Sep 192021
 

Hi from Logansport, Indiana. 8:24am. Let’s have a live blog to chronicle the probably lame trip home to PGH so as usual, check back throughout the day if you’re hard pressed for words to read.

First let’s start with the oatmeal Henry brought back to the room while I was exercising. He put syrup in it?? I never put syrup in oatmeal?? 20 years together and what has he ever learned about me??

He claims that I “change a lot” when it comes to food. Oh ok. And he fucks up a lot.

8:31 Good bye holiday Inn Express with the beautiful view of RURAL KING.

Apparently some guy from Logansport was a corporal who died at the Kabul airport last month :/ A lot of the businesses here have RIP messages on their signs and our hotel had a small memorial set up for him in the lobby. It was really sad to see. Then Chooch casually asked, “Wait, what happened there?”

So smart, and yet.

8:49am: BIG UPDATE we’re about to drive past the Air Force base Henry…did plane stuff at.

“There’s a museum? For what?? Are you in it?” I screamed. No he’s not in it, he said calmly.

Wow. It is really ugly here.

We just drove past Maple Farm Trailer Park and Henry said he once knew someone who lived in there and I asked WAS IT A WOMAN prepared to make lascivious accusations but it was a dude.

ALLEGEDLY.

9:09am: we just stopped at some convenience store with a STORYBOOK facade and facade is RIGHT because the store itself was so shitty and I was not getting coffee there also Henry almost hit a squirrel crossing the street.

10:33am: Still no coffee. Indiana is a dump. We just crossed over Cornbread Rd and normally that would have seemed cute to me but right now I’m just like go fuck a cornstalk, Indiana.

We found a Dunkin Donuts which isn’t great but I won’t go to Starbucks and there is literally a TRAIN stopped on the tracks blocking traffic but in a surprising twist of luck for us, DD happened to be right before the tracks thank god.

Fuckin’ Indiana.

Chooch just woke up while we’re in line at DD and said, “is that train just stopped there? Why??”

“Because it’s an asshole,” I snapped.

“I don’t think that’s why,” Henry white-knighted.

Then henry had the most embarrassing order-handoff with the poor young girl at the window who was just trying to do her job and Henry was like THIS IS WRONG but it wasn’t and Chooch and I were like THAT IS OUR ORDER, TAKE IT and then the poor girl was all flustered and then we started to pull away when Henry stopped and asked her for straws and Chooch and I screamed THEYRE IN THE BAG because unlike Henry we actually paid attention to what was going on and now Henry is trying to defend himself to us, saying that nothing he did was embarrassing and I screamed OMG NOW YOURE GASLIGHTING HER.

now Henry is pointing out some technical school he went to when he lived in Indiana and I truthfully don’t care, I am so hungry and bitter.

10:51am: “Wow that stop sign has LED lights around it,” Henry said. “They must really have a problem with people not stopping around here.”

I looked around at the corn fields on all sides of the road. “Yeah, that’s because all the Footloose kids are busy sneaking out at night to go drag racing and dancing in barns,” I spat. I hate Indiana. I don’t understand how we’re still here??

12:11pm: just left the big candle place, $70 later ugh we are ALL candle addicts so it’s actually amazing we didnt spend more. This place has the best kettle corn candle and I have been dreaming of going back for one ever since we were there a few years back on our way home from Holiday World.

Random Michael Myers sighting. I wonder how many pumpkin candles he purchased.

Rustic candle restroom selfie.

1:46pm: Columbus, finally.

2:13pm: Korean Fried Chicken special at Eden Burger.

Um, it was really good but didn’t even have a hint of Korean flavors? Can American restaurants stop trying to replicate Korean cuisine? Because they are failing. Aside from the confusing marketing of this sandwich, it was very good – vegan chicken is my jam. I will usually always go for that option over the burgers, but I made Henry get the OG Eden Burger because they make their patties in house and I wanted to try. It was DELICIOUS. I love when vegan restaurants make their own instead of just copping out with an Impossible patty and then masking it with loads of cray toppings U KNOW.

Anyway, Eden Burger has bomb fries also. I’m definitely not hungry anymore.

(Oh and Chooch got Buffalo chicken and whined the whole time about having to pee when we literally just came from a rest stop and he said he didn’t have to go.)

2:29pm: CHOOCH and HENRY (it keeps auto-capitalizing and I don’t care anymore) went to Kroger’s so CHOOCH could pee and he said while he was in there, some old lady on drugs came in screaming I HAVE TO PEE I HAVE TO PEE and then she got arrested. I miss everything.

3:30pm: Henry just said something about this being our last trip for the year while I’m over here googling “does Six Flags Over Georgia do a winger festival” and “how far from Pittsburgh to Atlanta” lol.

3:58pm: whoa, our first Sheetz stop since yesterday if you can believe it! I got a pumpkin chai and it’s ok!

I was randomly recalling to Henry the time my mom was dating some prison guard dude and I was pretty ambivalent toward him until the day he accompanied us to a car dealership because I was going to trade in my EAGLE TALON (miss her) for a new VW JETTA and my mom was all set to make this happen when he stepped in and said to her that he didn’t think a girl “my age” really needed “a brand new car” and then tried to get me to take a USED MALIBU instead. CAN YOU EVEN??

I was like BITCH WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE AND WHAT EVEN IS A USED MALIBU, EW.

I never had my mom tell me no before!!

Except for maybe when I was in high school and wanted her to drive me to Cleveland so I could see where Bone Thugs n Harmony lived. That was a hard no.

4:32pm: Chooch needed the charger but I was using it and the spare was in the trunk in Henry’s bag for some reason and I can’t explain it you guys but there was this whole argument where CHOOCH was like WHY CANT U JUST USE BLUETOOTH LIKE NORMAL PPL WHY DO U HAVE TO USE AUX and I was like STFU BITCH BOY and Henry was like LANGUAGE which made us lose our minds bc really DAD?

Then CHOOCH was rummaging through the bags and screaming and Henry was like IN THE BLACK BAG THE BIG BLACK BAG and I was laughing so hard that I started to cry and the whole left side of my face was spasming and then CHOOCH SUPPOSEDLY puked in Henry’s bag bc he too was laughing so hard and Henry had that “JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL” look on his face.

5:44pm: we are mere minutes away from home! This LiveBlog was lame! They all are, really! Until the next “not happening” trip, this is Erin signing off. Bitches.

Sep 102021
 

I’m not an avid shopper by any means but I recently made some purchases that have excited me enough to warrant a shout out here in the void that is the OHE blog.

When the pandemic first hit the States, I bought some masks from the Korean clothing company, Chuu, and they were/are the best masks I found. They’re breathable and big enough to cover my dumb face without popping off when I yawn or try to talk. I wanted to buy more in other colors but they have been out of stock for MONTHS. And now that it’s clear that masks are 100% still needed regardless of vaccination status, I have been in the market for new ones again. I am SO PICKY!

I kept eyeing these ones made by a NYC boutique purse and accessory company called Min & Mon mainly because I covet all of their bags but their masks are basically the only affordable items that they sell lol ugh. I read the reviews which seemed excellent so I bought one and thought WE’LL SEE, BITCHES.

Well guess what guys?? This mask was made for this bitch.

It’s totally my style, extremely well-made, and fits on my face like it was molded just for me.

And then, because sometimes miracles really do happen, my friend Courtney sent me a Golden Girls mask which ALSO IS CUTE AND FITS!

