Tag Archives: road trip

When my husband says let’s go for a ride….

 

You never know where you’ll end up. Pre Covid 19… it was usually worth the effort.

Now?

 

 

Not so much.

The man drove a half an hour… for water.

Why?

Because his office threw out a water cooler. Need I say more?

We arrived, and I elected to sit in the car. A girl can only stand so much excitement. But I was waiting… and waiting… and finally had to check the progress.

Never having been to a water store, I’m by no means an expert. But I’m guessing the water you’re paying for…

 

 

The highly purified water?

 

 

Isn’t supposed to be on the floor.

After he talked to the machine and they came to an understanding….

 

 

All was well.

 

 

And now the big barn has clean cold water by the door.

Will the husband ever drink it? Probably not, but don’t miss the point.

The machine was free.

 

Day 16…. the trip home.

 

As we were leaving the resort for the 12 hour plus drive home, I found this behind a door.

 

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Clearly the previous tenants vacationed in the coat closet and didn’t want to be disturbed.

And yes, you read that correctly. This will be my last blog about the Williamsburg, Virginia vacation.

 

 

To think it only took me 60 posts to get here!

So…. it was a grey overcast morning the day we left.

 

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And I have absolutely no idea what this was.

 

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But here’s the Washington Monument….

 

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And the entrance to a tunnel.

 

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Was my husband obeying the speed limit?

No.

 

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He never does, but when you’re riding in a rental Brontosaurus and the lanes get smaller due to construction? My blood pressure ruses when he approaches 100 mph.

 

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I also look out the side window a lot.

 

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Although it’s hard to focus properly at that speed.

 

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Playing with my phone helps…

 

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As does laughing at some slightly painful road names.

 

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Here’s the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

 

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And the toll ticket that cut off our George Washington Bridge exit price on the bottom.

 

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For those of you who have never seen the New York City skyline on an overcast day from the New Jersey Turnpike at 90 mph?

 

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Here you go.

 

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Next up was the George Washington Bridge, where I usually close my eyes and pray to the God of Tequila that I’ll live to see another margarita.

 

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Ironically… as soon as I started filming, the husband slowed down. Which is a good thing since the roads were potholed and in horrible shape.

 

 

Traffic was a nightmare.

 

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But it always is.

 

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And every time we pass these massive apartment complexes….

 

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I realize how blessed we are to  live in the country.

 

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Was this water blowing off the top of that truck?

No. It was smoke, because something was probably on fire. When we crept up next to it and signaled the driver there was a problem?

He flipped us off.

 

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Ya gotta love New Yorkers.

 

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The rest of the trip was long, traffic laden and uneventful.

We were even too pooped to make our normal pit stop at the tax free New Hampshire liquor store.

 

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Technically I took a few more…. but still.

Why is sitting in car doing absolutely nothing for 13 hours so damn tiring?

 

Day 12…. otherwise known as Christmas.

 

So we got up bright and early to make the almost 5 hour drive down to North Carolina.

 

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                                                         Required Christmas selfie.

 

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And as we were walking down the sidewalk of our resort it struck me…..

 

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I might not be the only one who cursed my husband’s choice of the behemoth rental car.

It was an uneventful trip.

 

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But we saw lots of cotton.

 

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Really, a whole lot of cotton.

 

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And absolutely nothing else. Nothing for miles and miles… except cotton… and I was starting to sweat the steadily dropping level of gasoline.

Behemoths be thirsty.

I also took issue with Apple maps when the GPS put us in the middle of a National Forest and told us to turn around.

 

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WTF?

When the rental beast was pretty much running on fumes, we finally found a service station to fill it…. and us, since we skipped breakfast. The only choice was Subway, where I ordered a rotisserie chicken wrap and managed to leak half of the sauce on my blouse resulting in a large greasy stain.

My first words upon arrival in N.C. weren’t “Merry Christmas!”  but….. “Let me raid your closet.”

 

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My second words were “What you would like to drink?”  as I unpacked my carton of holiday cheer.

Destiny chose a bottle to match her sweater, because coordination is everything.

 

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We gave them our gifts…. and Gracie liked the books.

 

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Though I think she liked the pig a little bit more.

 

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We spent time with our daughter of the heart’s step children, John being home on leave from the Army.

 

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As you can see they aren’t young enough to be hers…. because like me, she married an older man. Which her mother thinks I’m responsible for and never lets me forget, but hey.

It worked for me.

 

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An old Marine Corps buddy of the husband’s came with us….  and it was a laid back country Christmas with lots of love and laughter.

A few highlights:

 

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My bartending skills were highly rated.

 

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And strange toys were questioned.

Does a llama really need to shake her booty?

But more importantly, why was this horror voted toy of the year in Australia?

Watch  the bizarre commercial that looks like a Saturday Night Live skit  and decide for yourself.

 

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Numerous pictures were taken.

 

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Some with prominently placed bows. (These may have been alcohol induced)

 

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Rick posed with his namesake shirt.

