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Old 12-08-2011, 09:42 AM   #1
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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A Thanksgiving Odyssey: Bands, Buses, and Big Bad Balloons (Completed!!!)


Thanksgiving Odyssey








Bands, Buses, and Big Bad Balloons




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Five Buses
Part 1: Were Off!!

Part 2: Space Management
Part 3: El Camino
Part 4: No Place Like Home

Chapter 2: Rock This Town
Part 1: If You Show Me Yours...

Part 2: Uncharted Territory
Part 3: From On High
Part 4: A Change in Direction
Part 5: Walking to Memphis

Chapter 3: Taking a Bite Out of the Apple
Part 1: A Place of Healing

Part 2: The Fruits of Other's Labors...
Part 3: Getting Our Fill
Part 4: Rumblings of Mutiny

Chapter 4: Balloons Over Broadway
Part 1: Zero-Dark-Thirty

Part 2: Inside... Looking Out
Part 3: Meanwhile, Back at Tesla Corner...
Part 4: Celebrities I Do Not Know
Part 5: A Bit of Americana
Part 6: The Blink of an Eye
Part 7: The Study of Pressure and Time
Part 8: Giving Thanks

Chapter 5: Remembrances
Part 1: What Is and What Was

Part 2: A Substantial Edifice
Part 3: The New Colossus
Part 4: Beneath the Surface
Part 5: Reflecting Absence
Part 6: The Last Hurrah

Chapter 6: A Whole Different Animal...




That's All Folks!!






= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



When Homer... and before you say it out loud, Im talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.


Anyway, as I was saying&

When Homer first put quill to papyrus with the intention of jotting down a few thoughts about a guy who needed to go out for a few days on a business trip of sorts, I dont think that he intentionally set out to create the literary trash genera of Travel Books. That was the farthest thing from the mind of this great epic poet as he was writing one of the books that every high school student (much to their chagrin) is now compelled to read:

The Odyssey.







No... what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course& jubilant homecomings. But, if you think about it& these things... these ideas... they are the exact same elements that are required to tell even a run of the mill travel story. With that in mind... I am going to try my best to tell you a story: a story about a group of folks that embarked on their own Odyssey. An adventure that was the culmination of nearly two years of planning and became an amazing finally to what was an extraordinary summer and fall in the lives of a group of very dedicated young people and their families.







Its quite the tale, but its not going to be everyones cup of tea. First off its not a Disney story (which is why I didnt post it in the TR section of the boards). But there were many aspects of the trip that closely mirror a good Disney TR (and believe it or not, Mickey will be making a couple of brief appearances).

Hopefully youll be able to find something interesting in the midst of the mindless blather that is to follow. I do promise that Ill give you fair warning when Im about to make a left turn into terra obscura. That way youll be able to quickly hit the back button and be spared the needless loss of brain cells. If you do choose to stay... you will learn entirely too much about high school bands and marching competitions; the care and feeding of teenagers; fundraising and deluxe bus travel; accommodations in the Hackensack area and whirlwind tours of NYC and most importantly... a behind the scenes look at one of Americas modern holiday traditions: The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade...







...and just what it takes to be one of the very few units that actually performs live music during the event.








If youve had the opportunity (or misfortune) of reading one of my previous TRs, you will already have some insight into the kind of dementia and generally unfocused meandering that is likely to take place here. If not... you might want to take a look at my past efforts and use them as a guide for determining whether you really want to take on the burden of deciphering the broken and disconnected thought process that make up my written musings. Heres a couple of links to those literary disasters; you can go check em out for yourselves...




Experiment-627
(A Caribbean Double with a Wilderness Chaser)





Youre writing a TR... Really?
(Christmas at POR, 2010)





I hope you decide to follow along and Id really appreciate it if youd also join in the conversation. Feel free to toss out questions, comments, observations, criticisms, witticisms, or any other ism that crosses you mind. And while Im here, I want to thank you in advance for even checking in here in the first place. This was a once in a lifetime experience for my family and many others in the small town that I call home. I only hope that given my meager literary abilities; I can give this story the presentation it deserves. Like it or not though... Im going to be making the attempt.




Just maybe Ill be able to get somebody to listen.





Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 11-26-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #2
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Bonus Features

These are links to anything off topic that ended up being tossed in here
(I already have a reputation as being: “Goofus Offtopicus”…
you can be certain that I will be defending that title)



01: Jamie Wants Big Boom
02: Your Charabanc Awaits…
03: A Coin to Pay Charon
04: Brave Sir Robin!
05: A Closer Look (Part-1)
06: A Closer Look (Part-2)
07: A Closer Look (Part-3)
08: Patience and Fortitude (Part-1: The Time Machine)
09: Patience and Fortitude (Part-2: A Higher Purpose)







:

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 09-10-2012 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
 
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Flash Backs

This is something new that y’all have to contend with in my current TR.
The trip to New York and the parade are only half the story…
The events that lead up to the trip were an adventure in their own right.



01: The Big Reveal
02: You want us to build what?



Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 02-17-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Just one more

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Old 12-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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I'm in! Looking forward to it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
When Homer… and before you say it out loud, I’m talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.
Awww...

Anyway, as I was saying…

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
No… what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course… jubilant homecomings.
Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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Count me in
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:21 AM   #7
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I'll listen!

Unless Mark starts telling fart jokes, then I'm outta here.
Just kidding, I probably have a few of my own to contribute. And long bus rides are the perfect place for them.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
When Homer… and before you say it out loud, I’m talking about the classical Greek writer, not the nuclear energy tech from Springfield.
D'OH!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
No… what he had in mind was adventure, intrigue, grand sweeping vistas, monumental struggles, catastrophists and stunning turns of fortune, pivotal confrontations, exhilarating victories, bitter sweet moments and of course… jubilant homecomings.
And a cyclops... don't forget the cyclops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
a behind the scenes look at one of America’s modern holiday traditions: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…
Now that looks very intriguing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Feel free to toss out questions, comments, observations, criticisms, witticisms, or any other “ism” that crosses you mind.
I don't think that will be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
And while I’m here, I want to thank you in advance for even checking in here in the first place.
You're welcome in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Just maybe I’ll be able to get somebody to listen.
Or at least to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)
Yeah, what he said.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
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You had me at Trip Report...
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #10
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I have a leather-bound copy of the Iliad and Odyssey that I have read several times, without any gun pointed to my head nor threatening glare from red pencil wielding authority figures.

Will this TR be written in the style of epic poetry??? will every character have an epithet???

Even if it isn't and they don't, count me in!
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Add in some explosions and fart jokes and it sounds like the perfect story!

(see, I can bring any conversation down to my level)
Are you dragging it down, or bringing it up to a level that will be more suitable to more dads?

(…being as I don’t think I’m going to get too many of the ladies to follow along. Most of them wouldn’t be seen over here in our corner of the boards. The beer cans and graffiti alone would send them into conniptions.)

Welcome aboard!



Quote:
Originally Posted by theduck619 View Post
Count me in
Consider yourself counted (specifically, you second)
Welcome sir.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I'll listen!
It’s a Trap!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Unless Mark starts telling fart jokes, then I'm outta here.
I should believe this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Just kidding, I probably have a few of my own to contribute. And long bus rides are the perfect place for them.
That’s more like it. Add all the embellishment you like (it certainly couldn’t hurt).
Welcome to the fray!



Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
D'OH!
Who let you in here? The place is already disreputable enough with out having to deal with a certified nemesis…

Against my better judgment (as if I had any judgment), I suppose I’ll even welcome you to the party.
Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
And a cyclops... don't forget the cyclops.
A Cyclops you say. Hummmmm… I’ll have to look into that possibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Now that looks very intriguing.
It was interesting to see, that’s for sure
Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I don't think that will be a problem.
I didn’t think it would be (I need someone to add some interest to this pending disaster… even if it’s coming from you).
Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
You're welcome in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Or at least to read.
Well… that’s a good start on the “smart-a**-isims”. You’re already having a positive influence on the TR (which is not very nemesis like… you’re supposed to detract, not add).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Grooovertoo View Post
You had me at Trip Report...
Then you’re easily had.
You may want to consider raising your standards considerably.

Welcome aboard!


Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballmickey View Post
I have a leather-bound copy of the Iliad and Odyssey that I have read several times, without any gun pointed to my head nor threatening glare from red pencil wielding authority figures.

Will this TR be written in the style of epic poetry??? will every character have an epithet???

Even if it isn't and they don't, count me in!
Apparently you have excellent taste. Sooooo…
What the heck are you doing signing on to this potential disaster?

Epic poetry? Not quite. More like in the style of “South’rn Conversation”.
Me and poetry (epic or otherwise) don’t much cotton to one an’other.
Here… let me demonstrate:

Roses are Red…
Violets are blue…
I hate rhyming…
Zerba!


