Monday, August 11, 2008

notes on a Panera sack

I've never been one who gets excited about a road trip. It just seems like a worthless waste of a day to me. Yet, this one was fun despite Milwaukee traffic that rivaled Chicago and the never ending expanses of Wisconsin and Illinois. Darn. Maybe Ben will read this and use it as leverage to bypass flying in the future. But then again, Ben doesn't read this, so maybe I'm okay after all.

After about five hours of driving, I had some thoughts rattling together that started to stick to each other, which led me to find whatever paper I could reach and start jotting them down so as not to forget them. Since they were all sticking together, losing one would obviously mean losing them all. Ben was also laughably curious as to what I was writing. Granted, this makes sense since we'd been confined in a car for 20+ hours in 4 days at this point. The list that he decided that I was making was so ridiculous that those thoughts didn't bother sticking together. Methinks you'll have to trust me that Ben was being funny.

So, the point of the post...thoughts on a pleasant road trip:
**It's really funny when a random motorcycle drives by with one guy on it who so loves his 2 stuffed puppies that he straps them to the top of his rolled up sleeping bag that is likewise strapped, albeit to the back of his ride.

**As I listened to a coversation with a good friend where Benfriend explained about why I'm bailing yet again to visit her though I'm in her general area of the world, suddenly there appear SUNFLOWERS!!! sporadically on the side of road, growing with their yellowy orangy faces toward me...a lovely reminder to me of her and the possee as a sort of visible sign of my sisterly friends. It's wonderful to have friends that remind me of sunflowers. And vice versa.

**I realized that as I frequented my 4th (5th??) rest area bathroom that maybe a road trip is another way to say voyage-to-rank-rest-areas-on-interstates. Oh, this one's nice--it has a trail! Ew, this one's water is contaminated (the aforementioned 4th/5th?? one). Wow, these bathrooms are really plush for a rest area. Look! Vending machines!! Suddenly random sign information is fascinating even if only so that one has a chance to stand and stretch. I learned about carrier pigeons, a certain type of blue butterly, some indians...

**Sigh. My lovely little Honda is old, officially. She turned over 100,000 miles on one busy, lonely (oxymoronic sounding, but true) stretch of interstate 90 between Madison and Beloit in Wisconsin. I toasted her with Pepsi and some Dove chocolate, what every girl should be toasted with in my opinion.

**Missing exits stink, especially in busy-road constructioned-city traffic. When other cars full of people whom you are related to miss exits, that, however, is funny.

**I guess I've already mentioned road construction. Seriously, the green spiky things on top of the temporary cement barrier between my lane and the on coming traffic was making me naseous.

**Windmills. Does no one understand my erudite lit-ite reference to tilting at windmills? The aforementioned 4th/5th?? rest area was the scene of a Don Quixote in a nutshell synopsis for Ben. Just across the field from the rest area/interstate there was a massive windmill farm with humongoid windmills that were fascinating and somewhat monster-esque. I could see why Quixote would chose to tilt at one. They were like massive airplanes that were missing everything but the propellers. Really cool to watch; mesmeric even (for me...I don't think that Ben found them quite so fascinating).

**Don't you love it when others who are sharing the road with you write lovely messages to fellow roadies? Such was our utmost delight when the white SUV drove by with three sets of hands pressing signs asking passers-by to flash them. Interesting invitation. Thankfully, we had no kids with us to whom we would have to explain that. Common decency is always appreciated yet sometimes lacking.

**The busiest, worst Subway/gas station for lunch (literally a 1/2 an hour experience) followed by the most podunk, less-technologically-advanced-than-the-local-Whippy-Dip Dairy Queen for supper that was a desperation stop culminating in fried food...exactly what we didn't need after riding in the car for over 9 hours. Oh, another 1/2 an hour experience. The only saving grace of that place were the bathroom doors labeled "Dairy Queens" and "Dairy Kings." Style points for that.

My jottings on a Panera bag have ended. Lovely trip. My bed felt divine last night.

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." Charles Kuralt (Ah, Charles...hopefully the boys in the white SUV failed to see anything as well.)


sarahesperanza said...

I do the exact same thing! When I road tripped out to Seattle, my highway atlas was from walmart, and had all these useless pages at the front and back telling every city in every state that had walmarts-- so I wrote panera-bag-type thoughts all over them in the 10 days I was in the car. I just found one of those pages the other day. *grin*

sarahesperanza said...

p.s. I saw fields of sunflowers while roadtripping through South Dakota. Sunflowers as far as the eye can see.

sarahesperanza said...

p.p.s. I got your tilting windmill reference. And I was not a lit major. Ben has no excuse.

sarahesperanza said...

p.p.p.s. Ben may not read your blog, but I do- which means more roadtrips for us.