Up, Up, and Away

Over the river, through the woods
Away from grandma’s house we go
The “horse” knows the way
From sunny climes to cold and snow
On winding concrete ribbons
Past endless, hills, valleys
Numerous, strange-named places
Full of people we didn’t know
Luggage, packed, stowed away
Always more than the year before
Why has it always been that way?

Holiday Wrap Up 2017

The same post-Holiday concerns–extra pounds packed on, the long drive home, bad weather.

An hour-long traffic jam due to a horrendous car wreck. How could that BMW have gotten wedged under bridge supports in that manner? Could anyone have survived?

It was quite a contrast in weather conditions, between yesterday morning and today. Yesterday, with snow and ice–four degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus seven. Today, cloudy, with drizzle and forty degrees.

Nothing in the house to eat for breakfast. Off, to a nearby comfort food restaurant. Mountains of dirty laundry await.

All-in-all a good Christmas. Everyone in good health and good spirits. The good outweighed the bad.

Yesterday was filled with explanations, exclamations at bad drivers,  and stories that took way too long. Ploys to keep drivers awake on an 800 mile journey.

But Wait–There’s More…

Storms and rain for today, after a four-day stretch of fair weather.  It’s been an otherwise rainy summer–unusual for here in July and August.

Satellite TV is snapping on and off.  Which leads to the question of what to do on rainy days?  If I don’t go to my regular, Friday gym visit, I’ll be watching You Tube “how-to” videos all day.

It’s frustrating when things don’t work.  You Tube videos featured mechanical and electronic dragon conquerors.  They made repairs look easy.  Tempted me into thinking, that indeed, I too, could possibly attempt such tasks–emphasis on the word attempt.

One such You Tube channel discussed the quality, or lack of, in today’s RV trailers.  Had quality slipped since RV trailers had been lightened, because of more fuel-efficient towing vehicles?

From my experience, quality was never that great before.  I’ve found staples through electric wires from assembly errors, faulty voltage converters, roof leaks, among other things.

My advice–buy a quality product from a reputable dealer.  I agreed, that anyone contemplating the RV lifestyle, should carry along a basic tool and repair kit.  Mechanical aptitude would also be helpful.

No matter how bored I become today.  There’s nothing in my imagination that will top the weirdness of yesterday’s headline–“NASA seeks applicants to protect us from aliens.”  Be wary–they may already be here.

Moving Ahead

Getting ready for a trip out of town. It’s supposed to rain as much as ten inches in the next three days because of a tropical weather system.

That’s making for additional preparations. Should I take umbrellas, rain ponchos? A towel to dry off our two mutts that always travel with us? All of these will be likely be taken.

A new pet barrier was installed between the two front seats in the car. Our dogs are too big to be lap dogs while driving. Maggie will probably still poke her nose behind it–as she tends to get bored easily.

Hoping the rain slacks off as we head northward. Some cooler weather, would also be nice.

Thank Goodness That’s Over

Get there.  Get back.  Too much of that has gone on in 2016.  I’ve felt like over-the-road truck drivers must feel.

I appreciate the convenience afforded by technology, but don’t trust it as much as some folks do.  There’s no substitute for self-reliance.  This is leading up to a rant about GPS routing.

Every trip to St. Louis and my GPS suggests going through Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  In miles, it is a shorter distance.  The Monday before Christmas, beaten down by GPS for a number of years–we gave in.

Elapsed time was about the same.  Carefree interstate cruising it was not.  Too many towns, stop lights, winding two-lane highways, for my tastes.  One sudden stop in a nameless Mississippi town, sent the cargo sliding forward, and the cargo barrier landed on top of our two mutts.  It took an extra stop to calm the dogs–who were ready to bail out.

My second tech rant is about my laptop computer.  Due to a glitch, I had no internet when I was out-of-town.  My laptop, for whatever reason, decided it no longer wished to link up to Wi-Fi. One of my tech-savvy relatives got it back on-line the last day.

An observation–it seemed the state of Texas was overrepresented on the highways yesterday.  South Carolina and Georgia deserved honorable mentions.  There was plenty of time to take an unofficial poll, while caught in a 30 mile traffic jam.  Not that I wished to cast any of those states in a negative light.







If I’m Lying, I’m Dying (Stop Me If You’ve Heard–Or Don’t Like Really Long Titles)

There’s comfort in the familiar.  On every trip “home” for the Holidays, GPS insists on routing through Mississippi, Tennessee, then Kentucky.  I ignore it for the first part of the journey–it’s been a tradition for several decades.

Four hours to Birmingham, two more hours to Nashville, then another five hours.  Rest stops, unforeseen traffic delays, add another hour or more.

Why, now, have rush-hour delays in Birmingham and Nashville become unacceptable?  Except, for the first 45 miles, it’s all interstate highway.  Google maps promised to cut an hour off the trip. The prospect of new routing at 4 am departure time is less than thrilling.

Leftovers from Thanksgiving: Why did three major St. Louis Metro grocery chains not carry my favorite orange juice with pulp?  Yes, I like my orange juice lumpy and pulpy.  Different strokes.

The same three major chains did not carry “Grands” frozen biscuits–the pre-formed, patted out kind, unlike the ones in a tin.  They taste better, have a more flaky texture–almost like the ones grandma made from scratch.  Maybe I’ll take my own OJ and biscuits with me next time?  That’ll show ’em.

Red Delicious Apples

After yesterday’s dismal road food, it was a complete turn-around at a familiar favorite restaurant in my old neighborhood.  The restaurant’s name is similar to the title.

“Under the apple tree,” would be a good guess.  After fifteen years, neighborhoods change.  The neighborhood’s all grown up now.  It’s a little more congested than before.

City planners–that silly traffic circle, serving the state highway and one subdivision entrance street–what’s up with that?

Breakfast was wonderful.  Good service, great food, at reasonable prices.  The parking lot was crowded; that was a familiar good sign.

Road Food & Other Evils

The twelve-hour journey home, began at four AM, Memorial Day morning.  Completed with only two stops for coffee, road food, fuel, and restrooms.

Most traffic headed north–away from resort areas.  In this case it was good to go against the grain.

Fast food for breakfast, hasn’t improved–if anything, has gotten worse.  Nothing like dry  breakfast sandwiches washed down with scalding hot, boiler room coffee, and watered down orange juice.

The most unusual thing that happened?  There were no traffic tie-ups in Nashville.  That’s never happened before.  Birmingham, AL, you’re slipping.  When’s that road construction on the north side going to be done?

My birth state of Illinois–failed in my book.  Mt. Vernon, IL has had construction on its stretch of I-57 for the last fifteen years, if not longer.  State Route 15, over Richland Creek, in Belleville, IL was still torn-up, with only two of four lanes usable.  The former Soviet Union had five-year plans, but this was ridiculous.  Carbondale and Marion, IL–you were looking good–smooth sailing.

No more gripes.  Home at last.  Hope you had a happy and meaningful Memorial Day celebration.