Thursday, August 14, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

Part I: getting there.

Did you know that it is a Pennsylvania state law that all interstate drivers MUST encounter a construction zone? OK, that isn't really true. Or is it? All I know is that driving through Pennsylvania is one of my favorite things to rant about. Is it the endless construction, the aggressive state troopers, the inane road signs, the designed-on-purpose-to-be-inconvenient interchanges? Example: we enter Pennsylvania via I70 from Maryland and immediately on crossing the border we're greeted with: SPEED LIMIT 55MPH NEXT 23 MILES. For no apparent reason. And so you crawl along at 55 until you hit Breezewood, and then you have to get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, or the Pennsylvania Piece of Shit as my brother-in-law calls it. He's allowed to call it that because he lives in Pittsburgh. When the PA DOT isn't busy tearing apart and repaving roads that were just torn apart and repaved two years ago, they are putting up signs. There is a lot of reading material along Pennsylvania's interstates:





This year, my favorite was HEAVY TRUCK TRAFFIC. No. Shit.

Anyway, we spend a lot of time driving through Pennsylvania in order to get to our destination, Buffalo, NY. Once we cross the border into New York State, we leave behind the road signs, the 80 foot tall McDonald's sign poles, the lowered speed limit zones, and instead all you see are grape vines. Wineries are huge in New York. Not that you would know that living in Virginia. "New York wine is illegal in Virginia," I told my kids (not quite accurately) and Mad Scientist said, "Oh, more protectionist bullshit." Anyway. Western New York. At the horizon, on the left is a line of deep blue that extends as far as the eye can see. It is Lake Erie, and you know you are home.

On the whole it was an uneventful trip. Boring, naturally, but we got there safely and I am thankful.

Self portrait courtesy of Drama Queen.


  1. Having made the same drive last weekend, I understand your pain and anguish over PA roads completely. By the time we got to Pittsburgh, I was ready to punch someone. Repeatedly.

  2. Having made the same drive at the beginning of August (we are now in Franklin/Oil City area) I will say this: at least they no longer have those "My daddy works here! Slow down!" signs. Those drove me nucking futs. The assumption being that we're all slavering bogbeasts that have to be appealed to by little potential orphans. Bah.

  3. So true, lostcheerio. I knew there was a sign missing! Also gone: "Give 'em a BRAKE." Thank goodness.

  4. That construction rule totally exists in PA.

    You know the other law that exists in PA? Your toddler who has recently started tolerating the car will start detesting the car when you are 1.7 miles from your destination . . . which translates into 45 minutes of lane closures, tire fires, and invisible construction.

    Dear God in Heaven, sometimes I despise my husband's birth state. I love Philly, but I hate driving here.

  5. The clusterf*ck around road construction in every state is the result of poor planning and leaving men in charge of what to do and how to do it. Makes me nuts in my state too.