Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 W Family Reunion Part One: Road Trip Up

It is hard to believe that it's already been two years since we hosted the first annual W family reunion here in Durham. THAT was a lot of work, let me tell you; so, frankly, it was quite nice to travel to Indiana this time where all we really had to do was get there!

We dropped the Goose off at Uncle Chuck's around 7:30 Thursday morning. We had a very uneventful drive north with the somewhat notable exception of our stop in Gallipolis, OH. We stopped at a Wendy's (not much else in Gallipolis, let me tell you; a VERY depressed, sad looking little town) for lunch. So, we're sitting there munching away, watching all the folks coming and going (the hot spot, apparently); including several Amish. There was a youngish Amish man with a non-Amish man waiting in line. Ahead of them was a much older man, who, apparently forgot what he came in for and became extremely agitated. Finally, he shrieked, "I want what's on the sign!" The dumbfounded cashier stared at him (BTW, she wasn't too quick on the uptake); the manager came over to help out. The old dude walked outside, looked at the sign, came back in, marched up to the counter and yelled "I WANT A FROSTY!"
So, he got a frosty, but, didn't have enough money. The manager, I think, just gave it to him to shut him up and get him out of there. For his part, I think the old dude was somewhat embarrassed as he elected to go out to his car to savor his frosty (this despite the fact it was in the 90s outside). He was still sitting out there when we pulled away. Before we left, an Amish couple came in with a small boy. The husband went to the counter while the wife took the boy back to the restrooms. He looked EXACTLY like that cute kid in the movie "Witness" (with Harrison Ford; great flick).
When we were in the car, I said to Mr. B, "Did you see that cute Amish boy?" He sorta looked at me strangely, which I didn't understand until later; turns out he didn't see the little boy, he thought I was referring to the young Amish MAN waiting in line behind Mr. Frosty. Ha ha! BTW, one good thing about stopping in Gallipolis (other than our lunchtime amusement) ; we now knew this was NOT the place we wanted to stop at for the night on our way back!

Not too long after that, we got a text message from my SIL (still back in Winston-Salem) informing us that they'd just been hit by a fly-away RV tire. We called and talked to my brother, who told us that they were all ok (THANK GOD) but, their car wasn't so they'd have to turn back and go home. This, of course, was disappointing news but it obviously could have been a lot worse; we were all just so happy they were unharmed (rattled, but unharmed).

We made it to Indianapolis by 6:00 or so, found a relatively cheap motel (La Quinta) near a few restaurants (the goal being not to have to drive around too much). Although Mr. B doesn't look old enough to use AARP, those discounts, meager as they may be, are helpful.

Nearby the La Quinta were a Cracker Barrel (uh, not for dinner), a Joe's Crab Shack (I wasn't up to eating my dinner while watching the wait staff dance around) and an Outback. So, Outback it was.

I cannot remember the last time I've been to an Outback; maybe ten years or so back in Colorado Springs. I don't have a problem with Outback, we just don't have one anywhere close to where we live. We decided to sit at the bar since we were not all that hungry right then. Hey, bonanza! All glasses of wine were $4! I had a few really nice wines (normally $9). Mr. B had his signature martini. After a bit, we developed sufficient hunger pangs to eat; he had ribs, I had a beef tenderloin salad with bleu cheese, red onions, walnuts, etc. Oh, we also won two free desserts (for next visit). I guess I'll have to figure out where there is a nearby Outback so we can go on a Thursday night for good wine (cheap) and get our free desserts.

Slept well enough in the motel (despite hearing a few "Oh baby!'s" from the room either next door or above us). The next morning, we picked brother Jon up at the airport (he was coming in from a business trip to Korea). Happy 40th b-day, brother Jon! We ate a b-day breakfast at Bob Evans. For the first time EVER, we were sorely disappointed in the experience. First, Jon's breakfast was stone cold. Second, our sausage gravy was absolutely HORRIBLE! Mr. B said it seemed to him they had added beef broth or something to it. YUCK. So much for Bob Evans.

Onwards to Potato Creek State Park near South Bend, Indiana, roughly 3 hours away up one very long boring state route (US 31).

Along the way, we went through the town of Kokomo, IN; which immediately had me singing, "Aruba, Jaimaca, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, c'mon pretty mama, Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go down to Kokomo!" although, of course, this Kokomo is not off the Florida keys!

There was, however, a landmark sign (and, apparently, famous given how easy it was for me to Google it!)
Next stop, Cousin Andy's!

Mrs. B

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