Thursday, February 2, 2012

Philly Road Trip a la Mode

I spent this weekend enjoying all the things I love with people I adore.

Two weeks ago I received an invitation to the Philadelphia area to celebrate my Cosplay Girl Victoria’s birthday!  My going had depended on my car running and well it is fixed and running perfectly, so off I went!

Vicki’s birthday was filled with laughs and good people.  Not only that but everyone has their business personas shut off.  I like that.

We had pizza for dinner at a great pizzeria in PA.  I know nothing compares to New York pizza, but this place had excellent pizza and they even had Hawaiian Pizza!  Its rare that I see pizzerias with Hawaiian Pizza.  I had a California friend order a pizza with pineapple on it a few years ago and hesitantly ate it to discover pineapple is delicious on pizza!  This pizzeria had me at pineapple.

We all went back to Brian and Vicki’s for laughs, delicious cake (made by Vicki), presents, and monkey shenanigans.  We had some really great laughs.  I haven’t laughed that hard or that much in a very long time and it was well over due.  I was crying from the laughs and my ab’s were sore the next morning.  There is nothing like having good laugher with good people.
©Heartshine Photography 2012
Vicki opening my present.

I love giving gifts (and wrapping).  I am not always the best present buyer but I try to really think about the person I am giving a gift to and often the hunt for the perfect present can be fun.  More often the perfect present appears when you are not looking.  Often I find myself in a store thinking “huh, that would be perfect for Krissy.”  It’s always when I am looking for a gift I can’t find the right one.  This time I found something that stood out at me and screamed Vicki.  I was excited.  I even wrapped the present with a scarf I made by turning the knit scarf into a bow with ribbon for thread.  Made me feel pretty crafty.

Most of the evening was spent cracking jokes about each other and the sock monkey.  Vicki and I tried on some of each others cosplay’s.  She even gave me two costumes.  An Alice and Kairi (which needs to be altered a touch).  Alice needs a hook closer as the zipper did NOT want to stay up.  Some other guests came up with fun cosplay creations from Vicki’s stash of outift’s and accessories.  We had fun playing dress up for a little bit.

I played Angry Birds for the first time and eventually we all chilled out while Rock Band was going on.  A few of us stayed over and Vicki made us pancakes in the morning!  We all sat around laughing more and watching Zombieland which I have to say I enjoyed.  What made Zombieland better was the search for Twinkies in the movie, our discussion of Hostess going out of business, and then later that day at the toy show two vendors happened to be discussing Twinkies.  No joke.  Twinkies were most definitely the theme on Sunday.  I actually do not like Twinkies but I do like them fried from time to time, because almost everything is better fried.  I bet fried butter is awesome too.  I just won’t eat it because I can’t imagine eating a stick of butter.

Brian, myself, and Vicki.
That's Eric "Smoke" Moran photo bombing.
I had a really great time and I am very happy I have gotten to know Vicki over the last year.  I am not really a wordy person so this is probably as gushy as I will get.  I am an action person and have never been good writing out or verbalizing just how thrilled I am, but I am and I think my actions speak for themselves.  I am also happy to have made more friends this past weekend.  I might even be going out there again next weekend to hang out and possibly do my very first shoot.  I am scared, but Vicki seems ready to shove me out of my shyness.

Prior to traveling out to the Philly area, Friday I had a Static Trapeze class and one of my friends gave me tea from The Witches Brew!  I haven’t been there in years!  So excited about this tea.  I must make some of it this weekend.  Of course Sunday I went to the toy show and picked up Sydney and some ponies.  I also got to take a few snazzy photos.

I had some wild travel issues that really added to the adventure of the trip.  I really do enjoy driving around in Brooklyn, as long as my GPS is on. My GPS can be very fussy. Susan, my GPS, has a mind of her own. On the way home I rerouted her to avoid the BQE and she gave me visual directions, but stopped talking to me.  Brat.

