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Exploring the Big Apple and how to get there…

I’ve been incommunicado for most of the last two weeks as I’ve been out traveling the country. At least I’ve been traveling portions of the country east of the Mississippi. I decided that I needed to go home to New York. The Lwanga Scholars were having a reunion and that gave me an excuse.

I hate flying.

Now, after being in the car for 15-16 hours, there are times that I can say that I don’t like driving either.

That feeling doesn’t normally last too long though. Driving gives you the opportunity to take in some sights that you would otherwise would be skimming over. While I’m not a big fan of having to drive around town like crazy for my job, if I have to get from point A to point B for a long trip, I’d rather be behind the wheel of a car. OK, maybe sitting on a train would work too.

Some of the views traveling along the highway are quite breathtaking. There are rolling hills with, in this case, cows seeking shade from the excessively hot sun. I will say that it was weird to be up north and know it was hotter there than it was in Alabama. There were these gorgeous old farm properties with large wood frame homes looking out onto acres and acres of crops getting ready for harvest.

A detour thanks to some blasting along I-81 led me to finally stop in Lexington, Virginia. The town was starting to buzz with the sounds of students beginning or returning to the world of college life. Nice small quaint shops with a “traditional” feel to them. It also reminded me of why I enjoy doing the kind of work that I do. While I was taking an extended break from the road, I picked the brain of a guy who runs a photo gallery. The business was participating in a promotion aimed at getting people to shop downtown instead of the mall by having entertainment and extended hours. You were welcomed into the participating stores with balloons announcing their wanting you to come inside. Some of them sat across the street from the old downtown theater, one that still shows first run films.

There were some large cities along the route, each trying to display why it was important to live and work there. That was all fine and well, but some of the more interesting things out there were the various year-round haunted houses, historic markers and some breathtaking views. It’s better to kiss the ground as you move among it than it is to survey it from above as though you are its conqueror. There are times where I feel as though you miss the story when you’re in the skies. That’s probably that reporter in me trying to come out.

While in New York I was much more adventurous that I had been in a while. I can now say that I have ridden on the Staten Island Ferry and actually been to Staten Island (more on that later this week). On the boat I was asked some questions by a little boy looking out over New York Harbor as the wind hit us in our faces. His mother walked up and said that he always talks to people no matter where they go; he’ll just strike up a conversation. I told her that it’s a great gift and to just enjoy it. He’ll have a lot of fun because of it. I watched as he saw the Statue of Liberty at night as close as you can get without going to the island. I took a picture of Lady Liberty as it was passed by a ferry boat. I hope it comes out the way I hoped it would.

I have this habit of wanting to do and see it all. I’ve also come to realize that I had to do my own back door before I tried to do anywhere else. There are some overseas trips coming up for me in the coming months, but I still want to become a little more familiar with the U.S. Hopefully I’m not too crazy. I also own this “old fashioned” camera and I love to try and capture moments, though there are some that simply need to exist in the depths of your mind. We’ll see if we can get some images posted up here soon. I’ll have some more on this trip in the coming days, so stay tuned…

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I love road trips, I think I am one of those rare specimens that likes to drive for long amounts of time. There is so much to see, smell and hear. I'd love to take a trip in the fall, when the weather is cooler so I can drive with my windows down (I normally do anyway) and just take it all in. Maybe a photo trip and just drive no where in particular, back roads and small towns of the South. Taking shots of the signs, old buildings and countryside that I always wanted to see.

Maybe someday, maybe soon .