March 2014

Saturday March 1st: mechi woke me up very excited about breakfast, which ended up being just coffee and kind of a cheap donut, haha, she was crazy but we couldn’t ask for more for just $30, the hotel was too good for us, we made the best out of time and by noon we set out to charleston!! we went to the visitor center and found out what to do in town, after driving around with gardenia for a while we went to mt. pleasant’s walmart, a high-end walmart, elegant. cold weather is back but we can cope with it so far.Sunday 2: we woke up early and drove to charleston’s city centre, parked gardenia and walked a lot, very nice boardwalk by the sea! we saw lots of dolphins right there, very close, we lay in a park, had our picnic, houses are beautiful, like old movie mansions, similar to savannah maybe but I think these are way bigger, we went to mass, we tried to find a testimony here as well but had no luck again. at night before going back to walmart we had a huge craving for fried shrimp!!! we drove around but restaurants were extremely expensive…not less than $20 per basket. we went back to walmart resigned and found there frozen breaded shrimp!! hehe, they were not jumbo but quite good, we stuffed ourselves in gardenia, which ended up smelling like fish!! hhaha we had to light up some candles and spray gardenia scent all over to get it out, and finally go to sleep. Monday 3: we stopped at an office depot to use internet and we met there an excentric fabulous writer, Richard. We talked for a while with him, then we set out northbound, determined to stop somewhere and make an ‘asado’; we looked for parks and we found a nice camping, got a site for a tent which is way cheaper than rv sites (of course we set our tent and slept in gardenia!!) we met a very friendly canadian couple who came to talk to us instantly, francois and christine, very easy going!! (“macanudos” in argentinian, a nice word difficult to translate), they invited us to their house in Ontario, then we started a big fire, we wanted to invite them for dinner but we were short of meat.. mechi made some good homemade burgers which turned out quite good and a piece of meat that tasted and looked like pork… but anywayyyy, it was meat finally!! As it was starting to rain, we set also our big tarp over the picnic table so we could hang out there in the afternoon, but later a huge storm unleashed which almost tore down our tent!! I took a nice warm shower, mechi said she was good till tomorrow… ughh… we stayed ‘inside’, a little bit damp but glad for having spent a wonderful day! tuesday 4: very cold night but wrapped up in the double bag we slept very well, we got up, the day was horrible and humid, we dumped our gray water in the right place, and mechi took a hot shower!! (luckily) and we kept on driving northbound in a gray and cold day. we drove through lots of bridges and took the road that goes along the east coast, but it was so cold and rainy that we couldn’t see much… we got to a walmart somewhere I don’t even remember the name of the town wednesday 5: the day started gray and cold, as a bad omen, mechi’s mother called very early to tell her that her close friend majo had lost a brother and a sister in a car accident, we froze, mechi couldn’t find consolation, luckily she could call majo and talk for a while. after that we went to a mc donalds to try to get more news by mail, we drove for a while, stopped again, prayed a lot for majo and her family, it was a freezing and really sad day, another mc donalds to check out news about majo’s other sister who is in intensive care unit.. mechi was sad all day, I didn’t know what to do to lift her spirits, I really couldn’t do anything… it was really… A SHITTY DAY… yes, even travelling you can have a SHITTY day!!! we crave to be with majo and her family, we crave to be with our families and share the pain… to close the day we attended mass in jacksonville, nc and slept at a walmart after having a pizza cooked in gardenia thursday 6: we searched for wifi to check what was going on, burial, family and friends travelling to the burial, josefina who is still in icu and cannot be moved to buenos aires… another awfully sad day, then we drove about 180 miles with almost freezing temperatures and rain, the road was nice, but the cold is killing us, we slept again at a walmart in suffolk, before getting to norfolk, this is now virginia, we have gone a long way, but still 400 miles to drive in a week… we’ll get there friday 7: we booked a hotel in virginia beach, it took us almost 2 hours to get there, lots of traffic in norfolk, very nice everything, very cold outside and soooo nice to be inside..! no way, it’s no good being a hippie in cold weather, impossible… saturday 8: here we are with my log book again, by midday we started driving again northbound, so… it’s getting colder!! Beautiful landscapes, super big beaches but we didn’t even get there, thank god it was sunny so we had a good time, we crossed lots of incredible bridges and tunnels, amazing structures, the bridge was endless. I think we ended up sleeping at walmart again Sunday to Tuesday: I cannot even remember, and of course I am too lazy to try, nothing different, cold, driving, an asado, better let the pics talk! We also crossed to cape may on a ferry to avoid taking I-95 which is too fast for us, we stopped at a very nice zoo and had an asado in the nearby park. Sunday to Tuesday: I cannot even