The hire car has been picked up. The Road Trip USA and Lonely Planet Guides are on board and our destination tonight is Atlantic City. Hopefully.
Blogging might be a bit less regular as it will depend on whether or not I can get regular or indeed any access to a computer while we’re on the road. Still here’s hoping.
I’ve bought the cutest little Flip video camera which allows me to upload directly to Youtube (as in the video of us digging out the car in the post below) so with any luck I’ll be able to bring you a few more movies as well.
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbyeeeee… Cheerio, here we go, on our wayyyyyy!
It snowed today. Really snowed. Big thick flakes floating down, covering the black ice beneath with a soft white duvet cover.
It was beautiful.
It was also a bit tricky getting out. The hire car, with no snow tires, slipped and slid and bogged down in the snow. Getting the suitcases up the very steep driveway was also challenging. You’d be stomping along, feeling confident when wham bam you were on your butt sliding for the bottom again.
But we eventually packed up and even had the energy to make a final snowman. A cute little fellow (check out his arse).
It was 7pm. Dark. Cold. And we’re snug in a cabin in snowy Goshen.
So what do Groover, The Artist (my bro) and I decide to do for New Year’s Eve? Correct!
We decide to jump in the car and drive into Times Square to watch the ball drop for the 100th time.
Just three of the million people who were there.
Except we werent. 🙁
I think we got as far as 43rd and 6th before the police barriers finally stopped us. Don’t get me wrong, it was still worth it. And our little corner was going for it as much as they could seeing as we couldn’t actually see the ball drop.
Just being in New York with a whole city full of revellers made it worth the three hour journey – both ways.
You might have noticed Hugamuga’s comment in the sidebar. That’s my son. Also known as The Orchid Hunter. However I’ve decided to adhere to his online preference and call him by his online handle.
Hugamuga came from a friend of his in primary school – I’m not sure if this friend had looked up the meaning but in fact he was spot on, for Huggermugger means random and disorderly and that, my dear friend, sums up my darling boy. 🙂
So while I’m updating handles – Junior Poshi will now be referred to by her preferred online handle Dippity, which I think comes from Serendipity, a movie she was quite keen on. In fact we are hoping to visit the Serendipity Cafe while in New York.
If you’re a gung-ho skier, Mohawk Mountain probably doesn’t hold much attraction for you but if you have a family and just want a day or two skiing. It’s perfect.
There are about 7 runs, a couple black – although they were more like blues in Australia and the snow was newly made and the weather fine and clear. The forest is deciduous, which was different. I’m used to the snowgums at home. In Whistler there are pines everywhere and in Europe – a lot of bare open mountaintops with few trees. (this sounds like a lot of skiing but it is sprinkled over a lot of years… I’m an old chook you know!)
We booked the kids into a semi-private lesson having missed the group one and headed up to the summit. Our first run was black – which sounds extreme – but skiing is like riding a bike – your body remembers – and the blacks weren’t that challenging – about perfect level for me!
At lunchtime we collected the small fry and practiced for a while on the greens before proposing an adventure! I could not believe that these kids who have skied so few times – The Orchid Hunter only once before when he was 4 – were so brave. They hurtled down the hill in their snowplows! I only wish we were staying longer as I’m sure they would pick up parallel turns quickly.
The mountain was open until 6pm. It gets full dark at about 4.30 and as the light dimmed the whole mountain lit up as if covered in fairy lights. It was beautiful.
We may never want to leave.
But we have plans. We’re considering Times Square for New Year’s Eve – although that feels like a massive undertaking – and then we want to drive down the east coast to Florida and perhaps Disneyworld!
Today you find me on a rickety table in my sister’s bedroom at her holiday cabin in Goshen. The cabin is in fact a three story log house with stone fireplaces and rustic furniture. The snow is about a foot deep and the lake, just in front of the cabin is frozen. Or at least, mostly frozen. I’m sure I heard it crack when Junior Poshi stepped out onto it earlier today.
The virus that laid the Orchid Hunter low hit little Tee (my four year old nephew), my mum (should I say Mom now I’m here in the states?) and Junior Poshi. JP seems to have shaken it off in a couple of days but has been forced to take it easy. In the meantime The OH, Groover and I decided to take a little time-out from the mass family gathering for a side trip to the Hamptons. You may have heard of The Hamptons? That’s the beachfront hangout of the rich and the very rich on the east coast of Long Island.
The houses there are not shacks. Sleeping 20 people easily seems to be the standard and their perfectly manacured eight foot hedges hide perfectly manacured lawns and driveways that would give you a good workout should you choose to forgo the tennis court or 25 m pool for a casual stroll to the front gate and back.
We walked along the beach at Southampton, collecting pebbles Something’s Gotta Give style and cursing the icy wind off the Atlantic.
Overnight we stayed at The Huntting Inn in East Hampton, a charming oldy worldy English style Inn with all the American mod cons. Cable.
It was there, lying in the white cotton of our king-sized bed we heard the news of Benizir Bhutto’s assassination. Both of us sitting bolt upright and audibly gasping. It is immensly powerful hearing news as it happens. From “she’s okay”, to “her husband says she’s been shot in the neck and is being operated on” to “we have just heard that she is dead”. From then on the Christmas Day Tiger killing was not referred to as the wall-to-wall CNN coverage in Pakistan ramped up to a new level.
In the morning we drove up to Montauk, right at the tip of Long Island and joined a group of keen birdwatchers. They come several times a year to look for petrels and other sea loving birds and one kindly let us look through her very – it must be said – impressive telescope.
Then we drove to Port Jefferson to catch a ferry to the mainland for the trek up to Goshen.
I performed in the second Christmas play last night. The Curse of the Willy Willy. “Written” by my niece and daughter this play revolved around an evil Willy Willy (Aboriginal word for whirlwind) played by Junior Poshi, who steals the three stones of Happiness, Easy Going and Lovability. Our hero – The Pink and Grey Galah (played by my niece – Bear) and her companion Mrs Pumpkinhead (yes I was Mrs Pumpkinhead) travel to the castle in the sky where the Wise Wanjina (played by my mum) lives.
The Wanjina tells us where to find the stones. The stone of Happiness was in the Cliffs of the Grey Fields and we found it by finding out where we felt happiest, the stone of Easy Going was in Deep River and we found it by “Going with the flow”, the stone of Lovability was in the Dragon’s cave (the Dragon and Narrator played by the Orchid Hunter) and is recovered by us telling the dragon we love him.
I say wrote because once the concept was down we kind of made it up as we went along.
The highlight for the audience was the face paint. Observe:
While the other cousins have been sledding at Cranberry Hill nearly every day, my poor Orchid Hunter has been stuck inside feeling lousy. So when perchance we happened to notice it snowing outside yesterday we threw on as many clothes as possible and went outside!