Thursday, September 18, 2008


Getting to Norfolk, like New London, one must traverse an inlet, and
again like New London, the only direct method is by car... That said,
I give you our Norfolk adventure:
Our ride there was marked by kurt buying a can of greens (creecy, if I
properly recall) and sardines for lunch, which turned into our staple
diet (tuna for Dianne and I - choona!) for most days of the trip when
gas stations were to be the most reliable source of food. It was also
marked by our collective missing of the plentiful and excellent ice
cream shops up north, which, to satisfy our ice cream hunger, we
decided to settle for ice cream sandwiches or Popsicles or whatever
the next gas station had... which turned out to be a freezer bin full
of freezer burned and completely fused together fudgesicles probably
from the 80's! We each dealt with our dissapointment in different
ways.. I chiseled away at a slightly less than completely messed up
fudgesicle, Dianne had a dr pepper and m&m's, and kurt got a can each
of pepsi and coke. mixed them together, and discovered the ultimate
cola - the sweetness of coke, but with the fizz of pepsi, perfect!
Before leaving, he also noticed an RC cola machine and had one of
those... He then became an expert on cola, who may be contacted at any
time of day to answer cola questions. His direct line is: "38^
We got to the Jamestown ferry (on bike, one must cross the james river
30 miles before the main (car only) bridge and go about 60 miles south
east to get to Norfolk) around 6, I think, and upon discovering that
it runs all night, decided to go into Williamsburg for food, which dan
friendly and some cyclists we met at our junk food stop had
recommended.. And was only a few miles down the road.
We rode directly into historic Williamsburg, which was very pretty,
but too expensive for us.. So Dianne went to ask a random store clerk
if there was another part of town that was less touristy where we
might find something more reasonably priced... Only a hamburger place,
according to the clerk... Hmmmm.
In disbelief, I try my luck, this time asking a waiter for the
location of a grocery store... "way down the road, past all the
mansions and then past all the hotels.. On your left." is what I got
out of him.
Seeing as it sounded like it'd be a trek to anywhere, we thought maybe
we'd just share an expensive pizza and hope for the best, but just
before doing that, I asked yet another woman (a hostess) how far to
the grocery store, which I was immediately informed would not be
walking distance, though once I pointed out that we were on bikes, she
told me that'd be "real easy, straight through 2 lights, on the left,
can't miss it.. No more than a mile" - no more than a mile?!?
Unwalkable? This place was weird!
So, imagine our suprise when, not a half mile from historic
Williamsburg, all sorts of regular eateries start popping up! I wonder
if employees of the historic district are sort of supposed to pretend
there isn't a present day district around... Perhaps to preserve the
illusion of historisism?
As we approached the grocery store, a sight of great beauty arrested
to us from across the street: "the wok'n'roll - Asian buffet"!!! We
discovered a Japanese, Mongolian, and Chinese buffet, all (wok'n')
rolled into one!
One hour later, we had all gorged ourselves silly, and had spent way
more money than we would've in the historic district (well, maybe..)!
We decided to not embarass ourselves by collapsing on the ground right
in the Buffett parking lot, but rather to gently ride it off on the
way back to the ferry.
An interesting thing happened at a gas station a few minutes later,
where I wanted to stop and see if I could get a shorter route to the
ferry; I walked in to find the counter woman on the phone, and not
wanting to inturrupt or make her feel rushed, I took a leisurely walk
around the store for a minute until she was off the phone, at which
point I asked, and recieved directions... I thanked her, and she asked
me if I was going to buy anything, to which I replied that "no, we had
a huge meal just now, but thanks" which got me looked up and down and
told that "you lied!"! I actually wasn't sure I heard her right (she
had a Chinese (I think) accent) so asked her what she said again now,
please? Again, "you lied", and pointed to the door.. I sort of thanked
her and left, confused... In explaining this to Dianne and Kurt
outside, we decided that she had only given me directions freely under
the presumption that I'd be buying something, and that she knew that I
knew this too, and took my initial walk around the store as a feigned
interest in a purchase, so that she'd give me directions! "I lied"
about my unspoken agreement to buy something, and so abused her
services! It wasn't until the next day, in retelling the story, that
someone pointed out that, considering the accent, she could well have
been saying "you ride" referring to the bicycles, wondering about our
I guess it's funny either way, which is why it made the cut..
Continuing, we were about halfway back to the ferry when suddenly, I