remember, and of course I am too lazy to try, nothing different, cold, driving, an asado, better let the pics talk! We also crossed to cape may on a ferry to avoid taking I-95 which is too fast for us, we stopped at a very nice zoo and had an asado in the nearby park. Wednesday 12: we woke up in an ugly hotel in a small town and as the forecast announced there would be a big storm in ny and mechi is flying to Canada on Friday to renew her permit, we set out early for ny to avoid the snow storm!! We drove along the coast, no traffic, the city imposing herself beside us, and we were in fact entering NYC with gardenia!! Slowly but surely we got to the hotel we had booked near jfk, nice, comfortable, and in a minute we were settled, had a warm soup in a nice room, with a warm bed!! Thursday 13: the famous storm never arrived, it was very cold outside, but inside the hotel we were veryyyyy comfortable, we didn’t even go out, just to grab a burger at BK right at the corner! Friday 14: we woke up very early, had breakfast, and mechi took the shuttle to the airport, I was left alone, for the 1st time in 15 months!!! Woooowww!! I took a short walk but it was too cold. I checked out and fortunately they let me sleep in gardenia in the hotel’s parking lot and use the restroom and tables inside, here I am, in the dining room writing my log book, missing mechi who has arrived safe and sound in Canada … boring day, but tomorrow my friend Pancho is arriving!!! Hahaha, that will be a different story…I am still a couple of days behind in my log book, but mechi is not here to remind me, she comes back on Monday, the same day our other friends from argentina are arriving. Saturday 15: this is what I remember, (keep in mind that today is march 26 in fact, and I am in Toronto at my sister’s house) I woke up alone, (sobs), how I miss mechi! I got hot water from the hotel, had some ‘mates’ (argentinian infusion) and ‘studied english’ with my exercise book (I cannot tell if I have improved) by midday I drove to jfk to pick up pancho, I had to drive around a couple of times around terminal 4 until he emerged!!! He was very excited and happy, he still looks the same as 15 years ago, a few wrinkles more but the same smile and joy, he hopped on gardenia after a long hug and we set out to stanca’s house, pancho’s school buddy who lives in ny and who I already knew, we chatted a lot and before we knew it we were already in Brooklyn heights, a very nice neighbourhood close to the famous Brooklyn bridge, pancho couldn’t believe it the way people were greeting us because of gardenia, and on top of this, as soon as we arrived and parked, people were gathering to ask us if we really had driven from argentina, etc. even a lady from Puerto rico  gave us 2 giant baguettes, yes, there were 30 sandwiches in each long ‘baguette’… in the middle of this chaos pancho’s friend stanca arrived and he even understood less. Hahaha he looked at us while we carried these 2 huge ‘baguettes’, we entered his apartment, very nice and tidy. After a while we went out to put more coins to the parking meter, then we went out to eat.. beers come and go, we took pictures and finally got a good place for gardenia, and contrary to what you might expect, we went to bed early!! Stanca was running a marathon at 7am and pancho was “tired” from his trip… I missed the first Saturday in NYC of my whole life! Pancho and I went to a bar near stanca’s house and talked to a couple of 60-year-old Australian ladies!! That’s partying?! We talked for a while, wellll, pancho talked while i just looked and nodded, good pub and good beer!! Then back to our sofa bed, pancho complained that I moved too much and that by midnight I had gotten ‘too close’ (I think I was cold) that’s when you can tell we are getting old, pancho looks older… hahaha Sunday 16: stanca went to the marathon, we stayed in with pancho, having mate and of course having the delicious sandwiches we had received, when he came back we crossed Brooklyn bridge with a very cold breeze, took pictures and walked around manhattan, striking, it’s like the city is falling on top of you, amazing, later stanca joined us, we had some beers, pancho wouldn’t stop inviting me! He’s fantastic.. truth be told, i didn’t miss mechi today…. Delicious pizzas at night, some bar and back to sleep early Monday 17: big day!! Mechi, nacho and euge are arriving today!!! It was very cold, and as we didn’t have any place to park gardenia because we couldn’t stay at the same place, it took pancho and me one hour and no luck… there was no place to leave her, it was too cold, so we mainly drove around queens, we passed by a huge boca juniors restaurant! Then we went to a mall to warm up a bit, our knees hurt because of the cold, pancho did some shopping, we walked, had something to eat and then we went to pick up mechi to la guardia, she was there all beautiful and radiant, but very preoccupied and hurt because she didn’t get her time renewed in usa…in a week she is supposed to leave, and on top of that, her sisters are coming to visit us in 2 weeks…ughhhh .. here, to nyc!! We’re in trouble… then the 3 of us travelled in gardenia to the house nacho had booked in low Brooklyn..haha the nice house turned out to be a basement well kept with 3 rooms, 1 bathroom. Paul, the owner was a bit annoying, already telling us off before we had even sat down, pancho put up with him, and listened to his loooong explanation, we only