Schwarz

A few moments of feeling verklempt over hearing the song, I recovered since I have a wonderful grandson now and get to enjoy this sort of thing all over again with him – and watch my daughter enjoy being a mom!

We picked up some sweet treats at the candy shop FAO Schweetz, and continued along our midtown romp. I wanted to take Pat by the Solow Building on 57th Street. I knew he would recognize it from one of our favorite movies, “Lost in America” where Albert Brooks’ character begs for his job back after quitting in a hilarious scene, reeling from the news that he was being transferred from LA to New York, rather than getting the promotion to Vice President that he was expecting.

The Solow Building - New York, New York

We headed over to Broadway and walked down Broadway to Times Square. I wanted to go to a Disney Store to see if they might have a replica Piston Cup from the Disney/Pixar film “Cars” for Jameson, but none were to be found. Bummer. We did pick up a “Lots-‘o-Huggin'” bear from Toy Story 3, though.

With as nice of a day as it was, mid 60’s and dry, lots of people were hanging out in the new (well, about 4 years old) pedestrian plazas in Times Square.

We walked west through Times Square and over toward 44th Street, giving our regards to George M. Cohan along the way.

George M. Cohan Statue in Duffy Square - New York

I wanted to take Pat over toward 44th Street to see the Shubert Theatre and Sardi’s. Not technically a filming location, but nonetheless, I will be adding it to my blog for “The Producers,” the 2005 version of Mel Brooks musical, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. A set was created that looked just like the area containing the Shubert Theatre, Shubert Alley, and Sardi’s.

Shubert Theatre, New York
We walked back toward Broadway & 7th, heading south to about 39th Street until I decided we ought to get down to the 9/11 Memorial. Pat was hoping to meet up with another Pat back in Connecticut, so we took the subway from Times Square to Chambers Street and made the walk of a couple blocks over to the World Trade Center site. We found the Memorial Preview site, where there were displays and information, and we picked up tickets/passes to the memorial.

We walked a couple of blocks over to the memorial, and visited the site. It was solemn and sad to be there, though it was a very nice and tasteful memorial to those everyday people whose ordinary workday turned anything but, as the horror unfolded around them. It shouldn’t ever become something we become desensitized to or forget, not just for the sake of those lost in the tragedy or their families and friends, but for all of us as Americans, whose world also changed forever on that day. Whether it’s extra IDs to open a checking account, to removing shoes, body scans, etc. to new government agencies and terminology, or PC arguments, our daily lives have been affected by the events of 9/11, and we should also mourn the loss of many of our fundamental freedoms. We should go on of course, and enjoy life, but sadly things have changed and not for the better. I hope that everyone who visits is solemn and respectful. They were for the most part, but there we’re a few people there getting their photo taken, smiling away, and I admit, it annoyed me.

One World Trade Center - New York

9/11 Memorial

Here is a very brief video I took at the 9/11 Memorial:

We headed back up to midtown so we could get going. I suggested to Pat that we cross from Times Square to Grand Central, but Pat was OK sticking around a little longer and walking. So we went over to the Cake Boss Cafe there to check out the hype. We’d tried to visit Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken two years ago, but the lines were too long (we had my then-two month old grandson with us). So now we’re at the Cake Boss Cafe, not “Carlo’s” so I wondered if the stuff was made by Carlo’s or is this a product of the television network. It seemed to have a full lined of baked goods. I bought a red velvet cupcake that wasn’t any more expensive than any other specialty cupcake place. It was good but not particularly great.

Cake Boss Cafe - Port Auority

Red Velvet Cupcakes - Cake Boss Cafe, New York

We started walking back to Grand Central and before boarding, we picked some Magnolia Cupcakes for my daughter, and a few for ourselves. Yummmm…

Magnolia Cupcakes

After leaving Grand Central on a New Haven bound Metro North train, I promptly fell asleep. Seriously. I’d been sleep deprived since a week before vacation, which continued right through the night before. I didn’t wake up until a few minutes before we arrived in Milford.

We went to the Milford station to meet up with someone Pat met last year, another Pat with the same name. I guess they Googled their name and found each other through Facebook. I was unable to meet the other Pat last year, since I was watching my grandson, so I was able to meet Pat and his fiancee Karen this year. We went to a place in Milford called SBC Brewery. Very good! We had a nice visit and Pat brought us back to the hotel.


Still tired from my extended bout of insomnia, it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep! We were going to meet a friend tomorrow morning for coffee, then start following the route I planned that we were going to take before we changed plans. We were still going to take part of it, but in upstate New York, we’d continue west for home rather than loop back to Connecticut.

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157633538910462″ width=”600″]

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