I almost had my worst nightmare happen on Friday night while driving. I do NOT drive in Manhattan. I won't because I have this awful fear of running over a tourist. Crowded areas and people not paying attention are not where I want to be driving. Leaving Brooklyn Friday night a young girl was jogging as I drove through an intersection. She was in shorts, a t-shirt, and wearing an iPod (or a similar mp3 player). I am not sure what made me pay attention to her because she was to my left and I had the light but she was jogging in circles a bit.  She jogged past the crosswalk and then decided to jog into the road in front of my car after I had been through the intersection. I had one of those moments where I thought "is this girl really running into the middle of a Brooklyn street without paying attention to cars?  She can't be.  Really?"  Because I had been paying attention to her and hesitating driving (Pinkie Sense) I missed hitting her dead on by a few inches. Then she mouthed sorry and jogged on.  On what planet do you jog into a street without looking?  I try to pay attention at all the intersections in Brooklyn (and anywhere else), but in the middle of the street?  I almost had a heart attack.  But maybe I have conquered that fear because Susan led me astray on Saturday...

On Saturday when I drove out to the Philadelphia area I neglected to check the route my GPS had chosen for me.  I did make sure Susan was talking to me.  Well Susan decided to not take me through Staten Island like normal.  As I am driving down the LIE I kept thinking "where is she taking me this time?  The George Washington bridge again?"  Susan just LOVES to drag me through the Bronx and put me on the George Washington even is it's out of the way.  This may have something to do with the tolls as I think the George Washington is toll free in one direction.  However, headed east the Verrazano is toll free so maybe Susan is working for the MTA.

This time on my way to Philly Susan did not drag me onto the George Washington (she tried on the return trip).  Instead she chose to take me into the Mid Town Tunnel, into Manhattan, across 34th Street, and into the Lincoln Tunnel.  This was new.  The Mid Town Tunnel doesn't bother me.  I have driven through it once before.  Driving down 34th Street wasn't too bad and my fears of hitting a tourist had come to fruition the previous night.  However, why on earth Susan would think going through midtown Manhattan is fast is beyond me, because it wasn't.

The Lincoln Tunnel was a first and I do not like it.  The lanes are narrower and when I emerged from the jaundice darkness I hit the BLINDING sun and the lines on the road were not clearly painted.  I take my sunglasses off in the tunnels so when I came out of the tunnel I could not see anything and I was going with the flow and hoping I didn't hit another vehicle in the process.  Taking the Lincoln Tunnel made getting on to I95 easier though (brava Susan).  Last time Susan told me to stay left and then make and immediate right after the toll plaza.  Except the immediate right was so IMMEDIATE and I couldn't get over through the trucks and had to go north on I95 and then make loads of right hand turns to get on I95 south.  Silly Jersey and you're left turn laws took a good 30 minutes out of my travel time.  As for Susan, I honestly think she has some kind of navigation crush on the presidents.

To make my driving even MORE exciting, while heading out to Philly near where I live I drove through a light that had just turned yellow and I looked to my right and an ambulance was pulling through the intersection.  AUGH!  I then traveled to our drive through Starbucks for some caffeinated driving.  I placed my order and drove up to the window and as I was patiently (yet excitedly) waiting for my caffeinated treat the driver behind me came to a stop when he hit my car.  I kind of sat there in disbelief.  Was that the sound of my car getting hit?  The man in the car behind me seemed unaffected and unaware.  The cashier handed me my beverage and I drove up far enough to let the man pay pick up his beverage but still blocking the exit so I could get out and inspect the rear of my car.  I am 90% sure he rolled into me, however I didn't see any noticeable damage.  So I went on my merry way.

I also experienced emergancy services getting through Manhattan while I drove through.  It amazes me how easily they made it through (all-be-it driving into oncoming traffic).  People also pulled over for the emergency vehicles.  This does not always happen where I live.  I pull over when ever I see one coming towards me but often it's the car behind me that just keeps driving as though nothing out of the ordinary is happening until the ambulance is directly behind them.  I have to wonder if people are unaware, rude, or (like me sometimes) do they have the stereo up so loud they can't hear the sirens.  I play my music loud in the car and on headphones... everywhere else quiet.

Here are some lovely pictures from this weekend.  I only wish we had taken a group shot, but these will do just fine.

Iggy is making a picture perfect face and dancing possibly?
This was me being in the wrong place at the wrong time and inadvertently photo bombing cake pictures.  I tried to get out of the way.  Iggy was successful.  I was not.

Mug with a mug
Driving down 34th Street NYC

Yup... closer to the Empire State Building

I just love that it's Madonna's.  lol

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