Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly to Leesburg

I was sitting on the beach in New Jersey when I got the call from Don that he needed help.  As I turned south and headed for Florida I began to hear reports of a tropical storm that was predicted to cause havoc in the area that I was heading for.  Just what I needed--a hurricane!

I came down along the coast as far as possible and my sightseeing for most of the way was from the windows of the RV.  

I stopped once to get a taste of the famous Maryland Crab Cakes and another time to indulge in some Chesapeake Bay Oysters.  Ohh! It was obvious this area deserved to be researched further.

I found this little town of Chincoteague on the Virginia coast and wished I could have stayed for a while.  The town was far enough off the beaten path to feel natural and unspoiled and had a great seafood restaurant right on the water.   

There were two floors to the restaurant--the ground floor was for families and no alcohol was served. The second floor served wine and beer but children were not allowed up there.  I chose the second floor and ordered iced tea. I thought the south had the crazy 'blue laws' but I ran into some strange ones in the area around DC.  One state (Penn?) did not sell alcohol except in state run liquor stores and then only in case sizes.  I am still trying to fathom the logic of selling a case of beer versus a six-pack.

Which led me to wonder at this country's crazy laws that change from state to state.  (I still am amazed at the Daquiri-Drive-Throughs in Louisiana.)  I just heard a British comedian on NPR ask if there wasn't a booklet for newcomers traveling in this country so one might keep up with the changes in the laws.  That sounds like a potential best seller for someone and I would like dibs on the first copy.

And speaking of alcohol--I guess the bottle trees get bigger when you are buying wine by the case.

I couldn't resist this picture. I liked how that two-toned hydrangea bush matched the two-tone curtains, window box and light fixture.

As we careened down the coast I was driving more hours in a day than usual and Sigh Me began to show signs of frustration.  When I don't stop and play with her enough then she takes her frustration out on my maps.  Note the tell-tale tail disappearing on the upper right.

Then the heat wave started to catch up with us.  I was avoiding RV parks so we were living without electricity and air conditioning while the temperatures were climbing into the 90's.

And the humidity was a killer!

The storms kept rolling in and sometimes the wind would almost lift the RV off the road.  

A few times I had to stop for the night because the rain and hail came so hard that I couldn't see to drive.

But, mostly, the drive was easy enough with lots and lots of water along the way....


At one point this motorcycle pulled up behind me and the driver had his headset on.  I would glance back at him now and then and he would be dancing away on his bike and singing at the top of his lungs. I think it was the equivalent of 'singing in the shower'.

When I wasn't going over the water then I was going under it. (I found this to be very claustrophobic).

Traveling through the industrialized north meant lots of ports loading mountains of coal.... 

Followed by mountains of recyclables headed to China, Pakistan, India and VietNam.  I once heard a lecture on the future of the US economy and the speaker made a statement that stunned me.  He said that our largest (by volume) export is now recyclables!  We send our discards overseas then they come back to us in the form of clothes, toys,  plastic dishes and knick knacks!  This week it's garbage; next week it's on special at Walmart.

And while I'm grousing about the lesser virtues of our great country the above photo will explain a lot about why I avoid RV parks.  Sitting cheek-by-jowl in an over-crowded, Motel-6-on-wheels park is hardly my idea of relaxation.  I search one out only for a night of electricity and a chance to dump the holding tank on Halcyon II.  Otherwise, state and national parks are my first choice followed by a quiet corner of a Cracker Barrel parking lot or some far-out section of a hospital parking lot after visiting hours. Even Walmarts are more appealing than most RV parks.  More and more I am happy with my small vehicle.  It's a great sense of freedom to  know I can park just about anywhere without drawing attention.


  1. I wonder if the case vs 6-pack logic is that it's harder for under-age kids to pool their money and get someone to buy them a case?

    1. I guess that makes some kind of sense. But cynical me tends to think some liquor manufacturer bought himself a politician who, in turn, sold the voters on the idea that the larger the quantity of booze that someone was forced to buy, the less chance that person would buy it. Whatever the thought behind the law, you can bet someone profited from it.