Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yummy...cheese curds and concrete shakes time!!!!

Very Original Welcome Sign!!!

Yes, I know it sounds weird, but after having such a wonderful time in Indiana, we headed more north than west to experience the wonderful food/ sites of the great state of Wisconsin.  This state was going to be a routine blip on the Foster's Odyssey but after experiencing the great city of Janesville, WI for one day, we decided we needed at least a long weekend here!

Surprise, surprise, first things first...let's eat!  On to Culver's!  Home to the World Famous Butterburger, cheese curds, and concrete frozen custard combo.  Wow... say that 3 times fast... or just shut up and enjoy the wonder that is Wisconsin delight!  This food was so good, we went back several times over the weekend.  Cheese curds (for the un-informed) are like tiny balls of heaven, breaded with euphoric pleasure and deep fried in paradise!  (or tiny mozzarella stick pieces) As for concrete frozen custard, simply put is an orgasm for the tastebuds, thick milkshake style!  Time for hibernation!!!

So after we awake from our slumber, it's time to experience Wisconsin to the fullest!  So....We went to the theater and watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes and had more cheese curds!!!

Next day....we decide to give our intestines a break and headed to the serene and peaceful Rotary Gardens.  Over 40 Acres of beautiful lush landscape that made us feel more like we were in Japan...not Wisconsin!  They even had a a huge Japanese wooden bridge I've seen in many movies and video games!!!  Laura took over 2000 photos of these lush gardens.  Simply amazing, who ever would of thought this would exist in Wisconsin.  Wow...I think I was walking around taking in all the beautiful sights and smells for about 5 minutes before my belly was calling for more curds.  It was about this time, I realized I needed to get out of Wisconsin, before I morphed into a curd!!!  See ya in South Dakota!!!

The Beautiful Rotary Gardens!!!

I could have fished off this bridge all day...and of course all the while, snackin' on curds!!!

Nature is awesome!!!
What a Great Quote!!!
Just another "Day in the Life of Joey & Laura!!!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Indiana, Home to one "Larry Bird!"

Well, after our brief hangover in Ohio, it's on too greener pastures!  The great state of Indiana.  The birthplace of my favorite athlete of all time and also one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world.  I'm of course speaking of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

There was no way, we were gonna be this close to this historic of a place and not stop by for pictures and some lunch.  Notre Dame is by far one of the nicest campuses I've ever stepped foot on.  It's perfectly manicured and all the buildings are works of art.

Anyone could call this home!!

As we drove all around the campus, we were amazed by the sheer beauty of this university.  I feel like it would be impossible to not be on the Dean's List with such a serene area to study and to call your school.  If I could do it all over again, I would have loved to have attended class here.

Now with all that aside, there is also another really good reason to attend school here.

The Football Team and the history that comes with it!!!

The Gates to Greatness!!!
The Stadium!

Some Irish Swag!!!
The Ol' Ball Coach!

So after we had our fill of the sites and sounds of Notre Dame, we had a great lunch at "Legends of Notre Dame" Restaurant.  It was a well decorated pub 100 yards from the main entrance to the stadium.  As we were leaving I was looking at the trophy case and a guy asked if I'd like for him to take a picture.  I said sure and began to do my pose, when he said, "No, I mean with the trophy."  I was ecstatic, he was the General Manager and he grabbed his keys and opened up the case for me!  He gave me a history lesson on the Cotton Bowl Trophy and then handed it over!  Wow, it sure was a lot heavier than it looks on television!  To this day, this is still a great highlight of the trip for me!  I love this kind of stuff and it's small adventures like this, that is truly making this Odyssey the best times of our life!!!!

1993 Cotten Bowl Trophy!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On the Road again....

Buffalo Bills, always wondered if they existed!!!
Well, after our stay in Niagara Falls, it was time for us to move on towards Mt. Rushmore.  As we headed Southwest on the interstate, we ventured thru Buffalo, NY.  Home of the 4x Superbowl losers and supposedly the best chicken wings you can ever have in your life.  Laura and I continued on and headed into the not-so-great state of Ohio.

Now my goal was to drive straight thru because I had absolutely no interest in anything in Ohio.  The NFL Hall of Fame is the only exception.  Unfortunately we got hungry around the "great" city of Cleveland and had to make a Pit Stop.

