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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet Home Pennsylvania!

Well, Dodd made it back to Minnesota safely on Saturday night, and Ben and I made it in safely this morning around 1am!  It's going to be a long week, but hopefully we can catch up on sleep a bit.  It turns out this rally is pretty time-consuming (I now understand why I heard from Ben more through facebook updates than actually phone calls!), and so after a bit of recuperation, we will have a more complete summary than the few postings below!

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the road again!

And we're back on the road!! Thanks again to everybody for their help!!!

This is strike two, Alabama

Currently stopped along 59 south somewhere in Alabama since the Buick decided to furiously puke coolant all over the place. Our caravanning teams pulled over with us and are helping ben with whatever needs to be done. Many thanks to spf50 sunscreen, the passing autos that provide a breeze, the Tom Celica and the Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse for pulling over to check on us, and again to the two horsemen for giving us the last of their coolant. I guess this is really what BABE is all about... all of it. :)

will post again when we're back on the road.

Ooh, thanks also to krikor for having the foresight to freeze water bottles so that we all can have cold water.

Ben is adding coolant as I type, so hopefully we won't be much longer...

I should not do this professionally

Quick update!mile

If you're ever in Dahlonega, GA, eat at the Crimson Moon Cafe!  It was awesome.

Yesterday saw our most grueling challenge to date: Document every commercial/church sign on an 8-mile stretch of road (official road signs did not count, but anything else was fair game) and then complete a fill-in-the-blank quiz about the signs.  We also had to document everything in this great little shop in Talking Rock, GA and complete the same quiz.  Throw in more mountain passes in our '76 Buick, Kate curled up in the fetal position of the drivers seat (pin turns, high hills, and no guardrails have never really been my thing...), hot, humid air that doesn't move, and some of the most gorgeous scenery I've seen, and you have a bit of an update yesterday :)

Onward today to New Orleans!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You know you're tired when...

...you don't remember half of what you posted before going to bed!  Thankfully I don't seem to have embarrassed anyone, so let's get on with it, shall we?

Today, as I had mentioned, is a bit of a gift day.  This is the day wherein the BABE rallyers traditionally drive the Tail of the Dragon (wiki).  Due to the Buick's suspension issues (Ben replaced the shocks for a... 4th time last night?), we will not be driving it.  Krikor will not be taking the Moustache Bonanazathon on the tail, and neither will Felix and Mike be taking the Audi of Doooooooom (or the viewfinder.  It has so many names, I'm just not sure of which to use).

But wait - why am I talking about today when I haven't posted any pictures from yesterday??

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nighty night!

We are safe, sound (possibly), and tired!  We are in Newport, TN, and tomorrow is a gift day - no challenges!  Will hopefully be able to post pictures soon.  For now, let me just say that costume day was awesome!  Also, if you're ever in Harrisonburg, VA, check out The Little Grill!!  Seriously.  It's a worker-owned restaurant/food cooperative, and the food and people there are awesome.  Two local Harrisonburg women that we met at the farmers' market recommended it to us, and their suggestion was perfect!!

Let me just say that costume day was probably my favorite day so far (well I've only had two!), but I'm looking forward to wearing shorts and flips again tomorrow!

Test post with new iPhone software!

This is just a quick test of some new iPhone blogging software to allow us to more easily (and frequently) keep everybody updated! Let's see how this looks.

Irst update

What exactly is an "Irst update??" you may be asking yourselves... It's what you get when I try to type on an iPhone! Night zero, Sunday night, found me falling asleep before midnight (lame), and last night, we didn't get in to Harrisonburg until after 11pm. While the hotel had interneb available via Ethernet cords, the need for sleep and the need to fix the car/pack/get dressed for costume day trumped bloggig. Please see the title of my previous post :). Anyway, all of that aside, I will update you on our progress to the best of my ability. I apologize in advance for the lack of photos in this post, the iphone's automatic spelling check/suggestions that may nob be right (see?), and he general awkwardness encoutered when typing with nothing but one's thumbs.

