Road Trip Home from NYC

I got Torsten off to a good start on settling in to his new home in New York City. Now it is time to get home! This was the solo drive – so I was both able to go a bit farther/faster and also got to make a few detours. I’ve never been or Oak Ridge – so I stopped for lunch with Bob and Colleen there. I have had a visit to Heavener, OK on my list for a while, so I spent the night there. Hot Spring National Park wasn’t too far out of the way, so that was a great place to stop for an hour or so and get a bike ride in. Mom recommended the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis (the Lorraine Motel) – which was an amazing stop and very worthwhile. I had wanted to pack in several more stops – a night in Cumberland to visit with Heavner family (where the spell and pronounce it correctly! ;), a day (or two) in DC to work and catch up with folks. But I was ready to get home! I did stop through Lubbock, replacing all the thermostats with fancy smart ones. The trip home looked something like:

I spent the nights in Christianburg VA, Nashville TN, Heavener OK, and Lubbock TX. I got some good bike riding in each day along the way – a good way to break it up and get some physical and mental sanity in there.

The visit to the National Civil Rights Museum was fantastic – I can’t recommend it enough. An amazingly powerful museum and great display and journey. Seeing Dr. King’s room was beyond words.

A stop through Hot Springs National Park was fun. This national park was quite different from any other I’ve visited – the history here was interesting and visiting the old baths was wild. It felt a bit more “disney” than other parks (even Yellowstone), but there was a nice bike ride through:

The visit through (and overnight at) Heavener was fantastic. I loved it. The Hodler Hotel was great. Heavener is very much a railroad town and was fun to visit. I found a good alternate place to spend the night:

I visited the Heavener Runestone park – whether or not the Vikings made it to Oklahoma, the park was nice and a good morning bike ride (plenty of up! but a good place to enjoy my donuts from the Donut Palace).

Heavener is a train town (reminded me a bit of Cumberland!) – even though they spell and pronounce it (Heavner) incorrectly), this was still a good place for a pleasant bike ride.

I stopped by the library – they were so friendly and fantastic! It was great to get a little insight into family history. Heavener roots in Bedford PA. The first mayor of Heavener was Mat – I’m just making up the story that he swapped a “t” (in Matt) out for the “e” (stuck in the middle of Heavener)… 😉 The documents I found in the Heavener library indicated that there was some misinformation that Mat was the first postmaster, but actually his wife was the postmaster and he was the mayor. The folks at the library were awesome – but they tried to correct me on the pronunciation.. It was a Saturday, so their boss wasn’t around – and she was a true Heav(e)ner. I’d like to go back and visit the area some more – great place and more history to explore.

After (not enough!) time in Heavener, I went to Oklahoma City to visit Prairie Brewing for lunch – also on the life list to visit. There was good food (but the Hot Chopsticks just barely got my order done before they closed early for Lunar New Year – thank you!) and good tasters of beer and good beers to take home.

with a little taste of Escher for the IKEA instructions earlier on this trip… ?

After a (too short!) visit / overnight in Lubbock, the only real weather of the trip hit – a nice winter snowstorm (it was really coming down when I left Lubbock) meant that I went a bit south (via Roswell instead of the normal Clovis route)..

But… I made it home! Great drive and great to be home:

Torsten moving in to NYC

After the epic drive with Torsten, I spent three days in NYC helping Torsten and Alexander move in, find furniture, (begin to) explore the neighborhood, and even got to enjoy the big city a bit. Critical facts: 4th floor. No elevator.

We started to unpack and took a stroll around the neighborhood – found ice cream/waffles/smoothies and laundromat all on the same block:

We made one run to IKEA to get a few essentials, got them setup, and then were all exhausted. I did get up early to I could ride all the way down the River Trail (super nice! From 168th down to Battery Park and on around a bit, then back), and had to see the little red lighthouse!

Parking in the city was both not totally horrible and also totally insane! Here’s our car (in the middle) –

We did the serious IKEA trip (yikes!) – started out and paced ourselves:

Ended up completely (over)stuffed in the car and exhausted – success!

We did some unpacking, lots of assembly – IKEA directions are great:

And they were somewhat settled:

Torsten to New York

It was an epic road trip to help Torsten move to New York City (Manhattan, specifically Washington Heights). We all helped Torsten prepare and pack. We took the seats out of the Pilot and packed it full. There was a tiny bit of space on top for my bike, no way we could fit anything or anyone else, so Carrie and Aven couldn’t join in on this epic road trip.

Day 1 and we made it to Lubbock, a nice easy 6 hour drive. Nice weather, good driving, and good chatting – off to a good start and we got to stay with Grams!

We drove, stopped for tacos, Thai food, burgers, a few other meals, gas, and … that was about it! We had several ideas of interesting stops, but Torsten was ready to get to NYC. I wanted to take a break in St. Louis to go up the Arch, but the fog didn’t cooperate:

We spent the nights in Lubbock, Joplin MO, Greenfield IN, and Bethlehem PA. We did do a slight detour and stopped at the Flight 93 memorial near Somerset PA (really good stop). Our drive looked something like this:

And really the only pictures I got were when we filled up the gas tank:

We did get a picture at each state border to text to Carrie to keep her up to date. But we made it to New York City and found Alexander and Torsten’s new home!