Specifically 1-95 traffic between Richmond and DC. It's terrible.
We've never encountered smooth sailing on that stretch of road; chances are we won't any time soon.
Traffic woes aside, I'm happy to report that Craig, Caroline and I had a nice Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina to visit with Craig's sister and her family. The trip on Thursday was effortless. Except for the fact that McDonald's wasn't open in some town with a name that I do not recall, on I-95 in Virginia, and we had to stand in a very long line to use the restroom in an OLD gas station. Now here's the thing: I don't mind using the facilities in a brand new convenience store. You know, the kind with 18 gas pumps and soda fountains that offer 27 varieties of soda plus those drink additions like vanilla, cherry and lemon.
Those I can handle. New gas stations have new bathrooms.Call me picky.
Call me high maintenance.
Call me a bathroom snob.
Call me whatever.
It's all true.
When it comes to travel and where I choose to make a pit stop, I'm not willing to sacrifice my standards.
Well, unless I REALLY have to go.
In emergent situations, as in the "I souldn't have gotten the large diet Coke" type of situation, I just close my eyes, don't touch a thing, all the while hoping Caroline is doing the same. And then, of course, I follow up with copious amounts of soap and hot water... and an extra application of hand sanitizer, just for kicks.
So, McDonald's was closed. Which is nice for the workers, since it was Thanksgiving and all. I think the McDonald's I worked at way back in the day was open for at least the morning on Thanksgiving to provide travelers with a nice, hot, trans fat laden breakfast and bathroom pit stop while on their way to gorge themselves on Grandma's turkey, Aunt Shirley's green bean casserole and Cousin Velma's jello salad.And while I'm rambling, let me just say that I lived in a family that did not make jello salad OR green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Heck, I didn't know what green bean casserole was until I moved to Florida. There is nothing wrong with it, I'll eat it, if placed in front of me, but it just wasn't a staple growing up.
Perhaps it's just a regional thing? However, I'm sure many families living on the west coast eat green bean casserole.
We ate cream of mushroom soup in other applications; just not cream of mushroom soup mixed with green beans and french fried onions.
We're just odd ducks, I suppose. Yep, that's probably it.
We've had many unconventional Thanksgivings. For a few years we went to the movies and then went out to eat. Yay for Turkey Day buffet.
One year, we sat down to eat, enjoyed our meal that my mom lovingly prepared and then my dad said, "the dinner was great, Nancy, but you forgot the mashed potatoes."
Well, not really. Our potatoes came dehydrated in flake form in a box with the only requirement being to add water and stir. I could take or leave those. I'm more of a stuffing girl, anyway.
We may not have eaten them on Thanksgiving that year, but I can assure you that there were some mashed potatoes made on the sly after dinner and stored away with the other leftovers. My dad doesn't cook. He made eggs once and perhaps some spaghetti, but when my mom was away, we ate pizza and Burger King. He may not cook, but he can answer any and all questions pertaining to hot water heaters and car maintenance, so we let that slide. Anyway, despite his lack of kitchen experience, every year after Thanksgiving, he makes a special meal. I'll spare you the name he coined for his
Since I'm so klassy and all.
Four days away from the blog = wordy Alison.
So, we had a nice time. The trip, despite the aforementioned bathroom issue, was uneventful.
Our time spent with Craig's sister was lovely, as well. Caroline hit it off big time with her cousin, Erin, who is 6 months older. They were inseparable, which was great for every one.
Dinner was tasty and the company was equally as enjoyable.
On Friday, instead of braving the crowds in search of cheap flat screen TVs and $7.50 puffer vests from Target, I took a drive to visit my pal, Sissy. Sissy and I go way back; back to high school, where we both had curly brown hair and excellent study habits. Sissy still has curly hair (and study habits, I presume), so I guess that goes to show which one of us was the recipient of an ill-advised perm back then.
I had a few of those ill-advised perms in my younger years and have since found my way back to the straight hair God intended for me to have.
It was really nice to visit with an old friend. We had lunch, did a little shopping and talked.
It's no secret that I lack true friendship in my everyday life and while one lunch with an old friend won't do anything to change that, Friday's meet up was just what I was craving.
I'm also quite proud of myself for braving major highway all by myself, without the help of a GPS (perhaps I should have gotten up at 4am to buy one on Black Friday), and not getting lost. I got slightly disoriented once, but I did not get lost. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I don't usually drive very far by myself. Not because I can't, but mostly because I rarely find myself in a position that requires it.
Our time in NC was enjoyable.
The traffic in Virginia was not enjoyable.
Not in the least.
What took us 4 1/2 hours to drive on Thursday took us around 7 hours (minus a stop for dinner) on Saturday.
Even so, it was worth it.
It was nice to escape from the mundane.
We should do that more often.