What a surprise we were in for!!!  Now I'm definitely known in my inner circle to exaggerate just a tiny bit, but I promise this time I'm not.  As we hopped out of the Tahoe and took in all the bright lights of this Chicken Wing Shangri La, we were greeted by a young couple that had less teeth than our Jack-o-lantern had last year.  They were ecstatic we were dining at the Lube tonight and told us we would never forget it!!!  We felt like we were in a scene "From Dusk till Dawn." As we ventured in the doors, the aroma of 20 different wing sauces and 4 ft. beers was wafting thru the air.  I was in fat guy heaven, even Laura had the euphoric stare of a kid in a candy store for the first time.  As we were being seated, they told us it was all you could eat wing night and that there was a complimentary nacho bar that we could help ourselves too. maybe there is one good thing going for the state of Ohio!  So fast forward 3 hours later and Laura and I are doing the chicken wing wobble out to the car and we instantly decide, we need a room.  As we climbed into the Tahoe, we just sat there with a feeling of fullness that I'm sure is illegal in many countries.   So after a few long minutes, we jumped on the highway and we were on our way.  We made it a whole 6 miles, before we settled on a room and fell into a deep wing induced coma.  We would awaken many hours later and would head for our next destination, but not before both acknowledging that we couldn't have picked a better place to make a "Pit Stop" then we did when we journeyed into "The Lube!!!"

The wings I've ever had!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Niagara Falls, New York

Guess who's back???  Wow, Vegas life is crazy but you won't know for several more blogs to come...instead lets back track to Laura and I heading out of the rolling hills of Granny Smith's house and heading North to the great state of New York and to one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. Niagara Falls! This place is absolutely breathtaking! When planning this trip, we had never even mentioned heading all the way up here, but after living in Amish country for three days, we had a renewed interest in landmarks of any kind and it was only 3 hours away.  When you plan on driving over 100 hours, what is 3 anyway?

So as we arrived at the state park, we were surprised it was all free.  That's a huge bonus when going on a trip of this magnitude.  So anyway after driving for 3 grueling hours we did what any american family would do...we had some "authentic" chinese food from the Yummy Hutt! It was a a quick bite of scrum-didily-umptious and out the door we went!  We quickly sized up the area map and began our ascent to the falls!!!

Wow is all I can still say, even after 5 months.  The sheer size and sound of the water crashing is both terrifying and mesmerizing!  The scene just captivated Laura and I and we found a small bench and just sat listening to the falls for what seemed like forever.  It was so peaceful.  To this day, this is still Laura's favorite moment of the trip...and to think, we almost didn't even come here!  After chilling out for about an hour we decided to brave the skywalk.  It's basically just a big concrete overhang for you to take marvelous photos of both sides of the falls. (US and Canada)  This was well worth the $2 and once again we found ourselves just frozen in time with nothing else in our minds but the sheer beauty we were taking in!

I now know it is places like this that not only laid the groundwork for us to partake in this Odyssey, but also to help provide everyone else to have the motivation to also get out and experience what the world has to offer.  We are not here long, so enjoy it while we are!!!  We love you guys!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We are back.....

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading but I'm gonna get this caught up!!! This blog is turning into a Tarantino film...we are in Las Vegas and it's my job to tell you how we got here and what's in store for us!!!  So stay tuned and you'll soon see what has transpired the last few months and where the road ahead leads!!!  Until then, Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chocolate Time with a little Granny Smith Sprinkled In!!!!

Well, we have officially began the odyssey at this point.  We are on our own and only the open road is in our sights!!!  We are heading northwest out of Washington D.C. and going through the great state of West Virginia.  Birthplace to one...Courtney Roseanne Foster, whose 22nd birthday was yesterday I may add!!!  Happy Birthday Court, we love you!!!!  Our first stop was in Martinsburg WV, a little town in the panhandle of the state that was the site of my grandparents house for several years,  I lived here as a young tyke for awhile and this wonderful city is also the meeting place for my parents back some 30 odd years ago.  Thanks for that by the way, because without that event happening I wouldn't be out experiencing America right now!!!  This place hadn't changed at all, since the 80's that I remember!  Even the old theater that I saw such great flicks like "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Spaceballs" still looked the exact same!!! Wow, what a flood of memories!  Even my school that I attended for 2nd and 3rd grade looked exact, with the exception of a snazzy new painted sign!
Burke Street School- Home of Mrs. Silver (2nd Grade) and Mrs. Whipp ((Snyder) 3rd Grade)

