Monday, October 10, 2016

Drive, Eat, Sleep--Repeat

Technically I did none of the driving, but the title wouldn't be near as catchy if I'd included riding, don't you think?

So, the yard is cleaned of storm debris, the pool is clean, the laundry is going, and I've been to Dr. Parillo for a follow-up visit. Now it is time to blog!!

Let us get started with the statistics of our fantastic journey:

  • We flew 892 miles to Cinncinatti.
  • We flew 1,318 miles home from Manchester, NH
  • Bruce drove 1,300 miles!
  • We traveled in parts of six states, as well as Canada
  • Our interstate traveling was at a bare minimum allowing us to go through countless towns, villages, and beautiful countryside
From my window seat....
So that's the dry stuff, let's get into the good stuff, shall we? I heard from a few of you that you could not wait to see the photographs from the trip which was a very nice thing to hear.  I hope you are not disappointed, because not only did I not take a gazillion photos, the ones I did are just so-so for various reasons, one of which a lot of the time it was too sunny! How about that? Too sunny? Yup, lots of glare when I did not want it, or I had to shoot into the sun, which is never a good idea. Nonetheless, I will try to paint a picture of what we saw and experienced.

Saturday evening we landed in Cincinnati, immediately heading to the rental car lot where Bruce allowed me to pick the car we would spend the next week in. Naturally I went for the red Fiat, in lieu of there being a MINI Cooper available! Interestingly enough, or at least to me, there was a super cute little car on display in the Cincinnati airport.
Unfortunately my photo of the whole car was not good, but I did get one of the back which shows the super cool wood-like detail. Those of us of a certain age surely remember cars with wood siding, often playing a game when one was spotted on the road. I guess you could call punching someone in the arm while shouting "Woody" a game?
Our first hotel was in Dry Creek, Kentucky, allowing us to be quite close to the Ark Encounter. On the way I saw this water tower I thought was amusing, but it was only just last night, while going through my photos, that I saw the dead deer on the side of the road, something Bruce would point out on occasion in the upcoming days.
The dark line at the bottom is the car, as I shot this through the windshield, something I would do over and over again on the trip.  Dry Creek is a mighty small town, but we did manage to find an Italian restaurant for dinner. I'm thinking only in middle America, the housekeepers could get away with this:
Mostly we stayed in Hamptons because Bruce did have quite a few Hilton points. The operative word here is DID, because while booking the hotel,s I pretty nearly used them all up. After eating breakfast at the hotel, we drove around a bit to see what we could see. Mostly everything was neat and tidy, a theme of our trip, a beautiful surprise.
Some people expressed both surprise, and consternation, that we would go to the Ark Encounter, but after having seen it for ourselves, we are glad we went. The largest wooden structure in the world is eye candy for a carpenter! It sets atop a high hill, and visitors are driven to the site in buses. How is this for scale?
Mostly the lumbar and HUGE trees used as poles throughout to hold it up are from forests that have been previously stressed by either fire or disease. I'm terrible with boat terms, but here is one end of it from the outside.
Generally, when viewing construction, of any type really, Bruce has quite a critical eye. He deemed the workmanship here as remarkable.  This is inside the end I'm showing above.
Wherever possible they used ancient woodworking practices, including the joinery shown below.
There are fake animals, very well done I might add, and loads of things to read explaining their position that the Noah and the Ark story is not just plausible, it is fact. I suspect most visitors believe the later. In any case, it is very well done, so should you find yourself in that part of Kentucky, it is worth a visit.
Because the ark did not open until noon, and I had no idea how long we would spend there, our destination was not the customary 200 miles away that I planned for the subsequent days. Instead we spent the night in Jeffersonville, Ohio.  But, of course, we had to re-enter Ohio to get there! 
The bridge over the Ohio River separates the states, as is pretty common around the country. We crossed the Connecticut River while heading into New Hampshire six days later. 

What I did not know previously is that there is a heck of a lot of corn grown in Ohio, with fields looking very similar to this one outside our hotel window.
Once again we stayed in a Hampton Inn. Yeah for points!! The front desk clerk steered us across the street to a bar-b-que restaurant that she said was the best place in town. Also they are the only place in town with beer as just across the street it is a dry county. Imagine that!
As to the bar-b-que, I can't tell you because neither of us had it, however, they do have a pig thing going on.
A beautiful sunset greeted us as we walked back to the hotel where we went to sleep almost immediately. Our usual bedtime of 9:30!
Yes, we kept up our usual early to bed, early to rise routine which suits us just fine. 

Throughout the trip we took the road less traveled with almost no traffic whatsoever which was another wonderful surprise.
Tomorrow we will visit the Amish country together, as well as my birthplace, a definite highlight of the trip!!

Seated, but not in a Fiat,


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