Last weekend Jay and I went to New Castle, PA to visit my family and the farm. Trips up north are always glorious – farm living, cats and dogs, adorable children to photograph but not clean up after, enough food to feed a small army, a never-ending beer fridge and plenty of rowdy family. Our drives to PA typically take us through Ohio. For those who have not had the pleasure of driving all the way through Ohio … It Stinks. Long flat roads are surrounded by corn and often cloudy skies. Insufferable traffic jams inevitably greet drivers in Cincinnati and then again in Columbus. It is a crappy drive.
In search of something completely different, Jay consulted Google maps for an alternate route that would take us through Eastern Kentucky and into West Virginia. Ultimately the new route would only tack on 30 more miles while providing new scenery and letting us explore a new state – West Virginia. Thirty minutes in, however, Google maps failed and we found ourselves lost in Huntington, West Virginia. Now I’m not an advocate of stereotypes and strive to maintain and open mind regardless of where the road takes me. With West Virginia comes a gargantuan pu-pu platter of stereotypes that I was determined to overlook and give this state a chance.
We stopped for a quick break at a Speedway in Huntington to get gas and orient ourselves. While Jay pumped I wandered into the store and was shocked to find that of the near dozen gas station patrons I was the only one completely dressed. By completely dressed I mean a tank top, jeans and shoes. This was not making it easy to overlook stereotypes. I pressed on to the restroom where I was faced with ZERO toilet paper. Groan.
After a little ingenuity and a bit of flexibility (thank you hand drier) I left the bathroom and went to grab a bottle of juice. Low and behold what do I see? A man with no shirt, no shoes and no pants! I’m not even kidding. This guy was standing there buying beer in red plaid boxer shorts. The kind of cottony boxer shorts with the little pee flap. Like real undies folks. The only thing keeping the undies company were his leathery love handles. I quickly looked away, grabbed my juice and made a bee line for the cash register.
Four hours later we finally made it out of West Virginia, but only after getting lost once, making a wrong turn and finally giving up and turning on the GPS. Other interesting sights observed while exploring WV were: an oil refinery; a long, winding interstate; lush rolling hills; an abundance of clunkers; lots of bridges and even more crosses. We also invented a new car game: Guess Which Passing Motorist Might Not Be Wearing Pants. We speculate that roughly 25% of passing motorists could have been pants-free.
Needless to say, we are fairly certain West Virginia is not next on our weekend trip list. However, if you think I’m wrong and would like to suggest another city we might enjoy, please feel free to let us know! We are always looking for suggestions!
The rest of our trip was quite enjoyable, and filled with fun, adventures and gobs of blogging potential. More news and tons of photos from the trip soon. Until then, here are a few photos from the weekend…