Hershey, PA

On the road forward two hours and we are pulling in to heaven on earth...Hershey, Pennsylvania.  The only place on earth where we can get six glasses of chocolate from around the world and Laura won't yell at me for wanting a Hershey sundae as well!  We pulled into town and promptly parked at the Hershey Museum and Factory and nestled up to the bar and ordered the biggest chocolaty sundae I've ever seen. As I was paying for this monstrosity Laura taps me on the shoulder and says look at this.  It was a "Tasting of Chocolate From Around the World."  Without missing a beat I twirled around and ordered one of these as well.  It took all of one hour for us to be done with chocolate forever!  (Or the next day, but who's counting)  As we waddled out to the car, we decided to head up the road to Granny Smith's House!!!

Chocolate Tasting From Around the World!!!
The next part of this trip was without a doubt one of our most pleasant surprises yet!  It had been over 10 years since Laura had the chance to see her Paternal grandparents.  With us only being two hours away at this point, how could we possibly pass up the opportunity?  So we headed Mansfield, PA,  Home of Grandpa and Grandma Smith, two of the most amazing people I've ever met.  These two have been together for over seventy years and still joke and kid with each other like they've been best friends forever.  As we pulled onto their farmhouse located on 14 acres of rolling hills and gardens, we realized we were definitely in the Old Country.  This place was marvelous with no other sound in sight, other than the birds and animals we could see in the woods!  When we arrived Granny Smith made us some of the best ham sandwiches we've ever tasted.  She had loaves upon loaves of fresh bread she had been making all day and and the smell just permeated the house and provided a feeling of comfort not matched by any other place we've been.  After a while, Grandpa Smith arrived home from work and we sat and had dinner and swapped stories.  It was almost an interview process we put this wonderful couple through.  I mean honestly, how often do you get to sit down with a couple that are both approaching 90, but are so full of life and strong mind, that they recall memories as if they just happened yesterday.  I don't even know where I was yesterday!!!  The Granny Smiths' were so wonderful and comforting, I know Laura and I will look back on this trip and remember these 24 hours forever and all the history we learned!  We love you guys!!!
Grandma and Grandpa Smith!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Washington D.C.

Well, as our exciting week was ending with Daniel and Lacy, another great surprise was in store right around the corner.  Our great friends Andy and Liz drove down from Boston and hung with us for a tour of the Nation's Capitol! They got down early Friday morning after driving all night and met us at the hotel in Tyson's Corner, and we promptly did what Joey and Andy always!!!!   After a wonderful complimentary breakfast from the hotel, Andy and Liz retired to their room for an afternoon siesta.  So I figured if their taking a nap, we should too!  After waking at about 3 pm, we decided to brave the traffic and have a nice lunch/ dinner at Gordon Biersch!!!  So after some tall beers and a huge banana split we headed back to the room and awaited Daniel and Lacy's arrival. Shortly thereafter, we decided to take a ride into DC and take some photos!!!  We were having a grand ol' time until we realized we had no gas and had to traverse the crazy streets of Washington looking for a gas station.  We finally found one, prices were a little high, but we had to have it.  One Problem however, this particular gas station also served as the citys cab stop.  At every pump sat an empty cab with no one around.  We sat in the car for about 4 minutes before Lacy lost her shit and ran inside and yelled at the entire gas station.  Hilarity ensued!!!  Needless to say, they promptly moved out of our way and we were back in action.
The next day we did Washington.  We toured around the mall, the Washington Monument, and the new World War II memorial.  This was really neat to us.  I had never seen this before and it was absolutely beautiful.  I especially liked that every state was represented by its own column.  Andy and Liz also got a chance to go hang with Lincoln and see the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials.  We ate ice cream on a park bench in the shade!!!  Sounded like a good trade off!!!  After this we all met up and went to the holocaust museum.  Lot of info and a beautiful museum, not really a fun place to go though, but very informative!!!  At this point we had had enough and it was time for dinner!!!  Where should we go?  Ahhh, to Gordon Biersch of course!!!  It was so good yesterday, why not?  We all had a great time!!!  We want to thank Andy and Liz for meeting us in Washington and also to thank Daniel and Lacy for hanging with us through the weekend together!!!  Its friends like these that make Laura and I realize when we do decide to return home, we have good people to keep us company!!!  Thank you all!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Daniel And Lacy's