 

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Dogs with serious underbites begged for treats from a wonderful brown sugar glazed  ham dinner I completely devoured and forgot to photograph.

Sorry Martin.

Blame the carton of alcohol, not me.

 

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Animated discussions of politics took place….. (Which might also have been alcohol induced)

 

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But my husband smiled wider and laughed more than he has in a while, and that made my heart full.

 

Then before we were ready, it was time to say goodbye.

Hugs and tears….

 

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And we were back on the road.

For the longest almost 5 hour trip ever.

 

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The only bright spot?

 

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This house…

 

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That gave new meaning to the term holiday decorating.

 

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Truly an extravaganza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6…. The Outer Banks, Jerky, and Dirty Dicks.

 

During the 17 years we lived in North Carolina, we never managed to make it to the Outer Banks… though not for lack of trying on my part. So on Day 6 of this vacation? A three hour road trip.

 

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Past the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Hampton Roads…

 

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The largest coal exporting port in the country.

And if you think it’s pretty? Just imagine how nice it smells….

 

 

Yes. Kind of like that.

 

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Over and through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel…

And past some tempting tourist attractions.

 

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Is it shocking we didn’t stop?

 

 

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No.

It is not.

 

 

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One more very long bridge later….

 

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And we were there.

 

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The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

200 miles of beach.

 

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Where the wind was so fierce it was blowing said beach right across the road when we got there.

It had been a mild 48 degrees in Williamsburg, but here?

It felt like minus 12.

 

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Beachfront condos and rentals were everywhere.

 

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And in every color you can imagine.

 

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Neighbor’s roof blocking your view?

No worries, just build a deck on yours.

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how little property they can build on these days. Our town has a 3 acre minimum….

At the Outer Banks? It must be 3 inches.

And though we were getting hungry for lunch…

 

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Awful Arthur’s was closed.

Damn… and I really wanted to see how awful it was.

But since we have a good friend named Richard, who is sometimes called Dick?

 

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We had to.

 

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

I got my crabs from Dirty Dicks.

 

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My She Crab soup that is….

 

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And my hushpuppies….

 

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And my Ocean Blue Margarita in a disappointing plastic cup as they had run out of funny bar glasses…. or so we thought.

 

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I’m not a Bloody Mary fan…. but that looks like a meal in itself.

 

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The husband had mussels and lamented over not getting a glass for his collection.

(Oh, did I tell you? Along with all the other ridiculous pieces of crap things he collects… he has now decided to acquire a glass from every fun bar or restaurant we visit.)

Did this place qualify as fun?

I don’t know….

 

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But with fried potato salad on the menu it definitely qualified as southern.

Finished eating, the husband asked the waitress to rinse out the plastic cups so he could bring them home to our friend as a joke…. which is when she pointed to us to their entire store of Dirty Dick merchandise.

We should have known.

But it was too good to pass up and we bought him a hat, a t shirt and a bumper sticker for Christmas.

(P.S… He loved them)

 

 

 

 

The road, the bridge, the resort… and geese. Lots and lots of geese.

 

Day 2 began with us leaving the tackiest Holiday Inn in America and me vowing never to let my husband plan any part of a trip ever again.

Leaving Delaware we crossed into Maryland, where we passed through an interesting  town.

 

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Seriously…. it’s a place.

Matter of fact, I know quite a few people who should live there.

And if you’ve ever wondered if Maryland is considered the south?

 

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When you grow cotton in your front yard? Yes.

It’s the south.

Next up?

 

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  A marvel of engineering that we hadn’t been over in 20 years.

 

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Yes, it costs $18 to cross…

 

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But it’s the world’s largest bridge tunnel complex and spans 17.6 miles.

 

 

If you’ve never done it?

 

 

You should.

 

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On the other side is Virginia Beach.

 

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Many more tunnels…

 

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And this bizarre looking building. Any native Virginians know what it is?

Blah, blah, blah…. husband speeding, me taking pictures, we arrive at our temporary home for our first week in Williamsburg.

After proving our reservation at the security gate, we entered the Historic Powhatan Resort.

 

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May I just say? Wow.

Though I always thoroughly research the time share resorts where we stay and try to book the best places, you never really know what you’ll find.

This time?

I nailed it.

 

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256 acres of natural beauty…. and geese.

 

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Quiet, peaceful open spaces…. and geese.

 

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Ponds, fountains… and geese.

 

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We drove around for quite a while just taking it in, before even looking for our unit.

 

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Did I mention there’s a Manor House dating to 1735?

 

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The land was originally a plantation, and they’ve done a beautiful job restoring the place.

 

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Did I mention there were geese?

 

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Geese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for a vacation smackdown?

 

You had 2 days off in between trips… and I threw in some Bambi pics as well. Are we good?

Good!

I admit I might have gone a little overboard with the Williamsburg, Virginia vacation photos this time…. like 3,089 pics overboard.

So sue me.

It was a fabulous trip, a marvelous Christmas and a wonderful place to explore. What can I say? When I’m old and feeble I’ll enjoy looking back on them all. (If I can remember why there are so many pictures of rocks…. and who that strange man is of course.)

