Based on Honda’s Facebook poll from a couple weeks ago, the top votes are coming in for a special spot in NYC and also the NC coast. (Um, is somebody reading my mind? How did you all know I love those places? Then again, I do love a lot of places…:)
Polls are still open, there will be more going up in the next couple days, and of course all will remain open while I’m on the road, so stay tuned. I could be ping-ponging around much more of the country than I thought. I’ve never been afraid of crossing several state lines, so I say bring on the challenge! It’s already been an adventure watching the ever changing travel meter move.
As of tonight, possible NJ to VT to NH to ME to NYC to NC to PA (I haven’t even told you about that one yet.)- to ?, then back to NJ on the 19th. Good thing I’m going to be driving a hybrid!
As I am sure you all are very aware of, the Northeast- particularly the Southern parts of Vermont where I have planned to head to to kick off this Honda Adventure has been severely damaged by Hurricane Irene. This means a lot of things, one being there are several road closures, detours and spots that are simply off limits as the enormous clean up is underway. Considering my pre-planned route and meetings go from NJ, through NY and into VT then through NH into ME, I will essentially be attempting to go through the thick of it all. I have been a less planning, moreÂ doingÂ kind of girl duringÂ my travels over the years, just rolling with what happens on the road, so It’s ironic that I pre-planned some things for this trip, and one of the worst floods in Vermont’s history happens right before I plan to be there.
This is all to say that as I set off on my trip north on Friday, I have no idea the random roads I will end up on, what detours I will have to take, which festivals and events will still be on or cancelled, or in general what to expect. I do know there will still be meetings with people like Million Mile Joe and Marcia, the maker of Whoopsies Gourmet Whoopie Pies, along with some other interesting characters yet TBA, which I am very excited about.
Thanks to you all for fantastic suggestions, participating in my plans, and rolling with the adventure as it is ever changing.Â Here’s to expecting the unexpected!
There’s more to do besides work on my laptop for 10 hours a day in my lake side office to prep for this trip. Like making sure my toes are Blue Lollipop Road blue of course:
Last summer before driving to Alaska I painted my fingernails “Ogre The Top Blue” a Shrek inspired color:
(Thumbs up for that!) Maybe next year I’ll paint my face?
For this trip I chose “Sexy In The City” blue for my toes. (Who comes up with these names anyway?) Can I just say how fun it is to have an accidental flip-flop tan from walking around Chicago so much? Who knew living in a city would give me my first ever flip-flop tan.
On other trip prep news:
The suggestions have poured in and I have places from New York City, to Portland, South Carolina to New Hampshire. Baltimore to Philly, and Boston love has just come in too. Yeah! I’ve been advised on more noshing suggestions than sights or events so far. (Clearly road food is everyone’s favorite, and I don’t blame them.) Keep sending thoughts, opinions and ideas! I have quite a running tally. If only I could split myself in two…
There will be real-time voting happening throughout the trip along with some possible tag-along adventures and more surprises. If you are in the Northeast and think a house guest would be fun or would like to be a local tour guide- drop me a line. (Post a comment here, or shoot me an email; diane (@) bluelollipoproad.com) Everything is possible and there is oh so much fun to be had!
The BLR-Mobile and I shared quite a view on Sunday night. It was a tad windy and more or less rainy and cloudy with residuals from Hurricane Irene all day until…
…right until the sun was setting.
Just when you think a sunset couldn’t possibly become any more beautiful:
…it does. (And this is from my cheapie 3 year old Nikkon Coolpix camera with no edits!)
Thank you my little car, for bringing me to all these places. Thank you quiet moments in nature, for making me feel like anything is possible. Thank you continuous lessons, for always reminding me the best things in life are free.
Here we are. 4 days from today I will be picking up my loaned 2012 Honda Hybrid Civic and hitting the road! I have anticipated this trip for a long time, worked very hard to make it all come together and I can’t wait for it all to begin!
I wanted to start this post by talking about Hurricane Irene. Where I have been staying since leaving Chicago a couple weeks ago there is no TV, so all news and weather reports come from laptops and cell phones. During a storm like Irene that just ripped up the east coast it’s an odd feeling to 1.) Not be able to watch and see what’s going on as easily as you’re used to 2.) Be in a place that’s gorgeous, sunny, and unscathed while the 3 states you spent your first 32 years in that are loaded with most all your friends and family get pummeled. I am happy to report all my friends and family are Ok and safe. (Phew.) I cannot say thank you enough to all of you who have contacted me from around the country asking about my family in VT. Even though you’ve known I am safe in Western NY, you’ve checked on about the people I love the most and I am beyond grateful for that. I’ve been watching countless You Tube videos and reading news articles about Southern Vermont where I grew up and I’m baffled. I experienced a lot of big snow storms growing up there, but never saw anything close to the flooding and damage that’s happened there over this past weekend.