What a wonderful week.  What started as a bad omen with the storm at Assateague Island quickly became a godsend.  Everything was perfect when we arrived to Hamilton, Virginia.  We met up with Daniel and Lacy and stayed at their parents house for the week.  We were there from Sunday to Thursday and man did we enjoy ourselves!!!  Besides the fact that they live in a mansion on 15 acres of rolling hills, they also bred horses for shows.  So not only were we living the high life for a few days, we were also playing with some of the best show-horses in the business.  We took this time to eat tons of great food and to take in all the sites and sounds of this quaint little area surrounded by mountains on all sides.  We drove down to Luray, VA and saw the beautiful caverns there and then proceeded to run record time through the garden maze.  We then took a drive on the 30 mile Skyline Drive.  Midway through we came across a campground store and bought all kinds of goodies for one of the most perfect picnics ever.  Another day, we visited the old Colonial town of Harper's Ferry and took in all the breath taking views of the Shenandoah River!!!  How beautiful...I'm not really sure how West Virginia got such a bad rep!  Thank you Daniel and Lacy for playing tour guide and taking us around to see all the beautiful sites around and sampling some of the best food around.  We will experience many fond moments during this trip, but Laura and I will never forget how perfect this week was and how we couldn't have scripted it any better!!!  We love you guys!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wow what a whirlwind!!!!

It was just a week ago we were writing to you from a weird little castle in North Carolina.  We haven't went very far from there but our adventures have not been short of amazing.   Our first stop was in Ocean City Maryland where we promptly sat in tons of traffic.  It was great.  When we realized we weren't willing to pay $350.00 a night in a motel that should have been condemned years ago and was 3 miles from the shore we knew we were in for an adventure.  After driving the shore for 6 hours taking in all the sites and smells of Ocean City and Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, we headed west for 24 miles to a small town of Salisbury MD.  We found a reasonable room and promptly fell asleep.  I did however manage to make reservations for the next 3 nights at Assateague Island State Park. I was going to finally show Laura the wild ponies that still roam the island.  Well, we arrived on the island and the largest thunderstorm knocked out the power to the entire island, so no water, no electricity, therefore no laura and we headed west, but we did take the time to see some ponies before we hit the road!!!  On to Daniel and Lacey's...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wallace, NC...

Exactly! Wallace, NC, what could possibly be cool there? The answer? Only one of the creepiest and coolest restaurants we've ever been in, and trust me we've been in a few. We happened to take a random exit in North Carolina and we took a wrong turn. We plan on doing that very often on this trip, yeah we know it's dangerous but this is an adventure and we want some danger. So we see this brick castle and we immediately want to know what's inside so we park, collect ourselves and head in with camera ready and mom/dad on speed dial just in case!!! As we realize there's no one else here, we walk up to the oak and wrought iron doors, we throw them open and begin our odyssey. As soon as we walk into this grand hall we realize, we may be underdressed. There's huge tapestries and stained glassed walls all around. Everything was made out of nice wood and iron. It was lit like a castle with torches on the walls and stone floors added to the creepy feeling. It was deserted. As we proceed down the entrance hall I realize my phone has no service for the first time As we get to this huge oak desk, that is the hostess stand, a little lady pops up and welcomes us. We ask if there's a dress code and she promptly tells us we are perfect how we are and that they had been expecting us. we follow her to this little secluded room that has 3 booths and a 6 top round table that is a small replica of King Arthurs mighty dinner table. This is where I feel our last meal will be, what a quick adventure! So as the hostess seats us I do what any American husband would do when they arrive at Draculas castle and no one else is around. I head to the bathroom leaving my wife behind. As I meander through all the halls I walk into an archway that leads into the pub. This place is cool, copper ceilings, stone floors, and more huge wood tables. A big guys dream! So after I take this all in, I go out a separate entrance and head down a creepy hallway with more tapestries and blood red carpet that looks like it just came from the set of "the shining!" I get to what looks like the end and it opens to a huge room with a spiral staircase descending from the right. Yeap, just like Draculas! Bathrooms to the left. I promptly head to the bathrooms because at this point it's been 10 minutes since I'd seen anyone. The only staff was the hostess that had been expecting us. So anyway, I head back to the table and realize the whole dining room is split into these little chambers, pretty cool actually. I turn the corner and am relieved to see Laura alive and well with 2 fresh ice waters. She assures me there's a real person taking our order and I am now relieved. Time to dine. We shared a French dip sandwich and a cheese dip that was hot lava but wonderful. As we finished, we headed outside and proceeded to take pictures with the huge boar fountain, we noticed a new couple going in. How exciting! There never was anyone else in there while we were there, except the host and server. What a hidden gem. So if any of you guys are out and about in Wallace, NC stop by the mad boar restaurant. It's quite a place, there wasn't much business, but it was so neatly decorated and well made, you just feel like it was built for a king, or a leader of vampires, your choice.
Take care,
J & L

