Friday, August 5, 2011

Road Trip: The Story

just started

This is me and my girls, smiling and relaxed, before two epic storms, a drive through the 'can't think of an adjective' town of Washington DC, a detour through gangland, too many one way streets in Philly, seeing a car upside down, a stop under a bridge due to hail, one hour parking in Philly once I figured out the one hour parking and horns blown at me multiple times and too many people walking across the street without looking!

Yesssss, this is us riding through farm land with mile after mile of corn, silos, cows, small quaint towns and easy driving. We are smiling because we HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS AHEAD FOR US.

We are enjoying this.


We have NO idea that we will face this.

storm in philly

We encountered two storms that were horrendous. The first slowed us down to a crawl, then from somewhere a wall of water hit us and I couldn't see a thing. My mind working over time to decide what to do when suddenly the windshield cleared. We pulled off the interstate and took a break. The second (see picture above) came off the Delaware River and was equally as frightening. The rain was so heavy with hail accompanying it that we had to pull off under a bridge. There I warned the girls that we could get hit from behind and to be prepared. Nothing like a pep talk from mom!!

While going through Virginia, Hannah decided that we should detour through Washington and see the sights since it had been awhile since we had been there. I (remember smiling face above) thinking what an easy trip, decided 'why not'! I should have said, WHY??!! So, off we go to the land of 'taxation without representation', which evidently makes people touchy and rude. I think they need to plant corn in town and bring in some cows. It would make people nicer.
white house
The White House

washington monument

The Washington Monument

lincoln memorial

The Lincoln Memorial


Pinkberry frozen yogurt: Yes, this is as important as the monuments! And it just opened in Washington in May.

shake shack

The Shake Shack: Evidently as important as Pinkberry and Washington. We bought one burger and fries and shared. Not bad at all, but over hyped if you ask me. Evidently foodies give points for eating here.

on the road
still smiling....I don't know, Sarah looks a little dazed.

After seeing a Secret Service motorcade with flashing lights and all, multiple monuments, having yogurt, a hamburger and a good dose of traffic, we decided it was time to head to Philadelphia.

Before getting into Philadelphia, we encounter the storm from the picture above. The wind was blowing leaves, hail was bouncing off the car and people were stopping all over the road. Good times!!

As we arrived in Philadelphia our GPS decided that we needed another detour. We turn, as instructed by the evil thing and see shoes hanging over the wires. (several weeks ago Wm. explained to me that this indicated a gangs territory and not that someone was mad at their sibling) GREAT. And there was NO doubt we were not in the right location. We turn again and there is a policeman arresting someone. FABULOUS. We turned around and made plans to run over the GPS with the car as soon as we had a chance.

Finally we made it to the hotel; a very fancy hotel with valet parking ONLY. (at this point I am reliving NYC, getting out at the Westin) Here we are, everything packed into this VW arriving at this expensive hotel with our drinking cups, snacks, etc.

fancy pants hotel

Fancy hotel room. Nice!


Sweets waiting for Hannah from Terrain in hotel room. Nicer!

While Hannah spent the day here...

Sarah and I braved the streets of Philly. Ok, ok, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but I am use to driving in Blue Ridge, Ga. If someone blows their horn, it's because they know you and are saying hi. If you throw on your brakes in town, it may be for a chicken. If you want to park, you ride around and find a spot and there is no complicated kiosk to deal with. If you smile, the other person smiles back.

We didn't have a camera with us that day, for some reason Hannah thought she needed hers! We went to the Reading Terminal Market and ate at Dinic's which was on Man Vs Food. The market is all inside and a hub of activity. There is everything imaginable.

We went to the oldest existing Presbyterian church and toured the graveyard. We saw the outdoor Italian market, China town, the library Benjamin Franklin started and went to Starbucks for a break. Venti black tea lemonade unsweet!! YES

NOTE: After an hour or so of the GPS saying in a British voice, "recalculating, take next right (which you can't because it is ONE way the OTHER direction) one gets a bit peeved. I promise you that I detected an attitude in that GPS's voice. "recalculating, recalculating, in .3 miles take next left, take next left, then right". OH MY WORD

Hannah returned late Tuesday evening with a bag full of swag. Terrain even personalized it for each guest according to their interests and what type of blog they did. We enjoyed looking at everything and hearing about her day. Check out her blog post here for all the details.

Sarah and I found a restaurant a block from the hotel that was terrific. It is called Marathon. Amazing!! I had their turkey burger one night and a salad the next. Sarah had hot roasted turkey and a burger. (not at the same time) Everything was great and we sat at the window the second night and watched a mass of humanity go by. And watched bikers run red lights, can you say scaaarrry.

We were ready for wide open spaces after two days in Philadelphia. We headed to Amish country and on south. We stopped in Lexington, VA where Stonewall Jackson had his home. The gardens behind the home were beautiful as was the town. Washington and Lee University is here along with Lee Chapel where Robert E. Lee is buried.
stonewall jackson house

Gardens behind the Jackson home.

in lexington, vare lee memorial church

R.E. Lee Memorial Church, just beautiful.

Somewhere in all this we went to Bull Run in Manassas, VA. A sobering site. It is so quite and peaceful there, but I kept thinking how loud and frightening it must have been for those soldiers.
bull run

Did You Know?
During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run.

We had a memorable girls road trip. We sang, laughed, enjoyed every corn field, silo and cow, prayed to make it through the bad weather, made side trips through adorable little towns, ate peanut butter and almond butter sandwiches in the car, plotted against the GPS, collectively panicked in the big cities, hurriedly made change for toll roads, and enjoyed people watching. Truly, good times with my girls!

"In Your presence is fullness of JOY!" Psalm 16:11

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