We are officially on the road. Before the rubber hit the road, we had a celebratory sendoff from Kathleen’s sister in DC! Kathleen recently turned 40…err…I mean 29 in Feb – but she was out of the country at the time. In fact, in a weird twist that I am not going to even try to explain – she was actually with my sister in Singapore for her birthday…long story. Therefore her family took this opportunity to celebrate it with her a month late.
Saturday night Kathleen, her sister and husband, plus a few friends all went out to a concert – straight out of the 80’s. We saw the Hooters in a small venue in Alexandria, Virginia. No – not Hooters the boob restaurant…Hooters the band…popular in the 80’s, famous for several songs such as “Day By Day,” “And We Danced” and “Where Do The Children Go.” They even wrote the song “Time after Time” for Cyndi Lauper. Their hair was a bit smaller these days – and they all sort of looked like someone had yanked them from a cubicle and gave them an instrument – however – they were really fun. As I looked around and surveyed the crowd, realized that for the first time in a VERY long time (maybe ever) I was surrounded by people my age (mid to late 30’s). It felt very strange, being confronted with what the late 30’s/early 40’s look like and act. It made me think that maybe I hang around younger people in order to feel younger – but this was quite an awakening for me. Regardless, we were able to dust off some of our favorite 80’s dance moves while drinking Bud Light…all in all, a super night!
Today we got a late start as Kathleen’s sister had organized a surprise birthday party at a bowling alley – a real American past time. It even included greasy pizza, fried food, pitchers of beer, and cupcakes. When we did hit the road we decided to go a short distance – but take a scenic route, Skyline Drive through the Shenandoah National Park.
I navigated while Kathleen drove. Considering I’m taking a driving trip across America for 2 weeks, and I haven’t driven in 5 years…I thought I better start slow…with the navigation! I”ll work my way behind the wheel again soon… as I know that Kathleen doesn’t want to drive the whole way!
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We made our way to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, and that’s when the real fun began. First off we decided to invest in a National Park pass – for $80 you can get free entrance into any National Parks for a year. Not bad considering we were planning on hitting about 8 to 10 of them along the way. Now I’m the proud owner of a National Park pass…and I don’t even own a car…a bit unusual I suppose. As we entered the park/drive, we had some foreshadowing of what to expect for the next 3 hours of driving…deer. The deer were out as if they were flies in the early spring. Sure – the drive was beautiful – but hard to fully enjoy as we were dodging deer constantly. As the sun was going down and we were losing daylight – our deer spotting was getting more frequent and more difficult. Luckily we made it off the scenic drive without a scratch to us or any forms of Bambi or his mother…but we were both a bit un-nerved by the situation. Seriously we must have seen at least 85 over 65 miles of driving.
We pulled into Charlottesville late, but our first leg is complete. We found an AMAZING bed and breakfast via a tip from a friend and ottsworld reader (thanks Richard!). I will have more on that in an upcoming post. Once we were settled into our B&B, we focused on getting some dinner at little restaurant called Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie – a wonderful local diner serving gigantic portions and cheap beer! Now – with my belly full of greasy food, beer, and a brick sized piece of lasagna – I must go to bed. It was a long, but fun day of bowling, driving, dodging deer – it took a lot out of us!