07 August 2008

Cliffs Notes: My Vacation

Friday - August 1, 2008

Leave Jackson at 1:50 p.m. for Boston by way of Chicago O'Hare. Arrive at O'Hare around 3 p.m. Had an alleged Chicago-style hot dog without the trimmings because the trimmings include not only tomato (which I can tolerate), but also cucumber (which is rarely tolerated-- exceptions being some sushi rolls).

Committed a minor sin for putting ketchup on the hot dog, which is apparently a no-no in Chicago. Made it to the hotel in Boston shortly before 11 p.m. eastern time. Noticed there were several people in the hotel's airport shuttle speaking different languages. The Euro must go a really long way here. Finally fell asleep sometime after midnight.

Saturday - August 2, 2008

Woke up sometime around 8 a.m. Had some Continental Breakfast at the hotel. Got ready to head out to do some touring of Boston. Having no plan, I decide to wander aimlessly. Thanks to taking the wrong subway line, I find myself at Boston Common where I decide to take part in a Freedom Trail guided tour, which was grand fun.

After the tour, I wander around Quincy Market and then the Long Wharf where I decide to eat a late lunch. By the time I'm finished, it's almost 3 p.m., and so I decide to go to Fenway. I arrive early to do some looking around. I go to a Red Sox souvenir store where I notice that Manny Ramirez jerseys and shirts are 50 percent off. It begins to rain really hard, but fortunately it stops. The game is played; the Red Sox win; and things are nice.

Going back to the hotel took longer than expected. I had to walk to another subway stop because of a long wait at the stop nearest to Fenway, but I make it back to the hotel sometime around 11 p.m. and fall asleep at around 1:30 a.m.

Sunday - August 3, 2008

I wake up at 4:30 a.m. Yes. Three hours of sleep. Why only three hours of sleep? Well, I had to be at South Station to catch a 6:40 a.m. train bound for New York City. Yes, a 6:40 a.m. train. I made it on time and caught maybe another hour and a half of sleep on the way down.

I make to Penn Station at 11:15 a.m.-- 20 minutes later than Amtrak anticipated. I follow OJ's directions to his apartment taking different subway routes and walking some and arrive at his place shortly before noon. After eating a part of a scone, we head over to Yankee Stadium and see the Yankees play a better half-game than the Angels played their half-game.

Afterwards, we head back to OJ's place where I meet some of his friends and am properly awed by the view from his rooftop. I decide there and then not to go to the Empire State Building the following day. OJ also advises me to consider taking a Chinatown bus to Philadelphia.

Monday - August 4, 2008

I wake up shortly before OJ leaves. I exit his apartment sometime around 9:30 a.m. after calling him and getting directions to his workplace. I arrive at his workplace sometime around 10:15 a.m. and hand him his apartment keys and my luggage. While he works, I do some touring.

I go to Times Square, have my picture taken with Marilyn, and wander over to Central Park for a very brief moment-- maybe five minutes-- before heading back to OJ's place of employment. OJ shows me around his workplace, and I am suitably impressed. He looks up the Chinatown bus information for me, and I notice that where the bus stops in Philadelphia is within walking distance of where I'm staying. So I decide to take the Chinatown bus. OJ gives me directions to the buses, and then we part. I make it to the Chinatown bus company in time to take the bus to Philadelphia.

I arrive in Philadelphia and am able to check in and do some touring before some places close. I see the Liberty Bell, wander around the old city, and see a hotel where I had considered staying, and now that I see it, am glad that I didn't stay there.

I make my way to Penn's Landing. By this time, I notice that my left foot is getting a blister. I wander back to the old city-- getting hungrier. I consider eating at this place, but decide when I don't see a food menu on the premises that it might be better advised to go someplace else, and so I eat here before heading back to the hotel.

Tuesday - August 5, 2008

I wake up, go downstairs, and have a cheese steak omelet before I head out to finish up my historical tour of Philadelphia. After getting my ticket at the Visitors Center, I tour Independence Hall. I next go to Christ Church Burial Ground before heading back to the hotel to check out.

