Thursday, August 21, 2008


It all started last Christmas when my sister Cheryl casually
said that she and I should go on vacation together this summer.
I said okand we set the second week in August as the date for
our "road trip". The only problem was that at first I had no
idea where we were going. Cheryl has driven around quite a bit
of the country and my car Ping was not up to the trip, so we
were going to use Cheryl's SUV and she was going to be doing
the driving. Anytime I asked where we might be going, she'd
tell me she hadn't decided yet. But finally in July she told me
we'd be going out to Ohio to visit my Aunt Dorothy and her
family so that I could bring along any genealogy material I
might want to show Aunt Dot.

We actually left on Friday night, August 8th. Cheryl picked me
up at the bookstore after work around 6pm and we set off to
get on the Mass. Pike for the New York and then into
Connecticut. The plan was to drive as far as we could before
finding a motel for the night and then continue on the next day,
arriving in Ohio around 5 or 6 pm. Unfortunately, Friday night
traffic was worsened by a heavy thunderstorm so it took longer
than usual to get out of Massachusetts. But we had some snacks
with us and sang along to a Tom Petty cd and eventually we
escaped the rain.

We stopped for dinner at a McDonald's in Connecticut around
10:30 which was right next door to another Borders bookstore
and then went on until we finally made it to Pennsylvania some
time after midnight. Cheryl has a GPS device in her Pilot and
used it to find a motel off the highway but when we exited all
we found was the hotel sign. Driving further into the town we
ended up in a large empty dirt parking lot and decided that
there had to be another motel further along the highway so
we got back on as the GPS kept "recalculating". (Cheryl says
that the voice sounds exasperated when it says "recalculating"
and I have to agree with her!) . When we reached the motel in
Scranton, the one we stopped at was full and the clerk told
Cheryl our best bet for a room was maybe 10 miles away
in Wilkes-Barre. We ended up in a Red Roof Inn sometime
around 2:30 am Saturday.

Next morning there was a great view of the countryside from
the motel and after checking out we headed for my first
breakfast at a nearby Crackerbarrel Restaurant. We checked
the Comfort Inn and Triple A guides for attractions and Cheryl
found something that interested her, a tour of a coal mine that
was 300 ft below the surface. It didn't really appeal to me
(Ok, I said "I'll be below the ground soon enough, thanks!")
and it became a running gag when we talked about the trip
with the family during the trip. Cheryl says she's going to take
me white water rafting next year instead. Yikes!

Eventually we made it back on the road and crossed more
mountains (the Poconos I believe) which had spectacular
views of the farms and towns below. There were quite a few
hawks but we also saw at least four deer that had been
struck and killed along the highway. After a stop for lunch and
a few "pit stops" we finally pulled into Dover, Ohio around
7pm Saturday night. Our reservations were at the Comfort Inn
but we stopped for dinner first at Applebee's. It was interesting
to see Amish and Mennonite diners there because when I'd
visited Pennsylvania Amish country twenty-five years earlier
I don't recall seeing them in a restaurant like Applebee's. The
food was good and we headed off to the motel to settle in for
the night before beginning our visit with the family the next

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