Check out this video that promotes a youth film competition in Vermont. My little brother (who’s actually not so young, but I call him little brother, anyway:) is on the video at 1:37 until about 2:06. It’s a clip from when he spoke on the gay marriage bill at the Vermont State House back in 2009. How proud is this Peacock (thumbs pointed in at myself) to share blood with this good-looking’, hard-working, well-spoken, guy?
Awesome. I haven’t seen this footage (that made a ruckus, the news and a quote in the NY Times by the way) in a long time, but it just resurfaced last week. I can’t get enough of it, so I had to share again. My most amazing, kind-hearted, sweet, strong brother makes me want to be a better person and never stop fighting for what I believe in.
I’m thrilled to share that my friends Joe (Aka Million Mile Joe) & Sharon LoCicero will be heading out on a cross-country tour soon to show off “Old Blue” and educate the public on what consistent maintenance, service, quality parts and American products can and will reward you with.(I’m currently trying to figure out how I can strap myself onto the roof of their trailer. Nothing makes my heart race with excitement like the news or possibility of a Great American Road Trip.)
How awesome is that tee?! How awesome are they for donating to the scholarship fund and coming to support me in person with treats in hand?!
Here we are after the alumni game, when I was nice and sweaty:
I’ve known about the planned “Million Mile Joe Tour” for a while now, so when I got an email with the link to their site last night from Sharon I was excited to poke around and read more about the tour. Check it out!
Joe & I happened to meet because of our love of a brand of car that has been a huge part of our lives, but what else would a single 30-something traveling, writing, nomadic, city-loving gal and a 50-something home-based, mechanic dad/husband country-loving guy have in common besides our love for Hondas? A lot. Joe has heart, he’s a hard-worker, he’s smart and dedicated. He spends time doing what he loves with the people he loves. From everything I’ve seen and experienced knowing Joe & Sharon for the past couple of years, I know they care about their community, and they do the right thing when nobody is watching. I’m proud to say they’re my friends! I couldn’t be more excited to follow their MMJ Tour. I hope you will join me in following their journey too, and try to meet them in person if they come to a town hear you.
Joe & Sharon are a perfect example of why I love being on “the road.” I stay inspired by people; Learning about their lives, hearing their amazing stories & about interesting projects they’re working on, constantly being humbled about the unexpected good that’s out there, and collecting lessons around every corner. I’m inspired by average “Joe’s” who have drive to do extraordinary things, and that are just plain GOOD people like the LoCicero’s of the world.
Thanks for being awesome Joe & Sharon! Here’s to the road.
I usually drive everywhere (as you have heard the Honda love and about all my road trips), but tomorrow I fly to Boston en route to Maine for this weekends Whoopsies/Harvest on the Harbor and Million Mile Joe festivities. I got a super last minute deal flight on Spirit AirlinesÂ (booked just last week) so we shall see how that goes. I already found out about some extra charges and fine print, but round trip even with those so far is looking like a total of $175 non-stop Chicago to Boston, so fingers crossed no more hidden fees. I will report back of course. You know I love getting the best deal around and that’s all I can afford anyway, so I believe in keeping all flights under $200 if humanly possible.
It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on a month since I’ve been back in Chicago from my BLR Honda September Adventure. It’s all been a whirlwind! Going back to job #1 slinging burgers and beers to pay the bills, finding an apartment. to home base in, run around the city finding furniture and all apartment furnishing, sleep for more than 2 minutes, run, Zumba, dance class, and of course job #2 BLR and working on fun things like b-day #3 and the launch of this sweet new whoopie pie, finagling to make it to Million Miles Joe’s day and yet another collaboration that’s been in the works for a while that I will be UBER excited to report on when I am able. I have a few wrap up videos from last months trip I owe here that will be posted within the next week. After vagabonding for so many years, I have to say it’s been nice to walk in and shut my own door of my own little home at night, and sleep in my own bed. (Yes! I got a bed! First time in a very long time. What a treat.)
Besides the treat of a bed and place to actually receive mail and shower where I don’t have to pack up my toiletries each day, my home base offers the #1 thing that I was looking for: A place to have all my things nice and organized so I have the foundation to work on and plan even more kick-ass adventures and projects! You didn’t actually think this was it/home base established/game over did you? Hee hee…of course not! BLR year 3 has got some serious momentum and oh the “places” we will go. The more time that passes, the more and more I see that everything is possible, so I fully plan to continue on taking in everything I can and encouraging you all to do the same.
