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October 9th, 2010

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

Operation Wedding:  1200 Miles in 5 Days
My cousin’s getting married in Chicago.  Game on.

So there I was, Crackberry on and no way to charge it.  I fired off one note to a well-placed, well-trusted peep and hoped for the best.  No calls for you today, Grommit!

We found the best, about four doors down from the hotel, and we began the end of our road trip the way we started the beginning – that’s right, there’s a Waffle House.  It was laid out in signature Waffle House style, which is to say that it looked exactly like the one in Frederick, MD.  The similarities, however, stopped there.  Our waitress was a dusky-eyed, tattooed beauty named Carol, and she clearly owned the place.  Perhaps not literally, but she knew everyone on both sides of the counter, all the orders, all the drinks, and every word to every song I played on the jukebox.  I’m not sure what a girl has to do to look “dusky-eyed” at 0730 in the morning, but she did it.  In between taking our orders, keeping Number One Son’s undivided attention, and delivering enough coffee and calories to feed a small third-world village get us through the trip, she managed to shout hellos to every person that walked in the door that Monday morning. 

Mind you, so did many other people.  “Norm!”  Dear god, may I never become so established in my ways that all my friends know me when I walk into the Waffle House.  On the other hand, I’m sure the grease keeps them regular, and that’s healthy – right?  Anyway, if you’re passing through Bowling Green for breakfast, go see Carol at the Waffle House.  She rocks. 

Piles of Clouds

Piles of Clouds

Do you remember the clouds that looked like tanks in western Ohio?  As we approached Pennsylvania, the clouds looked like hemorrhoids piled up on the ass of the sky – I felt like we were driving into a scene from the Grapes of Wrath.  So to speak.  Once again, we were going to end the trip the way it started, raining sideways and pissing down the road.    

Driving Into Hell

Driving Into Hell

My good friends Billy Joel and Billie Joe Armstrong got us through the worst of it, a musical Preparation H to ease our passage down the Highway of Darkness. 

Once we were back on the road again, SOBUMD rang up the hotel in Twinsburg to see if they had my charger.  They connected her with housekeeping, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you.  And they did – about 100 miles past the exit, but still.  They found it, and shipped it to the house, and it’s plugged in now, safe and grounded.  (I know you were worried.)  Thank you, Hilton Garden Inn!

Rain or no, the America you can see from a car window looks considerably different than the one you see from the window of an airplane.  SOBUMD said this with her camera more eloquently than my humble words ever could. 

Farming in the Heartland

Farming in the Heartland

 

Industry in the Heartland

Industry in the Heartland

As if by miracle, we got home in time for the 5pm call with the office that I didn’t expect to make.  My aforementioned peep heard me join the call just as it started and said, mostly to remind our boss, “Hey, you’re supposed to be on vacation!”  It’s good to have friends! 

And this trip proved that simple fact, several times over – it’s not just good, it’s great to have friends.  Without all of you, we’d never have gotten past the front door. 

Congratulations to Sean and Katie, and thank you all for helping us get there and back again!



Yep, looks like another post from the Big, Ugly Man Doll!