Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ohio: There and Back Again

So, weekend before last was a long, long drive up to Ohio for the funeral of my husband's longest-surviving grandparent, his dad's mother. (I've been out of grandparents since the last millennium. No bets as to which - me or him - will live longest, it's already pretty clear. Yes, I'm a touch macabre just now.) A really long drive - I finished something on the way up, which I should've worn to the funeral, but didn't think of. (Thankfully, my MIL had a pretty pink scarf she loaned me.)

The service was lovely, with lots of weepy hymns. My husband was one of the pallbearers, along with his brother and our brother-in-law, and three others who are probably related to me. (My family? Five people, me included, and I only know where my parents are - I've lost a cousin and an uncle. His? BIG. And spread all over the country.) After the funeral mass and the graveside service, we went to his uncle's house, and all the kids found the pool:

shot through a screen to protect tiny identities
not that the resolution on this camera is so good that I was actually concerned

It was hot, and we hadn't brought anything but fancy clothes with us to the church, so we wandered back to the hotel and nap. While wandering (okay, there was a bridge out, and we got a little lost), we found this, which won as Coolest Gadget Ever. We were wondering why we don't see them on the east coast, but after being back in the DC traffic for a week, I realized that the drivers here would just drive through anything they didn't have to worry about killing. Anywhere, here is the cool thing:

Once we found our way to roads I recognized, we made note of a 5 Guys (Best burgers. Ever.) and, of course, a Michaels. Once we woke up, we went to both. Here's me in front of the 5 Guys:

... and here's me in front of the Michaels. Can you tell the sun was (a) setting and (b) really, really strong?

I'm not used to this "see to the horizon, ooo, look, the earth curves!" stuff. There should be mountains between me and the sun at all times - cuts down on this "ow, sun in my eye!" thing. (Yes, yarn was purchased, more on that later.) We also hit the Rite Aid, which had two cool things. First, our NASCAR guy (Clint Bowyer), plastered all over a product. Now that he's not the Jack Daniels guy, we'll be seeing more of him in our local supermarkets and drug stores.

Clint Bowyer, #33

Second, this aisle is pretty much what I eat. I'm all about "I can carry it to work and reheat it in a microwave and eat it in the five minutes I have to prep food before someone finds me to do something."

The hotel was spiffy; it was odd to be in a place where everything was labeled in English and French (as opposed to Spanish) again. Odd, but nice to see I can still read basic survival French. And still recognized all the French cuss-words that the cleaning crews were tossing back and forth - they weren't fans of the way most patrons left their rooms. There was some really, REALLY cool fused-glass art in the halls of the hotel. I even found a gryphon (sort of):

We managed to dodge a LOT of weather by napping during some really impressive thunderstorms and leaving the hotel at 4am. When we got to the rest stop at the state line, they had a nifty little screen-update widget running on the wall of the McDonald's. (Yeah, I know, I should've used a better camera, so you could see shots of a screen in a rest stop you'll probably never have to go to.) Also discovered that there are hotels near Kennywood (roughly exit 57) - for a trip sometime in the next few years.

You can see Pittsburgh here.
But not the giant storm we were about to drive through.

Also, finally saw a fully-restored 1940s Fire Chief's car at a Hardee's in Pennsylvania. I really wish I'd had the good camera for this one, it was gorgeous!

The Hardee's itself had this picture of Zebra Dreaming of the Blue Mountain... which I think might have been in the Hardee's near where I grew up. I saw it, and instantly felt eight years old again, so I think it triggered something. (Hardee's was The Big Treat when I was little. We didn't have a McDonalds anywhere nearby, but there was a Hardee's! I report, sadly, that THAT particular Hardee's... is now a McDonalds.)

Yeah, there was a lot of knitting happening, and yarn was purchased - but I managed to get you to scroll through my "vacation" photos anyway. The yarn stuff will be mentioned later. Nyah!!


  1. Neat red light. The scarf is very pretty.

  2. You were just about 15 miles from me as you passed exit 47 (Allegheny Valley) on the PA turnpike!


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