Next time you see me here I’ll be stuffing my face with a BLR flavored whoopie pie!
I am happy to share the news that in honor of Blue Lollipop Road turning 3, My new and incredibly talented, sassy, fun friends at Whoopsies Gourmet Whoopie Pies are launching a new flavor called The Blue Lollipop Road!!!
If you have followed my journeys since the beginning, you know I am a chocolate and treat lover. My all-time favorite indulgence being Oreos dipped in Nutella. Well, during my BLR Honda September adventure last month I met Marcia and Berkeley (partners in de-lish whoopie pie making crime) who opened me into their sweet world to me. We became instant pals, I fell in love with their product, and of course during the time I spent in Marcia’s Portland Maine kitchen chatting away and noshing, we thought- what about a whoopie involving my ultimate favorite?
This is the official announcement for the Blue Lollipop Road whoopie pie flavor kick off. I will fly to Maine later this week to launch in person and work at Harvest on the Harbor with the Whoopsie crew on Saturday (the 22nd.) If you are around the Portland, Maine area- stop by and see us at this event! I am absolutely thrilled to work with such a fabulous company and people that make such a delicious product!
On Sunday (the 23rd) I will be with the other pal I made in Maine on my BLR Honda September Adventure; Million Mile Joe! As of this morning, he is literally just miles from hitting ONE MILLION MILES on his 1990 Honda Accord. Amazing! This weekend Honda is honoring Joe and his huge accomplishment that is just hours away in a big celebration and they’ve invited me. Of course I wouldn’t miss this event after meeting Joe and all the love I have for my own Honda. A few of us know about one big treat Joe is getting this Sunday, but there’s another super secret surprise for him Honda has kept that we are all looking forward to hearing about.
SO FUN! Here’s to big birthdays, super sweets, treats, and a million miles!
Today was my last day on what has been a most incredible trip. There couldn’t have been a more perfect way to celebrate hope, freedom and possibility (what Blue Lollipop Road is all about) than taking a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I can’t thank everyone enough for the votes that ended up sending me there! An absolute best grand finale for this 18 days on the road in my loaned Honda.
It was a beautiful day for an early morning drive out of the city to Liberty State Park in NJ to catch my ferry:
…where I walked up to enter the building and was met by “tough” S.W.A.T Policemen Gerry and Malichi:
Yeah, they were big softies and having fun, but as soon as I started rolling the video camera they put their straight faces on. Just wait- there’s more coming with these guys later…
It was time for me to explore and learn about the millions of people who had been on Ellis Island arriving in America for a new life. I have to say I was completely in awe of the stories, facts and images I saw inside that building. It was almost as if I could feel the souls of those who had been there. I was completely captivated by what I saw and read. I overheard other visitors around me from all over the world speaking different languages (some I’d never heard before) looking for traces of their lineage. This was one of those times that I was reminded again that behind every single human, there is a interesting story. A pretty powerful feeling for a Monday morning for sure. I was so intrigued by my surroundings I spend hours just wandering and taking it all in.
A few photos from things I saw. Luggage used by the travelers:
…items found during the restoration of the building:
…The Registry Room:
My favorite story from The Registry Room of course being that of the kissing post.
Other signs and quotes that caught my eye:
…and one image of a little boy that I could not stop staring at:
Have you ever had one of those times when you get what seems like an adrenaline rush and feeling of I want more, more, more more!? That feeling when you know you have a true passion for something? That’s how I felt today at Ellis Island. Learning about people, their lives and culture has always been my favorite thing about traveling. Standing in the history of where millions of people from around the world once were there made me want to jump back in time and just be among all of them learning everything I possibly could. (And surprise, surprise- has given me an idea for a project.)
Thank you Ellis Island. You are now among my favorite spots in my travels.
On the way out, it was back to my not so “tough” new S.W.A.T pals Malichi and Gerry. I had fun sassing them and they gave it right back to me. (Boy do I love that.)
