Sunday, 8/31/08 and Monday, 9/1/08
It was about a five hour shot from the mountains to Brooklyn. However, the two environments could not have been more different. The experience of trying to get into the Holland Tunnel was the polar opposite of our most recent experience of sitting at the lake at dawn. How funny and immediately frustrating! After about an hour, we were through the tunnel to the other side…New York City. We passed Ground Zero and saw the big hole in the ground, surrounded by cranes that still seemed unsure of what to build. We entered the Brooklyn Tunnel and popped out on the other side in just as much traffic as there was going into the Holland Tunnel. Apparently, there were a lot of festivals going on since it was Labor Day weekend.
Our next task was to find a good place to park…in Brooklyn. The streets were lined with metered spots, all covered with the sign “No Parking Sunday or Monday” for the festival. Yet, we knew that we had made it all this way and we just prayed for God to show us the space He already had for us. And He did…about 10 paces away from the gate to Doug’s apartment building, and there was literally nothing else anywhere. This never ceases to amaze us.
We had not yet visited Doug since he moved from Chicago to Brooklyn about nine months ago, so we were very pleased to make it the last stop on our great adventure. He greeted us on the street, then showed us the way to his apartment where we nearly clogged his shower drain by washing off the last three days of camping. We love camping, but civilization has its perks, and hot water is high on the list.
There was a Rockabilly Festival in Coney Island, and Doug was eager to take us there. We also had the privilege of meeting his friend Sarah, who had gone to college in New York and decided to stay. Coney Island is like a never ending carnival, with rides, games, side shows, and of course, Nathan’s Hot Dogs. Before checking out the music though, Dan couldn't resist the opportunity to “Shoot the Freak”, where for five dollars you get to shoot fifteen paint balls at a young man wearing bug eye goggles and a helmet, carrying a shield. One shot was wide right, the other fourteen were brilliant.
While the music at the Rockabilly Festival was average, the “Side Show” act between sets was the farthest thing from average we had seen in some time, though not abnormal for Coney Island. We cringed as we watched a man pick up a sixteen pound bowling ball fastened by chains to his earrings and swing it around in circles. If that was not enough, he picked up a fifty pound anvil the same way and swung it side to side. We wondered how he discovered this talent, and what he might do for a living. The latter question was soon answered when we saw him walking around letting people staple money to him with a staple gun. When we finally made it home, we were touched by the fact that Doug had put fresh linens on his bed and offered it to us. This was a beautiful gesture and we were very thankful for it.
We slept in on Monday, but we didn't miss breakfast. Just down the street from Doug’s place is Kennedy’s Fried Chicken and Donut, and they serve breakfast all day. We ate what were quite possibly the best bagel sandwiches ever created, and home fries made with as much butter as potatoes. We walked it all off though, as Doug took us through Prospect Park, and then on to the Caribbean West Indian Festival that takes place every year in his neighborhood. It was a beautiful display of color and song, with people representing all of the islands in their traditional dress and dance. We could have spent the whole day there, but alas, it was time to point The Egg home. We said our goodbyes, and this time, plugged our own address into Gladys and let her route our last leg of the journey.
The ride home was bittersweet, and we rejoiced and reflected on all that we had done. And it was good. We couldn't believe we had actually done it, and we had loved every mile and every minute. When we crossed the line into Virginia, we rolled our windows down and took a big whiff of our hometown air, somewhat of a tradition in Melody’s family. We quickly rolled them back up though, since our exhaust was roaring in front of the broken Catalytic Converter, and that sweet smelling hometown air was undoubtedly full of hydrocarbons spewing out of The Egg because of it. We got in Monday night, September 1st, 2008, after 32 days on the road and 9286 miles behind us. It had been a dream, and now it was a reality, and it was worth far more than it had ever, or would ever cost us.
Thank you all for coming along for the ride. We hope in some small way that you have been blessed by our stories, and that you are encouraged to not only chase your dreams, but to grab them, hold on tight, and make them happen. All of your comments were a tremendous encouragement to us, and we eagerly checked the blog for new ones everywhere we stopped. It is hard to bring the egg roll to and end, but it must be so. We love you all more than you could know, and we are grateful to have you all in our lives.