Archive for October, 2011

October 4 (Monday)

The last day. It started as another overcast day. We ate from the hotel’s continental breakfast, then hopped back on I-95. In only an hour we were in South Carolina and the last place I’d really wanted to see, South of the Border in Dillon.

Some might call it a tacky tourist trap, and it is that. But I’m a tacky tourist at heart, so I love those kind of places. Started in the 1950s, it got the name for being south of the North Carolina border. It’s about halfway between New York and Florida, making it the perfect stop for snowbirds and other tourists heading south from New England, back in the day.

South of the Border – Sombrero Tower

More recently, the place has fallen on rough times. Tastes have changed, maybe people are more in a hurry, and don’t take the time to stop at these sorts of places. There was no one else visiting that day besides us. Admittedly it was a weekday, and several hurricanes had gone through the area recently. I was hoping to go to the top of the Sombrero Tower, but it was closed. I did go into one of the numerous shops and got some souvenirs. Cups, t-shirts and the like. There was some toilet paper I was sorely tempted to get for Uncle Francis, but I resisted. I did tell Mom about it, and she laughed and agreed.

South of the Border

South of the Border

I wanted to try the food there, so we went into one of the restaurants. I think there were a couple other people there, but not more than that. I don’t remember what I got, but ate too much, since we’d had a decent breakfast.

Back on the interstate, I had a laughing jag. You know how something strikes you as funny and you can’t stop laughing? Well, it was kind of foggy, and through the mist I saw a sign for a pizzeria.

What’s funny about that? My Mom’s sister (Aunt Kathryn, no longer with us) was always very proper. Things had to be just so, and she was rarely wrong. At least in her mind. Mom told me a while before how she and her sister were driving and they saw a pizzeria. Aunt Kathryn said something about it, but mispronounced it. Instead of peet-za-ria, she called it a pi-zarea, like it’s spelled. Any chance I could thereafter, I would tease Aunt Kathryn about it. Seeing the sign on the interstate brought it back, and the laughter just poured out. I think I laughed through most of South Carolina.

The skies cleared after a while, and we entered Georgia. On the first day of the trip, I remember us seeing electric trucks and landscapers heading into Florida to help with the hurricane aftermath. Once we got into Georgia, we started seeing the same kind of trucks heading north. We waved at them, thanking them in spirit. Glad though we were that so many had come down to help, it was encouraging to see them leave, since it meant the worst was over.

I-95 in Georgia

I-95 in Georgia

I-95 in Georgia is an interesting contrast to I-75. There are a crazy amount of billboards between Valdosta and Atlanta. But there are relatively few between Savannah and Jacksonville. Maybe the counties have different laws in that regard? It does make I-95 a more enjoyable drive to me. Most of I-95 is nice, as I discovered. The only unpleasant stretches are in South Florida (Palm Beach County to Miami) and Jacksonville. Once you get past Jax, it’s a breeze at least to southern Virginia. By the looks of the maps, the next gnarly bit would be D.C. From Florida to D.C.; that’s about 10 hours of pleasant interstate driving. One of these days I’ve got to visit Mom and Dad in Arlington, so it’s good to know the drive there will be easy.

I know we stopped again at a visitor center. I think it might’ve been the same one I stopped at on the way to Savannah a few weeks ago. That one was near the Florida border. We crossed over before sunset, then got off at the SR 200/A1A exit. I could have gone further south, but I avoid Jacksonville like the plaque. Plus we’d been on the interstate for two days, and I was looking forward to regular road driving again.

Once we hit Baldwin, we were back on US 301. I knew this section of it really well, and could practically drive it on autopilot. All you have to do is stay on it and you can’t miss Ocala.

We got back to Mom’s around 8 PM. She’d turned off the AC, since why leave it on when no one would be home for two weeks? We discovered the display on the microwave didn’t work, probably due to power surges related to Jeanne. In any case, we cranked up the AC and left to get dinner, giving the house time to cool down. We hit some of our favorite places, but they were closing. At 8! Fat Boys, El Toreo, what’s up? We finally downscaled, since our options were more limited than we thought, and got burgers at Wendy’s. The house was comfortable when we got back and we conked out. I unpacked the car the next day, then returned to work the day after that.

So that’s it. Two weeks of ups and downs (figurative and literal) that will always be with me. We had fun, Mom. I miss you, but we’ll always have our 12-states-in-12-days trip.