Meet smiley Gerry:
Yeah, I pretty much told him his muscles had nothing on mine:
Gerry and Malichi- Considering you have already left a comment here, I know you are reading this. I also know you are laughing. Good times right? Good thing I didn’t blow your tough cover. (Malichi, I can’t believe you managed a straight face in every picture! If only the people knew…)
Thanks for being such good sports!
Goodbye’s were said and off to the Statue of Liberty I went, back on the ferry:
…and time to walk up the steps to the pedestal:
…where I met National Park Service Employee, Walter. Friendly teasing and heckling about about the amount of steps to climb:
Oh the characters I meet and all the people like Walter I wish I could sit with for hours. I bet that man has put thousands of smiles on faces over his 20 years there.
So nice to meet you Walter! Thanks for putting a smile on my face.
After my walk up, I had time for one final video to give a thumbs up:
…and back to my afternoon car drop off time:
What’s next? Well, an immediate 850 mile drive back to Chicago to work at job #2 in 24 hours, lot’s of wrap up from this trip, a big time announcement about something very exciting I’ll be doing in a month and maybe…a nap?
These 18 days may have just ended, but the Blue Lollipop Road does not. Just one adventure ending, in time for another one to start…
THANK YOU HONDA!!!
***Total miles driven today, day 18: 44
***Total miles driven on trip: 2,822
***Total blue lollipops gifted/left behind: 27
(A side note for Big Apple travelers: CityPASS offers discounted admission to the Statue of Liberty, as well has 5 other top attractions in New York City for $109. This is a 40% discount, compared to the combined regular box office prices. I love a good deal- so check this one out if you’re planning a trip!)
It’s my last full day before the car return. (Boo!)
I wanted to give a little tour of this amazing 2012 Honda Hybrid Civic that’s been so good to me over the past couple weeks:
It’s a good thing I love this car so much because I sure have spent a lot of time in it stuck in traffic the past few days!
I thought I’d have a bunch of wander time in the Big Apple tonight, but by the time we spent all afternoon on the Jersey Turnpike and actually getting in to the city, there was only time for dinner and bed. (I have a very early rise time to catch the ferry in the morning to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.) I had to squeeze in at least one NYC landmark food spot, so as suggested by a friend;Â Lombardi’s Pizza it was. (America’s first pizzeria!)
Tomato, basil and the freshest, most delicious mozzarella you could eat on a pie. Mmmm…
All in all most of today was spent in transit, but even a few hours in NYC is a thrill and energy feed that I will take any day. (Not to mention the pizza treat!)
In the morning I go to the top voted spot Honda Fans picked from the Honda Facebook poll and I am thrilled! What a perfect way to end this incredible trip. Thank you again to everyone who voted!
***Total miles driven today, day 17: 117
***Total miles driven since trip start (9/2/11): 2,778
***Total blue lollipops gifted/left behind since trip start (9/2/11): 26
I don’t even know where to begin on this zany, crazy, fun, feast of a stop.
My “plan” for today (once again, plans when I travel seem silly to even bother to make most the time) was to explore at least a couple food spots friends and readers had suggested around the City of Brotherly Love before we hit up the Honda Civic Tour show. I usually like to eat a little here a little there- like a smorgasbord of a city so I can fit it a bunch in when I only have a short time in a place. Well, that was so not happening after our entire afternoon at Koch’s Deli in West Philly. (And I cannot tell you how 110% Ok I was with that!)
Let the best kind of madness began:
…and then we went inside:
Surprises left and right, me stuffing my face again, (Mom- aren’t you proud?) and so much happening I couldn’t keep my head on straight. (Actually, that’s probably because I was on a cheese and pickle high.) Ezra continued to stuff everyones face as he lovingly heckled not only us, but allllll the customers. We made friends with everyone around us including Brita in the orange sweatshirt who was, like my friend Jocelyn- a “virgin” first-timer to Koch’s:
In case you don’t know this, I can eat. (Review above videos and nearly every post I write.) I’m not afraid of some food and a 5 mile run after to work it all off, but my god I ate more food standing in line at Koch’s than I eat at Thanksgiving sometimes! I had about 62 kinds of cheese, 342 pickles and I’m sure equal amounts of meat. Ezra was scolding me to “eat, eat, eat!”- so I threw vegetarian life to the wind and went in head first in a carnivore-fest. I tried pastrami types and random beef something or other. Meats I would never ever usually touch, have never eaten before, or haven’t tried in 10 years. It was out of control and I was in the moment going all the way. At Koch’s there’s something in the air that makes you want to scream NIKE!- and just do it. So I did. The overall vibe and scene in this place is a come, eat, laugh, and whoop it up. You can’t be shy here. I love that. It’s very clear by the hundreds of photos and notes covering the walls that lots of others love it too:
I finally got myself organized from the sensory overload, to order my hoagie: Honey turkey, onion-cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sweet peppers and oil and vinegar:
Did Ezra slice it right there and make me try with yet another pickle? You bet he did!
