Saturday, January 31, 2009

on the road again..blah blah something rhyming with "again"

greetings from baltimore!

(actually, i'm about half an hour or so away, but i figure it's close enough to call it.)

i've road-tripped up here this weekend to see my sibling and attend some of the edgar allan poe bicentennial festivities. john astin will be making an appearance (he's doing a tribute to poe", and i'm wondering if he'll kiss my arm if i say something to him in french.

i took a lot of notes during the trip up, thinking i could use them for a post, but

a. i'm too lazy to go outside and grab the notepad out of my car and

b. since i scribbled while driving, i'm not sure i could read my semi-legible chicken scratch anyway.

so, here's what i recall:

10:10 am: after two trips back inside my apartment, it appears that i've thrown everything i need into my car and i can finally leave. unfortunately, i've also determined during the two trips back inside that pepto-bismol will be riding shotgun today. on the bright side, this could provide invaluable information to other travelers regarding the number of rest areas along I-95.

10:35 am: after visiting two banks (the bosses' and my own), i am finally heading out on the highway. (unfortunately, "born to be wild" is not on my ipod, so i'm settling for "don't worry, be happy" instead.

10:40 am: i'm doing 80 in the passing lane, and this black mustang is practically in my backseat. i finish passing the 18-wheeler on my right, and mutter something under my breath about hoping the speed demon gets pulled.

10:55 am: pass my first cop. the speed demon got pulled.

11:10 am: pass my second through fourth cops. they've pulled over an suv, and it looks like they're dismantling it. can't decide whether they're looking for drugs, illegal aliens, or weapons of mass destruction.

11:15 am: merge onto I-95 from I-20. resolve to count the number of south of the border billboards between here and the border. unfortunately, this is my most quickly broken resolution ever, as five minutes later, i miss a few while counting cops 5-7, who are pulled over with two suvs. there does not appear to have been an accident, and neither of the suvs are being dismantled, and while i pondered this, i probably missed a couple more signs. drat.

11:50ish am: pass south of the border. were i not already running a little late, i'd stop and take pictures with the gnomes.

12:30-3:30 pm: drive to richmond. pass a couple more cops, including one who pulled a car over just past the turnoff for a rest area. (so much for the "sorry, officer, but i really have to pee" excuse....)

stop three times at rest areas and once for gas. observe that there's a sign on the back of the gas station restroom door that offers a free drink if the bathroom's dirty. the bathroom is actually fairly clean, though i'm mildly concerned about the lack of privacy, as there are no walls separating the two toilets from each other or the sink area. also, it seems that the throne i've selected doubles as a thrill ride. you know those little caps that cover the bolts at the base of the toilet? they're are the bolts. that should be good for a free drink or bag of sunchips or something......

3:30 pm: arrive in richmond. follow mapquest's directions to a spot near (because mapquest doesn't always deliver you to the front door) the maggie l. walker national historic site. i'm thrilled, because only one u-turn was involved.

3:30-4:30 pm: after the informative 11-minute video, tour the exhibits and mrs. walker's home. hers is a real "rags to riches" story- freeborn daughter of a former slave and an irishman (by the way, they couldn't marry, because interracial marriages were illegal in virginia at the time) graduates from high school at 16, marries at 19, becomes the first woman to found a chartered bank, as well as the oldest bank continuously run by african americans, becomes wealthy enough to not only own her own home, but to nearly triple its size and, when she became confined to a wheelchair, added an elevator to it. oh- and, as i found out, she converted her carriage-house into a garage, which held her packard automobile.

6:00ish pm: merge onto the beltway. (I-495 N)

6:30ish pm: enjoying the crawling traffic on the beltway, only because i'm catching a friend's radio show on 99.5.

6:50 pm: merge back onto I-95. still can't figure out why traffic was crawling. there was one tow truck the entire time. no hovering spaceships or busted armored cars.......go figure.

7:05 pm: arrive at sibling's house. congratulate self on finding it the first time and not having to call for rescue. (though, to be fair, i had mama on the phone, and i can't say she didn't guide me in.)

total number of cops seen: 10

total number of rest areas visited: three

total number of pepto chewables (i think i still prefer the liquid) chewed: 4

total driving time: 7:45 (take that, mapquest! so much for your 8:15!)

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