Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 11- Nov. 15th 500-mile day IN to PA

I had to break way outside my normal travel methods today. I had 500 miles to accomplish and I went through tourist withdrawal not stopping at every view point, park, cool sign, and neat spot but I made it from Columbia City, IN to Williamsport, PA!! I crossed the oil change marker- I hit 3000 miles on my trip.

Welcome to Ohio!!!
To give a reference point of the change in landscape I saw today. Here is a view of eastern Indiana.And here is a view of a farm in Ohio. I just love these farms!! I think I could be a farmin' gal. I think I would love it, well, only if I get to drive the combine that is!!

Here is a view in central PennsylvaniaIn Ohio, many of the trees were still golden orange, yellow and red. I have got to plan another road trip over here earlier in the fall when the colors are changing. I bet it was incredible!!

Today, as I exited a restroom at a truck stop, I realized what a master I have become at using a public restroom and not touching anything inside the restroom. I have also perfected my skills at making baskets with paper towels after I open the restroom door with the towel and have to throw it back to the waste basket while I hold the door with my foot!! I am not a germophobic by any means because the germs are good for building the immune system, but public restrooms are where I draw the line!
Not only am I a master at avoiding ick in public restrooms, I am a double master at losing sunglasses. I purposely buy 5 pairs at Wal-Mart all at once. Well, today I lost the last of the 5 pairs. Fortunately, quite a while ago, a friend gave me a VERY nice pair of sunglasses. I have always been afraid to use them because I might scratch them and most likely would lose them. Don't want to do that!! They have had a very nice home in the sunglass holder in my car UNTIL today. When the sun was in my eyes, I looked up and saw them. Hmmmm... I thought for a second but the glare was stronger than my understanding that I am a terrible sunglass owner. SO I put them on!!! WOW- That was an ah-ha moment like no other. I have now come to the understanding of expensive sunglasses. I think I am going to put a string on these and leave them tied inside my car. They are amazing for driving!!!

Most of you know what a grandma I typically drive like. Well, granny was on vacation today and it was petal to the metal! Thank goodness for cruise control. When you have 500 miles ahead of you and you like to stop 50 times, exactly how fast can you go without getting a ticket? I came to a very scientific determination that as long as others were going faster than me, I was ok.
It was very interesting because in Indiana I was the slowest person on the road. In Ohio, they clearly watch the road with fine detail because no one was going over 68 in the 65 zone. Then I crossed the Pennsylvania border and it was like the speeders fell out of trees. All of a sudden, if I went 70 in the 65, I was getting run off the road. Even the semis were flashing their lights and honking at me. JEEZ!! Chill out!!

The deer population seems to have exploded over here. They need some of those testosterone filled pick-up trucks from North Dakota to visit. I think I saw at least 100 deer dead on the side of the road. As sunset approached, I became almost dizzy I was looking so hard for eyes.

Ooooo... My friends, I have some great news!! I'm in cracker Barrel territory!! YUM YUM!!! I had to put a stop to my speedy progress and have a great lunch.

I delighted myself in a meal of chicken and dumplings, cooked carrots (my fav), hashbrown casserole, and when asked my last side I couldn't decide. I asked the waitress the veggie of the day and she told me boiled cabbage. The only boiled cabbage I remember was at a Chinese restaurant and it was delicious. I tried to get her to describe the flavor to me because I usually don't order anything I can't imagine the flavor of. With shrugged shoulders she said, "Slightly sweet and salty." Oooo- That is what my flavor palette remembers exactly. I took one last look back at the menu to compare options but nothing looked better than the flavor my tongue was envisioning. And after all, this is a trip of firsts, what the heck, I'll try it.
OK- I recommend going for the cinnamon apples instead!!!!!! They were nothing like I had the dreamy vision of. They were right up there with beets and fish. Those happen to be on my least favorite list.

The coolest part about Cracker Barrel is the rocking chairs out on the porch. I remember as a kid sitting out there playing checkers with my grandparents, so it has special meaning to me. As I left the restaurant, I looked around for some nice person to take a picture of me in one of the chairs for sentimental reasons. I looked down the row and spotted this couple that was as wonderful as my own grandparents were!!!

I chatted with them for a few minutes and got a great picture on the porch of the restaurant with Charles (the nice man). They were so sweet and before I got back on the road, we all held hands and they said a little prayer for my safe travels. I was very touched at their kindness and thought!!

WELCOME TO Pennsylvania!! Good thing I took this picture with the writing readable because I can never figure out how to spell this state. I usually just write PA so I don't have to figure it out :)

I MADE IT!!! I got to my brother's house around 7:00pm. We decided to go out to dinner and were headed to Olive Garden when we passed this Japanese restaurant. He commented that it had really good food so I put my handy U-turn skills to work and we went back. What a fun, great meal!!!

Keaton's fish Sushi! Eoooo... but looks pretty!

They cook the food in front of you and we had quite the comedian for a cook. He made himself laugh and when you crack yourself up, everyone laughs!! He loved his job!!

In addition to flipping the food from his spatula into our mouths, he had some Japanese rice wine that he squirted it into our mouths. He told me to open up as he grabbed the bottle. I did and had my mouth open as far as possible to give him a big target. HIS AIM SUCKS!!! Only for a second did he actually get it in my mouth (when the picture was taken) Convenient, huh!! Most of the time, he hit my bottom lip, causing the entire amount to go down my chest and into my lap. I swear he squirted half the bottle while laughing the entire time. He seemed to get great entertainment out of this! When we got up to leave, I had to walk like I had a watermelon between my legs because my jeans were so wet and looked like I had drooled all over myself.

I'll leave you with that closing image :)

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