March 5, 2006


New Sunglasses.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

Earl and I drove home from West Virginia today. There’s nothing like a spontaneous weekend trip to get the blood moving and to clear the cobwebs out of the head. I tried something a little different when it comes to our road trip adventures today.

I rode the entire trip home as a passenger.

When Earl and I travel, I usually take the helm and he acts as co-pilot. His role is very important as he provides witty dialogue, a much needed neck rub after several hours of travel or a joyous symphony of snoring while he naps and I keep my eyes glued on the road.

Today we reversed roles and he drove while I snored. Actually, I only snored through Scranton, Pa. And everyone snores through Scranton. What else is there to do?

I think I’ve been the designated driver of the family (of my own volition) for all these years because I’m a control freak. Earl and I approach driving differently. He has a casual approach, using one hand on the wheel and only signaling to change lanes when there’s a driver close by that will actually notice the turn signal. Me? I’m the world’s best driver (if I do say so myself), obeying all rules of the road except for the maximum speed limit. I set my own when the speed limit is as high as it’s going to get. But I usually only do that in New York, now that I think about it, because I kind of think that 55 on these rural stretches of two-lane roads is dumb. So I usually do 70.

Nevertheless, Earl was the designated driver today, allowing me to see sights that I haven’t noticed as a driver. For example, the drive on I-81 between Harrisburg and Hazleton is quite high up and quite beautiful. Usually I only notice the potholes.

I think I’m going to try being a passenger more often.

Martinsburg, W. Va.

Earl and I settled in Martinsburg, W. Va. for the night after driving almost seven hours to get here. All in the search for sunshine. We drove through the quaint little downtown area which seemed quite nice but was rather deserted. We also drove to the next city down Interstate 81, Winchester, Va., to see what was going on there. Winchester had a nice downtown area as well, but again, they seemed to roll the streets up quite early on a Saturday night. So we headed back to Martinsburg.

The retail district of Martinsburg is quite busy for a town this size. There’s a number of chain restaurants, a mall and the obligatory collection of big box stores. I think development has beat infrastructure in the race for readiness, because there’s quite a few traffic jams in this area on a Saturday night, but it’s all good.

We ended up eating at a Texas Roadhouse. The wait was over an hour so we bellied up to the bar for a couple of beers. It’s a good way to get a feel for the locals and Earl and I were chatting with the bartender and a couple of people at the bar in no time. Everyone was quite friendly. One thing I like about here is that the pace is seemingly ramped back a notch or two but not slowed down to a crawl that has you beating your head against the wall in frustration.

After an hour or so we were finally seated and enjoying unlimited ribs. I wish we could say that we didn’t go crazy, trying to be healthy and all, but this was our one splurgefest of the week. We kept it reasonable.

When we got done with supper we realized it was too late for a movie, so we went back to the hotel to freshen up a little bit. Having several beers in me from bellying up to the bar, I instantly fell asleep.

Earl is so patient with his lightweight lover.

Tomorrow we head back home. In the future when we reminisce about this weekend, Martinsburg, W. Va. will bring a smile to our faces.