I don’t know where it’s from though! (Update: it’s from Keepin It Clutch!)

Then I was perusing my Instagram feed and saw that one of my old Etsy’s Darkside pals who makes vegan bath goods and perfume was releasing the fall scents and it made me realize that it has been some YEARS since I bought stuff from her brand, Haus of Gloi. So I put in a small order and once it arrived, I remembered immediately how much I loved these products and am already about to make another purchase.

Um excuse me, that hair oil has NO RIGHT smelling that delicious.

Literally so good please go buy some stuff from Haus of Gloi you will NOT regret it.

And a bonus buy! I needed to fill a space on this one part of the kitchen wall and knew that I wanted a Troll doll from the 80s but it had to be the perfect one to fit my kitchen vision and then this guy appeared in my eBay feed:

He’s perfect!!!

Yeah the uncentered phone makes me nervous too, guys. Blame Henry. He’s the one with the measuring tape.

Well, that concludes this post about consumerism. Carry on with your Friday night.

Sep 082021
 

One of the coaster YouTubers I watch has been working on a documentary about my favorite coaster manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Construction, and he released the trailer last week. The fact that I cried real tears almost immediately, and then again later when Henry was watching it, says a lot about my love for this company and also my emotional fragility.

Honestly though I love how RMC started in basically a shed and is now responsible for some of the world’s greatest coasters of all time.

Here are the RMCs I’ve ridden!!

  • Lightning Rod
  • Storm Chaser
  • Steel Vengeance
  • Twisted Timbers
  • Outlaw Run

This list would have had SIX on it if stupid Jersey Devil was open when we went to Six Flags Great Adventure on my birthday.

Ugh. Riding a new RMC on my birthday. What a dream that would have been!

My goal is to ride all of them someday. They are just incredible feats of engineering and I never even used to care about shit like that before!

Sep 062021
 

In lieu of live blogging, I want to just check in and talk about how much I adore Sylvan Beach, a tiny resort town on Lake Oneida in New York. We stopped here for a few hours Saturday night, after leaving Seabreeze Park, because there’s a little carnival-esque coaster and a dark ride that I wanted to go on. Sadly, the coaster is currently closed because it’s being repainted (why they didn’t wait until the off season is beyond me but you do you, Sylvan Beach!) but we ended up liking it here so much that I begged Henry to stop here again on our way home today so that we could eat breakfast at the Pancake House, which I became inexplicably obsessed with when I saw their website before coming here.

We were seated right away but it took nearly an hour to get our food because they were so busy. Luckily, the staff was really friendly and the atmosphere was delightful, but most importantly they were playing 80s music (two Phil songs played while we there, plus OMD, Flock of Seagulls, and Cutting Crew so who can be mad with all that massaging your aural passages??).

We shamed Chooch for ordering two glasses of chocolate milk (these teenage boy years are fascinating) but then the SHORT STACK of French toast. I was like OK but you’re still going to be hungry.

Henry got MEATS and EGGS and BISCUITS doused with MORE MEATS.

I got the daily special: orange pancakes!! They were divine! Subtly orange flavored and topped with mandarin oranges, and I got the cream cheese icing on the side so I wouldn’t get sick. It was perfect. Of course I only managed to eat one and then Henry and Chooch finished the rest lol.

One of the waitresses liked my shoes! Chooch hated that part of breakfast.

Oh and the hostess here was the most pure being of all time, I really think so.

Loved it. 5 ✨.

Then I wanted to walk down to the lake because if there is one thing I have learned from Korean culture, it’s that walking after a meal is good for digestion and it is so much better than getting right back in the car for four hours!

It is SO PRETTY HERE. I’m obsessed with it. Chooch? Ambivalent as always.

I let Henry get in a picture with me even though I’m still mad at for him for his callous response to me hitting my head off the headboard this morning at the hotel. It was the third time this weekend that it happened because it has A LIP ON TOP OF IT and is actually pretty low so it’s super easy to hit your head if you’re sitting up in the bed. Anyway, Henry the Gallant said, “most people learn from their mistakes” and I just lost it. I mean I was already trying not to cry from the pain of smacking my head against a sharp wooden edge, but now he’s LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY and, well, 20 years with this guy! Congratulations to me.

Then Chooch wanted to get a picture of the Galaxi Coaster so we ditched Henry and walked one to the amusement park, which was closed but is ungated so we could just walk right in. Still, I didn’t want to creep around so I asked one of the employees if we could walk over just to take a picture and it ended up being the lady who was running the dark ride on Saturday! She was so nice! She said we could certainly do that, but not to climb over the fence, and I was like, “oh I don’t think I could do that anyway” and she laughed and then I laughed and it was so pleasant. It made me remember that I used to like people!

They also have a ROTOR there which also sadly was not operating. But this just gives us a reason to go back someday!

Sylvan Beach is pretty fucking amazing, and I’m so glad our amusement park addiction brought us here!

Sep 052021
 

Good morning from somewhere near Albany I think. We just stopped in Fort Plain for breakfast before we resorted to killing each other.

Their breakfast special was a French toast bake which sounded delightful to me but I also knew that I didn’t want to eat anything heavy for breakfast before spending a day at an amusement park. Look, I know my gastronomical idiosyncrasies and plan accordingly, OK? This is my life, love that for me.

So I told Henry to order it so I could try it. Have you seen Henry? He is very much a PLATE OF EGGS AND MEATS breakfast beast. But he is also afraid of crossing me so he agreed.

“And I will get an omelette so you can have some of that in exchange,” I offered in an effort to sweeten the pot. He seemed ok with this.

“Do you want me to get blueberry?” he asked, since the choices were cherry, strawberry, or blueberry and he knew that blueberry was Best out of those options. I said sure.

So we placed out orders and then he got all ruffled when I asked for my omelette to be made with Egg Beaters. When the waitress departed, he said, “Oh that’s great. You said we were going to share but then you got it with Egg Beaters. I hate Egg Beaters. Just like I hate blueberries. This breakfast is everything I hate,” he pouted, and I burst out laughing because I JUST LEARNED THAT HE HATES BLUEBERRIES THIS SUMMER AND ALREADY FORGOT LOLOLOL.

I coaxed him into calling the waitress over and changing it to either strawberries or cherries. He put on his BIG BOY PANTS and did just that, but after he changed it to strawberries, I mumbled, “I would have said cherry, but whatever.”

I am a very slappable human being.

Henry and his frou frou breakfast!

I took one bite and said, “that’s good but I’m glad I didn’t get it” and he mumbled something incoherent under his breath.

Meanwhile, at another table, some man was asking for a SIDE OF CORNED BEEF HASH and I said, “I bet you’re really sad that you didn’t get to have that.”

“Why, does he like that?” Chooch asked while Henry dabbing the whipped cream from the corners of his mouth.

“Probably,” I said. “I can picture it hanging off his beard.” And then we started cracking up while Henry dutifully ignored us.

Here’s Henry paying the bill and leering at the COCONUT CREAM PIE sign.

I asked Henry what he thought of his breakfast and he said, “it wasn’t bad. It’s not something I would usually order. Or ever again.”

Then we drove down the street and I made him pull over so I could take a picture of this BEAVER WITH BOOBS because it’s a Roadside America attraction.

Ok. Now we’re back on the way to Six Flags Great Escape and driving thru Amsterdam NY which is adorbs so I want to go back to looking out the window. Byeeeee.

