Five on Friday: The Vacation Edition

So, we’ve been on vacation and traipsing across America for a few days.  We’ve also been back for a few days but THIS WEEK, people, THIS WEEK has been a little crazy.  And yet we’ve somehow navigated it and have started back to school and as much as I love vacation time, I like the routine of the school schedule because Mama does enjoy her a little quiet space during the day when the house is picked up for more than 10 minutes.

Just keeping it real.

So, it’s Friday, and as I am wont to do in this corner of the Interwebs, it’s time for the Five and this week’s edition is 5 pictures from Day 1 of our little jaunt through West Virginia to Pennsylvania and Ohio.  The entire trip was way fun except for the part where I got lost in West Virginia for an hour on the way back and had a little nervous moment that I would never find civilization again.

They don’t call it Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for nothin’.

Fortunately, I had doughnuts in the car which soothed my jangled spirit because I never travel unprepared for emotional calamity.

Day 1:  We saw some pretty and some not-so-pretty sights on our travel day to Pittsburgh.  We drove around Pilot Mountain which I hear is a fun place to go climb but nature isn’t always accessible to wheelchairs nevermind that we aren’t outdoorsy people so we probably wouldn’t haven’t visited it anyway and I pointed it out to the kiddos and said something about it being a NC landmark and they nodded in the same fashion that they always do when I tell them things are important/historic/cool/interesting which is somewhere along the lines of rolling their eyes and saying “Yeah, we know, Mom.”

I think my over-enthusiasm for every little thing we see while on these trips has permanently labeled me as the girl who cried “Wolf!”.

We were making great time until we came around a bend and had to brake quickly for stopped traffic.  Turns out there was an accident on a one-lane bridge that had backed up cars for a mile or so and in the backup, a second accident had occurred.  The second accident was a bit more worrisome than the first because it involved an overturned gasoline truck that was leaking gas all over the highway and as it turns out, we were the lucky ones who ended up right next to the overturned truck.

It had all the makings of an action movie.  All we needed was Bruce Willis and a runaway baby carriage.

It was a tense few moments while I prayed that we could move forward an inch or two and we managed to creep up about eight car lengths and clear the accident site just as every EMS vehicle in the county showed up and shut down the road.

This is a very grainy picture of some of the emergency vehicles that showed up. I would have taken a picture of the gas truck as we sat six inches from it but I was petrified that clicking my camera button would set off an explosion so we just all sat tight and didn’t move a muscle and hoped that someone in another car didn’t need a cigarette break.

After an hour of sitting in park in 35 degree, snowflaky weather while we were all wearing shorts because someone didn’t look at the weather forecast, we were able to get moving again and we made our first touristy stop at the New River Gorge Bridge which is the longest arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere and also is conveniently located next to a State Park rest area with clean bathrooms.

I’m realizing we looked a little like street urchins in this photograph but did I mention that it was cold?  And shorts?  Fortunately we had a few jackets in the car from the last time it was chilly (sorry, T, you lost out because you had on long sleeves) and we managed to stay outside for about half an hour before racing back to the car.

We hit several traffic delays along the way and by the time we reached our hotel in Pittsburgh, it was late and we were starving.  Like, chew our arms off starving.  We asked the front desk for a casual, local dinner recommendation and he sent us to Mario’s, a family Italian restaurant in a nondescript strip mall and his idea of casual and my idea of casual were two different things because a) we were the only ones there in shorts and b) my kids were the only ones there under 40 but we were too hungry to be mortified and figured they’d never see us again so we stayed and ended up having a delicious dinner that made me wish for an Italian grandmother.

Eggplant parm.  It’s the only thing I can order and eat without having the kids steal food from my plate.

We got back to our hotel around 10:00 and everyone was too tired to even try to jump on the bed and we settled in and passed out in about fifteen seconds.

And I was grateful to be alive.

Coming up….Day 2.

Have a nice day.



3 responses to “Five on Friday: The Vacation Edition

  1. “I never travel unprepared for emotional calamity.”


    Glad you’re all home in one piece. Eggplant Parmesan is one of my faves!

  2. New River Gorge is in the vicinity of our West Virginia place. If you ever feel like traveling that direction this summer, let me know.

  3. ‘I never travel unprepared for emotional calamity’ should be in a book somewhere : )

    Eggplant parm! Yum! I backpacked in West Virginia in college. I was actually one of the people in charge. We got lost and spent a very scary night in a canyon beside rushing water. Sometimes I can’t believe people left their teenagers in my care.

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