Night zero found us first traveling to Pbiladelphia for lunch (Jim's Steaks on Fourth and South!)... Two "whiz wit" and one "whiz witout" were procured and dispatched in short order. Some kind stranger gave us the remainder of his parking meter time (outright handed us his reciept! Must not have been from philly!), and we met a few other BABE participants walking down the street! We continued to the Thwaite's home in Mullica Hill, NJ to meet up with a few other teams and do some work on the Buick. Jim put a spot weld on our exhaust so it would t fall apart, and Ben installed new front shocks on the Buick. When we headed out to the hotel, we checked in, registered for the rally, and met up with friends new and old, including the team from South Street. Ben went to work on the kitty litter bucket stereo, I bailed on the parking lot fun (after handing out baked goods... because that's what I do). Fast forward to

the next morning: up and at 'em, ready to go!! We convened atthe parkig lot where I continued to hand out baked goods and we caught up with a few teams of friends who made it in rather late on night zero :). The challenge sheet was handed out, and we were off!

Day one photo challenges:
1 flying French flag with a teammate in the photo. Had to be a real flying flag, not a postcard or sticker, and it was not allowed to be the white flag of surrender (the event organizer is English)

A US Naval ship with the name clearly in view

1 sign or building with "Churchill" on it. Bonus points for 4.

4 Toyota Priuses with Obama stickers

3 State troopers from 3 different states

A Lamborghini Murcielago - half points for the tin top, full points for the roadster, top iPod down (up or down, silly iPhone)

a license plate with two words. Must be a real vanity plate - "Jesus Saves" doesn't count.

Long story short: team spirit of '76, team unintended acceleration, and team moustache bonanzathon, a little creative skill, and a little creative interpretation of the challenge (loose vs strict interpretation) and team spirit of '76 and team moustache bonanzathon are the only teams awarded full points!! Don't know why team unintended acceleration didn't get full pints since they had everything we did. Hi, typo. Trust me, they had full PINTS; they just weren't awarded full POINTS.

Hmm... What else... Well, we blew out our rear shocks and ben did a roadside wheel change so that the enormous tires in the back wouldn't rub as badly. In the course of the day, we also obtained a CB radio, which is coming in quite handy... We are now In the middle of day 2, aka costume day!! You'll have to check in later to be fully updated on our journey to Oz (Newport, Tennessee), but in the meantime, check ben's facebook page and our friends Felix and Mike's page: www.twopointoh.com - two very funny guys with more tech savvy and more sarcasm than I can muster :). Should make for a very entertaining read!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bad blogger, Kate! Bad blogger!!

It's true - I have been remiss in keeping you updated as the car progresses, but I will do my best to update this nightly as we are on the rally!  Well, as long as the hotels we're staying in have free wireless.  I honestly have no idea whatsoever to expect from the hotels along the route.  I just hope they're not like the motel we had to stop at on our way back from Canada... the one with Griffins overlooking our beds... 
My apologies if you have been keeping up with Ben on Facebook.  A lot of this information is plundered from there, if for no other reason than that it contains a lot of car-speak, and... well... it's a convenient source of the information necessary to update on the progress of the car!

