On The Road
Each year Fred Feines travels with his pal Barbara to attend the ACC Show Specialty and the ACC Field Trial Specialty. He puts into writing his trials and tribulations of the trip and his take on everything! We share it here with you...
- Monday.. The Prelude
Packing! How hard should it really be? We've been traveling for years. Decades. We should have it down to a science. How come every single time is like reinventing the wheel? I've been saying for years I'm gonna' write down what we took and what we used or didn't. Never have. Probably wouldn't matter.
How come we pack lean and come home with so many things that were never worn? And we went to the laundromat midweek? I don't understand. We go away overnight, it takes hours to pack and 2 bags. Huh? Who are these guys running through the airport with a briefcase and a cinnamon bun or whatever it is. Bose earphones maybe. Road warriors? On the road for 3 weeks with a briefcase and a danish? Don't they bathe? Do they put their headphones in water and they turn into a new suit? What is it they really do on the road
anyway? Doesn't anyone care what they smell like?
Our poor Suburban. Two people and one dog. How much can we need for 10 days? Need. Oh boy.
One weather website says it's pretty much gonna' continue raining all up and down the East coast for the next week. Another says only 30% chance of rain most of the time. While neither is a pretty picture ... guess which one we favor? We had 6 inches or rain last Saturday. That's more rain that we had in August and September! Together. And it's still raining.
Ask us how much fun we had watching UCONN cream Syracuse in football last Friday IN THE RAIN? Ask Barbara how much she'd have bet you there was no way -NADA- chance she'd ever sit in the rain to watch college football. That was then. This is now. She's hooked. She comes home hoarse from games. Sometimes
I make her sit in a different row. People buy her more beers that she could drink. Ever. And women's college basketball season starts soon. Don't get her started.
Powerball is supposed to be $250 MILLION Wednesday night! That's alot of money. ALOT OF MONEY. That's like as much as the Adelphia guys made the year before they went to jail.
Do you think a dealer would deliver one of those big RV's to us at the Specialty if we win? Hmmmm. What color? Brown? Sedge? Such a dilemma. Ah, one of each. Of course.
We've been so busy worrying about what not to bring we never got around to looking what there might be to do in or around Frederick, Maryland. I printed directions but never looked at a map to see WHERE Frederick, MD really is. It could be in Ohio for all I know. Isn't that what navigators are for? In case I can connect from somewhere, any special attractions, exhibits or restaurants near the Specialty?
We pretty much know what's in store for us at the Field Specialty. How many ways can you serve cranberries? Pine barrens. Or is it barren pines? And I grew up in NJ. They say you can't walk 100 feet in the pine barrens without tripping over someone. Buried.
The western and southern areas of New Jersey are really very nice. Nary a refinery in sight. Most people drive through New Jersey and only see the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike and it ain't pretty. Off those main roads there are some absolutely lovely areas. Gosh. Even Route 78 or 287 go through some beautiful country. Densest population in the country though. Happy to be living in the country now; as much country as Connecticut can have. Wyoming it's not.
We are soooo pumped. We know we're going to get to see so many people we haven't seen for years, some more than others (years, that is.)
Carole and Jim. The Stewarts. The Steinhoffs. Lynda and the other Lynda. Heidi and Gary, Bruce and Marlene. Oh so many people. We're disappointed already that it looks like the Rollins Clan is not making the trip. Paula Elmes is home rebuilding her home STILL. Tom Cox didn't enter a dog (that we saw.) It won't seem like a Field Specialty if Tom and Parker aren't there. Doc Miller? We miss Les. And Nancy. Alex is staying home this year. Warren Price is at the Master Nationals. So much to look forward to. So many stories. So little sleep. We want Benedetta to start traveling again! We miss her sooo. Midnight already. Happy Trails.
Fred and Barbara On The Road (in a coupla' hours.)
|Oct 11 - Tuesday -
Day 1 Starting Out.. Whew. Done packing. No need to
explain what the Suburban looks like. Suffice it to say there's not much
extra room. Air could be a problem; we drove with a window open to be
safe. We set Noon as a target time to leave and almost made it;
12:30 PM is almost right on the money. Then we stopped for lunch before we
made it all the way to the highway! Don't ask, there's no logic. We had
warm fruit and cold water that warmed rapidly. We had to stop for real
food! We made a whole 200 miles today. 200 miles. That's not even
half-way across a lot of states. We crossed three. Oh well. East Coast
states are little, what can I say. We each took naps; I got a longer one
than Barbara 'cause I didn't sleep at all last night. Worry? Nah.
New Jersey. If you've never lived her or visited you can't understand diner culture or really, extreme junk food. Oh and New York Style deli. Kosher deli. Unless you've experienced it words cannot describe it. We go to this place in Woodbridge, regular sandwiches are 8" - 12" tall. YES. They serve the sandwich with a side plate of extra bread. Two BIG eaters would be sated
with a single sandwich. Jumbo sandwiches are family fare. Eclairs the size of footballs. I am not kidding. Footballs. Seven layer cake; 18" tall. Pancakes are the size of serving platters. Who cares about size -yeah- the food is the best. Ok, on to diners.
