Guilty Pleasures

We got up and left the hotel in Darien, Georgia at 9:05 this morning, without partaking in the free breakfast. We did that because this is a scheduled day of “Guilty Pleasures”…food wise that is!

Our plan was to drive for about 3 hours, and get to Florence, South Carolina a little after 12 noon. A perfect time to partake in Guilty Pleasure #1…lunch at Arbys!

Unfortunately, the nearest Arby’s to us in Ocean City, is down in Cape May Courthouse on Route 9, and it’s someplace we’ve never eaten. Easier to partake when we are on the road, and find one right off an exit of I-95. We’ve decided that if we leave the cheese off the roast beef sandwich, it’s a lot easier to eat! Lets just say, we enjoyed it!

A lot of I-95 was two lanes today, which although more scenic, is kind of a pain if you run into slow drivers who roadblock the left lane, or trucks passing slower trucks.

We did a total of 426 miles today, one of our two long days of driving till we are home in Ocean City. Since I slept 8 1/2 hours last night (according to my FitBit), I had no problem driving a good hour and a half out of the hotel this morning. Susie and I have always shared driving, switching pretty much every hour to hour and a half, and it works great for us. We think that, combined with all the weekends we did the Mineola to Ocean City and back trip, make driving in the car relatively easy for us. We did however lose at least a half hour because of horrible traffic. We stopped and then crawled for miles because they are re-building the bridge over the Great Pee Dee River. It seems to me, that when we went to Florida last year, the same thing happened on the southbound side. Oh well, the Great Pee Dee River didn’t look like some place you’d like to walk across!

825C067C-31B5-4A3B-B13D-A58187C4D138We’ve seen in the news, and via friends on Facebook, that the recent Nor’easter (and no…it doesn’t have a name! The Weather Channel is not who names storms! Stupid hype!) did some major damage in many areas, and that many are still without power, and will be for days. We were, therefore not surprised when we passed close to 3 dozen utility trucks heading north. We saw trucks from 3 or 4 companies, some in caravans, some all alone, but all heading north on I-95.

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We saw something else today, we haven’t seen in about 3 weeks….the Sonata’s temperature display reading in the 50s! Yikes!! Goodbye 70s and 80s, and good-bye to our shorts and capris! We did however compromise…Winter Pants with Summer Shoes!

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So, now that we are safely in the Hampton Inn in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, it’s time for guilty pleasure #2 of the day, and it’s right across the parking lot!

Sorry, we don’t eat here often, in fact, the last time was 3+ weeks ago, when we were in Roanoke Rapids, and had our first dinner of our trip, in this exact Cracker Barrel. Call it book ends, if you will, but it’s one of our Guilty Pleasures, that we try to do a couple of times, when we are on the road. Tonight’s special was Chicken and Rice, which we had. Add a couple of iced teas, some vegetables (Susie had corn and fried okra and I had their delicious green beans and fried okra) and their biscuits, and it’s dinner for under $30! Who knows when we will be dining with them again????

While we were eating, Susie saw a number of utility trucks go by the restaurant. Here are just a few that are our neighbors tonight!

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This is the last night of our trip, and therefore our last night in a hotel, as tomorrow night we will be sleeping in our own bed at 854 Pennlyn Place. No Innkeepers Club (I believe that’s Susie), no bartenders (that would be me), and no fancy meal (Chinese Take Out??). Google maps says we’ve got about 380 miles to home tomorrow, but we have a detour to make. We will be stopping in Columbia, Maryland, and have lunch with Krissi’s boyfriend Mike’s parents, Paula and Jerry. We haven’t seen them since we were guests at their house for Hanukkah, and we’re looking forward to seeing them, but looking forward to getting home too! It’s been a great trip, but hell, now that it’s cold, we’d rather be in Ocean City… sitting by the fireplace, catching up on some TV shows. (We rarely turn on TV while on vacation!) Of course, we will have to unpack, do laundry, and go food shopping, but no rush…hell, we are retired!

You may not hear from us tomorrow, but rest assured, we will get back to you and wrap up what has been for us, a wonderful trip to Summer!

Have a good night!

 

We’ll Follow The Sun

Well, we promised, and we always try to live up to our promises, so welcome to the Quality Inn, right on the side of I-95, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina!

After stopping at the Acme on 8th and West to buy 4 weeks of Lottery Tickets, (you gotta be in it to win it, right?) we drove over the 9th Street Bridge, and left Ocean City about 10:30 this morning. In the course of traveling today, we drove through New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and ended the day in North Carolina. We stopped for lunch a little after noon at an Arbys in Maryland, which was a real treat for us, because there aren’t any close to Ocean City. About 7 hours after leaving, and having traveled just under 400 miles, we exited I-95 at Exit 173, just south of the Virginia/North Carolina border. The drive was good, traffic was not bad at all (even passing Washington, DC), and now the temperatures are in the 50s, not the 30s or 20s!! Definitely a good day on the road for us!

25E51C3A-80C8-4E73-9CEC-6D02B67D05D8We’re in the last room on the left side of the Quality Inn, and what to our wondering eyes should we see, but a Cracker Barrel restaurant just across the parking lot! Sorry if you don’t agree, but when we are on the road, eating dinner at a Cracker Barrel is one of our guilty pleasures! What could be a better way to start our journey!

