Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Adventures on I-66

I ventured all the way to the very end of I-66 West today. My drive was to take me to Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, VA. If you've only taken I-66 to Falls Church and Tyson's Corner, well, you're not missing much. I took it the whole way, past Haymarket and Warren County... all the way to wear I-66 ends and I-81 begins. I took it all the way to a place where no DC radio stations come through and Christian rock (even if you're Jewish) is the best option for listening. I took it to a place where a motel advertised rates at $27.95 for a double room. I took it to a place where Civil War reenactments take place and "CS" (as in Confederate Soldier) children's belt buckles are sold at the Exxon station. I took it back to Bama, basically, but only an 80 miles South of DC. It certainly makes you realize that the South is right in calling DC the North.

When I was in college, my father would fly into Hartford and road trip with me back to Bama on summer break. The first time, we were much more adventurous and actually drove North of Massachusetts up through Vermont, the Ben and Jerry's factory, and to see my cousins and Bubby in Montreal. He remarked to himself, "All this land all over America, and everyone is crowding themselves on Manhattan's 10 miles." It's something that has stuck with me throughout my time in New York and DC. All this land in Virginia wide open, and here we are paying $3 million for a 3 bedroom townhouse in Georgetown.

I stopped in a Mom and Pop gas station (I didn't know they had those anymore?) about 50 miles from DC. I bought Watermellon Twist Trident and a Diet Pepsi. The woman behind the counter was about 60 with so much foundation on her face that I thought if I scratched it with a penny, I might win the lottery. Her hair was dyed yellow, not blonde, Tweety Bird yellow. She looked me over, the said "Honey, you don't need to be on any diet. You're from DC, ain't you?" Apparently in Virginia, there's a sugar-free gum and diet soda diet that exists????

Rather than have tampons for sale in the "Convenient Health Center" in the restroom, condoms and this sexual stimulant named Weed (I thought that was so funny I had to take a picture for pot heads everywhere!) were 75 cents.

Along the way, a mysterious bug appeared in my car and bit the sh-t out of my right foot. I hope I don't develop Mad Cow disease now. I have about 12 bug bites on my foot at the moment. It itches terribly.

At Belle Grove, I met the adorable cat Nelly who resides there. I'm totally not a cat person either, since I basically associate them with insane old ladies. Anyways, I joked to the people working there that Nelly was one lucky cat to be the only thing living full-time in the museum. Apparently, most historic sites have a pet. A dog lives in Oatlands. I used to think that people were the top notch in reincarnation. Now, I believe that cats and dogs at historic sites are the final notch.

On my way back to DC from Belle Grove, I got stuck in more traffic right near Haymarket. There wasn't even construction going on... just block up and alot of distruction to the road. Traffic patterns off.

Does anyone remember reading back in the 80s that Disney World would alter the line to their rides so that people were always waiting outside just in case pictures were taken. They wanted everyone to think Disney World was always crowded. Anyways, I think DC does the same thing with traffic. I think they set up "construction zones" in carefully planned places so that tourists will always think it is really busy in DC... leading to hotels charging more for rooms per night... leading to better bands coming to the Verizon Center... leading to Rosa Mexicano opening a branch in Chinatown. Honestly, I don't buy this construction everywhere one bit. We're not in the midst of the Big Dig. What's the problem?

And while I'm on roads, I'm also convinced that Georgetown's community meetings must be really warped. Do you think that the rich local residents who attend vote to keep the roads in Georgetown as crappy as they are in order to keep people from using them? I bet it is rigged. I bet they pay off city officials to say their is no money to fix the pot holes. That's my opinion, at least.

Anyways, I made it back to DC in one, bitten-up piece. Hope your day went well!


  • At September 06, 2006, Blogger I-66 said…

    I can assure you that even west of Falls Church I am quite enjoyable, if under utilized.

    I am glad to see that I was able to properly lead you to your enjoyable destination though. Good times.

  • At September 07, 2006, Blogger Irish Red said…

    HEHE - nice 66!

    Glad to have you back! Stay off the highway and on the Metro where you belong!


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