Read Full Post »

October 3 (Sunday)

The hotel had a continental breakfast, and I took advantage of it after the previous night. We bid farewell as soon as we could to Salisbury.

Welcome sign at the Virginia visitor center

The sun had come out and this was more of what I was hoping for. We were on US 13 at this point. The bucolic countryside with occasional small towns, that’s the Maryland I wanted to see. It wasn’t long, though, until we reached the state line and were in Virginia. We stopped at the Virginia visitor center for brochures and the like. Very nice and helpful.

The drive continued to be nice. I was sorely tempted to detour to Assateague Island, since the guidebooks had made it sound very appealing. But it would have taken way too much time to fully appreciated, so we skipped it.

The Virginia side of US 13 was just as pleasant as the Maryland side. Seventy odd miles of mellow, you can’t beat it.

We finally reached one of the things I’d been really, really looking forward to seeing on this trip. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Or as I referred to it, the Brunnel. Since that underwater thing connecting England and France is called the Chunnel, why not?

Fisherman Island

The Brunnel. I really recommend seeing it. After it opened in 1964, the American Society of Civil Engineers named it “One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World“. It lost that honor to newer wonders years later, but it’s still pretty amazing. I could go on at length, but check the article (linked above) for a better explanation. We stopped at Fisherman’s Island, the beginning of the north end. Then we drove most of the rest of the way, stopping again at one of the manmade islands that’s part of the Brunnel. They had a tourist shop and restaurant, so I got a snack for Mom and me, and some t-shirts. We drove the last bit, and then we were back on the mainland, in Norfolk.

One of the bridge sections of the Bridge-Tunnel

I know it’s a major shipping center, and I saw huge ships in the distance. No stopping there, but I’m quite interested in a revisit. It took some doing to get out of the city (it’s a biggie). But once we passed the edges, it was mostly rural again. US 58 is another road it was a pleasure to drive. I am confused by one memory. I could swear I saw a sign along the road indicating a turnoff for the FBI headquarters in Quantico. But that’s in the extreme north of the state, over 160 miles away. I could see a sign like that on an interstate, but not a semi-major road like US 58. Maybe it was for some place else.

We were driving along and after a while we started seeing fields with denuded bushes. They had what looked to me like balls of spiderweb on them. I expressed my puzzlement and Mom said they were cotton plants. I lived in Florida all my life; how was I to know what cotton looks like? We laughed at my ignorance, though. Since then, I’ve seen small fields in the Panhandle, and I always remember this moment.

We continued on our leisurely way until we reached Emporia. I believe we stopped for gas or something, since it had been at least a couple of hours since Norfolk. Also, this was where we would get on I-95. In my mind that made it the beginning of the end of the trip, since we wouldn’t see much scenic the rest of the way. But I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong on that account.

First off, there had been an effort to landscape the interstate, at least while we were in Virginia. Which wasn’t for long, since Emporia is only 10 miles from the North Carolina border. But I-95 in that state is a nice drive too.

I wasn’t sure where we’d wind up for the night, or even if we’d find a room. Since we were back in the badly hit area of the east coast, I was afraid it’d be like the first day in Franklin. We stopped in Fayetteville and got a room with no problem. It wasn’t too late, and if I’d known of any sights to see, I might’ve tried to squeeze a few in. Instead, we settled on finding someplace for dinner. The place we found was, for me at least, a sight for sore eyes. Western Sizzlin’.

Back in the day, when I was still in the SCA in Gainesville, we’d go out to dinner after the Tuesday meetings. We had our favorites, and one was Western Sizzlin. I thought they completely went out of business, but apparently they only closed their Florida locations. It was just like I remembered, the steaks, the potato bar, everything. Mom liked it, but she didn’t have the association like I did. But she was happy that I was happy, and I was happy I had someone to share that happiness with.

Read Full Post »

October 2 (Saturday)

So, the last meal at the Deepwater Diner. Mom thought the available relatives should have breakfast together, and where better than the Diner. We were going to pay too. The relatives went along, since breakfast wasn’t an expensive meal, especially at the Diner. There were about ten people, and it came to about 50 dollars. Beat that, Rachael Ray!