First of all, it's looking like the "Firelark" logo on the hood is a no-go.  We were going to enlist the help of our friend and neighbor, Jeff, to do the artwork (he's a lot handier with a paint brush than I am), but we seem to have run out of time.  What?  Either of us do something at the last minute?  Never........  anyway...  the firelark, sadly, is a no-go, but we do have vinyl decals coming our way!  We will emblazon our chariot (Charlot?  I wish, Matt.  Ben said we needed a manlier name than that.  As of now, the car is yet unnamed, but since I just said "manlier", maybe we can name it after my great-grandfather and call it "Manley".  Yes, my great-grandfather was named Manley Bates.  He had a twin sister named Mabel.  Manley and Mabel.  This little tidbit of Kate's history brought to you by her short attention span and her love of telling stories about her family.  Let's get back to the car.).  Wow, I left that sentence a while ago... we will emblazon our chariot with our team number (05 this year - Ben graciously left the number 01 to Krikor), driver names and flags of their country of origin (We went with all American flags.  Though less of a nod to familial histories, our team is called "Spirit of '76"...), the baberally.com logo, and, of course, our team name!  Ben has also fashioned some awesome cushions for the MOAB (Mother of All Baskets) that will be ratchet-strapped to the roof of the car, and we will be collecting stickers left and right, to make the decoration of the Buick an ongoing process.

To date, Ben has fixed/done the following: 
Replaced the broken leaf spring 
Installed air shocks in the back
Replaced the front brake pads (see, Mom?  It's safe!)
Changed out the dry-rotted tires for some new-to-us tires on some pretty killer wheels.  If you look at them the right way (read: if your eyes are as bad as mine), it looks like they have stars in the center!
Made an exhaust system where once there was just a rusted-off pipe
Replaced the front shocks
Replaced the front sway bar bushings
Fixed (replaced) busted hoses
Fixed the cracked winshield wiper fluid reservoir
Performed two oil changes (long story)

The car is currently up at Luke's buddy Kevin's shop, getting inspected as we speak!!  Ben made sure to double-check everything he was doing with the Pennsylvania inspection regulations, so we should be good to go!

For the record, we both still want this:
A lot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Car Progress

The Buick Skylark we purchased, soon to be known as "The Lamberton Firelark", is still not inspected.  It needs new springs, a legal exhaust system, and... some decorations.  Oh, yes.  The car may be featured on this year's t-shirt, but that doesn't mean that's what it's going to look like!

We're thinking something like this on the hood. 

... Stay Tuned for more!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Well hello there...

...and welcome to our blog! While 'the traveling Lambertons' might be a bit redundant, as we are known to go on some slightly random adventures (I meant to put a link to Ben's thread on our Nova Scotia adventure here, but since the forum on which that was posted recently changed software, the archived threads have yet to be moved over), we thought this would be a good way to keep in touch with family and friends as we see what life has to offer us!

Up first, at least in this official telling of our travels: BABE 2010, Team "Spirit of '76"

Team Members:
Dodd "The Father" Lamberton

Ben "No, I promise, it's a really good idea! We'll have fun!!" Lamberton

and Kate "Holy Cannoli, WHAT did I get myself into???" Lamberton

The Beauteous Chariot in which we shall conquer the South... or something...: (Please pay no mind to Dale in the background. We bought the car from him, and he is yet another reason that, should we have a female child, Ben will not let me name her "Dale". Ever. Super nice guy though! Also, pay no attention to the advertised price. Ben negotiated it into BABE-worthy territory ($500 or less!))

And, of course, The Event: BABE 2010

Those of you in the know may be aware that, under normal circumstances, BABE stands for "Big Apple to Big Easy". An unfortunate last-minute closing (debt-triggered sale) of the traditional starting point, The Staten Island Hotel, has changed this year's starting point to Philadelphia. We will now be running the "Brotherly Affection to Big Easy" rally, complete with the promise of friends new and old, great American scenery, broken down cars, camaraderie, new experiences, good food, and good fun...
So, as we finish our preparations in this final few weeks before the rally... you know, things like "make sure the car has a legal exhaust system", "replace the leaf springs that make the back sag worse than a ... something really saggy", and "just who from The Wizard of Oz WILL we dress as??" (I've got dibs on Dorothy!  Each team needs one, and luckily for us, I happen to have two X chromosomes, so unless Ben and/or Dodd decide to be one of the witches or Auntie Em, there will be no cross-dressing in the South this year!)... we will keep you posted, both with progress and setbacks... but let's hope for the former and let the fun begin!!!