See what I mean.

The idea of epithets might be entertaining though. I could refer to myself as “Mangler of Language” (I don’t foresee anyone rushing in to defend me from the implications of that moniker). In any case… consider yourself welcomed to the adventure.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:16 PM   #12
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Chapter 1: Five Buses
(Day 1 - Monday)




Part 1: We’re Off!!
(and we’re leaving this morning as well)











According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics:

“The Thanksgiving holiday period is among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a *destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent.

Most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by personal vehicle, such as by car. Only 5 to 6 percent of holiday trips are by air, while 2 to 3 percent are by bus, train, ship, or other mode.”

Welcome to the world of two percent! It is estimated that of the USA’s 308 million soles, about 42.5 million got enough gumption to pack a bag or two and actually set out from their nice safe warm homes to travel toward parts known and unknown during the 2011 Thanksgiving Holidays. Using the Transportation Departments statistics, we know that about 850,000 of them were traveling via “bus, train or ship/other”. Just for arguments sake, we’ll divide that number up equally between the three categories and now we have about 283,000 fools that decided to take time out of their holidays to travel to where ever it was that they were headed on a bus. I can personally vouch for about 290 of those fools.

I was one of them.


As you already know (having mistakenly read this far already), we’re heading to New York, New York to take part in this little soiree…





Well… our kids are actually going for this reason. The adults are traveling along as teachers, chaperones, support staff (my particular category), and a few who were just tagging along for the once in a lifetime experience.

This odyssey began at 3am in our house with the sounding of a rather obnoxious alarm clock. By 4:30 we were in front of the local high school setting our bags on the curb and staging all the gear that had to make the trip with us this day.





The buses should be here by 5:00, but since we have a little bit of time, let me introduce you to the players taking part in this little effort. First there’s this rather questionable collection of ragamuffins…





Of all the young’ens current attending Nation Ford High School (referred to as “NaFo” by the students and locals) in my home state of South Carolina, better then one in ten of them are taking part in the instrumental music program. That’s a fairly high percentage for any school. But these kids also have a penchant for working very hard. No, really… That’s how a group from a mid-sized school that is only just starting its fifth year of operation succeeded in getting the folks up at Macy’s to invite them to participate in this undertaking.

Now, being as there are better then 160 kids in this outfit (and better then 120 other travelers), there is no way I can tell the story from everyone’s point of view. So you’ll have to settle for hearing it as one small part of the group remembers the events that are to follow. To be specific, this group here…





The boy on the left there is Max; sixteen at the time, and a proud member of the clan of Low Brass in the tribe of NaFo. The lovely girl on the right side (near that rather tall building in the background) is Tamara, proud mother and the stable rock around which my world revolves. That just leaves the scruffy guy there mucking up the middle of the photo. That’d be me… Rob. I could add a few superlatives to describe myself as well, but the bulk of them would be fairly derogatory and won’t really add much to the overall effect of the story (so I’ll just let you draw your own conclusions based on what you read through the rest of the TR). This time around we also had an additional person join the party…





The girl in the back row there is my sister in law: Elaine. Like the rest of us, she felt that this was just too rare an event to be passed up, and figured she might as well follow along. Well that’s the major characters in this “epic”, now I can see that the buses are here so I suspect that I ought to get to work. I’ll send the girls off to find us a decent spot on one of the “parent” buses, while I take care of a few “administrative tasks”.





If you hang on for just a minute or two I’ll tell you a bit more about that “administrative” process, throw out an explanation on the way this TR will work, and give you a look at the drive into the unknown (well… unknown for most of us anyway), but in the meantime, I’m in charge of packing Bus-2 over there and we want to be on the road by six, so I’d best get moving.









Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 12-26-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
afwdwfan
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Quote:
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Welcome to the world of two percent!
I'd ask if the 2% went to Wall Street to visit the 1%, but I don't want any spoilers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
I can personally vouch for about 290 of those fools.

I was one of them.
Wow... you were .3% of the .1% of the 33.3% of the 2%


Quote:
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How appropriate.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:57 PM   #14
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I hope there will be a pic of you dancing on the Paino toy at FAO like Tom Hanks in Big
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:14 PM   #15
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Ahh, school road trips. The joy of getting up at insane o'clock to drop the kid off at the school so she can get on the bus.

Notice I said, "drop the kid off." Never stepped foot on one of those buses let alone let them close the door behind me. You are much braver than I am.
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