The funniest part was Uncle Francis. Aunt Mae wanted Eggs Benedict, but not the whole thing. Mom convinced Uncle Francis to split it with her, which appealed to his frugality. To put it nicely. So all he needed was a plate to put his half on. Everyone gets their order, and Uncle Francis is still waiting for his plate. He grumbled, “Did they have to send to China for the plate?” Karma, baby, that’s all I’m saying.

We bid our adieus and headed out. We crossed the I-295 bridge and were in Wilmington, Delaware. Another odd detail I remember is that we were looking for laundromats. It was a week and a half into the trip, and clean clothes were a concern. But we realized we were OK. Mom had enough, and I’d been buying t-shirts as souvenirs, so I was set. There were only a couple more days until we’d be home, so we could manage.

I don’t recall the exact route we took to get out of Wilmington, but I know we eventually made it to US 301. I’d driven so much of it in Florida that I wanted to traverse some of it outside the state. It was very rustic and mellow. In no time at all we were in Maryland. It was overcast the whole day, but I didn’t mind. After driving through the remnants of a hurricane, any weather less severe was a walk in the park.

Saint Dennis Catholic Church

The first scenic stop was happenstance, in Galena. I saw this neat looking old church and had to stop. It was the Saint Dennis Catholic Church. All the different sized stones assembled like a puzzle to make it impressive. It was built in 1933, but seems older. The cemetery next to it was established in 1893, which is odd. Interesting place.

South we went until we got to US 50. We could have headed west across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Annapolis and DC. But I wanted to see the Delmarva Peninsula, so it was south again on US 50.

Chesapeake Bay at Tilghman Island

Next was somewhere I’d seen in one of my travel books I’d brought, Easton. Actually, Tilghman Island, but you had to go through Easton to get there. I wanted to see Chesapeake Bay, and some of that New England aquatical scenery. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of that to see on this road, and the overcast sky detracted from the ambiance.

Chesapeake Landing

We did get one of Mom’s wishes satisfied, though. Well, it was more my and her hairdresser’s wish for her. Her hairdresser had given her money to get crabcakes in Maryland on the trip. I swore she would get them, come hell or high water. I saw a restaurant on this sidetrip, called Chesapeake Landing, that looked like a likely candidate to get some. It wasn’t on the water, but you can’t have everything. They did indeed have crabcakes. I can’t remember what I got, but it must’ve been good, because I’d remember if it was bad. I tried a bit of her crabcake. I guess it was good, but I don’t like crabcakes, so I’m not the best judge. Mom liked them though, so that’s what counts. I didn’t get my Philly cheesesteak, but I didn’t mind, since Mom got her crabcakes.

Old Trinity Church cemetery

Once we traveled back the winding road to Easton, we headed south on US 50 again. We crossed a bridge and were in Cambridge. I know we stopped after the bridge, I think at a visitor center, though I can’t find it on a map. I think in one of my guidebooks I read about an old church, so it was off to find that. It was one of those “did I miss a turn?” drives, but I found the Old Trinity Church and Cemetery. The church itself was built before 1690. That’s still the oldest church I’ve visited. OK, the oldest built in America. St. Bernard de Clairveaux beats it by around 4 centuries. While I was exploring the cemetery, a church person came out and asked Mom if I wanted to see inside. Tempting though it was, it was getting way late, and the overcastiness was making it get darker faster. I didn’t want to be driving in the dark looking for a hotel in a more rural area, so I passed.

I wanted to get as far along as possible, so I could spend more time over the next couple of days seeing as much as I could. Therefore, we continued on to Salisbury.

Which I really wish we hadn’t. If I never visit Salisbury again, I’ll not cry. We came in on US 50, then south on US 13, which is one of the main roads through the city. They must’ve been resurfacing it, since it had those multiple grooves along the length, which makes it such a treat to drive along. I saw a hotel and stopped there, though it looked less than appealing. It’s a Budget Inn now, hopefully it’s improved. The check in desk clerk was behind glass (bulletproof?), which made me even more concerned. I said to myself that if Mom wanted to, we’d stay there, but I wouldn’t like it. Fortunately, Mom was as underwhelmed as I was. So we went across the street to Best Western. It was about 70 dollars a night, but you definitely get what you pay for. Yet it was still annoying, as there were people in adjacent rooms who were up all hours making noise. Not a good night’s sleep. Maybe Salisbury has a good side, but we didn’t see it.