 

So after a short walk, we joined folks from Roanoke Rapids, and refugees from I-95, for some iced tea, and a great Cracker Barrel meal! Perfect way to start the first day of this road trip!

Candle Light Cracker Barrel style, and Chicken Fried Steak

and Chicken Fried Chicken

Now we’re back in our room, Susie is in her jammies, I’m writing a few lines for today’s blog, and we are celebrating this first successful night with a little vodka on the rocks! We are nothing, if not predictable!

So, to paraphrase the Beetles, “But tomorrow it’s still winter up north, so we’ll follow the sun!” Night, night.

 

Day Sixty One – Thursday, October 20, 2016

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The evening of day Sixty One (I really can’t believe it, even though I just typed it) finds us at a Holiday Inn Express in Troutville, Virginia, having traveled 354 miles since we left Cookeville, Tennessee this morning. We had a lazy morning, sleeping in a little and skipping breakfast, and left the hotel a little after 10 AM. We gassed up and hit the Interstate, and although we did change from I-40 to I-81, we spent the entire day on the Interstate Highway System. Lunch consisted of cheese crackers and some packs of cookies from the food bag that’s been on the floor of the back seat since Day 1. Tonight’s blog is going to be a short one, as we really don’t have a lot to share with you.

This Holiday Inn Express is a first for us, having never stayed in one before, even though I did join the club, and have had the app on my phone since we left home. The hotel is nice and the room is large, but really looks like it could use some more furniture! Oh well, it’s got all we need, and that’s what’s important! Oh, another first tonight at check in…my Wells Fargo Visa card didn’t work! Now mind you, I have used this card virtually every day of the last two months we have been on the road. I have charged hotels in 22 states, and have used it in 3 foreign countries on the cruise. In the last 4 days, I have used it in Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, but tonight in Virginia, it wasn’t accepted! As soon as the man handed it back to me, I knew why. Even though I have used it all over the United States in the last 2 months, when I filled out the list online of where I was going to use it, I bet I didn’t say “Virginia”. Computers can’t think! Oh well, that’s the good thing about my American Express card…it works everywhere!

Now that we are traveling in more populated areas in the country, there is much more traffic on the Interstates, including more trucks. I remember back when you would always hear that long haul truckers, were the best drivers on the road. Sadly, I think that’s no longer the case. I fear, like with so many other professions (Cab Driver, Waiter/Waitress, Bartender, etc), people are doing it because they need to work, not because they are “professional” truck drivers! We have had huge trucks cut us off, as we were about to pass them in the left lane. We had one truck pull into the left lane just in front of us, attempting to pass another slower truck, and doing this all while heading up a hill. The end result was we too got to take the hill at 45 MPH when the speed limit was 70! Don’t get me wrong, we have also seen plenty of nut jobs in cars, doing some incredible things on the Interstate. Perhaps it’s just the dumbing down of the American driver! Bottom line is, this ain’t no video game…a truck can do some real damage to you at 70 MPH on an Interstate, so your task is to not get too comfortable, and have 3 pairs of eyes!

As in all of our travels, our constant audio companion in the Sonota is Sirius/XM’s Margaritaville Radio. Today they played a song that made us think about our good friends Sue and Jim Waniak in Somers Point! Jim is a huge Phish Fan, and we have heard many concert stories from him over the years! We’ll see you soon, guys!!

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We are struck by how similar the countryside we have driven through the last two days, is to that which we know at home. Yesterday in Tennessee, Susie commented, “Looks like we’re approaching the Delaware Water Gap”. Today in Virginia we said, “Looks like upstate New York”. No beach, so we can’t say it looks like Ocean City, but it does have a familiar ring to it! Leaves are starting to change color here, even though it was 85 today, but not as much, I’m sure, as they have at home!

 

So, here’s a question for you…we came up behind, and then passed, this tanker truck today, and were trying to figure out what Dunkin Donuts might transport in it. If you have any clever ideas (our best was Donut Batter), why not put it in the comment section on Facebook, and we’ll see what everyone thinks!

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Tomorrow we already have a reservation in Allentown, Pennsylvania at a Homewood Suites for our final night on the road of Our Big Adventure! We could have made it home in one day from here, but since I’ve got a cold (and Susie sounds like she may be getting it), and we really don’t want to get back to New York on a weekday and fight the rush hour traffic on the LI Expressway, we figured we’d stay one more night! So our last night on the road will be Day 62 and we will return to Mineola mid afternoon Saturday, on day 63 of the trip! Believe me, if we could wiggle our nose and be home, we’d be there already, but based on how we feel, one more night seems about right for us!

Off to dinner shortly at Cracker Barrel.

Have a great night…see you tomorrow!

PS – While sitting on the porch at Cracker Barrel waiting for our table, we started talking to this gentleman. One thing led to another, and we discovered that we were both born in Physicians’ Hospital in Jackson Heights, NY a lifetime ago. Anyone who doesn’t believe we live in a small world, has never been out in it!