Sep 042021
 

Chooch and I (definitely mostly Chooch) matched these two walls today at Sylvan Beach so I couldn’t pass up the photo op.

Anyway, day 1 of our Labor Day weekend is in the bag and it was goooood. Well, except for first thing in the morning when we left because I hate leaving the cats. :( We got vegan donuts at Misfit Donuts in Rochester, NY, spent most of the afternoon at Seabreeze Amusement Park also in Rochester, and then drove out to Sylvan Beach to cap off the day at a pretty janky carnival-esque park but the people there were super friendly and everything was totally colorful which is, as you know, TOTALLY MY STYLE.

Now we’re at a Red Roof Inn in Utica, but part of the R is burnt out so it looks like Ded Roof Inn. Henry told us numerous times how NICE THE GUY WAS at the front desk like OK HANK WE GET IT. There is a woman a few doors down who totally lives here. She has plants in the window and just had groceries delivered when we arrived.

Anyway, I’ve never been to this part of NY before so I’m living for the new-to-me views!

Sep 032021
 

Chooch went back to school today and I am sad I guess but also kind of like OK BYEEEEEEE because The Attitude is insufferable at times. Anyway, here he is this morning, en route to becoming a full-fledged sophomore and hopefully able to complete an entire year of in-person classes without a goddamn outbreak. (PLEASE WEAR MASKS, PEOPLE. GET VACCINATED. TURN OFF FOX NEWS AND USE YOUR GODDAMN BRAINS.) Clearly we ran out of time to get him a haircut, lol, ugh.

(Hahaha Henry just texted me and said, “I’m taking him to get his haircut. That lump of hair on the side of his head is disturbing.”)

I used to get so sick to my stomach on the first day of school but this kid is so fucking ambivalent and complacent. I wish I had nerves of steel like his.

He was actually supposed to start school a week ago but of course Pittsburgh Public Schools has a shortage of bus drivers. I mean, students at his particular school are expected to take public transportation as it is, which I think is ridiculous. But, what do I know.

And because I don’t trust:

  • PAT Transit’s reliability
  • my kid’s ability to pay attention and get off the bus at the proper stop especially when this requires a transfer;

I will be driving him every morning. He can take the bus and T home though. Getting home is nearly fool-proof.

Nearly.

And this morning’s commute was wonderful!!! He watched annoying Tiktoks on his phone while I stared ahead out the window and wished I was still in bed and every time I would ask him a question, I’d get that snotty I DON’T KNOW answer.

He was much more conversational when he came home from school at least. Damn that kid is NOT a morning person.

This year will be the true testament of how well he’s suited for this school. Last year he got a solid 4.0 for each quarter but was that because the curriculum was more laid back due to Covid and virtual classrooms or was the curriculum actually challenging and he was just killing it as usual? I GUESS WE SHALL SEE.

Especially considering he has pre-Calc this year lol.

Aug 152021
 

Last week, Cedar Point announced that Wicked Twister (otherwise affectionately known as Spaghetti Noodle if you live in my Oh Honestly house) would be retired this season, with the last cycles happening on Labor Day. At first I took solace in the fact that Chooch and I got to ride it twice in June because we do truly enjoy this strange coaster. But then I looked at Henry and said, “I mean, we could go this Sunday and just ride Spaghetti Noodle and leave DOT DOT DOT.”

Henry sighed and of course eventually agreed. Thank god for those Cedar Fair passes though because otherwise that would have been an expensive farewell to Spaghetti Noodle.

Anyway, that’s what we did today. We left the house around 6am in order to get to the park before 9am for early entry so we could at least get a ride on SteVe while we were there.

Of course half of early entry was spent watching SteVe being tested but I’d rather wait in line for 45 minutes than 150 minutes during regular park hours that’s for sure.

Henry opted to use his early entry time on Maverick instead and for some reason this was a Big Deal to Chooch and me because it’s funny to think of Henry going off and doing his own shit at a theme park. You know?

Just really funny.

Henry’s Big Early Entry.

Then Chooch and I got in a mild argument because he said he doesn’t really think SteVe is that worth it, and ow my heart. We are truly a house divided: he’s cuckoo for B&M gigas while my heart lies with RMC hyper hybrids.

I am seriously beholden to those Rocky Mountain Construction beasts. If Kennywood got an RMC, watch me get a season pass.

Anyway.

We managed to get on before the FAST LANE people made their mad stampede into the queue and that in and of itself felt like a huge win.

Then we reconvened with Henry and made our way to Millennium Force just in time for the park to open up to the GP and honestly after that, almost everything had between a 90-120 minute wait but we expected that since it’s a Sunday in August.

I had to bat my eyelashes at the ride attendant because he was assigning seats on Millie and I really wanted the back. He hesitated and I whined, “Puh-lease?” and he sighed and said, “ok go ahead.” Henry rolled his eyes but I was like THANK GOD I CAN STILL SOMETIMES WIN BOYS OVER.

Millie was nice. She is not my favorite giga but I do really enjoy that view of Lake Erie from the lift hill. It’s weird but I think I actually prefer hypers over gigas.

YOU CARE.

Then it was time for Spaghetti Noodle! Henry promised that he would actually ride it for once (and last).

Here’s me being said it’s my last ride on it and Henry not caring (chooch was too busy texting to get in the picture):

Usually this bitch is a station wait but since CP announced that it’s getting rid of it, people suddenly care about riding it so we had to wait a whole ass 30 minutes. Where were you people before??

I know it’s not a world-class ride that’s going to bring people to CP, but man, I truly do enjoy it!

Afterward, Henry said he could take it or leave it. “Well, I think it’s exhilarating!” I enthused.

You’re exhilarating,” Henry said and I noted a pinch of sarcasm.

“Yeah I know, you’re not the first person to say that about me.”

“I bet,” he muttered.

For some inexplicable reason, Chooch’s season pass account received a free Fast Lane Plus to use on any one ride, so he chose to use it on Top Thrill Dragster; while that was happening, Henry and I pretended like we were on a date (lol no) and rode Gemini. Henry hates Gemini because the last time we rode it, the lap bar fell down as he was getting in the seat and he tripped and hurt his poor leggie awwwww. But I begged him to ride it with me today and he was all GODDAMNIT YOU OWE ME like he hasn’t been saying that to me for the last 20 years hahaha.

I’m sorry, but I think this is a fine ride. I screamed and laughed through the whole thing and yelled at Henry when he refused to slap hands with the people on the other train as they passed us because he “didn’t want to touch people’s dirty hands” and ok fine I guess I will give him a pass because it’s a pandemic still but show some enthusiasm, boy!

I really wanted to get this for Henry but I didn’t have my credit card because I never bring anything other than my phone to amusement parks, and Henry was in the Sweet Spot buying cookies at the time OH WELL.

(I kind of wish I had gone back and bought it for myself though because that design is rad.)

I know that I shouldn’t still be concerned with Bosco Sticks now that I know it was CHEESE ON A STICK that Carrie said is her favorite Cedar Point treat, but my stubborn side has me determined to eat a fucking Bosco Stick inside Cedar Point now. This time it was actually opened so I thought WOW THIS IS HAPPENING ITS REALLY HAPPENING. REALLY. REALLY REALLY.

Oh except that THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY. Come on Cedar Point! You can order that shit from Amazon. There is no excuse for this Bosco Stick deficit!