Read Full Post »

September 29, 30, October 1 (Wednesday through Friday)

What a difference a night makes. The sky was overcast, but no wind or rain. Jeanne was gone, finally.

I was going to visit an online friend , and I knew Mom would be bored by our conversation. So we checked out and Mom stayed in the lobby of the hotel until I got back, sampling their fancy continental breakfast. Which it should be, at 100 dollars a night for a room.

I got directions to my friend’s place. But in ironic contrast to the night before, I went in the completely opposite direction. I realized it only after about half an hour, as it seemed like I was entering Amish country. I turned around and drove all the way back. Going in the right direction, I found his place.

I’m not going to go into detail. Not really that interesting. We talked, went to lunch, I took him back to his place, I went back to the hotel.

Reunited with Mom, we headed for our last planned stop, Mom’s brother and his wife (Uncle Francis and Aunt Mae) and his family in New Jersey. They live in Penns Grove, near Carney’s Point, not too far from Philly. We left Allentown and got on I-476, the Penn Turnpike section that goes south. We reached the outskirts of Philadelphia in about an hour. I’d really wanted to get a Philly cheesesteak sandwich while I was there, but time didn’t permit. We crossed a bridge into New Jersey and headed south.

Though for some reason, I thought we were going north. I don’t know why. Maybe it was just the day for my sense of direction to be discombobulated. Maybe because there was no sun to navigate off of.

We continued on, looking for a hotel. There was no sign of one. Perhaps because we were going through towns, and all the hotels were near the interstate. We got to Deepwater and found hotel signs finally. I don’t remember where we stayed, but it wasn’t great. The first room they gave us had problems (broken toilet seat or something like that), so they gave us another one.

We called my Mom’s brother and got directions to their place. We were farther from them than it’d hoped, but it wasn’t too bad. It was late afternoon, so we had time to go over.

The less said about the time with them, the better. It was nice to see cousins I’d not seen for over twenty years. Plus we got rid of the 5 big boxes of Christmas decorations that had been in the back since the trip started. But there was melodrama that I really didn’t enjoy at all.

I will say that another high point of the trip was the Deepwater Diner, a couple of miles from the hotel we were staying at. We drove by it on the way to the hotel and it looked quaint, so we tried it. We had dinner there, and breakfast the next three days. Maybe another dinner too. Great diner food, insanely huge portions at insanely low prices. I got veal Parmesan, and it overflowed the plate. Seriously, it looked like it was a foot in diameter. When we weren’t having a meal there, we were having leftovers from meals there. Our last meal there was special.

Read Full Post »

September 28 (Tuesday)

We got up and had our half sandwiches for breakfast, and availed ourselves of the continental breakie the hotel had. It was dingy again, but I hoped it would get better. We were going to be driving through Pennsylvania, my parent’s home state. They’d taken me to Philadelphia, where they were from, but I hadn’t seen any other part of the state. Now I was going to drive from the western border all the way to Allentown, and then past Philadelphia, so I was looking forward to the scenery.

Not so scenic. What I found out later was that we were driving through the remnants of Jeanne. Even driving incredibly out of the way, we still couldn’t escape her.

– near Wal-Mart in Washington

Wheeling is in the north part of West Virginia that spikes up between Ohio and Pennsyvania. It’s very narrow (about 15 miles wide), so we were in Pennsylvania very quickly. We needed gas, so we got off the interstate in Washington and filled up at a Sam’s Club. I drove nearly the entire length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike after that. No, take that back. Mom did drive the first hour or so, then couldn’t handle it. We pulled over at a service plaza (just like on the Florida Turnpike) and switched. It was rainy and dreary, with stretches of construction that made the driving even more dreadful. It was, hands down, the worst day of the trip.

– Roadside America

And yet, there was a high point. Since I heard about it, I wanted to see Roadside America in Shartlesville. It was an old style tourist attraction, like some of the stuff in Florida. It was right on the way, about a half hour before Allentown. We got there late in the afternoon, not long before their closing time. Once inside, I was in heaven. It was the perfect tacky tourist place. They had stuff like t-shirts, a Ferris wheel model, Pennsylvania Dutch trinkets, New Age jewelry, and statuettes of the Infant of Prague. I was especially proud to recognize the Infant of Prague. All those years of Catholic school didn’t go to waste.

