28 September 2006

A room with a view!

(Or: "Gee, I wonder if there's a Bob Evans restaurant around here somewhere!")

Hola, and greetings from the plush environs of our sixth floor room at the Hampton Inn of Monroeville, Pennsylania. (it's just east of Pittsburgh, right on the turnpike).

Want proof? Check out this marvelous, scenic view from our window! What an old, decrepit sign ... the shield is faded, and the whole thing is of the old-style with reflector dots embedded in the letters and borders. They even have a name: "button copy." They don't make those anymore, so it's like retro eye-candy to "road geek" freaks like myself.

We left Rincon, Georgia yesterday morning, and spent the night in Ashland, Kentucky. One could not have asked for a more perfect day for driving. Lunch was spent in Greenville, S.C., where we broke bread (and plenty of BBQ pork therein) with Nettiemac. Filled with a fantastic lunch (what is about South Carolina and awesome barbecue??), we started north ... topping off our tank at the Wal-Mart Supercenter just north of Greenville in - I love this name - Travelers Rest. How could we not; we were so mesmerized by what the price sign read: $1.87/9! Maaaaaan.

The Hyundai Sonata we rented for this trip has driven very beautifully. Gas mileage wasn't what I'd hoped (average: 25), but it's better than what we get in our '04 Element.

We ate supper at the Bob Evans restaurant adjacent to our motel in Ashland. Bob Evans has a special significance in our lives, because our first meal as a married couple was at a Bob Evans in Lake City, Fla.

This morning, however, wasn't so good. What was giveth yesterday was taketh away -- it rained buckets this morning. Lucky for us, the worst of it was while putting away breakfast at IHOP. Still, it was very wet, dank and yucky for the first half of our day's driving.

Things got gradually better by the afternoon as the cold front passed through, and then the temperature started to drop. By 3:00 it was in the mid 50s outside. Yeah, baby.

Found some more starts-with-a-"1" petrol at a place on I-70 in Ohio, just west of Wheeling, W.Va. Barely, at that ($1.99/9), but who's beeyotchin'.....

We got here at about 9:00, and then started finding a place to eat supper. We ended up dining at a 'retro' themed eatery called the Park Diner. Lots of chrome, '50s-style fonts, and classic '50s & '60s music playing in the background. Our server's name was - I swear on a stack of 45s - Peggy Sue, and she whipped up some awesome homemade milkshakes for Seraphim and me.

We'll be here until Sunday afternoon ... in the meantime, I'll leave you with some random thoughts gleaned thus far from this trip:

  • The states of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania have all perfectly synchronized the placement of Bob Evans restaurants along their interstates. I came up with an average of one every 1.32 exits along I-64, I-77 and I-70 alone.
  • I tried the legendary Kentucky soft drink Ale-8-1. Both Seraphim and I had the same opinion: it tasted like watered down ginger ale. I was especially disappointed, because I was expecting something with some real 'bite' to it, like Buffalo Rock (a dark ginger-ale indigenous to my native Alabama). Oh well.
  • I had two hard-to-find drinks flowing through my patience-of-Job kidneys today: DOUBLE COLA, and my most favoritest drink in the world, SQUIRT.
  • We crossed the Ohio River four (4) times today.
  • I wish West Virginia or Pennsylvania would consider giving us just one of their Bob Evans restaurants. We could use a good breakfast place nearby where we live.
More news as it happens. When news breaks out, Gleck breaks in. News at :55, bulletins at any time.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Keystone Krackpot" Gleck

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