It was around 2pm at this point and that’s when we loosely decided we were staying til, and having accomplished all we came to do in several hours, I think we all felt that we were ready to leave. It was a good day, actually! I got a SteVe coffee cup and then stared dreamily at him for a bit before I determined that I was definitely ready to go. Please enjoy some photos of this bad ass big boy.

Oh PS before we left, Henry had to buy cookies and when we were leaving the Candy place, some elderly lady in a motorized wheelchair was trying to get out so I opened the door for her.

“Wow. Did she have a cat or a squirrel on her lap? She must have for you to actually help a human,” Henry the Comic said. Wow he’s so funny. Catch his next act tonight at the garbage dump after I drop off his body.

Then immediately after this some guy practically thrusted his phone at me and asked me in a very THIS IS NOT UP FOR NEGOTIATION tone to take a picture of him and his family. I mean, I did it but man…that was too much Peopling for me in a very short span of time. I was definitely ready to leave after that!

After we left, we went back to that Big Ed’s Soda Shop in Vermilion where we ate last time. That place is so quaint.

My dad would probably go into conniptions if he ever came here. He LOVES old shit.

Well, now we’re about an hour and a half away from home so I’m going to go and make Henry talk about coasters while Chooch ignores us from the backseat.

(Proof that he was with us today lol.)

Aug 022021
 

One of my favorite things about Wildwood as a kid was all the cool ass neon signs along that main drag of motels. I didn’t know that “doo wop” is not just a music genre but also a type of architecture until I watched a Wildwood documentary last year (BRUCE WILLIS IS IN IT). I’m really glad that this stuff is preserved as best as it can be because it’s glorious.

On Thursday night, I was really close to hitting 40,000 for the second time since I started Fitbitting at least 6 years ago, so I made Henry walk around the block and check out the neon signs with me. It really is like a mini-Vegas strip out there.

Here are some of my faves!

You guys I was OBSESSED with the Waikiki when I was little. We always stayed across from it at the Olympic but one year I got my grandparents to be like OMFG OK and we stayed at the Waikiki!! Here’s a picture of MY MOM AND ME having breakfast in the rooftop restaurant!!

Oh man it gave me chills to see this bitch ip close again!!

Then next door is my beloved, my BAE, the Olympic. This place definitely rebranded since I was last there. It used to be the Olympic Motor Inn and definitely did not have that intense neon bling clinging to the side. Damn.

That’s originally where I wanted to stay when we were planning this trip a few mths ago but holy shit, rates were poppin’ off. Was it that expensive when my family used to go?? Jesus.

So dumb Henry ended up getting a room across the street at the GOLD CREST which was fine I guess (I mean, don’t worry, I still threw a massive it when we got there on Wednesday but that’s a story for another day, Mary) but THE SIGN WAS NOT COOL!!

And the rooms didn’t have cool colored lights outside of them, like our neighbor the Cara Mara. I was really angry about this and finally Henry said, “SORRY. NEXT TIME I’LL ASK ‘excuse me, but can you tell me what you’re night time light package is like?’ BEFORE I COMMIT TO A HOTEL.”

Lol. He gets so mad!

Meanwhile:

The last time I crossed the 40,000 step threshold was EXACTLY four years ago when we were in Toronto for the GDragon concert!

Jul 282021
 

Hello from vacation. We were at King’s Dominion all day yesterday and stayed over in Baltimore. Now we’re en route to our next stop so I am updating from the car!

On Monday, we went to Busch Gardens (I keep wanting to add an “e” to the end of Busch for some reason, thankfully auto-correct won’t let me) and I collected some pictures of Henry’s back which I will now share with you and you and ok fine, even you.

The “Gotta Get To the Rolly Coaster Before Everyone Else” shot.

The “Ditched His Old Family, Picked Up a New One, They’re Slow Too & Now He’s Got an Extra Kid” shot.

Bonus shot of Full Frontal Henry. This is the “Even Michael Myers Gets PTO and When He Does, The Mask Comes Off & He Goes to Theme Parks” shot.

The “FOLLOW THE STENCH OF BEER-N-MEAT” shot.

The “Thinking This Park Would Be Better if It Was Called Faygo Gardens & Now Wondering What His FAYGO Friends Are Doing Without Him in the Warehouse” shot.

The “Acknowledging My Family Long Enough To Show Them Turtles in the Water” shot.

The “Waiting Out the Storm, Thank God We’re By a Bathroom” shot.

 

The “HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU PPL” shot.

The “Someone Dared Scream My Name While I’m Inhaling a Soft Pretzel Which I Still Had Room For Even After Eating My Own Pizza and Then Finishing Off My Family’s Leftovers” shot.

The “If I Hear You Cry About Wanting to Ride the Loch Ness Monster ONE MORE TIME I will GIVE YOU SOMETHING REAL TO CRY ABOUT and It May Or Not Involve Being Bitch-Slapped By My Own Personal Loch Ness Monster” shot.

The “Thinks We’re Leaving But Erin & Chooch Will Foil That Plan By Proceeding to Wait 90 Minutes In Line For a Roller Coaster That Is Not Going to Be Cleared To Resume Operations Because There Is Lightning All Over The Williamsburg Skies But I Guess I Will Find A Bench To Park My Pizza Cheese-Corked Butt Hole and Read Reddit” shot.

***

Ok that’s all for now – we’re 40 minutes from our next destination – WILDWOOD!!

Jul 272021
 

Usually we opt to grab something fast and boring from the hotel’s complimentary breakfast because we’re in a hurry to get somewhere, but this morning we actually had some time since we were only an hour away from our next destination (King’s Dominion in Doswell, VA). So we drove around Williamsburg (and saw some places we remembered from last time in 2015!). Chooch saw a sign for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and said, “There’s a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not here??”

“Yeah,” henry deadpanned, “and believe it or not, we’re not going.”

“Wow you’re so funny,” Chooch and I said in tandem.

ANYWAY. Henry was being all bitchy because all the PANCAKE HOUSES and whatnot were packed. He made an offhand remark about how Mama Steve’s was the only one that didn’t look crowded but that “concerned” him. When he drove past it again, I was like, “Just go here, it doesn’t look that empty” also I didn’t give a shit because my stomach has been a’bubble with anxiety this whole trip and I knew going into this breakfast game that I was just getting oatmeal and like, all breakfast places have that shit on the menu.

Dude. You guys. From the instant we walked through the doors, I knew this place was The One. It smelt of the 1960s and was the perfect shade of blue.

I was smitten. They could have had actual bricks of shit on the menu (or worse: LIVERMUSH) and I would have just been content with a cup of coffee and that good good retro ambiance.

I turned around to take this picture JUST AS A WAITRESS WAS COMING OUT OF THE KITCHEN. We made eye contact and I think she hated me for a while but our waitress was super nice so who cares I guess, nothing was gonna bring me down in MAMA STEVE’S.

The color of the walls was mildly reminiscent of my grandparent’s dining room (Gillcrest respect) and this just made me want to gather the whole place up in my arms and squeeze it into my HEAVING BOSOM.

It’s hard to find the accurate words but this restaurant made me feel some kind of weird nostalgia for a time when families went on vacations in a station wagon and the Dad wore Hawaiian shirts and polyester pants.

I kept waiting for the Brady Bunch to come strolling in for some eggs n’ OJ before a day of exploring Colonial Williamsburg where some high school Thomas Jefferson cosplayer will inevitably fall in love with Marsha but JAN LIKES HIM.

MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA.

Meanwhile, some local Williamsburg rockabilly thugs are teaching Greg and Peter how to smoke TOBEY TREES while Bobby and Cindy accidentally uncover some ancient Presidential thing under a rock.

Me: I’m obsessed with it here. Aren’t you?

Chooch, glances around: No.

Me: But it’s got aesthetic. Vibes. It’s a whole mood.

Chooch: Omg shut up.

And then an instrumental cover of Steely Dan’s Babylon Sisters came on!!

Meanwhile, chooch asked the waitress if the vegetarian omelette had mushrooms in it.

“No,” she said apologetically, like that was going to be a deal breaker.

“Then I’ll take it,” Chooch said happily. He hates mushrooms which breaks my heart.

Mmmushrooms.

Me: I need to buy Mama Steve’s memorabilia.

Henry: I doubt they have anything.

Me: Well I’ll just go up with you when you pay and see for myself.

That bastard almost beat me there but I made it there as he was handing over the credit card, JUST IN TIME to pant, “AND THIS” as I slid a commemorative COFFEE CUP onto the counter. WHEW. #blessed #mamasteves4l

This is definitely going to be my go-to traditional dining spot next time we’re in Williamsburg (which shouldn’t be too far in the future because Busch Gardens should be opening their new coaster at some point I would hope since it was supposed to open in 2020 and is currently SBNO – standing but not operating).

PS it is three days later but I am back to add that two people at Mama Steve’s we’re wearing PITTSBURGH PENGUINS shirts and I heard one of the shirts-wearers say that he was ORIGINALLY FROM PITTSBURGH. Normally I have zero hometown pride but for some reason I get so stoked when I see someone wearing Penguins stuff when we’re on vacation. That’s all. Bye.

Jul 262021
 

…aside from Carowinds, which was most of the afternoon.

*(EDITORS NOTE: omg I don’t even know what day it is anymore. These are things we did on SUNDAY.)

We had some time to kill in the morning and Roadside America told me that we were mere minutes away from the site of the abandoned Heritage USA, the religious “theme park” created by Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker back in the day (late 80s? Early 90s? Who could be sure. Well, Google could but Vacation Erin don’t be caring).

The site is actually an operational church now (probably one of those wack ones no doubt) that contains some artifacts from the old Heritage USA Main Street but if anyone is going to get sucked into an extreme religion, it’s me so I lost interest and opted not to pursue this any further. Then Henry was like OH SHIT YOU GOTTA SEE THIS HOUSE WE JUST PASSED and when he turned around, I screamed “That’s the place I said you wouldn’t want to go, the Upper Room!!!” I didn’t realize we were that close to it! So he pulled in the parking lot and let me and Chooch off the leash long enough to walk the perimeter.

It’s supposed to be an exact replica of the room in which the Last Supper took place but of course it wasn’t open yet so I couldn’t peep that shit for myself. But I guess I will take their word for it?

When we were walking through the outside parts of the building, Chooch said, “It smells like your pappap’s house” and it really did. It’s hard to explain the scent but it’s old, musty, and nostalgic. Earthy kind of, too.

Then I spazzed out and cried about leaving my cats and we almost canceled the rest of the trip and came home but then I calmed down and we went to Carowinds except that if you know me, you know that this likely dragged on for an hour and was way more intense and hilly than any coaster we’d be riding that day.

BIG LOL.

Ugh.

We left Carowinds around 4 after doing everything we really wanted to do and making an executive decision not to wait 60+ minutes in line for a boomerang and a wild mouse just for credit purposes, and somehow managed to find a veg-friendly restaurant in Charlotte with actual ease and little frustration.

It was called FLOWER CHILD.

And it was wonderful. They had kombucha on tap.

Only I got kombucha. Henry and Chooch grimace at that heavenly nectar.

I got the Glow Bowl which had sweet potato noodles and a vegan-based curry. It was so filling, I couldn’t finish it all and that is unlike me. Henry also got some hippy bowl of some sort and actually liked it and also said that he was surprised how filling it was considering it didn’t appear to be much food. Chooch got a Thai tofu wrap and left all the vegetables but at least he ate the tofu.

Everyone was so friendly there and the aesthetic was 100% my style.

Look how cute the bathroom was!!

After we left, we were walking back to the car, which we had parked on a street about a block away. As we were approaching it, I saw that the drivers side door was open–not fully but also a bit more than just ajar. In my head I thought, “that can’t be our car” and then “OMG THATS OUR CAR.” I ran over with my heart in my throat but somehow, all of our stuff was still there. I had my backpack on the floor of the front seat, with my laptop in it but everything was untouched.

Henry was so confused because he said he knows he shut the door so we have NO IDEA what happened, if someone tried to get in but the alarm went off maybe? I mean, we weren’t on some desolate street – it was right across from a brewery that had plenty of patrons dining outside so — not very conducive for car-jacking or petty theft I guess? It was a very yuppie area.

Man we dodged that bullet but it took a while for my heart rate to go down, that’s for sure.

We drove to downtown Charlotte after that and attempted to walk off some of that anxiety-driven adrenaline. There was this cute city park that I wanted to see because there are giant bronze book statues according to roadside america and I, as you know, am a book dork. Chooch was soooo annoyed about this part of the itinerary.

Especially when I was being hyper-bossy about having my picture taken properly and then I hated every single one anyway so who cares.

I drew a portrait of Frederick Douglass in art one year in high school and I really think it was the best work I’ve ever done and I wish I still had it…why don’t I still have it?

DISCO CHICKEN! I have no idea what this really is but I loved it.

We started our drive to Durham afterward (we needed somewhere to crash on the way to Williamsburg, VA) and I found us an Ice cream joint in Greensboro called Lucha Libre and, as you’ve probably already ascertained by the name, it was bangin’.

This place was SO OVERWHELMING though. So many different things to order, some looked like they were just TOO MUCH though so we all chose something from what appeared to be the smallest, less decked-out menu.

I had such ordering anxiety that when it was my turn, I had to ask the guy what his favorite from that particular type was and he said “coconut” so I said, “Then that is what I want” and thank god because I truly love coconut. But I didn’t see it on the menu because everything had lucha libre and Spanish names with no descriptions so we were ordering blind.

But I don’t really think you could choose poorly at a place like that. I mean, unless you have an allergy of some sort.

Anyway, the guy who took our order ended up being the owner’s son (henry was “reading about the place” while we waited for our orders to be ready, apparently) and he told us that we came at a good time because usually the line loops around the whole place and that entire families (“You know, large families!”) come in after church and it can take over an hour for an order to be ready! It was just 25 minutes for ours and I didn’t mind because the place had a real festive atmosphere, like a dance party:


I mean, they played NKOTB at one point so it was pretty lively lol.

I had to text my work pal Megan because we just had a full-fledged NKOTB discussion on Jabber last week because I was reviewing something for a company called Step By Step and naturally it injected that song into my head. Neither of us were on that New Kids-wagon back in the day but I gotta admit, I always really liked The Right Stuff – the bridge is what did it for me!

YESSSS. And each one came with a syringe of chocolate sauce, too. I *fully* enjoyed this experience but you better believe I dropped to the ground and did sit-ups later that night in our hotel in Durham – The Millennium, which was Shining-esque in its hallways and also smelled like my Pappap’s house??!! We were only there from 10pm-7:30am so I didn’t really get to explore but the room was pretty huge and I had ample space to do my “DO THIS EVERY MORNING TO LOSE WEIGHT” Grow With Jo workout that I woke up extra early for this morning and this shit better work lol.

