The Perils of Linda Part II – or Could the Lady on the GPS BE Any More Annoying?


Yesterday I regaled you with my travelog on the way to South Carolina and my nifty stay at the Holiday Inn Express (well, it was cheap and clean).  Did I mention what a wonderful time I had with my friend Linda from Fat Cat Crochet?  I think I might have.  It was a fabulous trip – I would give their lil lakeside resort a 10 but for one teensy weensy issue I had….as I got ready to hop into bed I noticed there were no sheets nor pillowcases.  Hmmm, folks in South Carolina don’t use linens apparently.  How quaint.  Not wanting to bother my host/hostess, I went in search of a linen closet which turned out to be right next door to my bedroom, grabbed some sheets and pillowcases, made up my own bed and happily went off to dreamland.

The next morning I did casually mention that I was writing a review of their establishment  & I had decided to give them a “2” given the fact there were no sheets on the bed.  My hostess was suitably mortified and we both giggled, coz, really who cares?  It was just one of those funny moments we all have sometimes.  Except in my house where I always have the guest room suitably made up.  Snort.

The rest of my stay there was absolutely fabulous – lovely folks, lotsa good talks, good food, boat rides and relaxing, relaxing, relaxing.  I didn’t want to go home.  But I got the distinct impression she was ready for me to leave coz my fully packed luggage got into the trunk of my car lickety split.  Actually, I’m pretty sure she hoisted those cases and took them to my car to save my poor old back the effort and for that I send her mucho hugs and MUAH!  I recall before I departed we all had a slightly silly discussion about stealing souvenirs (like taking ashtrays or hotel towels) – more on that later.

Prior to my departure, I had requested Linda print out a Google map for me from her house back up to Knoxville.  See…I’m directionally challenged – I can get turned around in my own yard. Really.  So my friend’s very patient husband took my beginning directions and wrote out for me my return route – then, bless his heart, he printed out Google maps showing that route.  Eazy peazy, right?  Sure.

I decided to use my GPS and input the address of my hotel then pushed the button for “fastest route” thinking it would probably be the same as the one my friend’s husband drew out for me.  I made it out of their driveway….I made it out of their subdivision….I headed down the road and before too long I found myself going South on 11 — now I was supposed to be going North on 11 I thought.  So I did a u-turn and all the while I’m getting nasty “re-calculating route” comments from the GPS b*tch.  She told me to take the first legal u-turn.  No.  I didn’t want to.  I found another road and turned down that one.  Why?  Who the heck knows? 

I found myself in Walhalla SC and I’m not even sure where that is.  Next thing I know I’m on some country road and there’s Sumter national forest park or some such thing.  About 40 minutes into my drive I suddently find myself in Georgia.  Why the heck am I in Georgia?  I didn’t come through Georgia getting to South Carolina, what is going on here?  Dunno.  Just following the stoopid GPS broad.  I pulled off the road and consulted the map.  After laughing uproariously for about twenty minutes coz we all know I can’t read a map….I realized I was nowhere close to where I was supposed to be — I was in fact on a quaint little road called route 23 and it took me through the mountains.  All of them.  Forever.  It took me almost 3 hours to find route 40W and I jumped on that puppy coz I knew it would lead me to I-75 which was all I really wanted to begin with.

Along the way I saw some lovely little country towns.  I pulled into one that had this little southern version of a 7-11.  I had on my new yellow South Carolina tee-shirt – the one with the South Carolina state symbol on the back (go here for pic from prior post) and it has a tree and a crescent moon on it.  Well crap on a crutch if there weren’t some good ole boys in the corner lookin funny at me and my yellow shirt and I heard some stuff I didn’t like, so I snatched up my moonpie (don’t tell my Weight Watcher counselor) and skedaddled outtta there back to the safety of my foreign-made car humming the theme song to Deliverance.  Yikes – get me outta Georgia please (no offense Virgil – but this was NO Savannah baby!). LOL

The trip back to Knoxville should have taken about 3 hours – I made it in a gut-busting 4 plus change.  Again, I was whipped and so ticked off at the fact I had listened to a whining GPS instead of following a perfectly written out map.  I never learn.  But I made it back to the Holiday Inn.  And as I unpacked my jammies, what do I find in my bag but one of the guest towels from my friend’s house.  Now it was MY turn to be mortified.  I had apparently accidentally picked it up as I was grabbing stuff from the bathroom.  Honest – I really didn’t steal her towel.  Really.  No, I’m not kidding.  It was just a silly mistake.  Gah…watta dork squared.  I admit I laughed my a$$ off when I saw the towel and knew she would never believe me….

