Back From Vacation

5 minute read

This past weekend, Rachel, Pam (my mother-in-law), Lynn (Pam’s sister), Nana (Pam’s mom) and I took a road trip to Kentucky. We were going to see some of Rachel’s relatives and to do some sightseeing. Since I’d never been to Kentucky, I was fairly happy to go. The trip there was fairly uneventful. Apparently, we passed through Virginia and West Virginia, but I was so engrossed with my book and music that I missed the “Welcome To” signs. I read and finished one book on the way down and another book on the way home. I’ve been trying to finish at least one book a week (at least until school starts).

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel in West Virginia. Normally, I like eating there, but the service wasn’t good this time. Apparently they had lost our name, so they never called us to a table. We ended up spending about two hours there. I did pick up some nice souvenirs though: I got a t-shirt with a picture of a monkey with the words “It wasn’t me” and a hat with the words “Bad hair day”. I also picked up a cube puzzle. Basically, you have to remove blocks from the case and then put them back. It took me about five minutes the first time, but now I can do it in under a minute.

Near Paintsville, KY, we stopped at a roadside souvenir place, and then we went to the Ramada Inn in Paintsville. We changed quickly and went to dinner at Shoney’s. We met up with Lynn and Sam (whose relationship to Rachel escapes met at the moment). I don’t normally like meeting new people, but both of them were extremely nice to talk with. I look forward to exchanging e-mails and pictures with them in the future.

Unfortunately, meeting Sam and Lynn was the high point of our dining experience at Shoney’s. When we first arrived, I was asked how many were in our party and where we wanted to sit. I said that there were seven of us for the smoking section. The hostess just pointed to a nearby table. The waitress was very slow and forgetful. We’d only see her at twenty-minute intervals. When the food finally arrived, it was cold. When Rachel had her food re-heated, the onion rings she had ordered had been re-fried (burnt) making them inedible. I sent out a complaint e-mail to Shoney’s but I’ve yet to see a response.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to relax. I hadn’t planned on taking my laptop because Ramada’s website said that they only had modem lines. However before we left, I called up the hotel to see what kind of connection they had. They said that they had a “high speed” connection. So, I figured bring the laptop along anyway to play games and download picture from our camera. Back in my mind, I keep wondering if the hotel’s version of “high speed” meant a dial-up connection.

On the way back to our room, I saw an “Ethernet hard-wired in every room” sign (it’s amazing what us geeks notice). I was pretty happy. This meant that it should have been a fairly simple setup. However, when I got to the room, the presence of an Ethernet jack eluded me. Apparently “every room” didn’t necessarily include my room. The staff at the front desk was very helpful; they loaned me two wireless bridges. Neither of them worked. Ugh. I was finally able to get connected using a wireless card.

Later that night, Rachel and I went swimming in the indoor/outdoor pool. There’s a glass partition (that you can swim under) that separates the two sides. It was very nice and relaxing. My only regret was that there were too many people in the hot tub for us to go in it.

The next morning we had a relatively nice, albeit cold, breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel. We stopped off at WalMart so the group could pick up umbrellas before heading off to see Loretta Lynn’s home place. It wasn’t something that I was dying to see, but the tour was fairly nice.

We then made a brief stop at the hotel (to change) before heading out to Salyersville, KY. We stopped at Ramey’s park where they were having a town celebration. I was fairly enjoyable. All of the food looked good, but I limited myself to a single snow cone.

After the park, we stopped at the State Road Fork United Baptist Church to take some pictures. Then we went to a cemetery where some of Rachel’s relatives were buried. We had to cross a stream (by foot) to walk up the hill to the cemetery. I tried to get video of Rachel and Lynn falling in, but they weren’t being cooperative. We then headed off to Bob Evans for dinner and then back to the hotel to watch the video that I had been taping.

The next morning, we had a nicer (warmer) breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel before we headed out. We stopped at Jenny Wiley State Resort. I look a couple of pictures of their water fountains. We stopped at the Hillbilly Flea Market in Ashland, KY before eating at the nearby Golden Coral. We also made a quick stop at the WalMart in Circleville, OH and Remick’s Family Market in Ashville, OH. It was kind of interesting to see a jar of “Santa Rosa Plum Jam”. I’m assuming that it was from Santa Rosa, CA, but the cashier didn’t know for sure.

As usual, Rachel and I made a list of different state license plates that we found: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia

On Monday, I had a lot of catching up to do. I had about six hundred e-mails to go through. Fortunately most of them were spam, so I didn’t need to reply to them. I’m nearly caught up now. Also, I had been keeping track of my food intake in my notebook (like I normally do). I finally got all of that information into the computer as well. Also on Monday, we picked up the dogs from the kennel. As usual, they were very happy to see us. They weren’t home more than an hour before they tore up Emily’s bed. Since we were going to PETsMART anyway for Kara and Kelly’s training, we picked up a new bed. We gave Kara and Kelly’s bed to Emily and we gave the new one to Kara and Kelly. So far they have been enjoying it.

Tagline for today: “Babies don’t need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach. It pisses me off! I’ll go over to a little baby and say, ‘What are you doing here? You haven’t worked a day in your life!’” - Steven Wright