Also, henry and Chooch both used the bathroom at Lucha Libre which was basically a shared bathroom within the strip mall and they both are still talking about “the hallway of death” that they had to walk along to find the bathroom and Chooch said he heard scraping coming from behind a door and now I feel really left out because I didn’t use the bathroom too :(

When we left, the owner himself thanked us for coming and he was so adorable and now I am obsessed with this place and the friendly people so if you are in Greensboro, go there. Also, bonus points for it being in a shopping center full of Korean businesses too! It is always a joy to see Hangeul signs in the US.

OK, now we’re en route to Busch Garden so I’m peacing out!

Jul 242021
 

Nope, but you’re getting one anyway!

It is currently 7:33am and we just left the house for the first leg of my rollercoaster birthday road trip: Carowinds in North Carolina! South Carolina? It actually straddles the border, I think.

First stop: the Dunkin right down the street from our house. I just can’t with Sheetz coffee sometimes, you know? I just can’t.

When Henry starts wearing suspenders and sweat pants, we’ll know where he got the Inspo.

7:59am: SHEETZ

8:50am: SORRY I was READING A BOOK. But now I’m taking a break so I don’t puke. My Sheetz breakfast was good, now that I’ve discovered I can customize my beloved protein showdown flatbread.

My mom came over last night so I could show her things she will need while she’s watching the cats. “And then these are their plates for their treats,” I started, and I could feel Henry rolling his eyes from the other room but we’ve had this argument enough times and I refuse to remind him once again they’re PEOPLES and peoples shouldn’t have to eat their treats off the floor!

(Actually, we call them TRITS not TREATS.)

Then I had to show her all the squirrel food too and she was like omg.

Henry, 1970s Granola Dad, made his own batches of trail mix for the road and thinks he is SO AMAZING. I just watched him pop some in his mouth (knock knock Mr. Mustache, coming thru) and do a little shoulder shimmy.

9:32am: West Virginia rest area fun.

Henry said some guy came out of the bathroom with his pants still undone so now he’s really loaded up with style inspo. On the way out, we saw a sign on the hill and henry thought it said MUTILATED TRAIL so then that’s how my eyes saw it as too but chooch was quick to rain on our savage parade by clarifying that the sign said NATURALIZED trail. Boring.

I just saw a huge sign outside of a gym that said JUMPING JACKS FOR CHARITY and I want to play!! I love jumping jacks. It’s literally my favorite cardio.

10:30am: Pilot pee stop!

Chooch stayed in the car and told us he wanted a “fruit cup” but we found no such things so now he’s railing against us like we’re the world’s most incompetent parents and he can fuck right off lest he get uninvited to my rollercoaster road trip birthday party, little INGRATE.

10:59am: scenic overlook somewhere in WV! See also: Henry sucks at taking pictures. See also x2: woke Chooch up from a nap for this and now he EXTRA DOUBLY loves us.

11:15am: Just passed a farmers market and Henry said we should have stopped to get chooch his damn fruit and I said YEAH AND SMASHED IT IN HIS FACE.

“wow,” Henry murmured. Look, Chooch is currently my worst frenemy ok.

Also, how the fuck are we still in WV.

12:09pm: Oh wow another rest area. This one was next to that weird TAMARACK place that we drive past and never go to. Anyway, while I was peeing, the woman in the stall next to me sneezed so I said bless you. There was a moment of hesitation and then she said, “Thank you.” I wondered, as I was finishing up, if it was socially verboten to break the silence in a rest room. I mean, acknowledging sneezes is my THANG (never more than once though; you start with the follow-up sneezes and you’re on your own, Mary) so it just…came out.

Walking back to the car, I started to tell Chooch and he stopped me to squeal, “What?? You don’t talk to people in the bathroom! You just don’t! YEAH it’s weird” he answered before I even had a chance to finish asking his opinion.

She had aqua blue toe nails.

The sneezer did. All I could see of her was her feet and she was wearing sandals.

That’s all, carry on.

12:56pm: At Dolly’s Diner! Easiest food-finding experience of any road trip yet I think, you’re welcome fam.

“I put a star on it for you!” our waitress gleefully told Henry as she plunked his burger plate under his face. She reminded me of Henry’s mom a bit, if she had dyed burgundy hair and a southern accent.

The food itself was ok but the dessert selection was cray and what Chooch and I got (coconut cake and butterscotch lush) was DELECTABLE.

Henry didn’t order anything thinking he was going to share with me but lemme tell you something, Linda, I love butterscotch so much and that is how I know I’m going to make a great elder. Southern Judy even brought two spoons and I said “AW that’s cute that she thought I was going to share with you.”

I let that bitch have two small bites and he’s lucky he even got that.

What a pleasant experience. I would have liked to have bought a shirt as a memento because I have decided that my new thing is buying commemorative restaurant shirts, but Henry claims they didn’t have any for sale.

TUNNEL! THANK GOD!

We’re ten miles from Henry’s birthplace of BLAND, VA.

(We’re in Virginia now btw.)

I started jokingly calling Henry “daddy” and Chooch just mumbled “stop” from the backseat lol.

2:51: now we’re in NC! This drive has been super boring since my last check in because there’s been so much traffic and henry is also being super annoying and then I was openly weeping because SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE DOG in the book I’m reading and honestly that should be illegal for books to have pet death/illness in them.

3:07pm: We lost Chooch at the Brintle’s Travel Plaza which coincidentally is down the street from the Mayberry town we went to the last time we were out this way (see also: the live blog I just reposted the other day).

This place had an entire hallway of payphones!

And a game room!

And a mom asking her young son in the stall next to mine if he had to poop!

update: henry found chooch. He wandered back into the game room while henry was buying his BANG purple energy drank.

4:37pm: WE JUST DROVE BY CAROWINDS. I SAW FURY!! Going to check into whatever dive Henry booked a room at and then we’re heading on over for the rest of the evening!

4:59pm: you can see it from our floor!

5:44pm: Happy to report that we’ve been in the park for five minutes and Chooch and I are already arguing I hate him.

Some guy just cut all the way thru the line to get the number of the girl in front of me and it was so Romantic and not even a ruse to line jump because he got out of line right after. I WISH I WAS STILL YOUNG & DESIRABLE.

8:22pm: As expected Carowinds was v. crowded since it’s a Saturday so we rode two things then left since we’re coming back tomorrow (hopefully the ops aren’t as slow as they were tonight OMG for a cedar fair park, I was shook). So I found this metal head fountain thingie on Roadside America so here we are.


Everything Henry is doing is so annoying btw.

Now we’re at Skyland Family Restaurant which really wants to be a classy Italian joint but just couldn’t help themselves by adding a breakfast menu.

LIVERMUSH…the fuck.

OUR WAITRESS JUST SAID “I APPRECIATE U FOLKS” and you know what? I APPRECIATE HER RIGHT BACK.

9:17pm: this family at the restaurant has a SCREAMING TODDLER with them and they are doing NOTHING to shut it up. I want to cry.

LOL I left. Henry is cleaning off everyone’s plates, as he does, and I am sitting in the quiet car.

10:06pm: fitness time!

I feel kind of bad because some guy was in there lifting and it seemed like we chased him out.

