In March my job sent me to a conference in Indianapolis. Not exactly a glamorous metropolis, but that’s not really my thing anyway. At these conferences I can rarely get far from the hotel/conference center but usually make a quick trip out to do something silly. In New Orleans I made it to Bourbon Street to drink my face off, in Orlando I took drunken co-workers for a midnight alligator spotting (stupid idea), and in Boston I managed to find a bakery that advertised amazing ricotta pies (which I glutinously ate like a hot dog walking down the street with no plate, fork, or napkin).
What a proper quote to start this post! I will now relay how I chose the ranch I’m doing my cattle drive on. That quote is also from Larry McMurtry’s fantastic Lonesome Dove novel, much of which takes place on a cattle drive. It’s actually that movie that made my dad and me want to eventually do a drive. Everyone keeps referencing City Slickers, screw you guys and screw Billy Crystal. I’m going to turn into the stoic rascal Robert Duvall. Anyway this was a hard decision and took a lot of careful consideration from airport transfers to sleeping arrangements.
The weekend after Valentine’s Day 2019, one of my favorite museums had a fun and strange event. The American Visionary Art Museum has a rotating collection that displays “outsider art.” Basically it’s from artists who are self-taught and can include anything from prisoner sock art to William Burroughs’ shotgun paintings. I’m always hopeful I’ll see John Waters at one of my visits but continue to strike out. I digress, I decided attending the AVM event should turn into a weekend in Baltimore!
Who knew that a quick weekend trip after New Years to see my Ohio family would have such a dairy theme? The day I left I looked at my maps and various websites and a theme ran through the silly sights I found: cows. I was going to see some fake cows and name a band I will never start: The Veiny Udders. Also ice cream. Plenty of ice cream.
On my 2017 trip I always asked people if I could put them on my blog and no one declined. To make it easy for me to give them the web address and my review accounts I made silly business cards. I think some are funnier than others, and a few are probably only funny to me, but I wanted to share.
On my recent excursion to the Pez Visitor’s Center I passed a billboard advertising pancakes voted to be the best in Connecticut. I wasn’t hungry but was curious about who gets to vote on the pancakes and how good Connecticut’s best really were. In conversation with Dr. Jen, we came up with a great idea for a sort of reoccurring blog column. I eat at diners all the time on my travels (as everyone on a road trip should), so why shouldn’t I intentionally seek them out with all of my other tacky and weird sights? And if I do seek them out, why shouldn’t I review their pancakes? So that’s what I’ve been doing, and along with gaining weight I’ve been having fun.
On part/day 2 of my journey it rained for 24 hours. This wasn’t just a light mist or gentle shower. There were gale force winds that turned our umbrellas inside out, the streets flooded causing detours on our walks through Salem (yes we still went out), and our faces and jeans were soaked by the horizontal onslaught of rain drops. To top it off, Dr. Jen was sick with a stomach bug causing her to eventually upchuck (she might hate that I wrote that). She was a trooper about it and I still had fun (am I an asshole for enjoying myself while she suffered?)!
The weekend before Halloween I went on a bucket list adventure that turned into a lame but funny disaster. I’ve long thought Salem, Massachusetts would be a fantastic place to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. It might be but I’ll have to go back to find out. I did see some wannabe The Craft era Fairuza Balks, but everyone was too soaked and covered to really show off any costumes. This trip is gonna be written as a two parter to keep the posts of a manageable size. My senior year English teacher told us that our writings should be the length of a pretty girl’s skirt. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep your interest. That shit would never fly in school today. Feel free to not read and just look at the fun pictures.
Once a year, Boy Scout Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco opens it’s doors to horror fans who want a tour of the original Crystal Lake. Gore loving fanatics get to see where the original Friday the 13th death’s occurred! To get tickets you have to enter a lottery and if you’re chosen, you have the opportunity to buy 2 tickets. My friend Betsy was chosen, knows me as a big horror fan, and invited me along. Of course I went!
I squeaked a trip in just under the wire. My one summer road trip was on Labor Day, basically what I consider the end of the season. I’ve been working non-stop and have had little time to do anything, so I’m extremely happy for my respite driving into and through Amish country. It’s been forever since I traveled, blogged, or basically did anything in life. I’m totally going to change that…maybe…we’ll see…who knows?