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Summer Correspondents

Summer Correspondents
New York and Washington, D.C.

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What happens when two Alaskans arrive in New York City? No, this is not the start of some corny joke. I'm talking about our summer correspondents: Randi Somers and her grandson, Jesse Lee, who have been driving and camping their way across the United States. They set out from Homer, Alaska a couple of months ago, and we've been checking in with them along the way to hear about their adventures. They've strolled the streets of Vegas and camped out in a graveyard in Michigan. Just recently, they made it to Manhattan, and like the good tourists they are, they decided to make Jesse's first visit to New York a real adventure by riding the subway to visit the Empire State Building.

Randi: "Hi. We want to go to 34th Street. And they said to take the 'A' Train?"

Worker: "Go down the hall."

Randi: "I don't buy tickets here?"

Worker: "You can buy them here if you want."

Randi: "OK, would it be better to buy round-trip? We need to come back to this station."

Woman: "Three dollars."

Randi: "Per person?"

[sound of change clinking on counter]

Randi: "Thank you."

Jesse: "Thank you."

[sound of walking in subway station]

Randi: "Ah, cockroach! Huge, huge cockroach. Did you get him? Did you squish that poor bug?"

Jesse: "No, I just knocked him on his back. [starts singing La Cucaracha] How does the rest of that song go?"

Randi [sings]: "Ya no puede caminar, porque no tiene, porque le falta, marijuana que fumar..."

[boarding subway]

Randi: "If we want to get to the Empire State Building, are we doing the right thing?"

Woman: "I don't know."

Randi: "It's 34th Street?"

New Yorker: "It's called 34th Street; you get off and then you have about a block or two walk."

Randi: "How do you know?"

New Yorker: "How do I know?! Because it says so."

Randi: "How does it say so?"

New Yorker: "It says 3-4. What do you mean, how does it say so? It says 34th street, the name of the station is 34th. "

Randi: "Oh, I see."

New Yorker: "You are an out-of-towner...are you recording this?"

Randi: "Yes I am."

New Yorker: "Why?"

Randi: "We're doing a radio show."

New Yorker: "You are? Imus in the Morning?"

Randi: [laughs]

New Yorker: "No, it says 34th St., 3-4, the whole thing, you'll love it. What radio show are you doing?"

Randi: "It's The Savvy Traveler. Are you familiar with it?"

New Yorker: "Never heard of it."

Jesse and Randi: "It's public radio."

Randi: "We're their summer reporters. We've never been to New York before."

New Yorker: "Where you from?"

Randi: "Alaska."

New Yorker: "You should be back there now!"

New Yorker: "All right, here we come. 34th St. See. Pennsylvania Station. That's it. Good luck; enjoy your trip. "

Randi: "All right Jess, here we go. Leap out any door, probably this one..."

They certainly got the whole New York experience -- rudeness, at no additional charge. While in Washington, D.C., Randi and Jesse stopped by a studio to chat with Rudy. They talked about their time in the Washington, the Big Apple and the rest of their travels.

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