During the planning for this trip there have been buckets of ideas on where to go and what to do. There are a few surprises I had planned (and still have) but I was going to wait to announce until Friday’s kick-off. Considering the weather and events of the past few days I will announce early now, that the trip kick-off will be in my hometowns area of Shaftsbury/Bennington VT! Â I decided some weeks ago that it was important for me to share with you all a few very specialÂ people, places and things that are huge contributing factors in how and why Blue Lollipop Road originated. I will head to VT after the car pick up at the end of this week. I hope when I get there everyone is still safe, sound and starting to dry out. This storm is yet another reminder that all that really matters are the people we love and the time we have together.
Here’s to supporting your neighbors, holding on tight to people you love, finding something awesome in your day when things don’t feel so awesome, and knowing that “stuff” is replaceable.
Flooded and drenched or not, I LOVE YOU VERMONT! The Blue Lollipop Road has lead me back to you, so I’m coming to show the world how beautiful you are!
Upcoming lessons and noshings on delicious Maine whoopie pies. Yeah!
I am excited to share that Marcia, owner of Whoopsies Gourmet Whoopie Pies will be hosting me in her sweet world of desserts for a day the week of 9/5!
(That’s Marica on the right with daughter and business partner Berkeley on left. Photo by Mary Amons.)
For a girl like me who craves chocolate in her everyday, this is going to be like a kid in a candy store and then some. I love getting the inside scoop on how companies like Whoopsies came about and meeting the people behind the product. Of course we all know that starting and running any type of business is seriously hard work, but I am thinking if your product is called something like a whoopie pie and upon delivery (just like flowers) no matter what- always makes people smile, that must feel like a party more often than not. I can’t wait to jump into the fiesta with Marcia and her crew, and experience the whoopie magic and fun as it happens. (And taste of course!) Here’s an image of the goodness:
***Um, anyone out there a personal trainer and want to come on a road trip? Votes from readers and desires from me center largely around exploring eats and treats on my travels. (There’s a big surprise!) Consuming and relaxing with good company and conversation in my opinion is one of the very best ways to spend time. I guess I’ll just have to add some mileage to my daily runs so my clothes fit by the end of all this! I’m up for the challenge. Maybe I can throw a 5 or 10k race into the bucket of to see and tops. Anyone know of a good race happening around the Northeast between 9/2 and 9/19?
Back to the fun stuff…
I’m looking forward to meeting you Marcia and all about having an extra Whoopsie to take the place of the “lob-stah” I don’t eat! Two desserts instead of dinner and dessert is Ok if I’m an adult- right? 🙂
I told you there would be something good coming. (And this is only the beginning.)
Guess who I get to meet and hang out with in 2 weeks? The one and only Million Mile Joe!
Joe, like me clearly loves his Honda. His 1990 Accord that is soon to hit a million miles is the same exact year and model that was my very first Honda. How cool is that? Joe has logged his miles and miles in notebooks, (which I have done during various trips over the years) and taken countless photos of his odometer. (Me too!) I’m thinking Joe and I will have plenty of good stories to share when we meet. It’s as if we are kindred spirits in Honda love. Maybe it’s because we are both New Englanders?
I was thrilled weeks ago when Honda has mentioned a potential meeting, It’s been hard for me to hold my tongue, so naturally I am very excited to share the news here now.
There is aÂ lotÂ more to come in the way of surprises and tricks up my sleeve, so stay tuned and keep following! 7 days and counting until I pick up my loaned Hybrid Civic and officially kick off this next great adventure!
Oh small town America how I love you. I love the characters who live in you, the quiet streets you have that I go for long runs on, and the seeming ease and overall relaxation way of life. I love the businesses that have bells on the doors to let the shopkeepers know I’m there there, and friendly “Hello!” greetings. I love hand written receipts covered in greasy fingerprints from those carbon-copy spiral-bound notebooks that your auto shop hands me after changing the BLR-Mobile oil. I love that restaurants are calledÂ Mr. Chicken:
…that have picnic tables,Â and painted signs with slightly creepy looking beach bum guys on them, making sure to let everyone know you have good eats:
I love that your volunteer ambulance garage has a sign outside that’s missing a letter:
(on both sides) but no one really wants to speak up and tell you because it’s the thought/thanks that counts anyway, not the spelling.
My intention yesterday was simple: Drive “into town” for an hour or so, get an oil change, go for a run and pick something up from the store. Regular ol’ get things done business-day chores turned into once again being presented with the lesson that if I keep my eyes and ears open, stay curious about my surroundings, engage with new people, and keep appreciating the simple, small things- whether I’m “there” for an hour or a year, and whether it’s a teeny town or big city, I will always have soul-filled days and great adventure.
Not bad for a Monday.
The gratitude continues to awesome, generous (and funny) people who support Blue Lollipop Road:
*Huge thanks to Matt at DPI Inc. in Wilmington, NC who has made and donated BLR signage for the 2012 Hybrid Civic I will be driving. You rock Matt! Thanks for always being a fan and keeping me visible as I continue down the highways of life!
*To reader T, who had a good time teasing me yesterday about my “Ancient Old Lady” check book balancing from my office photo. You crack me up. Yes that new fangled online banking plus a good ol’ pen and calculator. I cover all my basis (and I am still laughing 🙂 I’ll take the teasing any day of the week. Thanks for being such a loyal reader!