Friday (last week): We started off the day with some minor errands (getting gas, Staples for floppies for the camera and a headset for Paul's phone (which ended up not being as "universal" as advertised on the package), City Hall for Paul to get another copy of his birth certificate to get across the border), then headed out onto the road.
While we were still in town, I monkeyed with his new Sirius Satellite Radio to figure out how it worked. I also grabbed a pen and wrote down a channel guide, since we forgot to bring the updated one he'd printed the night before while on the computer. There are TONS of interesting "niche" stations on this thing. Pretty much, no matter what kind of music you like, you should find something to your liking. Also, they are commercial-free and they play TONS of great songs that you just don't hear on the regular radio anymore (unless you are listening to the Top 40 stream or something).
I also very much liked the variety offered in the talk/entertainment channels. There's certainly something for everyone: an all right-wing talk station, an all left-wing talk station, an all GAY talk station, 3 NPRs, BBC World News, the Weather Channel, Fox News (for those who like their propaganda), all old-time radio, Radio Disney (for the kids) and tons more too (and plenty of sports news if your into that as well).
The sound quality isn't bad and we only had a couple of glitchy times where the sound skipped or cut out (just before we hit the Walt Whitman, in the Lehigh Valley tunnel (the satellite couldn't find us through the MOUNTAIN, so they're excused) and somewhere around Upstate NY (and in a neighborhood or two in Toronto...though, Paul said we shouldn't really get coverage in Canada, it worked pretty well on the ENTIRE trip).
Paul did the driving for the whole day that day. I read the entire third volume of Iron Wok Jan (which is a manga sort of inspired by "Iron Chef"). It was pretty fun reading, but I recommend starting at the beginning with volume one (since this whole volume takes place at a big competition (and the competition ended with a cliffhanger to be resolved in volume four)).
We switched between primarily the all-80s station, the all-New Wave/Punk station, the all-gay talk station and the all-comedy station throughout the day (with a stop at the PRI/NPR station for "This American Life").
We stopped at the Allentown, Pa rest stop on the highway and got Roys for a change (we would usually get either the Pizza Hut express or the Bob's Big Boys there). The Roy's burger wasn't bad and I also had a three-piece chicken which was pretty good (I've always actually preferred Roy's chicken to KFC (though I like the "extra-crispy").
When we finally got to the border, we pretty much played twenty questions with the border guard there (remember this when you get to the post about Sunday). She asked us all kinds of stuff (what the nature of our visit was, whether we had tobacco or alcohol, what we did for a living, whether we were going to be conducting business in Canada, etc.).
Arriving at the hotel, we went upstairs to our room (conveniently very close to the elevators), put our stuff down, collapsed on the bed for a few minutes, then headed down to the hotel restaurant to find something to eat.
We followed the signs to the restaurant as they were posted at the elevator. Bad mistake. Apparently the hotel (and the connecting hotel, a Holiday Inn) were all one big circle. If we'd gone to the left, we'd have found the hotel restaurant just beyond the lobby. Instead we walked through what felt like an endless labyrinth through the hotel and finally found the restaurant. I had a chicken club sandwich and Paul had some Fish and chips. We then, after a brief step into the gift shop for a candy/soda break, went to the room and collapsed. I took a LONG bath with some of my "Bath and Body Works" bath salts...we only have a shower stall at home, so I always take a bath when in a hotel. I read a guide magazine from the hotel and checked out the maps to figure out what we could do the next day. I really just wanted to go to the one museum and then just shop for the day (ending with the gay ghetto).
All in all, spending ten hours in the car together was probably not the worst way to spend our eleventh anniversary.
more in the next post...