A random billboard:
I did not mean to suggest yesterday that I dislike travel. We do it a lot, and while I enjoy being at home there is a great deal to be said about being on the road.
The lower Appalachian Mountains, for example, are so beautiful. There’s just such a verdant and pastoral feeling, and so it was not a bad thing that the GPS took us off of the interstate and sent us through tiny towns that most people a county over had never heard of. The hills and mountains are majestic, and we could only think of seeing this in the fall, in those four or six pitch-perfect days of leaf turn that we get in the South, and how bad it would hurt to ride up these roads on our bikes.
It is beautiful country. And then you drive in front of some of the worst highway kitsch on this side of the Mississippi. But what can you do. Mountains, like the autumn they inspired today, are on that list of things a photograph can’t share. No matter how wide or tight, no matter the filter or the Photoshop technique, they’re just too powerful for a lens.
We’re visiting friends for the weekend — there’s a wedding. Also, our hotel has freshly made cookies. See? Another great thing about travel.
A small group of us found our way to some bad local pizza joint tonight. Apparently, the locals later told us, you don’t go there for the pizza. (Or the calzones, as I can now tell you.)
They do have what is apparently the most impressive beer selection in town. I couldn’t say, but they did have an entire page worth of brands. And their gimmick was that if you drank each in a 30-day period you got some sort of silly little reward. I can’t imagine eating that many bad calzones in a month, even if I was thirsty for 40 pints of beer.
We said we were from out of town, which only started the server in on the other promotional gimmick. You could get a four-ounce sample of each brand. And if you can drink them all in an hour, and not throw up, or otherwise cause a scene (it was very important that she told us this part) then you got the drinks free.
One presumes you’d pay for the eventual alcohol poisoning.
I can’t imagine trying that. I had a hard time imagining the person who would try that. She said one person had successfully completed the sample-sized challenge. A short person. I’m not sure what his size had to do with it. I’m fairly sure he wasn’t eating, though. Later we heard from someone that others have tried it and created an embarrassing situation for themselves, which finally explained the importance of the waitress’ caveat. You get kicked out, the deal is off and you have to pay. Again, in more ways than one.
Why would a person do this to themselves?
So we met the bride tonight. Lovely lady. We went to school at Alabama with the groom. We saw his brother and father again. We met his mother. They are lovely people. There was a small group up from the groom’s undergraduate days and we listened to them tell now ancient stories, which have surely gotten better in time.
The best stories always do. I hope they get a story or two like that out of their big weekend.