Who: Lori and Heather
What: Letting Go
Where: Nyack, Tappan
When: July 8, 2016
Why: Cancer
Sites Visited:
The Bounty Hunter

I'm not sure if this has been made very clear in previous recaps, but I am someone who likes to plan ahead. If I'm going somewhere, I'm going with a full itinerary, with every route mapped, a list of every address and a folder full of photos. I'm not full of whimsy. I don't play it by ear. Not planning in the present only leads to future regrets. Not gonna do it. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I had only seen the Julia Roberts/Susan Sarandon-helmed film  once when it came out in 1998. The only real memory I have of it is walking in on my mother while she watched it and seeing her sob uncontrollably like my brother had just been run over by a Mack truck after killing a whole litter of kittens. It is a TERRIBLY sad film and -- spoiler alert 20 years after the fact -- Susan Sarandon totally dies in it. I saw it only once just to see what the hell was wrong with my mother, and I then never had any desire to see it again.

Apparently, however, Heather loves a good my-moms-dying-of-cancer-and-leaving-behind-her-whole-family motion picture and has seen the film multiple times - so much so that she fell in love with the architecture of the house and needed to see it in person.

So, for the first time in my house-stalking history, I was going to leave it all up to someone else. I got a few screenshots of the house off the internet and that was it. Heather was going to drive. She was going to plan the day. And I was going to sit back like a cool, calm, collected Paul McCartney, and let it be. 

We left for Nyack on a breezy Friday afternoon and within a half hour we were on the other side of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The house, a gigantic beautiful Victorian mansion on the Hudson river with a small bridge and a pond on the property was actually pretty impressive all on its own even without the luster of Hollywood surrounding it. Who lived in this house? I wondered. Did they sit on their porch every night and appreciate the serenity of nature? 

"Let's ring the doorbell and ask them," Heather said to me as she made her way up towards the front. "I want to get a tour of the inside."

Um... NO.

I wasn't sure what family of missionaries she thought lived in the house or who the heck she thought the two of us were, but in real life, you don't just ring a stranger's doorbell and the stranger goes, "Oh, hello, people I've never met before! Yes! Please come inside my private residence and have yourselves a look around my valuables!"

I was already anticipating the cops being called on us for walking down the long private driveway. My balls extended only as far as the porch. (But homeowners, if you're reading this - we're really nice people and would love to see your kitchen).

As we stood outside, Heather pointed out the front yard where Susan Sarandon smoked some pot, and I tried to figure out just where Ed Harris stood when he filmed his outdoor scenes.

(Stepmom film location)

Our trespass adventure only lasted about 5 minutes but it felt more like 20 with all the flinching I did when a car passed us by. Thank you, homeowners for not setting attack dogs out on us!

(The Bounty Hunter film location)

With that house complete, Heather and I decided to walk around the neighborhood for a little bit to see the old and colorful homes that lined the streets. Heather in all her glory really did enjoy an architectural tour, and I really just enjoyed seeing the neighborhood where Rosie O'Donnell lived. A win-win.

Along our way: my first time seeing roadkill on a residential street. 

RIP, Ricky Raccoon.

After about 20 minutes, it started to drizzle so Heather and I got back into the car and she told me she was taking me to the oldest tavern in New York where they filmed another scene from Stepmom. What a fabulous tour I was on! Did the people I carted around get this excited when I told them about our next locations? No? Okay then...

We got to the Old '76 House and Heather pointed out the sign in front commemorating the confinement of a British spy before his execution 236 years ago. She then spouted some other historical facts to me while my eyes started to glaze over and I looked for a way to throw myself into traffic.  

Heather wanted to hang out inside for a bit, so since we weren't standing on someone's private driveway I allowed her to open the door and walk right in. 

It was about 4:45pm, and while that may have been a hoppin' time in 1776 for a good brew and some dead men walking, it was certainly not in 2016, as evidenced by Heather and I being the only 2 people in the entire restaurant outside of the maitre d' and a woman cleaning glasses behind the bar.

But fuck it, more fun for us!

Heather immediately started asking a ton of questions about Stepmom and the maitre d' happily showed us the exact same table where Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon filmed their scene. Then because he was a very accommodating man, he took time away from his standing in the corner staring out at the abyss to take our photograph.

(Stepmom film location)

Thank you, sir!

We ordered some drinks - a Diet Coke and an orange juice -- and the glass-cleaning woman told us all about how the bar rail was once used as a place to tie up horses while their owners got shit-faced. We then sat at our movie-star table and sipped sipped away.

It was soon after that that Heather mentioned to me she had rented Stepmom on Amazon and had just watched it the night before. 

Oh great! So is this really where Susan and Julia sat? 
Did we take the photo from the right angle?
Did the movie show them walking around outside the bar? 
Were there any other scenes filmed here?

Heather didn't know. Heather didn't know. Heather didn't know. Heather didn't know.

Did Heather take any screenshots while she was watching the movie? No.
Did she take any specific notes on where exactly actors stood or sat? No.

It was like everything I had taught her on our several journeys through my insanity meant nothing to her. Was she not a devoted follower of www.TVTravelswithLori.com??

I made her go get her phone out of the car and then had her download the Amazon video app, (shitty 1770s cell service be damned), so we could watch the restaurant scene and gain the information she had deemed unimportant while planning for our tour.

First thing we found out - Julia and Susan sat across from each other, not side by side. How the hell could we have been so stupid!??

And their scene showcased the fireplace in the corner! We had no fireplace!

Also, Susan Sarandon tells Julia Roberts she'll never be able to see her young daughter get married because the cancer's going to to kill her way before then. Holy shit, how can anyone seriously watch this sad movie!?!?!?!

I took a few screenshots and then made Heather take a few more photos to make up for her failures before we paid our $6 tab and got the heck out of there. Nyack and its surrounding areas were beautiful and welcoming, but it was rush-hour on a summer Friday and we needed to go.

(Stepmom film location)

On the way home, as we braved the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I told Heather how thankful I was that she had gone out of her way to plan this day for us. We saw two movie locations. We walked around a ritzy neighborhood. Minor blip aside, it was nice to be able to sit back for once and enjoy being a passenger. Heather did good! We should do this again!

When I got home, I decided for shits and giggles to read some Stepmom trivia and that's when I came across this fun little fact....

Seems like there were two scenes filmed inside the 76 House. Not just the one "I'm dying dying soon-to-be-dead" scene Heather told me about and made me watch in its entirety. Another one. 

In the future, I think it's probably for the best if I go back to being the driver.

There's only so much whimsy my neuroses can take. 

Thanks for the mem'ries, Nyack!