Then he gave me a smooch:
…and I gave him a blue lollipop:
Of course I left blue lollies for the other staff too. Barbie (who actually was the one who made my sandwich) and Bryce who was slicing and dicing behind the counter. When Bryce heard I was driving a Honda he grinned, piped up and said excitedly: “Hey! My first car was a 1991 Accord and it had 300,000 miles on it!” Meet Bryce, fellow Honda fan:
After meeting the whole staff, talking to the regulars, and eating what seemed like ten thousand samples of meats and cheeses, we collected our sandwiches, said our goodbye’s and out the door for a wrap up video. You guessed it, the surprises were not over:
Oh Koch’s- I will so be back! You might go down in history as my most favorite sandwich experience ever. Thank you Ezra, Barbie and Bryce for such a great afternoon.
Naturally I wanted to check out all the Honda stuff, so we wandered to where the Civic Si CoupeÂ giveaway was. (Custom designed by the guys of Blink 182):
Did I sign up to win it? Heck yeah! Then I got tattooed up for the night:
As we wandered the masses before the show started, I spotted this little rocker dude and had to ask his mom if I could take a picture. Meet Ricky:
How adorable is he trying to be all tough with his mohawk?!
We found our seats and the show was about to begin:
Opening act Matt & Kim came on and got the crowd riled up:
They were hilarious! A sassy duo you would totally want to hang with and get into a little trouble. There couldn’t have been a better opener leading up to the show, starting with My Chemical Romance:
This show was my first time hearing much of these guys. They were awesome, the crowd loved them, and was excited to find another band to be a fan of! Blink 182 still had my heart though:
(Crush time!) Yep, I am still carrying a crush I had over 10 years ago that started after seeing them at a music festival in Upstate, NY. I picked an old-school song of course, to go with my old-school crush.
The amphitheater was packed and the crowd was on their feet and just going nuts the whole show. (We were too!) It was SO MUCH FUN. Being there made me feel like I wanted to be a rock star and wonder why I don’t go to more concerts. Thanks Honda! The guys announced on stage that this was the biggest show crowd on the whole tour and I got to be there thanks to you- yeah!
What’s the best surprise after jumping around all night screaming and singing with thousands of strangers and being exhausted as you sit bumper to bumper trying to get out of an after-concert parking lot? Koch’s Deli leftovers to nosh on! Mmmm…midnight snack. We were so glad we had those. What a day. Talk about going to bed full, exhausted and smiling…
Tomorrow I head to NYC to be close to the ferry for my final day Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty tour!
***Total miles driven today, day 16: 53
***Total miles driven since trip start (9/2/11): 2,661
***Total blue lollipops gifted/left behind since trip start (9/2/11): 25
Driving, driving and more driving- so hello from the car:
Traffic really was a bear.
I’m not joking when I speak of these dance parties I have in the car and belting out tunes. So? I just kept the camera rolling:
Yep, I realize I’m never going to live this one down. My Mother will crack up about my comment on the aerobics (because it’s true.) I certainly didn’t plan on posting this one, but? Ever have those moments when you really want to do something but you get all shy? Then you think- what the heck, just press send you chicken! How embarrassing could it possibly be?
Well, there you have it.
I might just get DORK tattooed across my forehead.
Hello Philly! Let’s go have some more music fun and make fools of ourselves shall we?
Blink 183- I totally crush on you!
***Total miles driven today, day 15: 279
***Total miles driven since trip start (9/2/11): 2,608
***Total blue lollipops gifted/left behind since trip start (9/2/11): 22