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Archive for the ‘driving’ Category

Northern Maine.  Aroostook Center Mall.  Thursday night.  Karaoke.  

Okay, so the ‘Northern Maine’ does shed a little light but there is still so much wrong with the picture, I don’t even want to get started.  Hubby saw a 17-year-old mumbler as he walked in and a well-over-70 woman singing something from the 50s on the way out. 

I know it’s cold out but jeeeez

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To all the people that I drove behind this morning:  Did I miss the announcement for ‘Drive 10 Under’ day?!  Or is this really an impromptu holiday saved only for those days when I’m running late? 

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Grammar lesson of the day:  Think of exclamation points as punctuation for special occasions. 

Examples of improper use

I am going grocery shopping tonight!!!!  or I’m making liver and onions for supper!!!!

One exclamation point will suffice in nearly every situation (an earth-bound asteroid or a lava flow heading your way might be an exception) and this includes internet “chatting” and e-mails.  At the very least, the multiple-point move should be used sparingly… not in every sentence

Using four to tell me you’re getting your hair done or that you bought a new shirt just makes me want to smack you.  With a dictionary.  One of those really big hardcover ones that would really hurt. 

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Ahh, I love being on the brink of vacation. 

The hurried packing (because I never do it ahead of time).  The restless sleep the night before.  That anxious “I’m forgetting something” feeling.  Toothbrush?  Check.  Camera?  Check.  Shaving cream?  Check.  Sunglasses?  Check.  Heavy foot so we can make quick work of the 7-hour drive tonight?  Check. 

This time we are headed to Newfoundland with two of Brian’s brothers, David and Jason.  We are renting an RV in Halifax tomorrow, spending a couple of days in Cape Breton, and then heading to Newfoundland.  Cape Breton will be beautiful because the leaves are about half turned… I’ll be sure to get some pics for our southern friends. 

The RV is going to be an interesting experience to say the least.  My parents had a few RVs as I was growing up (“Hey hon, this trailer really isn’t big enough.  We really should trade it in for this one that’s two feet longer, dontchya think?”) but I was young so never really experienced the fun of packing one up, setting it up, cooking in one … much less driving one over the narrow winding roads on a big rock.  Hmm … I wonder how well moose deflect off of RVs? 

We will spend the majority of our time at Gros Morne National Park.  Hiking, kayaking, and, I suspect, freezing our butts off a little.  Speaking of Butts, that is a popular surname in Newfoundland.  My best friend in university is a Butt and proud of it. 

Some of the places I want to visit while in Newfoundland: 

  • Conception Harbour.  (No, mom, I’m not pregnant yet.)
  • Dildo (I’m not joking)
  • Heart’s Desire, not far from Dildo.  I probably should just stop talking and let you <insert joke here>
  • Come by Chance
  • Little Heart’s Ease
  • Tickle Cove … Hee hee hee.
  • Happy Adventure… sign me up! 
  • Deadman’s Bay.  Who is this dead man and why is it HIS bay? 
  • River of Ponds.  Okay, who are they letting name these places anyway?
  • Fortune
  • Hickman’s Harbour
  • Frozen Ocean Lake
  • Witless Bay

Okay, so we’re really not going to be anywhere near these places and I’m just looking for a laugh.  So sue me.   It’s early and I could come up with nothing else. 

Interesting Newfoundland fact:  There are no snakes, skunks, deer, porcupines, or groundhogs on the island.  Phew… I can leave my porcupine repellent home. 

I will likely try to get online at various times during the trip.  Do you think Gros Morne has a free wireless network?  Hmm … if not, maybe in Hickman’s Harbour. 

Pictures and stories will abound upon my return.  Don’t miss me too much. 

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Some things I have have come to realize about myself and travel during this trip:

  • I do not enjoy air travel.  This has gone from figuring I am just an inexperienced traveller that is getting used to the idea to actually deciding that I do not like it.  I am not afraid of flying but I am a nervous passenger.  I am the passenger that gasps at the slightest hint of turbulence.  I despise the bumpy lurch forward of the takeoff… in fact, flying might be tolerable if it were not for the takeoff. 
  • I don’t like sitting around waiting for flights to board… I know, this seems obvious.  Who in their right mind would enjoy sitting around for 2 hours just waiting for something to happen?  But to me there is just something very fake about being in a room full of strangers with noses in their books, pretending to be deeply engrossed by them and being ever-so-polite when they really are just as aggravated as I am at the whole air travel thing.  Maybe this seems worse to me because I have mostly travelled alone. 
  • I don’t like the window seat or the aisle seat.  I have no preference at all. 
  • I hate loud obnoxious passengers that figure the plane is their own shouting ground (flashing back to DR flight now). 
  • I hate that little battle that is waged for the middle armrest with the stranger in seat B. 
  • I hate being seated (so agonizingly close) to someone that thinks I want to listen to them yammer on for the entire flight.  I always board with a book in hand and put my nose into it immediately to avoid this displeasure.  This, however, does not always work.  Only once have I ever enjoyed talking to someone in this manner and that was tonight, actually (but then, Newfoundlanders are always friendly and almost always interesting). 
  • I really enjoy interstate driving … preferably in the two faster lanes.  I have no problem making lane changes at any speed.  That’s what they make side mirrors and signal lights for, right?  I avoid the slow lane to avoid merging traffic. 
  • I do not like tunnels, whether they are underwater or under concrete.  Instead of turning on my lights, I turn up my windows.  I realize that there is no common sense supporting this move but I do it anyway. 
  • Congested driving does not bother me.  If I need to change lanes, I am not shy about putting on my signal light and changing lanes.  If this holds up the lane that I am in, they will just let me in faster. 
  • I really enjoy a sunroof. 
  • I have an excellent sense of direction.  I’ve always known this but it becomes more apparent (and satisfying) when navigating through a strange city that is infinitely larger than the speck on the map you are from. 
  • For those moments of doubt, there is always someone friendly enough to ask a question to.  I don’t care where you are. 
  • Flight delays are really just a good reason to sit and have a beer. 
  • Leftover American money is a good reason to sit and have a beer. 
  • <EDIT> to add that I avoid revolving doors at all costs.  They freak me out. 

And, as I sit here listening to the announcement of the second delay of my Halifax-Fredericton flight and drinking a beer (mmm … Canadian beer), it occurs to me that airlines should give flight vouchers for any sort of delay that is not incurred by weather.  Just once I would like for them to explain just what they mean by ‘mechanical difficulty’.  Granted, I would not be getting on the plane no matter what the “difficulty” (see first bullet) but still…

If I could explain why I’m connecting in Halifax in the first place, I would… <sigh>

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