After checking out, I walk to the nearest subway stop to go to Philadelphia's train station. From there, I take the train to Boston and then make my way back to the hotel where I spent Friday and Saturday nights. I take advantage of the hotel's business center to do an early check-in and print out my boarding passes. I go to bed shortly after midnight.

Wednesday - August 6, 2008

I wake up at 3:30 a.m. My flight for Chicago leaves at 6:05, which means boarding begins at 5:35. It also means I need to check out of the hotel by 4:30. I actually make good time. I check out at 4:10 and make it to Logan at 4:15.

I'm soon glad I printed out the boarding passes. There are queues at those stations as well as lines to check in luggage. My body is sore, and I am tired, but I don't want to be miserable, so I carry my bags (clothes and computer) to go through the gate where there is no wait. I make it through with no problems and head over to the food court. I eat and drink. I relax for a few moments before heading to the gate. Shortly before 5 a.m., I walk to the gate. Twenty minutes later, I am aboard the plane.

I arrive in Chicago at 7:40 a.m. It's now central time. I walk to the gate where the plane for Jackson is supposed to leave. After finding it, I look for the nearest place to eat. Yes, I ate three hours previously, but I want to sit down and relax. Also, the bags are heavy. I sit and eat. I relax.

After eating, I head over to the gate. I've read four books during this trip. Two were books I owned. The third was a book I checked out of the library. The fourth was a book OJ recommended to me, a vampire horror story-- the ending to which is not what I had thought it would be, and that's very cool.

I make it to Jackson at 1:30 p.m. I see one person get ticketed by the police for parking her truck and going inside the terminal. Two other groups of people are warned for taking way too much time to load up. I think taking loads and loads of photos was a bit too much. The other person is taking her time waiting on someone, and when she drives, she drives very, very slowly. Quite irritating, and all of this happened in a 15-minute period because soon afterwards, the long term parking shuttle arrives and takes me to my car at 1:50.

I head to my house, check my mail, and see if the Clarion-Ledger's local neighborhood newspaper delivery person (or perhaps the Clarion-Ledger delivery person) left a newspaper, or several newspapers on my driveway. Fortunately, there are no newspapers. I'm a little surprised and somewhat relieved.

Sometimes the Clarion-Ledger delivery person likes to leave a free newspaper at the driveway. Fortunately, that's not happened in a while, but I know that free newspapers are becoming more and more common. While in New York, I saw several vendors giving away copies of the New York Post, and with newspapers such as the Clarion-Ledger letting people go, one wonders what will happen to newspapers.

After checking out the house, I get back in the car and head for Hattiesburg. I arrive at my mother and stepfather's house at 4:15 p.m. When I arrive, their Tibetan Terrier barks and continues to barks. Not exactly normal behavior for the dog. He normally barks once, maybe twice, because that's the nature of the breed: they bark to notify people that someone has arrived. I walk up the stairs and scratch the dog's head, which satisfies him.

I take a nap for about 90 minutes and then go have dinner with my mother, stepfather, and uncle, who is in town. I then go to Javawerks and meet up with a couple people I knew when I was a grad student at USM. We chat for about an hour and a half and then we go our separate ways.

Thursday - August 7, 2008

I get out of bed a little after 10 a.m. As busy as my past few days have been, I welcome the chance to be a bit lazy. After eating breakfast, I get ready to go to the dentist's office. I drop by to see my uncle before going to the dentist.

It looks like that Hattiesburg is doing a lot of road construction/fixing up. A lane of Hardy Street is closed, and traffic is slow. I take a couple of detours, am stuck behind a couple of vehicles, and finally make it to the dentist's office at 2 p.m.

I have a cavity that needs to be filled, but otherwise I'm fine. I make an appointment to take care of that problem and then head back to Hattiesburg.

I'm now in Javawerks. I've had a Diet Coke and a slice of Peanut Butter Pie. It's thundering outside and may rain soon. I'm going to be here for a while longer before heading back to my mother and stepfather's place.

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