saw about a foot ahead of me a veritable pool of broken glass, which I
was only in the preliminary stages of gasping about as I rolled
through and heard my back tire hiss angrily at me as it deflated to
... Two hours later, we had patched it, plus tried a couple more
tubes, all of which had exploded in our faces. Exhausted, we looked
for a quick camping place, which we found just up the street in some
woods next to a pond, where we slept in until late the next morning,
it being Sunday, and the bike stores not opening until later.
We spent most of the rest of our morning at some bakery, waiting for
noon to roll around, oh, I forgot to mention that all the exploding
tires had rendered us out of tubes and patches, which is what we
needed from the bike store... Ah, right, so kurt took off to get the
stuff, and we blow up one more before noticing that the tire itself
has a giant rupture that we were somehow able to overlook in the
nights light.. We also start to suspect that our pump is broken, as it
won't pump past 75psi... So we tape up the tire rupture, half inflate
my tire, and hope to be able to make it to the bike shop to get this
taken care of once and for all, but not 5 minites down the road, !
>pop<! ... At which point we also realize that we're going to be late
for our gig; a barbeque in Sarah Carter's backyard, which sounded to
be really fun, so of course we didn't want to miss it! So Dianne and
Kurt go back to the bike shop with my wheel, I sit by the side of the
road and discuss options with Sarah Carter on the phone for a long
time, eventually coming up with a plan to meet her friend-with-a-truck
on our side of the car only bridge, and get a lift across... Which,
barring a bit more confusion, is what we did. I can't remember her
name right now, but Sarah's roomate picked us up, and was the one who
figured out the "you lied/you ride" conundrum, excellent work!
Arriving at Sarah's, the first thing we saw was a fellow in a white
blazer, and a whole bunch more people who didn't seem to adhere to our
usual noise/folk appreciation crowd.. Which I think made both kurt and
I nervous to perform, though, after some showers and food, it was time
to play.. Turned out, the 7 or so people who actually sat and watched
were the few I would've picked out as being there for music, while the
rest just enjoyed the party that continued across the back yard, as we
played.. Kurt played first, I second, and I tried a new piece, which
is comprised of vibrating a drum with 2 electric toothbrushes and
throat singing over it... Went over well!
Slept in a guest room.
In the morning we had huervos rancheros, decided we had enough time to
go to the beach, and did! Neither I, Kurt, nor Dianne had ever felt
ocean water that warm! Sooo niiiice! Once out, we realized that there
dolphins(!) swimming up and down the beach, at a couple points within
15ft of us! Underwater, we could hear their chirps, and when they were
close enough, we could feel the clicks and chirps in our necks! Really
awesome weird feeling!
We also did some body surfing, ate some snacks on the beach, and sunned.
Back at Sarah's, we prepared for our Greenville show, at a cool place
called r3v3rb... This means we put it on our myspaces, and wrote to a
few bike and music stores about who we are and that we were coming...
Also, it would include mapping a route to the show, but I couldn't get
google maps to recognize the address to the club, it kept sending me
to a Greenville, South Carolina, instead of North Carolina...
Irritatingly. Eventually, I remembered that r3v3rb had a little cutout
of google maps with it's location on their website, which I could just
"get directions to" with... This is when I realized that r3v3rb
actually is in south Carolina, not north at all! I must've not noticed
when I was booking it! Dummmmb! So now, not only did we not have a
show lined up, but we had to write back to all those bike and music
stores to say, sorry, got the wrong city... Though I then realized
that all the results for bike stores I had gotten and written to were
also in the south carolina version! This is when I began to think that
we had made an even greater error than booking the "wrong" Greenville;
I began to suspect that way back when we were getting recommendations
for cool cities in the south to play, and someone mentioned
Greenville, we were meant (by them) to go to gville, sc, in the first
place, that it was the cool city... But then, we knew greenville, nc
was a college town, so maybe it was cool too...? A few google searches
for an "out" music scene, cool bike shop, or music store all came up
with the same dissappointing news: nothing in greenville for us! But,
since we'd planned time for it, we decided to go there and see for
ourselves, so headed out at dusk, and after stopping in south Norfolk
for a cheap Chinese Buffett, were off for...

Sent from my iPod


Sarah said...

What a tell-ific tear!

Phyllis said...

Wow! Quite the story! Interesting reading about Norfolk knowing that you are actually doing your last gig as we type!

Looking forward to "to be continued. . . ."


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