Tuesday, July 12, 2005

To NH and back

I just returned from a trip to NH to witness a very close friend do final vows with the Benedictines. Very, ultra cool--will definitely have to blog that sometime. I do like the Benedictines, especially since I flirted with the Trappists at some point, who are an off shoot of sorts, nicht va?

A few thoughts.

Maryland to New Hampshire is much further than it seems. It's only 3 inches on the map, but that's a good 10 hours. I listened to James Ingram twice, Luther Vandross once, Bob Marley twice, the Crusaders once, Pat Metheney once and some Andre Crouch. That's a lot of music. Towards the end it was the Crusaders who are a jazz band and it was good background music without the emotional commitment.

There are no restaurants in New Jersey. I know because I couldn't find one on the Turnpike, with the exception of fast food. There were two Cracker Barrel, but given their issues with Black people, I had to pass on. They have promised to retrain staff, but just couldn't be sure that the NJ stores had received the memo yet. BTW, New Jersey whoppers are the size of 5" plates.

New Jersey is a great state and wonderful place. However, I was in Jersey for hours and I did not see one garden. I am yet to find a decent explanation for "the garden state."

On the Garden State Expressway in Jersey, I ran into three toll booths each within a mile of each other. Each one charged about 35 cents. Here's a thought for New Jersey. What if you consolidated to just one toll both and charged $1.05? Or better yet, give us a deal, 3 for a $1?

On a positive note, New Jersey has the cleanest service areas bathrooms known to man. I cannot tell you how impressed I was. At two or three service stops, I saw people in there cleaning and there was a guarantee sign up. Compare this with the 60% of the service areas on the Ohio turnpike (the east-west thing).

The Connecticut Welcome Service area's parking lot appeared to have a maximum of 30 spaces. Now, I know it is a small state and they may not always think big, but they should consider that people from other states do pass through and it is possible that more than 30 people may want to stop to use the facilities and get a bite or coffee. Just a thought.

Connecticut has some beautiful waterfronts, who knew? I drove past wishing I could stop for a few. On a negative note, I paid $2.90 for mid grade gas in CT. I guess they have to fill their coffers somehow.

It seemed the further northeast I got the ruder the service was. NH was an exception, very helpful folks there. But I guess I shouldn't judge Massachusetts by the McDonald's service.

Overall, it was a very beautiful drive, lots of trees, water and driving space. However, we do need transporter technology, I do not enjoy long drives.


Blogger Ambrose said...

Amtrak might have been faster, my friend. And you would get just as lovely a view of Newark.
When we were little my one sister and I always thought that the license plates said the Garbage State.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Ambrose said...

And since you flirted with the Trappists, have you seen the program that Kentucky public TV did a few years ago about Gethsemani? I don't know if they got the national distribution they were seeking. It was incredibly candid.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

Amtrak was a wee bit out of the budget range. It was $107 one way!!!

I'm afraid to ask about the Kentucy trappists. I'll muster up courage to click the link. The Trappists I was going to join were the ones in Western New York. They seemed normal enough and made darn delicious bread.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Ambrose said...

Oh yes, they do. I get that bread at Wegman's when I am at my parent's house.
Kentucky Trappists make amazing fudge. With bourbon!

8:15 PM  

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