10:44pm:

Olympic swimming time! Cameo by Henry’s elbow to the left.

Well, I guess it’s time to end this. Day One of BIRTHDAY VACA THING was mediocre. Mostly driving, annoying amusement park experience, screaming restaurant baby, good evening hotel workout. BYEYEEEEE.

Jul 212021
 

We’re leaving for “vacation” on Saturday (I don’t think Henry qualifies a 7-day road trip filled with 4 amusement parks as a vacation lol) and I am so ready. I even remembered to get a bunch of postcard stamps to take with me so we’re not driving around in search of post offices like usual. Oh, wow look at that, here’s a liveblog from the time we were on our way home from Charlotte in 2015, looking for a post office (and other things happened too, thanks Roadside America). I sure do love road tripping with these fools. 

****

I wasn’t going to liveblog on the way home but let’s face it: what else is there to do when I’m in a car with Henry?

8:47: Henry is acting like a goddamn martyr because he has been doing all of the driving. We still have 7 hours left of the trip (we left Savannah late yesterday and drove to Charlotte, NC) and we’re all kinds of DONE. Henry didn’t even feed us dinner last night! I HAD CHEX MIX. :( Also we have been looking for a post office since we left Savannah yesterday.

8:48: Chooch: Where are we doing for breakfast? Henry: the post office.

Seriously though we spent so much time driving in circles yesterday because I typed “post office” into google and it told me to go to Orangeburg, SC. So that is how we ended up driving all around an industrial park in Orangeburg, SC looking for a post office so I could mail my postcards only for Henry to realize that my inability to read maps, or properly Google things for that matter, had led us straight to the Industrial Packing Supplies building. “Here it is!” I announced triumphantly. “THIS ISNT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO BEING A POST OFFICE, ERIN” Henry spat.

Ladies and gentlemen, Orangeburg.

But we got to see a rainbow!

9:20: we’re at the Tupelo Honey Cafe and Henry is currently not speaking to us.  lol forever.

This is definitely the type of place you come with people you enjoy talking to over brunch and HENRY IS NOT THAT PERSON LOL. Oh well, at least I have my backup: Chooch.  

Henry’s omelette came with a flower on the plate and now he’s even surlier. I had a delightful sweet potato pancake with peach butter and soysage and Chooch had eggs and homefries and actually ate the whole thing. I love this place but Henry is like exploding with hatred right now. He hates how all the men here are dressed in the same brand of strange-hued, fitted yuppie shorts.

10:05: One of the guys in yuppie shorts was asked to leave a few minutes after they got there because his female yuppie-partner was so drunk that she was laying across the table and the chairs and Henry said her dress was like wide open. They were walking back to their yuppie car in front of us and she was definitely drunk. It was a good example for me to show Chooch that rich people act like trashy assholes sometimes too. He’s learning lots on this vacation!

10:10: I enjoyed my time at the Tupelo Honey but Henry did not. “My food wasn’t from scratch!” he just whined. “The mushrooms and peppers in my omelette were from a CAN! That’s not FROM SCRATCH. They LIED.” Maybe a Bloody Mary would have helped him not notice.

11:22: Just left the Dale Earnhardt Headquarters, lol. I was like WE HAVE TO GO TO MORRISVILLE and Henry was all YOU HATE NASCAR THO? I just wanted to go and laugh.  

Me: Do you think they’ll have Tony Stewart stuff here?

Henry: THIS IS DALE EARNHARDT’S HEADQUARTERS WHY WOULD THERE BE TONY STEWART STUFF HERE.

Me: Do they have the car he crashed in?

Henry, appalled: NO! I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!

WHO KNEW?!

Chooch: Where are we again?

Henry’s favorite part!

Me: Do you think they have the outfit here that he died in?

Henry, mumbling at this point: Probably not.

At least it was free! Chooch got a souvenir penny but selected by mistake Dale Earnhardt Jr’s signature to be imprinted on it. I’m going to add an extra Jr to it so it’s like the band. (Even though they changed their name to Jr Jr a few weeks ago.)

I’m pissed because I wanted a magnet to boast that I was there but the gift shop didn’t have anything specific to the headquarters. Not even a Dale Earnhardt Headquarters is For Lovers t-shirt. I ended up getting some dumb NASCAR-ish photo magnet so I can just put my picture with Chooch in it I guess. Sigh.

Chooch’s main takeaway from this joint is that Henry looks like Dale (negative) and that we’re shitty parents who took him on the worst vacation ever because we wouldn’t buy him a notebook with Dale Earnhardt’s racing number on it. Cry it out, bro.

11:50: I think it’s safe to say that Henry reaaaaaallllly hates the Roadside America app. Also, my postcards were mailed. I know you were concerned about how that was going to play out.

12:07: Just accused Henry of not having any fun this whole trip and he said “I never said that. I’m just sick of you two.” BUT THEN HE SORT OF SMILED A LITTLE. So I took that as my opportunity to demand iced coffee.

2:02: We just left Mt. Airy, NC, the home of Andy Griffith and a Mayberry Shangri-la.


Chooch was like “This is great but who the fuck is Andy Griffith?”

We skipped the actual Andy museum tour, but there was a free Chang and Eng gallery in the basement that we were able to quickly access.

Roamed around Main Street for a while and then visited Wally’s Service which is where you can take tours of the town in an old Mayberry squad car.

I went inside to get my dad a coffee cup and to also snag some postcards since we had previously driven past the post office so I could easily mail them. Chooch almost made it out of the store without incident but right as I opened the door to leave, he barely touched a toy car on a shelf with one finger tip when the woman behind the counter snapped at him to not “play with the cars.” OK BITCH BROAD. HAVE A NICE FUCK YOU.

There was a replica of the jail next door so we stopped over there for some photo ops. Chooch took this one of me and then posted it on Instagram without my permission but luckily the cell bars and my layers are blocking some of my fat bulges.

Encountered a rude bitch lady in there, too. She was just a tourist like the rest of us so I don’t know where the superiority was coming from.  
And now Henry is pissed because we’re back on the highway, stuck on accident traffic and Chooch and I keep unplugging the GPS in order to charge our phone/Nintendo DS.

3:02: Still sitting in traffic approx. 5 miles away from Mayberry. The Hells Angels are with us, though!

3:52: Henry made us pee at idiot Love’s, a gas station that was infested with people who, like us, had been sitting in traffic for over an hour, but of course they were all way more annoying than my perfect family.

Also, we’re currently in Virginia. Henry has said that he hates approx. 87 times today. I said I was sorry for breathing and he laughed sardonically and cried, “No you’re not! Who are YOU kidding?!”

And then his idiot self bought Chooch CANDY. Yes, that makes sense.

Chooch just asked if today is August 1. Like, get a fucking calendar.

5:06: Octavia recommended a pit stop in Pulaski, VA so that’s what I’m making Henry do right now and he’s pissed. He has reached the point where he only communicates in head shakes and moustache twitches.


But first, this overlook thang!

5:33: Huge fight because Henry wouldn’t stop anywhere “downtown” Pulaski and then some guy came out of nowhere doing about 70 almost wrecked into us, Earnhardt-style, but now we’re sitting quietly at Tom’s Drive In while a big table of locals talk in hushed tones about Chooch’s hair.


The man standing is really excited because he went outside to buy the newspaper and it was from TOMORROW! A paper from the FUTURE and it only cost A DOLLAR!

Ah, local flavor.

