Monday, April 13, 2015

A Tale of Two Travelers

Once upon a time, Chesapeake Bay Woman and Daughter left Mathews County at 7:30 one Thursday morning and arrived at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg exactly six hours after they departed--even though the trip should only take five hours at most and should never have included a trip to another state called West Virginia.

But Chesapeake Bay Woman,  who is getting old who hasn't been to Tech since the 1980s, was stressed about lots of things up to and including the fact that her tire pressure light had been on since the 1980s last week.  So instead of focusing on the super simple directions that she'd studied the night before, she put herself on autopilot, left the directions in her pocketbook, decided against GPS since it was so super-easy, and drove towards Clifton Forge, which she visited often in her college days.

The only problem is, Clifton Forge is nowhere near Virginia Tech.

So, when CBW, intently studying the tire pressure light that seemed to be getting brighter and brighter, eventually looked up and saw the Welcome to West Virginia! sign, which was nowhere on the handwritten directions inside her pocketbook that she still hadn't pulled out, she started to sweat bullets and began a full-on panic attack, to which Daughter merely replied, "I have the iPhone.  Turn here, take this road, yes, we're two hours away, but this will be an adventure."

Serenity now.

After many different iterations of self-beratement (IDIOT!  You're  an idiot, CBW!  You have an uncommonly good sense of direction ordinarily, you have a GPS and an iPhone and you looked at the map last night.  How in the world did this happen? A blindfolded toddler could get from Mathews to Blacksburg!  You know how to get to Tech.  This trip was not supposed to include a visit to West Virginia, idiot!) and many, many stressful miles through one cow pasture after another, they finally re-entered the proper state--Virginia--and arrived at the proper destination--Blacksburg.  They sprinted towards the visitor center just as the doors were closing on their meeting.

After the meeting, which provided an overview of the school and their admissions process, they took a tour led by Meaghan.

Meaghan in front of Burrus Hall

While Daughter clutches her Tech paraphernalia and listens to Meaghan, Chesapeake Bay Woman
identifies with the young lady on the right, who is wondering when anything will ever be easy in life and, more importantly, when's lunch, since we haven't eaten all day?  Also, I'm dying of thirst.
And I need a nap. Is any of this asking too much?

Meaghan is very enthusiastic about Tech.
She graduates this year and will be going to grad school in Florida.
She's sad to be leaving Blacksburg.

Daughter does not appear to be at all frazzled by her mother's detour to West Virginia even though she hasn't eaten a crumb of food all day, and it's well after 2:30  here in this picture. 

Here, towards the middle of the walking tour--on what was a particularly warm day--
Daughter starts to feel the effects of malnutrition and dehydration
the lack of food and water. And the unscheduled trip to West Virginia.

After the tour of Virginia Tech, the two piled back into the car and drove another thousand couple of hours to Charlottesville without an unnecessary detour through another state.

In Charlottesville, they met first-year-student Son for dinner Thursday night, met with admissions officers Friday morning, and then went with Son to the downtown mall for lunch.

These are the remnants of our appetizer of roasted shishite peppers.
I'd never heard of them before, but I will be having them again.  Delicious!

After lunch, Daughter and Chesapeake Bay Woman bid farewell to Son and plopped back into the car for the journey home that included snail-pace traffic and a torrential downpour outside of Richmond.  In spite of everything, including the tire pressure light that is still on, the party arrived home in Mathews safe and sound and without another word about the never-ending cow pastures of West Virginia that were never, ever supposed to be a part of the trip.

The End.


Annie said...

whew, what fun.
sounds like you are going to be getting around a bit more these days, what with colleges to visit, along with the usual sport activities.
glad you finally made it there just in time, and finally got to eat, I was getting hungry faint and tired just reading about your ordeal!!

Dghawk said...

Oh, good grief! That I-64 exit at Lexington will get you every time! My problem is usually trying to remember to TAKE that exit. You really must have been distracted. Oh well. Now that you have seen the cow pastures of Greenbrier County, you should go back and walk through the Greenbrier, or go on to Lewisburg and check it out. Quite a few great B&Bs in the ares.

I am glad you finally made it to Tech on time. Funny story though.
Oh, and you'll find the tire pressure indicator will come on twice a year. As the temp rises in the spring, and at the beginning of winter. when it gets colder. Freaked me out the first time mine came on.

Anonymous said...

What a great story! Betsy

Anonymous said...

Poor CBW...the important thing was that your daughter remained calm and was on time for her college tour, and you both made it to your dinner date with your son...You 3 "loook mahvelous" in the photo !!
Don't feel bad re detour...a couple of months back I was entrusted to drive a leading graphic artist from Guatemala in to San Francisco, to a small gallery where his work was to be installed for a show. Despite my having lived several years in S.F. while attending college 40 yrs. ago, I was not totally sure of the best route to the North Beach part of town.I wanted to avoid morning traffic and so ignored GPS recommendations. As I glibly told my artist friend about my years of driving the steep hills in a standard shift VW bug(without rolling backwards at a stop sign), I discovered my direct route on the map did not illustrate that we were about to be going UP and DOWN some of the worst 45 degree angle hills. I had gone so far out of the way to avoid traffic snarls, and then had to creep up & down those steep hills s-l-o-w-l-y, that we were 45 minutes late. My friend & I bonded over the trip, and he was quite nice about the whole thing. Luckily.