Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On The Road Again

A few thoughts after spending spending 20 odd hours in a car driving to the east coast and home again . . .

Why are there mile upon mile of construction zones yet little construction going on?

Why does it cost almost $5 just to enter the Pennsylvania turnpike from the west. Then another $13 to leave the turnpike and head south to an expressway that's free. If I were a tourist with limited means, I'd avoid Pennsylvania altogether.

For nearly five years a hundred and fifty years ago, the union forces tried to march on Richmond and the confederate forces tried to do the same to Washington. Neither was successful. Nowadays it takes less than two hours to cover that same distance via I-95 and probably the same number of people do it in a day than fought in the Civil War. Very crowded.

Do NOT try to navigate the beltway around Washington DC without a good map. Even though we've been there before, this time when the beltway split into three while I was heading south to Alexandria, I had no idea which road to take to get to Alexandria which is where we wanted to go.

One option was to take I-95 south towards Richmond, another was to take I-395 into Washington and the third was to take I-95 north towards Baltimore. I chose I-395 first. Nope. Then I-95 south. Wrong again. I-95 north to Baltimore sounded like I was going back the way I came.

So we exited the beltway and used our car compass, dead reckoning and a gas station attendant to find Alexandria. (By the way, the correct answer WAS I-95 north to Baltimore).

I can't expect my wife Wendy to share driving. She can't drive in bright sun, rain, fog, wind, etc. But her excuse this time took me by surprise. She said a comment I made about some stupid talk radio program made her laugh so hard she cried. And the acid from her tears made her eyes burn so now she couldn't drive.

Hmmmm, I don't know. I don't even think my lampooning a radio talk show host was even that funny. He was making up wild hypothetical questions, then asking folks to call in for discussion.

My question was better than his, I thought. "An alien lands his flying saucer in your backyard and asks to use your bathroom. Do you let him? The number is 555-7479."

Not that funny, right? But it got her out of a turn at the wheel so I guess she had the last laugh anyway.


Blogger Merle said...

Hi Jim~~~ I hope the cough has disappeared by now.The
trouble with too many choices (of routes to Washington) it makes it harder to decide. I hope you got there safely and enjoyed the time with your son.
Thanks for your comment = you didn't see the underlining because my brother Peter took it off for me. And I don't know anything about Microsoft wanting to download anything
I know how lucky I am to have such great kids and grands - they make life worth living.
Take care my friend, Cheers, Merle.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~ I hope your cough is better by now. The trouble with too many roads leading to Washington, it makes the choice harder. I do hope you and Wendy got there and enjoyed the time with your son.
You didn't see the underlining on my blog because, my brother Peter fixed it for me. Don't know anything about Microsoft wanting to unload from here
I know I have great kids and grands and am so lucky.
Take care my friend, Cheers, Merle.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Hmmm...I always come up with excuses about why I should drive and not anyone else.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

I find it hard to drive at night, but Steve won't let anyone share driving! Last trip home from AZ-our son was w/ us too, wouldn't let go of that wheel for any reason!
With my back, long road trips are even longer since I have to stop and move around every hour or so.
our "toll" is over $5 for an 8 mile strip

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like it is time to invest in a good GPS unit

12:21 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

MERLE--My cough is better now. Didn't even take one cough drop today. We did enjoy the time with our son Scott, thanks.

JAN--I don't mind driving that much but sometimes I like to relax too and enjoy the scenery.

CARINE--My son would probably like to drive sometimes. He rode shotgun and sometimes would flinch when he thought I wasn't paying attention to the traffic ahead of me. I did almost back into a tree but that tree was in my blind spot.

ANONYMOUS--I heard those GPS units can lead you astray. I might get stuck in some remote mountain trail.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I've tried to drive around DC before. It was very confusing.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Too many choices (In Everything)makes life more complicated especially now when I am no longer YOUNG.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--Confusing is right. And the roads signs are of no help.

PETER--I do like options on vacation, but hate making last minute choices on the expressways when I'm driving.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hello Dave ~~ I am so glad you got to Washington and enjoyed your time with Scott.
I am sure that there are stupid people everywhere,not the joke about Michigan. Glad your cough has gone and that you liked the jokes and the story about "What Comes Around". It came around very quickly didn't it? Take great care my friend,
Cheers, Merle.

1:30 AM  

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