Tues morn I crept downstairs to scarf up a banana and some yogurt for the road – hmmm, no bananas today.  Today they’re serving biscuits and what looks like a folded omelet.  So I shoved one of the folded omelets between a biscuit and tried in vain to put it into a plastic baggie without the “help” seeing me.  The problem was what I didn’t see in the omelet was warmed Cheez Whiz oozing out. Must be another southern delicacy.  Yikes. I got a plastic knife and tried to scrape the offending pseudo-cheese product off my probably fake eggs and just made a horrendous mess of everything.  I slinked away towards the elevator dragging my baggie with me. 

I left Knoxville behind in a cloud of dust.  After five and a half hours of agonizing I-75 traffic and a little “over-the-speed-limit” foot to the floor on my part driving, I pulled into my very own driveway, with a sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks.  I made it to South Carolina and back again and I didn’t run over any varmints, get accosted by any Bubbas, no flat tires, and I never ran out of diet Mt. Dew on the road once.  Plus I got to meet the coolest bloggy buddy & her hubby.  What a great time!

That’s my summer vacation story and I’m sticking to it.  I’m also staying put the rest of the summer – at least no more by myself on the road adventures for awhile anyway.   Although I have another bloggy buddy in TX who wants me to visit…sigh…


The Travels of Croney Part I…or How I Made it to SC is Anyone’s Guess


On a nice sunny Thursday morning, I left my nest for parts unknown to me.  I was on an adventure to meet up with a blogging buddy, Linda from Fat Cat Crochet and I was so excited.  Because of ongoing back issues, I knew I couldn’t drive the whole 8 or 9 hours from Ohio to South Carolina at one time so I split the trip into two days.  I planned on spending the night somewhere around Knoxville TN.

Getting to Knoxville TN is no big deal from here…it’s pretty much a straight shot down I-75.  What I forgot was what a nightmare driving on south I-75 can be.  It’s under construction.  It’s always under construction.  And people drive like maniacs.

About 20 minutes south of here is a local landmark – some of us used to call it Big Butter Jesus – it is…or was… a 62 foot statue of Jesus with his hands outstretched toward heaven.  It sat in front of a rather large church. Can you say “ostentatious” kids?   See pic below:

It was outside a town called Monroe and Devoted Spouse and I used to drive down that way to get to the  Saturday flea market (Trader’s World) which just happens to be located next to the church.  But then the police kept raiding Trader’s World coz they had so much counterfeit merchandise.  You know there’s a problem when the tee shirt you want to buy says Washington Redshins (vs. Redskins) – the big lightbulb in your head goes off and you know this crap just arrived on the last boat from Taiwan somewhere.  But I’m getting off topic.  Back to Big Butter Jesus.

A few days before I left for my trip a massive lightning bolt struck Jesus and he burned to the ground.  Nothing left but his outstretched limbs which I believe were metal with the body part being fiberglass and styrofoam.  Some folks around here thought it was divine justice thinking God was rather torqued about such a garish display.  The rest of us just felt it was one hell of a lightning rod and rather stupid putting a 62 foot piece of metal in a water pond and expecting  it NOT to be struck by lightning.  I tried to take a pic w/my cell phone camera as I drove by but danged near ran out of my lane so I found a video of  Jesus’ lil accident for you:

Apparently the church is going to rebuild Jesus….whatever. 

A bit further down I-75 I discovered more construction and all the Ohio police cars in the world with their radar guns blazing.  Fortunately, I was prepared for this (we’ve had some deadly accidents lately and we have been warned NOT to speed in this construction area) so there I was just putzing along at 55 miles an hour going so slowly I was able to fix a snack, tweet, and repair a button that had come off my shirt all at the same time — no, I’m just kidding.  I was one of the few who weren’t pulled over and ticketed that day – yay me.

