Sunday, May 8, 2022

Timing is Everything

We’re back from the land where the politics are meaner than the
gators. Massachusetts’ sunshine may be sparse right now, but the atmosphere is kinder. I’m grumpily wearing shoes again (fellow bunion martyrs will sympathize, I imagine); surely the temp will reach 70 one of these days.

          The trip back was, let’s say, interesting. Or not so much the trip itself, as the stops in between. We took the Shenandoah route, something to be avoided in the winter unless you have an urge to re-enact the Donner Party experience, and the traffic wasn’t too bad, outside of a tense hour or so on twisting and rainy-slick mountain roads. At least we didn’t have to deal with crazed New Jersey and NYC drivers.

          Our first night was in Columbia, S.C. When I was booking hotels, I was a little surprised that two major hotels had no rooms available, but I moved on to another and all was well. That evening we set forth to find some dinner, took a wrong turn and wound up at those same hotels. Good thing they never found a room for us.

 Both were awash in bikers and their hogs, to the extent that a real hog appeared to be turning on the spit of a smoker set up in the parking lot as people stood around, beer cans in hand.

          The second night we’d planned to stay over in historic Winchester, VA, where the original downtown area had been preserved in all its Civil War charm. Dinner that night was to be in one of its Ye Olde-type taverns. After a full day on the road, I was focused on the tavern-type amenity of a beer and a burger. 

We set out but were quickly mired in blocked-off streets, pedestrians wearing enough pink and green to satisfy even Lilly Pulitzer, harassed cops, parents pulling kids in red wagons, people carrying crockpots, and local college kids with a smile on their faces and drinks in their hands. It took a full hour to inch our way the two miles back to our hotel, still hungry. Turns out we’d hit town during the Apple Blossom Festival, with Terry Bradshaw as this year’s Grand Marshal and Julius (Dr. J.) Erving as the Sports Marshall.

          Dinner perched on a bar stool in a nondescript chain restaurant (not to mention two margaritas each) restored our equilibrium and we swore to ourselves that next year we’d scout for local events before we picked our stopover towns.  




  1. I used to do shows in those towns. My memories are happier, though it was 20 years ago.

  2. Maybe pre-check next time, but I think seeing these things would be more interesting.

  3. It's always tricky in the spring, isn't it, when so many events are being held? Anyway, glad you survived!

  4. I'd be inclined to seek out the events, if I didn't have a deadline to get yo tge destination. Maybe next year you will.

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