5:57: Thought Chooch was staring at one of the younger girls this whole time but eventually realized it was the OLDER GIRL WITH PINK HAIR. She came over before she left and said, in the perfect drawl, “I like your hair…” And Chooch’s face almost burst into flames.

It smells weird in here and there’s no a/c but it was worth it for the people aspect. The two young kids working here are super personable.

Cheapest meal on the whole trip, not counting the CHEX MIX DINNER I had last night.

6:52: We’re stuck in traffic again! Henry pointed out that we still have five hours to go before we’re home. “it’s like we made no progress today. It’s like we went BACK IN TIME” and now he’s muttering. Then Chooch asked him what our next vacation is going to be; Henry turned around and breathed fire into Chooch’s face.

7:34: Listening to a Koo Koo Kanga Roo podcast where someone said “follow your dreams.” Chooch freaked out because he thought they said Paul Eugene. Now he’s calling us Ma and Pa and I’m freaking out.
9:24: Three hours from home but at least we’re in West Virginia now! Stopped at a gas station in Mt. Nebo for refreshments; it had the cutest diner attached to it.

 West Virginian coffee station. I was pissed when I learned that there was a Sheetz down the street. “Why,” Henry sneered. “You hate their coffee too.” It’s true, but really it’s just their iced coffees. They just always taste so gross to me, like they use Lip Smackers for their flavoring.
  
The bathroom was sketchy upon the initial entrance, but the stalls were surprisingly clean and provided great reading material.

 THREE MORE HOURS.
Idiot Chooch got a bag of BBQ chips and is eating them with open-mouthed panache. YELLING AT HIM HELPS NOT.

9:52: Chooch is sleeping! FINALLY! I’m so excited that I licked Henry’s arm!

10:42: Henry just sped up at the same time someone was creeping up on us from the right lane and I screamed, “STOP TRYING TO RACE HIM! OH GOD, HE MIGHT SHOOT US.”

“Why is he going to shoot us?” Henry (kind of) laughed.

“I don’t know! Maybe he’s in a gang!” I defensively reasoned.

“The pick-up truck gang?” Henry sighed.

IT’S BEEN A LONG DAY. So long that Henry just deliriously whispered, “Bye bye, Guy from Ontario” when some car that Henry recognized as one that passed us twice while we’ve been on this this highway in WV, drove away down the last exit.

10:53: KNUCKLE PUCK, CARRY US HOME. I just want to wash my face. For hours.

11:22: Pennsylvania just welcomed us. One more hour!! I hope henry doesn’t think I’m going to help carry anything into the house. Lol.

11:45: Fuckface Henry stopped “to get gas” at Sheetz so now our arrival has been pushed back to 12:45. WHYYYYYYY, TONYA HARDING???? WHYYYYYYYY? Anyway, I went into Sheetz to pee and Talking Head’s  “Psycho Killer” was playing. I got really paranoid.

12:18AM: Carly Rae Jepsen and her sweet pop sensibilities carrying us down the home stretch.

12:44AM: OK WE’RE HOME GOOD NIGHT.

Jul 172021
 

I can’t remember if that’s what Part 1 was titled and I’m too emotionally exhausted to go back and look because I just watched a new special Taemin video that SM Entertainment released today in an effort to feed the starving Taemints and now I’m weak and have pressure behind my eyeballs from crying so please leave me alone.

8. The King of Crows – Libba Bray

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Hey, speaking of crying – finishing the Diviners series really did it to me. I can honestly say that I haven’t loved a book series this much since Harry Potter (you know, back before we knew that its author was a disgusting TERF). It’s really got it all: a ragtag, diverse cast of characters that will steal your heart, snappy dialogue, an exciting and original supernatural plot, and a historical setting that might actually teach you some things while also making you run to the nearest Party City for some flapper accessories.

And if you’re an audio book type of person (fuck it, even if you’re NOT), January Lavoy narrates all 4 books and she is a TREASURE. I’ve raved about all 4 of these books and will continue to do so until my deathbed days, probably. Oh, and I even got Henry into them – he just finished the fourth book recently too and we had a full five minute book club about it because, you know, Henry.

Oh! The only complaint I have about these books, if I have to have one, is that the book covers are terrible. Well, the first one is nice, but they all go downhill from there. The publisher did Libba Bray dirty.

9. Umma’s Table – Hong Yeon-Sik

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Don’t let the adorably whimsical cover fool you – this is one depressing graphic novel. I read it in the car in our drive to Cedar Point last month and had to keep putting it down because it was making me so sad. If aging parents is a trigger for you, skip this one. I just kept thinking about mortality, fear of getting older, of being a future burden to Chooch, all of these things that we really love to think about while in a car driving to a place where we’re supposed to be have fun, lol. It was a real downer, but also very beautiful. It will make you want to slow down and appreciate what you have, while you have it.

10. The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris

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OK this was a wild thriller! Nella works at a book publisher and is the token black girl until one day when another black girl is hired. At first, Nella is like THANK GOD but this new broad – Hazel – quickly becomes super popular in the office and eventually gets opportunities that Nella feels should be hers. But then there’s this crazy sci-fi twist to it that takes it the next level and I couldn’t imagine how the hell this thing was going to end. I thought it was super smart, witty, and fraught with tension.

There was also a part that I low-key related to where Nella is training Hazel and the whole time, Hazel is questioning the process and saying things like, “Yeah, but, shouldn’t we do it this way instead…” and then she criticizes a spreadsheet that isn’t alphabetized and laminated and I was like OH SHIT THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR because I recently went through a similar sitch with a new person I was training and I gotta say, I felt a bit triggered lol.

11. The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

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One day, Hannah’s husband goes missing and the last thing she heard from him was a written note that says “protect her.” So now she and her teenage step-daughter, with whom she has a very strained relationship, set out to try and figure out what the hell happened. I would say it’s more of a mystery than a thriller, and I found it to be pretty interesting. I really didn’t expect this book to make me burst into tears at the end, but there we were!

12. The New Husband – DJ Palmer

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A very middle-of-the-road thriller. Pretty predictable. I liked that the book alternated between the POV of the wife and the teenage daughter, and definitely much preferred the daughter’s chapters. This book wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also didn’t blow me away. Lots of gaslighting though so I basically felt like I had an entire nest of hornets buzzing through my veins.

13. Meet Cute Diary – Emery Lee

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Hey, you knew there was gonna be a YA book in here somewhere! Noah is a high school trans boy who writes a blog about meet cute stories for the trans community, except that they’re all made up by him and then he gets exposed for being a fake so some dude offers to fake-date him so that Noah can save his blog (and face). There’s a lot of toxic behavior going on in this book, and it also taught me about the “eir” community – look, I am way behind on this stuff but I am learning slowly OK!?

The main character, Noah, is actually quite insufferable, but Devin is the one who saves this book in my opinion.

14. Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford

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Um. I picked this up because it was set in NYC club scene in the early 80s but…what? Huh? This book had NO VIBES. The only 80s bones that were thrown were sporadic mentions of Andy Warhol walking by, or JFK Jr being at a college party. And the plot, was even was that? The timeline kept jumping around too and it made no sense to me. Too many characters that I couldn’t keep up with. Drugs. A dad died. Yeah, this book was pretty much a waste of time.

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Well, that’s all for June. I’m going to try and get Henry to guest post next week for his summer book recs since he has been tearing through the audiobooks at work. Don’t hold your breath!