Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend at Lancaster I: The Drive Up

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there! Your offspring offer their utmost thanks to you for bringing us into existence.

I spent the weekend up in Lancaster visiting with the parents. Our family does a Sunday brunch with some close friends every Mother's Day, and so I decided to drive up Saturday morning, stay the night, have brunch, and then drive back Sunday afternoon. It's also a chance to visit with my grandfather, who moved out of house and into a retirement home about a year ago, so I made plans to stop by and have lunch with him on Saturday.

The drive up was mostly uneventful, except for one thing. I drank a lot of coffee Saturday morning, and about halfway between the DC beltway and Hagerstown I had to pulloff for a bathroom break. No problem, I thought, I know there's a rest stop in just a few miles, and I'll go there. But as I approached, there was a giant sign advertising that the bathrooms were closed. Still not a problem, I thought, I'll just get off at the next exit and go at a gas station. Well, the next exit turned out to be 15 miles away so things were getting slightly more urgent, but the exit advertised gas stations, so I took the exit, and then followed the arrows that directed me to go north.

And then the arrows disappeared.

Ok, I thought, still not a problem, I can see in the distance there's some newish looking storefronts, so I'll just drive to them and there'll probably be something there that I can use. Nope. It was an unfinished dual-use retail/residential urban-style walkabout development that's all the rage these days. And it was also completely empty. So I turned around, drove a quarter mile in the other direction, and went from ultra-modern to hicksville. BUT, it was a hicksville with a gas station! "Finally!", I thought. I pulled in and went inside ... where an old lady with about 3 teeth left in her mouth told me that the 'bathroom' was the PortaPotty out back that hadn't been emptied in about 2 months. Gross. Somedays, I'm very happy to be male.

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