The day started by sharing the lesson of self-regulation with Jen and her progeny the Gabey Baby. Thanks to Cookie Monster, and his wise parodying, we have learned that even if me want it, me must wait.
Jen and I couldn’t figure out what this was parodying presumably because it is not Bruce Springsteen or Cyndi Lauper. I did some research though, and here it is. I still don’t get it.
Jen and I dropped a reluctant toddler at daycare, and went into Columbus, Ohio.
I was not sure what Columbus would be like, as Akron is kind of doodoo (sorry, Troy), but was pleasantly surprised as there were many small businesses that seemed wicked cool, as well as the city was already advertising a month in advance for Pride.
First stop was the North Market. Dudes, this place is awesome. They have vendors for everything – coffee, ethnic food, fancy bread, bubble tea, game meat, weird popcorn, beautiful aromatic spices, a fill-your-own-growler beer seller … You just walk in the door and everything smells amazing.
So, naturally we had ice cream at Jeni’s for breakfast because obviously. The flavors are unreal, and you can taste any/all of them. One was “Oregon Fir” flavored with actual pine. WHAT. Amazing. I ended up having a scoop of Cultured Key Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt (it didn’t taste like forgurt – it tasted like tart MAGIC) and Brambleberry Crisp. I was tempted by the Wildberry Lavender, though, with its complexity.
We went upstairs to see the whole facility from above, and noticed some hilarious posters for upcoming concerts. Why hilarious? Take this pair of posters, for instance:
Why are the Wailers with 311 and not Ziggy Marley? Weird, right?
Alright that wasn’t hilarious, but this one is:
I am pretty sure the date on that should be something more in the neighborhood of 1994, not 2014.
Which reminds me, Jen and I were pretty much the same teenager in the mid-90s. It is sort of amazing.
We perused a bookshop with many discount and interesting books, and then headed back through Columbus towards her home so I could get on the road for the trip to Lynchburg ahead of me.
I have great news as well as a result of this visit: I have signed a non-disclosure agreement, but I can tell you that I am in on the ground floor of an exciting franchise opportunity. I can only share with you two words regarding the nature of this winner, two words that Jen’s sweet husband no longer thought was funny after three days of hearing about it: POTATO JAMMERS. Look forward to more information about the hottest new food sensation soon!
Off I went from Ohio toward Lynchburg, Virginia. A trip that was supposed to take six and a half hours but most assuredly did not. Finishing out the state of Ohio was not a big deal. It was a sunny day, had a good book in the CD player, and all seemed well.
Then I crossed the border into West Virginia.
Most of the state alleged to be under road construction, so please only go 55 instead of 70. That sounds totally reasonable aside from the fact there was no actual road construction, only 100 miles of cones.
At one point, I needed to stop for gas so I picked an exit that had said there was a Citgo, and disembarked from the highway. All the pumps had those yellow mittens saying “No gas” so I decided to drive down the road a piece to see if there was another station. There was not.
Instead I found narrow, poorly-maintained roads, and a coal mine. I notice the coal mining operation at first not because of the equipment, but because of the giant sign at the end of the road leading to it declaring “FOR AMBULANCE USE ONLY”. This drove home to me the importance of perhaps converting current coal-powered facilities to biomass or something. If you have a job that is not in a hospital that has its own designated ambulance entrance, perhaps that is not a safe job to have.
I turned around in a Baptist church parking lot that was completely jammed with cars at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and got back on the highway. In a few miles was a proper travel plaza and I put gas in my car there.
West Virginia has so many frigging bugs that at first I thought it was snow in the headlights, and it sounded like sleet on my windshield. Except it wasn’t ice – it was guts. All the bug guts in the world. Holy. Crap. I felt like I was driving through Jurassic Park … of bugs.
Once I got into Virginia, the road to get to Lynchburg is like that scene from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure where Pee Wee is driving Mickey’s car at night and the road signs look like a pile of intestines.
I did finally get to Anne’s (thekrazysheep in Nerd Wars) and all was well.