Friday, June 8, 2012

Little. Yellow. Different.

A blog post about painkillers, you think? Not quite. I thought I'd write a little post extolling the virtues of one of my favorite reasons to get away to the family cabin. Not only is it quite, tranquil, laid back, and on a fabulous island, but there I keep the only vehicle I currently own.

the coolest way to get around

My moped.

Sam (named when I first got her, though I really think it isn't right and she should be re-christened as something else) is a 1981 Yamaha QT. I may have related the story of how I got her on this blog when I first got her. But I'll tell it again, anyhow.

One weekend on Washington Island a few years back, my mother and I were out on a search for rummage sales (because island yard sales are always interesting) and we passed one that was winding down. The hosts were pushing 2 old mopeds out to the roadside with "free" signs. We turned around and went back to look into the situation. There was a yellow one and a red one. Another person pulled up at the same time. We were told that neither ran, but that they were happy to give them away. I'd always wanted a Vespa, and a moped seemed the next best thing to a proper scooter. Since we'd travelled up in my dad's truck, it seemed a decent risk. If I could get her fixed up, great. If not, it was a free moped that I could get rid of. We got the title signed over and took her back home with us. A scooter shop in Madison fixed her up (and pointed out that the main issue was that there was no battery...) and I got her re-licensed and insured (though my agent laughed when I called and wanted to add her to my policy). All in, including a helmet, it cost < $300. A steal.
moped love

These days she lives happily back up on the island. Providing fun, if not always reliable, transportation when I'm up there. She's not fancy, her horn is broken, her headlight only runs on highbeam, and she doesn't like to start properly, and doesn't like steep hills. But once she gets going down the road, there is nothing more fun.

hot sun, cold water

It was a great weekend to be up on the island. Even though it rained throughout most of Saturday, it's still early enough in the season that things in town were still calm and the roads were mostly empty. I took a little joyride around the island and stopped at Schoolhouse Beach for a sit down and some dolly snaps.

There was a tugboat in the harbor when we left. I have never seen a cuter boat. So fun!

tuggy the tugboat

So many fun ways to get around. But I still think a moped beats a tugboat.

Friday, June 1, 2012

...and then I ended up in New Jersey

Hey Kids, how's life?

Mine was significantly better than usual of late for a long last weekend. On Thursday night I attempted to fly from Madison to Newark. I say attempted as the 2 hour flight was delayed multiple times to a total of 3 extra hours of sitting around an airport with no airline representatives even coming near our gate to tell us why our plane, which had been there all along, wasn't being allowed to leave (bad weather on the East Coast, we later learned). Anyhow, eventually we got to fly away and I was met on the other end with hugs and smooches galore from the most missed fiance around.

Over the weekend a bit of time was spent in New York City. There were neat boathouse bar/restaurant times:
sunset over the Hudson

and a couple great walks on the High Line (a new NYC discovery for me on this visit):
The less green view

But a lot of the weekend was also spent exploring the area near where The Scot is currently sharing an apartment (and living it up bachelor style again) in Jersey City.
WTC view
(look! it's Manhattan over there!)

Now generally I'd hear the words "Jersey City" and cringe a bit. New Jersey on the whole doesn't have the best reputation for being a fabulous place, and Jersey City in particular gets a bad rap. But I have to say that, after visiting, I quite like it. Doesn't seem any different than living in far-out Queens or Brooklyn at all. It's a similar distance from Manhattan and similarly has good and bad neighborhoods - like any large urban area. And the riverfront walk between Jersey City and Hoboken (through the area of Newport) is just lovely!
Old Newport

a rest by the boats

I didn't explore Hoboken much other than the bit right on the river. An adventure for another time. But I have learned that that fair city has a location of The Melting Pot, a favorite very very occasional indulgence of mine. Overpriced, over-hyped fondue in a cozy corner booth with my man? Yes, please!
(plus they get almost all their cheeses from Wisconsin!)

My flight home was a crazy ordeal of being boarded, sitting on a hot plane for 2 hours on the tarmac, being "deplaned" and waiting and waiting and re-boarding and then flying a bizarre route all in order to avoid a large storm system. I arrived back in Wisconsin 5 hours later than planned and much more the weary for it. But a weekend with this guy?

Totally worth it.

We next get to have adventures the first week of July. In the meantime I'm trying to throw myself into pseudo crafty wedding planning (the ideas for utilizing the button machine are pretty fun at present) and enjoying the Wisconsin summer.

Happy June!