I made it through Kentucky relatively unscathed – oh I was getting tired so I stopped at the local Welcome Center and saw car after car full of people who were related and perhaps inter-related if you get my drift.  I took off rather quickly and got back on the Interstate.  Somewhere in northern Tenn. I had a slight altercation with a truck driver who was either on something, stupid beyond belief, or just bored enough to want to be a pain in my a$$.  We started playing the chase game; he would go about 80 or 90 miles an hour downhill and ride my bumper then just before he kissed my butt, he’d pull around me, pass, and pull right in front of me and then slow down.  So I’d speed up, pass him, pull around, and slow down.  We played this dangerous and annoying game for about 10 miles, then this dipwad had the audacity to pass me once again and as I looked up at him he flipped me off.  He flipped ME off.  Gah.  Now I know why I don’t have concealed carry coz I would have shot out his tires – every last one of them.  I gunned my car up to 85 (my poor Kia Sportage may never fully recover) got past him and kept on flying down the road until he was but a speck in my rearview mirror.  Thankfully there were no cops around. 

I finally made it to my lovely Holiday Express outside Knoxville and it only took me 5 and 1/2 hours – I was exhausted.  I walked up to the desk to announce my arrival and was met by a lovely lady who, because I am some type of Preferred Bonus member (I have a laminated card and everything) handed me a little white paper bag with my “treats” for being so special.  I took all my crap and my little white bag to my room (which was very clean and nice) and opened my bag expecting something really good.  There was a miniscule plastic bottle of water (warm), a plastic wrapped half dead cookie, and a small bag of potato chips — nothing on my diet.  I said, screw it, and ate both the bag of chips and the cookie.  You only go round once.

After a much needed hot shower I fell into bed.  The next morning I went downstairs to their wonderful continental breakfast.  I saw nothing continental about it except the fact the bananas weren’t grown in the U.S.  I grabbed some yogurt, coffee and said banana and hit the road again.

Fortunately the next 3 hours passed with no problems and I found my bloggy friend’s house easily.  We had a great time for a long weekend and then it was time to head back up north.

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll tell you why one should never trust their GPS…sigh…


Road Trip

Greetings from Northern Virginia — what a lovely day it was to drive the 500 miles from my home to my friend’s home. It helps that I love to drive. There is always so much to do while on the road. You’d be surprised (maybe you wouldn’t) at some of the sights and I’m not talking about tourist stuff.

Fortunately my trip was uneventful — good weather and no mechanical difficulties. The price of gas climbed higher and higher the closer I got to DC, but I expected that to be the case. I had good company along the way; my friends Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Sting, and some others kept me entertained and I got some good vocal exercise. I love to sing — especially in a closed car when no one else can hear me butcher lyrics and screech the wrong notes.

The most fun I had occurred while making a rest stop. When I walked into the ladies room, I noticed a teacup dog sitting in one of the sinks. Well, I’ve seen stranger things, and he didn’t have any toilet paper stuck to him, so I went about my business. When it was time to wash my hands, the dog was still sitting in one of the sinks. I washed my hands and was standing in front of the hand dryer as a lady walked out of one of the stalls, washed her hands and went to pick up the dog. I simply couldn’t help myself — I looked at her and said in a scolding voice, “Hey, he didn’t wash his paws.” I got a scathing look from the woman, but it was fun all the same.

I’m always amazed at the activities people pursue while driving. One man I passed was reading a paperback book and he was the driver in the car. That scared me a bit. Then there was a young kid driving all over the road. I decided to get by him as fast as I could. The reason he was driving so badly probably was the result of his not having enough hands to drive; his were busy with a cigarette, a can of what I hoped was soda, and his cell phone. I didn’t stick around long enough to figure out how he was steering (or not steering) that little car.

The price of gas certainly wasn’t an issue with the folks driving alongside me today. I didn’t notice alot of following the speed limit; in fact, these people were going like little bats out of Hades. During the entire trip I saw only one state trooper. Where are they when you want them? By the time I was about an hour or so from my destination, it seemed as if everybody and their duck were out for a Sunday drive. Yikes – so much traffic. Nope, I don’t miss living in the DC area at all!

I love to visit every year, but I also love to go home to the Midwest where we still have 4-way stop signs and people actually allow you to merge onto the highway without the use of the directional middle finger.