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We are Soooooo Close!!!!

We are 2 weeks away and we can smell the road already.  All we are doing is selling stuff and trying to put away some more money.  We are hoping to leave a few days after the 4th of July so we don't just sit in traffic for the first week!!! So stay tuned, the trip is coming!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Back again!!!

I promise when we get closer to the trip this will be a much more entertaining blog.  The sickness has entered me in the past 2 weeks and it's sapped every bit of energy away.  I'm on the road to recovery and can't wait to resume our drive for the trip.  I'll update daily when we are on the road quite frequently.  I know there are several of you looking forward to some humorous updates and I'm sure there will be plenty!!!
See ya Soon!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011's been about 2 hours......

since we created this blog and we're still messing around with it.  We just want this to be a perfect place for all our Friends and Family to come and read and experience what we are going through on a daily basis.

Just so everyone knows and is clear on what is going on....our "Mission Statement" is as follows:

Laura and I have decided to give up all the luxuries we have here in Myrtle Beach and go on an adventure that knows no end.  We are not crazy, we just realize that this is something we are in a very fortunate position to be able to do.  We have no children, nor a career that ties us down anywhere.  What we do have is the ambition and the hunger for "seeing what else is out there!"  So we are selling all our material things we have no need for, packing our bags with all the essentials and hugging everyone goodbye.  We have bought a nice camera, laptop, and a broadband card so we can stay connected to you guys and we are going to see the world.  I wish I could say we were moving to Denver and I was transferring jobs and Laura has a nice set-up waiting for her, but truth is...we don't know what the future holds.  We may get to Phoenix, AZ and realize we absolutely love it there or we could go up to see Nick in Portland and say, "Hey, let's go see Alaska."  I know it sounds crazy, but isn't that what an adventure is?  I've always believed life is like a poker game and you play the hand your dealt.  Well, in this instance we're the dealers and we've been working on our chops!!!! (Rounders, 1998)  So hang tight, this may be a bumpy ride, but we are gonna be ready!!!!

-Smokin' Joe & The Missus'

My Hitch Cargo Carrier Is here!!!!

This thing looks great!  It sure will be nice having all the extra room in the car with the addition of this carrier.  My goal is to make the car look like something out of Jurassic Park before we leave. Im gonna add a roofrack and bug deflector to the front as well!!!!

-- Smokin' Joe & The Missus'

Welcome, Preparation for The Odyssey has begun!!!!

Well, we have less than 2 months till blast off and we have begun preparations!!!  We've made purchases, we've sold tons of great stuff, and we've even packed quite a few bags already.  I know, i's a little early, but to say we can't wait is a huge understatement!  The thought of going on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure has completely consumed Laura and my brains' for damn near 3 weeks. (and it's getting worse day by day)  We are mentally not here in Myrtle Beach anymore.  Laura is on top of a mountain taking pictures of mountain ranges and wildlife with her new SLR and I'm driving thru Kansas listening to her snore wondering where the next great place to eat is at!!!!  Sounds exciting, I know!!!!

Well, this is just an intro to to the bloggersphere, so please come back often, because we plan to document this Odyssey from start to finish, with pictures and thoughts.  I'll even explain in more detail in my next blog, what it is exactly what we're doing and why!!!!

Thanks for being interested and we'll blog ya later!!!

- Smokin' Joe & The Missus'