Two-Thousand Miles in Two Days
Two seventeen-hour drives! They were separated by three days of lounging around and overeating, but still.
Here are a few thoughts about driving from Cleveland to Pensacola, Florida for the holidays. I'm too weary from wrestling with Blogger to write much else.
If I ruled the world, I'd get rid of most of the billboards on this trip (and everywhere else), although I'd probably keep the one advertising the Corvette Museum and the one for the Booby Boutique--somewhere in Alabama, I think. One of these days, I'm going to march right into the Booby Boutique and see what all the fuss is about.
And I'd do something about the exit signs that advertise places to eat. Much as I try to avoid chain-food restaurants, I acquiesced four times to Cracker Barrel, which is the least of the worst--although just barely, as you have to walk through that gagging miasma of scented stuff to get to your table. I gave in because it's too hard to drive all over the sides of the highway looking for a good local restaurant-- you can drive forever and fail to find anything, or you might even find something worse than a Burger King (Molly's Diner, somewhere in New York). But where are the local-food advocates at Exit 94? Why don't they put up some signs alerting travelers to places run by local folks? Why isn't there something like a AAA guide to good local food along America's highways?
We had a lovely three days visiting my husband's family in Pensacola. As all those southerners swarmed around his step-mother's house to swap stories, his accent became so pronounced that I could hardly understand him by the third day.
You know how you have assumptions and stereotypes about people in other parts of the country? I have them about Ohioans, because I grew up in California; I certainly have them about southerners-- everyone does, and they seem to revel in them themselves. And I always assume they have assumptions about me. I sometimes dangle my life in front of what I imagine to be my southern in-laws' perspective and wince at its frivolity, because many of them are, as they themselves say, country people-- not from a cushy suburb up north, which even locals call "The People's Republic of Cleveland Heights."
But on day two of our visit, we walked into JD's step-mother's house to find that it was pretty quiet. We asked about the whereabouts of Uncle Jimmy, a strapping beef farmer from a tiny town in Georgia.
He was off getting a pedicure and a massage. So much for my assumptions.