longed to be inside, warm.. and he wouldn’t let us park gardenia inside.. then nacho arrived around 10, but euge was already a bit mad about the place, the neighbourhood, haha and in that precise moment paul comes down to repeat the instructions once again… haha between euge and pancho they bombarded him, when he dared tell euge a dumb thing, to which euge answered with what would become the famous phrase of the trip: “it makes no sense”!!! hahhaha, knock out!! I just stared as if I was watching a gringo movie live, the speed with which everything was taking place… in the end we were allowed to bring gardenia in and therefore ended up loving paul!!! We had some beers celebrating this great reunión with friends!! THANKS GOD FOR GIVING ME SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, and of course an incredible wife!!! Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20: i don’t remember each day so this way it’s easier, i do remember the long walks to the subway station about 12 blocks from home, the long chats, the hugs, the beers, lots of shops, walk, walk, walk, coming home late, again a long walk, more beers, more chats, stanca who would organize gatherings with his friends, a very nice varied group, an airplane pilot, a soccer player, an artist, speech therapists, all Argentineans who have been living there for about 10 years, very easy going, all of them intrigued about our great adventure, on Thursday we went to see an old school buddy who works in the UN and walked us around the building explaining everything to us, very interesting. Pancho left the 20th , then we went back home and mechi cooked delicious spaghetti!! More beer and ..bedtime Friday 21: this time, yes!! At midnight on Thursday, I had my gift ready for mechi for our 5 years of marriage!! Haha, she was love-struck.. YESSSS 5 years of marriage! We had breakfast and walked around Manhattan with nacho and euge and around 6pm we split and they went to visit euge’s cousin, and we went out to celebrate our anniversary!! Stanca recommended us an excellent “risotteria”, delicious risottos, but there wasn’t much table talk, because they needed tables so much, so about 8pm we were back in the streets again, we had an ice cream at an Argentinean ice cream shop that is amazing!!! We talked a lot with the owner, a great guy, and then went to a bar where we were meeting stanca and his friends, the beauty bar, incredible!! In the back there was kind of an 80s dance floor, we had lots of fun, nacho and euge arrived later on and we danced and had a beer like a real ny night!!! Lots of fun Saturday 22: all good things must come to an end!! We woke up, said goodbye to paul and headed for Manhattan in Gardenia!!! Quite a nice adventure the 4 of us.. we drove around, took lots of pictures and dropped our friends nacho and euge at their hotel, after a couple of unforgettable days, we have to keep on driving…we crossed new jersey and kept driving north towards Toronto!!! Very collllld weather, almost impossible for us….in 7 hours we covered almost 400kms, looking for a walmart because we were clean, no need for shower today, and very comfortable, but it was so cold we didn’t have the courage.. we had to find a hotel to spend the night, we had a soup in our room and slept safe and sound. Sunday 23: nice hotel breakfast, then we waited till 10 to keep on going, it snowed last night, it is very cold and we still have 400kms more to the border, and mechi is a little bit nervous about it, we drove, and it was so cold that we had to stop at a Columbia outlet and buy a pair of jackets, even though we were wearing long johns, socks, thermal underwear, 2 fleece pullovers each, and a jacket we were still freezing!! Every 2 hours we had to stop to warm up a bit at a gas station, in one of them they even gave us free coffee when they learnt we had no heating!! The trip was really painful due to the freezing weather, but we finally reached the border and crossed with no problems, we drove on to Mississauga, 20 km before Toronto, where my sister lives with eze, sophi (5), pedro (3) the ones we saw in Houston 2 months ago. We were overflowed with happiness and joy when we arrived!! Almost like we achieved our goal also… NOW WHAT?? HAHAHHA, we are going to rest for a month till the weather warms up a bit and travel around CANADA. We were received like kings, empanadas, wine, but most important, family warmth and coziness!! It was very nice meeting again and gardenia even got a sheltered parking!! Monday 24 to Wednesday 26: we slept soundly, lots of mate in the morning with male, then we went with her to pick up the kids from school, it is very cold outside.. but inside we are happy to be around our family. The kids want to play all the time, male says they will get tired soon… hahaha malena cooks lots of delicious meals, and together with ezequiel they do whatever they can to pamper us!! We eat, play, chat, drink beer with eze, it feels like we are slowly realizing that we have finally reached our destination, now we have to rest before mechi’s sisters arrive in montreal next week!!! 27 to 31: at male & eze’s house, both with a cold, and lots of time to recover, although the kids don’t give us any rest, haha, we have lots of fun with them…we are also starting to think about our return… now what? The trip had always been about getting to male’s house in Canada…and now?

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