Time to fasten your seat belts and loosen your pants!

The trip starts now.

 

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Okay… but fair warning, that may not be until June.

Not wanting to put the miles and wear and tear on my car, we rented one. Well, I rented one. A mid size SUV like I always do… but when we arrived at the lot, they didn’t have any and had to upgrade us to luxury.

Cool beans!

We could pick the Audi or the Infiniti.

So what did my husband pick?

 

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The Chevy Suburban.

 

 

Which happens to be the biggest, thirstiest, most annoying  lumbering behemoth vehicle ever made. A nightmare to park. A horror show for short people like me to board. A useless third row seat we didn’t need and couldn’t figure out how to fold down. Gas stations? We dreaded the mere sight of them after a few days. So why did my spouse choose it?

Because it was big.

And he’s a man.

Enough said.

Our trip from Maine started out like this:

 

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With buckets of the same for the first few states.

 

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When we were nearing Hartford, Connecticut it let up, but we hit road construction….

 

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And this rather precarious way of shoring up of the highway made me cringe.

 

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I guess I should be glad they didn’t use duct tape, but still.

 

 

Next up was my least favorite part of the trip….

 

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New York City.

Don’t get me wrong, I was born and raised in New Jersey… I can hang. But riding shotgun with my  (leadfooted, 2 centimeters from the car in front of us, switch lanes like it’s the Indy 500)  husband…. in the Black Brontosaurus?

Would test Ironman’s nerves.

 

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Though I can honestly say it’s the only time in my life I’m thankful for bumper to bumper traffic.

 

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Reduce speed?

 

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I don’t think that’s possible.

I’d post some great pics of our trip over the famous George Washington bridge, but the husband always takes the upper truck level…. so basically this was my view:

 

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But here’s one peek through the fog.

 

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After the bridge? It’s New Jersey…

 

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And the swamps they built the Meadowlands on.

 

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If you’ve ever wondered where Tony Soprano and his boys dumped the bodies?

It would be here.

 

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Oil refineries aside, you have to admit that the foul, smoggy New Jersey air does make for a dramatic sky.

Onward through the evening we drove, with the husband choosing our route. If you know me…. you know I’m type A and like to plan. Letting him pick a spot for us to spend the night was torture, but I sucked it up and endured.

I endured him picking a random town in Delaware because he liked the name, Red Lion.

Did Red Lion, Delaware have any hotels you ask?

No.

It did not.

And trust me, we drove around for almost an hour trying to find one even though I Googled it and came up empty. We did however find this:

 

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A Christmas extravaganza house that was blocking traffic.

 

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I can barely keep 2 reindeer lit… WTH?

After admitting defeat, the husband drove another 40 minutes to Dover, Delaware and pulled into the first Holiday Inn he saw.

 

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I had my doubts when I saw the lounge was decorated in early bordello. Yes… satin furniture and rhinestone encrusted mirrors.

Thankfully our room was toned down from that…

 

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But it did have some interesting features.

 

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Mainly, the lighting.

 

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Is it me?

 

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Or did this over the bathroom sink fixture look like deer hooves?

 

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Come on…

There’s no reasonable Martha Stewart explanation for that.

 

 

And while this corner lamp reminded me of my mother and her pull down hair dryer of the 1960’s…..

 

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It was these over the bed reading lamps that were a little too proctology/gynecology themed for my taste.

 

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And don’t get me started on the art work.

 

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Really, don’t.

What the…. what?

So ends day one.

(And before you start screaming Martin…. road trips with my husband consist of a McDonalds lunch eaten in the car doing 90 mph and a perfectly horrible turkey dinner at a Bob Evans next to the hotel late that night. Neither were photo worthy!)

 

We interrupt your normally scheduled program…

 

So I hope you’ve been enjoying my White Mountain vacation series. I know I tend to go a little overboard with the pictures, but what can I say?

 

 

I’ll have you know it took me an entire week to wade through the 1704 shots I’d taken and distill it down to a reasonable essence.

Alright… yes.

The essence is going to run halfway through December, but just think how long it would have gone on if I hadn’t distilled.

 

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Sorry, that was harsh.

Khaled had me feeling a little street.

Anyhoo… the reason for this post?

Remember when I told you we were going to have to cram a few vacations in before the end of the year because the husband wasn’t retiring? Well, good news! We just finished vacation week number two and are probably on the road returning from Cape Cod as you read this.

 

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Yup.

That means another tsunami of photographs from our coastal Massachusetts adventures.

 

 

Nope.

Sorry, I can’t.

Hard to believe that in all the years I’ve lived in New England, I’ve never visited that region…. and though we’re going off season, I’m sure we had a blast. My plan was to hop the car ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard as well but we’ll play that by ear as I don’t know their winter schedule.

So sit back and enjoy the (virtual) ride.

 

 

Because you followed me, silly.

Now pay the price and enjoy the modern version of your 1950’s neighbor’s slide show.