For unknown reasons New Jersey diners have traditionally been operated by persons of Greek origin. There must be a reason; it's lost in some continuum somewhere. More than half the pizza places are run by Greek families; the other half by Italians. And pizza originated in China. Go figure. New York and New Jersey are home to thin crust pizza. Thin. Like paper. Thick, crisp crust. Alot of people like those deep dish, Chicago style pies but I figure it's just because they never had a good pizza. So there.
New Jersey diners have rather extensive menus, like 25 pages. No, I'm not kidding. They have tons of stainless steel and are lit so brightly you could; I don't know but they're really bright. The food. Usually good. Varied. I'd never order chicken florentine but breakfasts and burgers and such are usually good. Chopped steak (think big burger) with mashed potatoes, onions and brown gravy is a staple. Sorta' the chicken fried steak of the Mid-Atlantic region. (I would vote for Chicken Fried Steak but if you
ask for that in New Jersey you'll get fried chicken.)
Leaving diners, ... second only to Philly (as in Philadelphia) Cheese Steaks are White Castle burgers -and the word is used rather loosely- and Jimmy Buffs, Italian hot dog (or sausage) sandwiches. Big round, flat loaves of bread, slit open and stuffed with hot dogs or sausage, fried potatoes, onions, peppers, some mustard. Ooooh. Junk food heaven. White Castle burgers are little squares of "meat" with holes punched in them (they're really about 1 oz. by the time all the wholes are drilled) covered in onions and served on cute, miniature buns. Each "burger" is a bite. ONE BITE. But oh so good. The french fries and onion rings are insults; stick with the burgers.
Anywho, it's still raining. It drizzled all the way today, lightly, but wet. Roads were slick. I was tired from missing my regular (EARLY) bed time. The Field Trial raffle is still running. Envelopes arrived today from Wisconsin and Tennessee. Those people know a good thing when they see it.
I'm told I misread some tea leaves and the Rollins Clan WILL be in Maryland. Good. It'll be nice to see Shannon and her family.
I heard a rumbling today that Julie Cole is enroute to New Jersey as I type. Nita Schaeffer and Marilyn Williams leave the Pacific Northwest tomorrow morning. Nita was one of my *Stellar Sellers*; she moved alot of Field Trial Raffle Tickets for THE CLUB. Thanks, Nita.
Oh, I almost forgot. On the topic of New Jersey junk food, Tastycake Bakeries. Some regions have this thing for Little Debby or Moon Pies or those little (scrumptious) pecan pies. In New Jersey (and Pennsylvania, but NOT Connecticut) it's Tastycakes. Little chocolate covered, golden cakes with peanut butter (Tandy Cakes) or without the peanut butter and with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate (Kandy Cakes) or butterscotch trumpets or whatever they are. They're like butterscotch lady fingers. Arteries wince when you turn down the Tastycake aisle! Is anyone surprised I've gained 100 pounds in the last 20 years? Is anyone surprised I enjoyed gaining each and every one of those pounds. I MISS the 35 pounds I lost this last year. (I've got to miss another 65 if I want to keep going with the On The Road series!) I can dream, can't I?
Tomorrow morning it's on to Frederick, Maryland and the start of the Show Specialty (for us.) Can't wait to try to unpack the car! Happy Trails. Fred and Barbara (On the Road to the 2005 Show Specialty)
The Show!!!!!! OK, let's see. It's a little cool and overcast but ...
it hasn't rained
since we arrived (~1:30 pm.) That's a very good thing. A little windy on
hilltop, but that's OK too.
ghis morning is cool, 55 with a light breeze.
cooler but what the heck.
We didn't see anyone else that we knew. Agility people are here in a big
pulling an equipment trailer. Must be a local club or even an event
You know what they say about a bad day fishing being
better that a good day at work? Only sometimes. I work in a moderate
temperature, it's dry with little wind. Not so in Frederick, MD today.
Whew. Connected @ 26.4 k in The Blueberry Capitol of The
World, Hammonton, NJ. I'm hangin' my head -not in shame- but I know
some people are disappointed; some are no doubt relieved! We've just gotten
caught up in things and our On The Road responsibilities were neglected.
Let's see. Should we try to make up for days lost? Just move on, put it
behind us? Compromise!
Fred and Barbara, On the
Road, at the 2005 ACC Field Specialty.
We did not make it to the WD,
unfortunately. We had directions and a well intending person went over
them with us. He "added" oh yeah, it's 355 NORTH (the directions didn't
specify.) Well. It was SOUTH. We know because we went ~20 miles NORTH. It
was definitely south. By the time that was straightened out it was
kinda' late. We headed for NJ.
Fred and Barbara, On
the Road, now in NJ for the ACC Field Trial Specialty.....