I didn’t think it could get better, until I found I could go into the Miniature Village.

Oh, how to describe it. It’s an 8,000 square foot train set, with little towns along the whole route. There were buttons spaced along the perimeter. Press one; a mini-balloon goes up and down. Press another and cars drive around. I must’ve said “Wow” over 50 times. It was like the model train equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate room. And to cap it all off, the lights dimmed at the end and they played a recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America“. I came out and felt like I was floating.

Before getting back on the interstate, we stopped at a restaurant that was a couple blocks from Roadside America. I don’t remember what we had, but I think it was good. I do remember the pie display and wishing I liked pie, ’cause they looked good.

Back on the interstate and to Allentown. We got there after dark. Well, it was after 6, but with the clouds it was like it was night. We drove around and Mom kept thinking I’d be lost, but I didn’t. That was one of the times she would talk about afterwards, telling people that she was so amazed I could find my way like I did. Dad was an Army Air Corps navigator in WWII, so maybe there’s something to be said for genetic memory. Anyway, we found a hotel and checked in. it was the most expensive one we’d stayed at, about 100 dollars a night. Just about every other hotel on the trip was around 50 a night. But the day had been so hellacious, we didn’t want to spend more time hunting, so we went with what we had. Checking the weather, we found out that not only had we been driving through the remnants of Jeanne, but Allentown was being hit with some of the worst of those remnants. Be sure that I was happy to crash into bed that night.

Read Full Post »

September 27 (Monday)

The day started out drab and overcast. It might have been the fringes of the fringes of Jeanne. No matter, I had a full day of activities in mind. It didn’t rain, so we were fine.

We got up about 7, which was typical. My inner clock was set to wake up early because of work, which was great for the trip, since we got a good full day in.

Granville Inn

We went to Granville first, because I wanted to see the Granville Inn. It’s a Tudor-style building made of sandstone, which is an unusual combination. It works, though, since it’s been there for over 80 years. There was a covered area with chairs out front, so there must’ve been a party or wedding either the day before or later that day.

Next we headed east to Newark. At this point, I know where we went, but not the exact order. So I’ll do it as best I can.

Great Circle wall

Inside the Great Circle

Great Circle Earthworks, part of the Newark Earthworks. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the Mound Builders. They were a Native American culture that spanned the middle part of the United States. They built huge earthworks all over the place, shaped like serpents and animals and such. They were the closest thing that North America had to the Mayans and Incans and Egyptians and other ancient large monument creators. Imagine how surprised I was to find out a major creation of theirs was in Newark.

We found it and drove around it once. There wasn’t easy parking I could find. I finally went down a side street next to it and parked by the roadside. Mom sat in the car playing electronic poker while I explored. The Great Circle is about 10 feet high and surrounds an area of over 30 acres. I remember walking inside the Circle and feeling the weight of centuries. It was so quiet and peaceful. I wish I could have stayed there for hours, but places to go, things to do. I soaked it in as long as I could.

Licking County Courthouse
Twain statue outside Midland Theater

Downtown Newark. Some of the highlights were the Licking County Courthouse (very stately), a Mark Twain bronze statue outside the Midland Theater, and the downtown in general. I think I’d have spent more time if it had been sunnier.

Japanese Garden at Dawes Arboretum

Hedge Lettering at Dawes Arboretum

Last but certainly not least, Dawes Arboretum. I can recall thinking I didn’t want to leave Mom in the car alone for another stretch while I wandered around. Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue. The Arboretum was over 1,500 acres, and there was a scenic drive path through it. There were a couple of spots where I got out and roamed, but it wasn’t for long. It was great to be able to share that with Mom. It was also another spot where I really felt I wasn’t in Florida, with the fir trees and other northern plants.

And it was free. So was Great Circle. And wandering around downtown Newark. A great day with neat sites, and not a penny spent. Sometimes the best things in life are free.

Ye Olde Mill
Mom at Ye Olde Mill

Last but not least was something we had to pay for, but more than worth it. In the town of Utica to the north of Newark is the Velvet Ice Cream Company at Ye Olde Mill. When I found out how close it was, I couldn’t pass it up. We got there by early afternoon, and the sun had started to come out. What made it even better was that they were celebrating their 90th anniversary, so you know they had to be good. The waitresses kept with the olde tyme vibe, dressed in pioneer/pilgrim type outfits. They didn’t have only ice cream, but sandwiches too. Mom got a Reuben, and I got an Amish bologna sandwich. The only difference from regular bologna was that it was darker. We each only ate half our sandwiches, since we wanted to try the ice cream.

