Greetings from the most anti-gay state in the nation!
Mood: excited
Posted on 2006-08-26 21:13:00
Tags: moving travel
Words: 650

Ah, Roanoke, Virginia. So nice to end up in such a nice nice hotel as this. There's a nice whirpool with rotating lights (and two mirrors), big flat screen tv, and the place is huge. Will put up pictures when we get there :-)

So, the first two days: fairly successful in terms of driving. Today, not so much. Since things had gone well we decided to stick with the plan of the Blue Ridge Parkway. First problem - I-40 near the North Carolina border was down to 45 mph (fairly curvy road - it was in a national park, so makes sense). But we stuck with it and took it over to the parkway. Now, the speed limit on the parkway is 45 mph the whole way, which we hadn't realized. Also, the drive is kinda scary if you go 45 mph - there are tight turns, especially with changing altitude (think roller coaster!) Finally, for some reason they let bikers go on the road (it's one lane both directions with absolutely no shoulder, and usually the trees are very close to the road). Now I'm sure it's an awesome (but tough!) ride with the scenery, but this is seriously dangerous because you have to either slow to a low speed to stay behind them or try to pass them quickly, which is scary because the road is fairly narrow and on a lot of the turns you're lucky if you can see a second in front of you. So that was scary.

Having said that, the view was absolutely gorgeous - we switched off drivers so we could both see the scenery. There are lots of overlooks where you can stop and take pictures, which I did :-)

So originally in my mind we were going to take the Blue Ridge Parkway the whole way to Roanoke, then spend the night in Charlottesville (another 120 miles). This was right out, because the 45 mph speed limit meant we would get there at like, oh, 3 am or something. (don't forget, we changed timezones which cost an hour as well) So we took the first "exit" off of the parkway (which were few and far between - I was a bit worried about running out of gas!) and decided to take some roads to get back to I-81. Apparently "state road" in North Carolina means "nice mountainous road where speed limits are 35 mph for long stretches of time", so this took for freakin' ever. Finally we were going to stop before Roanoke in Wytheville, but the hotels I called were all full up, so we bit the bullet and drove to Roanoke, where we are now. Yesterday we averaged 58 mph for the day, including stops (500 miles in 8.5 hours) - today it was 45 mph (500 miles in 11 hours) which makes a huuuge difference.

Luckily tomorrow's drive will only be around 300 miles so we don't have to get up early or anything.

Last night we watched The Break-Up while in the whirlpool. The movie ordering system was weird - you had to tune the TV to channel 2, then pick up the phone and press the "movie" button (which was on a box also tapped in to the phone line), then use the remote to select the movie, then swipe a credit card through the box to pay for it. Seems unnecessarily complicated...

Random bits:
- This morning right before we checked out, a guy in the hall said "so, you're from Texas" (I was wearing my Texas ARML shirt). I said yeah and he asked where my Kinky for Governor bumper sticker was. I was surprised to hear this in Tennessee :-)
- At lunch today (Subway for the third lunch in a row!) the girl making my sandwich said I looked like George from Grey's Anatomy (which I haven't seen). After looking at the picture, I guess I can see a resemblance...

Columbia tomorrow!


Comment from cifarelli:

When I finished grad school in NC, a large chunk of my family came up there for my graduation. After graduation, one of the things we did was take a driving tour of a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC with my grandmothers. We all really enjoyed the scenery; the worst part for me was that the whole way along there were lots of little hiking trails leading off from the highway. I would have loved to stop and do some hiking, but neither of my grandmothers was in good enough shape to allow it. :(

Glad y'all made the drive safely today, even if it was a bit harrowing at times.

Comment from gregstoll:

That sounds really nice. I would love to drive it in a less time-crunched environment :-)

Comment from onefishclappin:

I do vaguely see the resemblance - cool!
I sympathize on the cyclists on the road from both angles. Glad you guys are enjoying yourselves re. nice hotels!

Comment from egray:

what brand of hotel are you staying in with all these hot tubs? not that i stay in hotels that frequently, but i've never encountered them and it sounds awesome!

Comment from gregstoll:

Well, so, the first night we stayed in Hot Springs and most hotels had them. After that, we liked it so much that we looked out for them. Two hotels have been Comfort Inn & Suites and one has been Clarion - we mostly choose on the basis of whirlpool and free high-speed internet. And they're surprisingly affordable; we've stayed well within our relocation budget...

Comment from wonderjess:

I haven't watched much grey's anatomy, but from what I have watched/can tell, everyone loves george, so it's all good. hehe.

I put a "don't mess with texas women" bumper sticker on my car so it's easier to find in a parking lot, since the car itself is not real distinctive. I guess the "keep austin weird" one will work for you in md :).

Comment from amorphousplasma:

Matt and I actually had the luxury of camping in the Great Smokey Mountains on one of our road trips. Glad you got to see the area!

Comment from bobacita:

I've made that connection before. He's a sweet guy, and so are you!

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