31 July 2010

And they’re off….really badly off!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

OK, I’ll take all the blame for our late start today!!  I know, it’s not like I haven’t known for weeks that I would be leaving this morning, but it’s sort of like knowing when Christmas is and still not being ready.  And I have had just a little bit on my plate lately!  But Anne and I spent a good part of the evening printing transfers, ironing transfers, washing t-shirts, buying t-shirts, printing Flats, laminating Flats, cutting out Flats, making a cute suitcase for the Flats, shopping for some last minute necessities, and enjoying a fantastic dinner at Margaret’s.  By the time we got all those preparations done, I still had a bit of packing to do…

Suffice it to say that even getting up before seven didn’t get us out the door before 10:30.  And I think Anne thought we would be ON THE ROAD by ten.  Oops.  But we did get going, and shortly after we were on our way it started pouring down rain.  We need the rain so badly that we couldn’t be upset about it!  And it only rained for a few minutes, anyway.  When we realized we would be going through Mt. Airy, NC, at noon, we decided we would have to stop at Snappy Lunch for a Pork Chop Sandwich.  You may remember that Kim and I stopped in Mt. Airy (aka Mayberry) on our 2008 Sassy Sisters Trip, “Ye Olde Curiosity Tour”; however, we had breakfast there, as we had gotten an earlier start!

We parked right on Main Street and strolled down past a big crowd at Floyd’s Barber Shop and turned into a very crowded Snappy Lunch.  Right up front was a woman whose only job was cooking pork chops, and boy, did they look good.  We never even saw a menu, which was fine.  We just ordered our pork chop sandwiches “all the way”, like the locals eat them.  Talk about YUMMY!!  A HUGE boneless, breaded, fried pork chop (twice as wide as the big bun it was served on) dressed with mustard, slaw, tomatoes, and chili – what a mess!  And have you ever noticed that the places that serve the messiest food usually have those little napkins like we had in the “Hav-a-Nap” dispensers in the grade school cafeterias?  The ones that cover about six square inches of your lap?  Seriously.  We attracted a bit of attention when I started pulling the Flats out of their cute suitcase and lining them up on the table, but it was so worth it!  I didn’t see anything even close to resembling this food in Australia!

After lunch, we were lured into Opie’s Candy Store by the smells and the colorful variety of candies inside.  Mmmmm, mmmm, as Andy would say.  Mighty fine candy!  We only bought a little, and the Flats loved it.  Did I mention it had poured down rain the whole time we were at Snappy?  And that the line at the barbershop was for the tour bus load of people who had to board the bus in the pouring rain? It was the happening place to be, but we were running so late that we didn’t even go to the old jail!  We zoomed right past the Blue Ridge Parkway and traveled up I-77 through Virginia on our way to Charleston, WV.  From there, we thought we were going to Huntington, Ashland, Lexington, Louisville, and Indianapolis, but Lee, our wonderful Australian Garmin guy had another plan…..

We sort of missed a little exit on the interstate, so we just did what Lee said on his ‘recalculation’, and the next thing we knew, we were headed for Ohio!!  So instead of crossing Kentucky, we crossed Ohio from Chillicothe to Dayton!  We were running so late!!  But, in the good news category, there was NO traffic, five o’clock or otherwise, and the scenery was lovely – gently rolling hills reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch country.  So we just sat back and enjoyed the ride, and felt bad that our time with Carolyn would be less than planned!  In fact, we took it so easy that we almost ran out of gas, and Priuses are not forgiving when they are not fed.  When the tank is empty, they just stop.  No sputtering.  Not that I’ve ever had that happen to me….So, around Dayton, we took another unintended detour in search of a little pusholine.  You know you cut it a little too close when you put 9.44 gallons in your ten gallon tank!

Crisis averted, contact made with Carolyn, and plans in place, we stopped for a quick drive through at the Steak and Shake (Anne’s VERY FAVORITE thing) in somewhere, Ohio.  Soon, it commenced to being dark thirty, and we skedaddled on around Indy and soon pulled in the driveway of Carolyn’s beautiful home.  We had a quick tour of the house (it was FANTASTIC!!) and met her two sons.  Daughter Ann was fast asleep already, but Jack and Sam were hanging out in the basement watching TV.  They had graciously given up their rooms to Anne and me – what troopers!  Then it was sharing time – Anne shared jewelry, I shared the Flats, and Carolyn shared DESSERT!  My, oh my, did we enjoy that!  Key lime pie with macadamia nut crust, a humongous piece of carrot cake, and shark’s fin pie (chocolate and peanuts and vanilla ice cream).  YUM.  Soon it was bedtime – Anne couldn’t get there fast enough!!  Of course, I found things to do online for a while.  What a great day!

Sweet dreams!


25 July 2010

Road Trip!!!!

25 July 2010

The thermometers are reaching all-time highs and staying there, so it must be summer!  You know what that means – it’s time for another Road Trip!!  This year, the Sassy Sisters are finally taking that LONG (and long-awaited) trip to the Pacific Northwest, and we are so excited!  I’m adding even more fun to the trip by starting with a trip to Showcase, our Creative Memories national convention.  Kim will meet up with me there, and then we’re off.

My friend Anne will be riding along with me to Showcase, and of course Peppy will be making the trip.  We’ve got lots of exciting plans made – places to go and people to see – and we’re glad you’re along for the ride!  In case this is your first trip with us, I’ll give you an idea about how we travel my sharing our Sassy Sister Road Rules with you:

* Talk to strangers, the stranger the better.
* Drive on two-lane roads as much as possible.
* Be off the two-lane roads before dark.
* Eat at local restaurants (not chains) for every meal possible.
* Always stop for ice cream, regardless of the hour.
* Start early and eat breakfast before you go too far...
* Check the tub before you get naked.
* If you think you should take a picture, stop, get out of the car, and take it. Go back and take it if you have to.
* Turning around is advised - you'll always regret that you didn't stop.
* Stop and see any attraction that costs less than $5, especially if it has great billboards.
* If there is an alternate route or detour, it's worth a look.
* If it's a national park, monument, lakeshore, or recreation area, it's worth stopping for. That's why you'll want to have a national park pass!
* Ask for what you want. Just because a place looks closed doesn't mean you can't go in.
* Keep your cell phone charged and handy.
* Laugh loudly and laugh often, especially if you're lost.
* Have an idea where you're going and do your research so you won't miss anything good.
* Be prepared to change your mind and your route at any time.
* Be flexible. Call ahead when you're running late and make alternate arrangements.
* When you get lost, blame the mapmaker or the road signs instead of the navigator or the driver.
* Be prepared. Travel with plenty of ice and drinks (always have one beer per person in the bottom of the cooler) and take your favorite snacks, too.
* Remember all the little stuff you may need - Tide to Go, TP, Sharpies, batteries, paper towels, pocket knives, GPS, etc.
* Have great music and play it loudly. And sing.
* Synchronize the date and time on all cameras.
* Blog or journal and download your pictures every day. It's amazing what you forget! Use a tape recorder, too.
* Take a file for your memorabilia, maps, tickets, plans, etc. and use it.
* ALWAYS have a camera with you.
* 300 miles in one day is a lot to travel on two lane roads with lots to see and do. However long you think it will take, add several hours.
* Always have plenty of gas in the tank.
* Remember that the 'rules' are really suggestions - be safe and have fun!

If you know me at all, you’ll recognize the absurdity of at least two things – 1) I made a list and 2) it’s a list of RULES.  Everyone knows I lose lists and break rules, but you never know, this year might be different!  It’s almost time to start my engine….

and no, I haven’t started packing yet,