Ah the ice cream. We each chose the sampler, which was 3 scoops. We told them to surprise us, but I didn’t want mine to have any fruits or nuts. When our samplers were brought out, each of them had 5 scoops in a cup instead. Maybe to celebrate their 90th anniversary. Every one was yummy. Vanilla, mint, even pumpkin pie spice. Funniest to me was one of Mom’s, which she couldn’t figure out. I tried a little bit and told her it was strawberry. She argued with me, saying I didn’t like strawberry. I told her that was the point; I know what I don’t like. We asked the waitress, and she confirmed it was strawberry. Mom and I did laugh over it. We saved the half sandwiches that weren’t finished for possible dinner.

We left the Mill and headed east. It was hilly, but gradually so. That was one of the jokes after the Smokies. I would be mock scared at hills and road turns, but all were gradual. The route we took was scenic, and indirect, especially as a road detour took us out of the way. We wound up in Coshocton, and then I had a better idea of where to go. Got to I-77 and headed south until we caught I-70 east again. It was getting late, but in another hour crossed into West Virginia and reached my desired stopping point, Wheeling.

– Main Street in Wheeling

Wheeling at dusk

Ah, Wheeling. Definitely mountainy, but the roads were level, so I felt fine. We found a nice hotel and got two separate rooms. We’d been getting one room with two beds in each hotel we stayed at up until now. But I wanted a complete undisturbed night of sleep (Mom going to the bathroom would wake me), so we got two rooms. I’m glad we did, since the next day was grueling, and I needed all the rest I got.

Read Full Post »

September 26 (Sunday)

We got up early and were out of the hotel around 8 AM. Have I mentioned the weather? For almost the entire trip, it was cool in the morning and not too hot in the afternoon. This day was no exception. I drove over to the old hospital part of WebMD, just ’cause I wanted Mom to see it, and it wasn’t that much out of the way. Then we hopped onto I-65 and we were on our way.

Oddly, I can remember Mom and I talking about restaurants and shops we’d see in Florida that had branches elsewhere. I think it was seeing Outback and such like.

It’s only about 40 miles from Nashville to the Kentucky border, so we were out of Tennessee in no time. We stopped just after for our usual quick breakfast, at a McDonalds, I think.

– Dinosaur World

This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It was mostly clear skies, and the traffic was surprisingly light for an interstate. I could enjoy the scenery, and did. One surprise was later in the morning. I saw some sort of giant figures ahead just off the highway. Closer, and they were life-sized dinosaur statues, just like Dinosaur World outside of Tampa. Then I saw signs, and they said this exit for Dinosaur World! When I got home, I checked online. Indeed, it was the same business. I had no idea they had a park in Kentucky. Complete happenstance, which I’d likely never have discovered if we hadn’t gone in an unplanned direction. Story of my life.

We hit the outskirts of Cincinnati and the traffic thickened up. It was a bit confusing, but nowhere near as bad as Atlanta or Jacksonville. I waved to the west towards my boss in Indiana, then caught the exit to get on I-71 and we were in Ohio. I was tempted to take an offramp and drive around Cincinnati. But since I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to see, I decided to continue on.

Red Roof Inn near Newark

After another relaxing stretch, we skirted Columbus (the state capital) and headed west on I-70. In a way, this was like the first day. The plan was to keep driving until after 5 PM, then start looking for a hotel. I wanted to get to Wheeling, West Virginia, but by around 6 we were still a couple hours out from there. So we got off at one of the Newark exits, since we saw signs for a Red Roof Inn. It was quite nice, and they had plenty of available rooms. There was also a truck stop across the street (Petra, I think) that had a restaurant with a buffet, so we were set for dinner. In the hotel lobby, there were tourist brochures for the area. There were several things that caught my eye that gave me ideas for the next day.

By the way, during the trip we made the usual stops for gas and restrooms, but I won’t detail that. Mostly because I don’t remember the specifics. If there’s anything out of the ordinary, I’ll mention it.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »