…In Random Places

We went on a road trip last weekend, as previously written. We always look forward to road trips together. Well, I look forward to road trips and he loves me so I am taking the liberty of saying we look forward to road trips. He drives and I enjoy the scenery and sometimes shout “ooh!” when I see something I want to photograph that we’re not going to turn around to photograph. Not that he won’t stop, because he will and often asks, but I’m kinda lazy and also impatient to get where we’re going and I always decline. So there are hundreds fewer pics on my phone and that’s probably a good thing because I’ve already got 3,837 images and 87 videos.

Anyway, I use the time to look things up and it always leads down the rabbit hole of trivia, like when we entered Culpeper, Virginia and it made me think of the actor Jamie Bell who for me is forever the face of Abraham Woodhull in the Netflix series TURN: Washington’s Spies (who was also the famed Culpeper of the real-life spy ring), and that led to a discussion about how much I loved that series and how Todd didn’t because there was “too much drama” in it like the romance crap that he said isn’t necessary to the story and just feeds the public consumption of “drama” and it took away from the historical telling of the story.

I said that I liked the salacious element of the forbidden romance between Woodhull and Anna Strong and he said that the relationship probably never happened because people didn’t have affairs like that back then and I insisted that they did because people have always been human just maybe not as often or maybe more so and who can really know? So a short google search later exposed the ten-year age difference between Anna and Abe (she was older) and also that she was married with children when the Culper Ring was started and also that the men involved in it were mostly bachelors with nothing to lose. So TURN also invented Abe’s wife and child and his brother – to make the story more dramatic. Dammit. Todd wins.

At some point during this debate we entered Madison County, Virginia which made me think of the Bridges of Madison County – which is not in based in Virginia – and it made me wonder if there were a lot of bridges here but I didn’t get a chance to look that up because I soon noticed that apparently this is where school buses come to die. Just off the highway, dozens of rusting out school buses (and other old vehicles) in the woods and adjacent junkyards. It was fascinating and elicited a solid “oooooh!” followed by Todd’s offer to turn around and again I said, “no, that’s okay,” which in some circles is woman-code for it’s NOT okay but in this case it was perfectly fine and besides, it was overcast and it wasn’t the mood I was going for in my “creative photography.”

As anyone who knows my husband is acutely aware, any conversation will eventually segue, whether smoothly or senselessly, to Mustangs. He regales me with so much information about Mustangs that I ought to be an expert myself, but I refuse to know that much because it’s exhausting and I already have too many tabs running inside my brain. Nevertheless, he mentioned the 2017 California Special “we” once had that he traded in, saying how comfortable it was, didn’t you think? I said, yeah, sure, it was comfortable and Todd, apparently not satisfied that I’d expressed my agreement enough, said, “you always fell asleep in it.” That’s because I was drunk, Todd.

Speaking of drunk, I don’t drink anymore. Really. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had alcohol since before November. The desire is all but lost, except for Saturday at the memorial when I decided to try the winery’s red. It was self-serve and it’s fascinating to see how much wine people will pour for themselves when no one is watching. And they kept emptying the open bottles and twice I found myself volunteering to open a bottle and twice cursed my lack of a wine key in my purse because I had to use that God-awful opener with the “arms” on it. This is where I declare myself a snob because any wine drinker worth their grapes has a professional wine key.

Anyway, the wine was delicious and I didn’t feel like I’d let myself down. Until the middle of the night when the burning-from-the-inside-out started and between that and the pain in my shoulder I didn’t sleep well. However, I blame the IPA at dinner, not the wine.

A group of us went to a taproom/sports bar for dinner and – for Todd and I – to watch the Eagles playoff game. They had a miles-long beer list and I texted Matt for his opinion and siblings sometimes think alike I guess because he picked the one I really wanted to try, which was good but it was bloating and when I complained to him that I should’ve had bourbon instead he said, “whiskey is where it’s at” and then I wondered what kind of brother he was to not to say that in the first place.

Anyhoo, the game was on and – remember we are in Virginia in a packed restaurant – absolutely no one was watching the game. Unless you’re not from the U.S. you’d have to live under a rock to not know how fucking crazy Philadelphians are and it was SURREAL to be in a sports bar watching the Eagles with not one soul screaming at the TV.

Sunday was a 100% chance of rain so we didn’t stick around to explore the historic district of Charlottesville, sadly. The ride home was uneventful, except for some crying (mine, aforementioned) and Todd saying, “ooh, look at that 2014 blue Mustang” while pointing to a car lot. This man could pick out the lone Mustang in a sea of long-term airport parking lots. While driving past at 75mph. I never did see the car in question, because it was a suburban area with a hundred storefronts, restaurants, and … car lots.

Later, I saw a Mustang and said, “ooh! A Mustang!” and he didn’t. So he said what kind was it and I rattled off, oh it was a 2016 6-cylinder black like I’m the curator of the Henry Ford museum. He asked me about the grill and some other details I don’t remember anymore and then – cue singing choir – he thought I was right! Holy shit.

There’s more but not exactly light or exciting reading so I won’t bore you with tunnel trivia except to share that apparently 895 is shorter by 7 miles than I-95, for those traveling north from Virginia.

Miscellaneous tidbits:

Anna Smith Strong, according to Wikipedia, was one of the only women in the Culper Ring, who relayed signals to another member “who ran smuggling and military missions for General George Washington.” There is no further information about her after the American Revolution, other than she passed away at the age of 72 in Setauket, New York.

The asterisk in my previous post next to the Grand Canyon – I was looking for a physical place with the largest hole in the earth as a metaphor, and a search turned up the Kola Superdeep Borehole, near the Russian border with Norway, as the deepest man-made hole at 40,230 ft. It is “so deep that locals swear you can hear the screams of souls tortured in hell.” Sounds like a fun place to visit. (BBC, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190503-the-deepest-hole-we-have-ever-dug)

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