Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 things I learned while driving 2400 miles around the Great Lakes

1. Illinois toll roads pretty much suck. So what are they using the money for again?

2. I apparently do not understand the term "express lane."

3. When driving from St. Cloud toward the east coast, my teeth officially don their first set of wool sweaters just before Chicago.

4. It takes a lot of skill to keep a gas station's spring loaded toilet seat down with one foot while you put the requisite 2 pounds of toilet paper on it so you can quickly turn around to sit down to poop without launching your toilet paper shield to the ceiling.

5. Gas stations do NOT buy soft toilet paper - AND - what exactly are you supposed to do with those little rectangle sheets of toilet paper that some dispensers use?

6. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and New York have a cover charge. Pennsylvania is all... "Hey come on in... we don't charge a cover here. Plus, well drinks are 2-for-1 from 5 to 7 every night!"

7. Random portions of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania frequently smell like egg farts.

8. Renting 12 DVDs and making sure the kids all had separate ways to play them was the smartest thing I ever did. In my whole life.

9. There are exactly no places to get fast food in the 200 miles between Pembine and Barron, WI after 6 pm on a Monday night.


10. A Ford Taurus was NOT designed for a 6'4" guy with a boney ass.

* * * * *

You don't have to travel far to find humor!

49 comments:

Jaffer said...

"No Soup For You !"
Was that a gesture to that Seinfeld episode ?
Ha Ha Ha !

April said...

#4 was TMI for me.

In PA, do they still have the law where you can't buy alcohol on Sundays? That law sucked. (you could go to bars, you just couldn't buy it at the grocery/liquor stores.)

The boney ass, I'd pretty much already figured out.

Jeff said...

jaffer - Most definitely! No soup, no burgers, no NOTHING!

april - Do women's bathrooms have spring-loaded seats? They do it in men's rooms so the guys don't pee on them. Oh, I suppose that was TMI too huh?

Windyridge said...

Welcome back!

Memarie Lane said...

What on earth is the purpose of a spring loaded toilet seat?

I'm a full foot shorter than you, but I hear you on the boney butt thing.

Jeff said...

windyridge - Thanks! It's certainly nice to be home again.

memarie - See my response to April above.

regan said...

Well, now you know for next time if you ever go on a very long car trip again! Seems like a fun thing to write about for a 'What I Did Over My Summer Vacation' school essay.

I hate those essays.

ann of the shampoo bag said...

I grew very fond of the New York thruway rest stops. The toll ticket actually lists the food places available at each stop. Perfect! You can plan which service area to use related to the food that is being served. Wait! Lets drive 33 more miles where they have Edy's ice cream!

Heather said...

That's why I don't poop in public.
(especially not on sidewalks)

Jeff said...

regan - Same for you. Even though you hate them, you'll have a good one for this year!

ann - I like those too, but in our case we got gypped by those tickets. We purposely waited for a rest stop that was supposed to have a Pizza Hut and KFC and when we got there, they weren't there! Apparently they need to update their tickets.

heather - That's good policy.

Bill said...

Eating, toilet problems, and back pain, sound more like a rest home, than a vacation.

Whit said...

Gas station bathrooms have toilet paper?

Drowsey Monkey said...

lol - that's a long way to go with no soup!

Mushy said...

Now that's funny!

VE said...

Exactly how do you eat soup while driving though. I have enough trouble eating a taco while I'm on my cell phone and driving with my knees...

Megan said...

My father done told me -- "Never be without your own toilet paper."

He keeps some in his trunk at all times...

Durblady said...

Jeff, the food options are not much better if you take the route of the UP from Duluth to Menomee (or however the one up there is spelled)!

Jeff said...

bill - After that drive I could have used a rest home.

whit - Well, they have something in those dispensers. I'm thinking 100 grit sandpaper.

drowsey - You ain't a kiddin! And the worst part is we were hungry right at 6 pm and didn't get to eat until 9 pm.

mushy - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it!

ve - Easy. With cruise control you can sit cross legged and put a tray on your lap. Duh.

megan - You father's a wise man - who probably doesn't have a chapped ass.

durblady - You're right. I don't think the major franchises have discovered Wisconsin yet.

Maureen said...

Toll booths - something we don't have up here.

Do I need to bring change for any on the way to St. Cloud? They didn't have them 7 years ago when we were last in Minneapolis.

Yikes on the rest stop bathrooms...

cathouse teri said...

Those are some important things! If I ever make that drive, I'll be sure to review this list. :)

Gette said...

Hint for next time: carry hand sanitizer, grab a wad of paper and swab the seat with sanitizer and you won't have to worry about the launching. You may be slightly damp around the edges from sanitizer, but its better than the alternative.

Jeff said...

maureen - No, we have no tolls here in MN. You can use that money to buy me breakfast though. ;b

teri - Good idea. It could save your butt.

gette - Ha! Nice idea, but a flamethrower couldn't sanitize the toilet seat in a gas station's men's bathroom.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Ha ha! That sounds like the journey from hell - the toilet scenario anyway :O)

Mom Thumb said...

Gary, Indiana definitely smells rotten. And you're right about the DVDs. McDonalds makes it even nicer with their red box, you can replace the movies for a few bucks and drop them off at the next one. That is, if you're not in Wisconsin.

Jacki said...

You traveled 2400 miles in a Ford Taurus? With kids?? You have my upmost respect. I have a hard time traveling 350 miles in a huge 4-door Chevy Silverado with just me, Peter and Emma.

But I bet it was an awesome trip! When do we get to see pictures?

Bill said...

I understand that it is a good idea to check motels for bed bugs. Did you?

cathouse teri said...

And God knows, my butt needs to be saved!

Jeff said...

babs - The majority of the driving experience was fine... but that's no fun to write about.

mom thumb - I've never rented DVDs from McDonalds. Are they expensive?

jacki - Pictures are coming over the next week or so. Still have to go through them all and find the good ones.

bill - No. Our hotels didn't charge by the hour.

teri - Why, is it in trouble?

Elizabeth said...

Always bring your own toilet paper. Always always always bring your own toilet paper!!
(and your own seat covers too!)
Driving the Alaskan highway and having to use (gag) port-a-potties taught me that!

Elizabeth said...

mom thumb - I've never heard of renting DVDs from McDonalds either. How's it work???

cathouse teri said...

Always.

Bill said...

I saw a woman on T.V. saying she got bitten by bed bugs in an upscale hotel. Apparently fast sleepers are not the only victims.

deborah said...

oh don't get me started!! please. toll booths? once you hit the delmarva, it's toll to get on and toll to get off. what is WITH that?? PA is forever under road construction. Our best investment was by far the dvd player, too. With earbuds for everyone! We had radio, they had tv. how did our parents do it without tv??

Maureen said...

Jeff... will do ;)

You name the place.

Mom Thumb said...

Okay, you've been away so long I can't tell if you're really asking or being sarcastic, but . . . no, you can rent one for a buck.

Jeff said...

elizabeth - Sounds like good advice. I'll make sure to bring plenty of Charmin next time.

teri - Why doesn't that surprise me ;-)

bill - Fast sleepers eh? I like that one!

deborah - My parents tried putting a TV in the car once, but the rabbit ears kept blowing off the roof.

maureen - Well, if you're buying it'll be a much nicer place. That's for sure!

mom thumb - Me? Sarcastic? Where do you come up with these things? No, in this case I was actually being serious. A buck a video is cheaper than the video store! Why didn't you tell me this before?

but Momma said...

I liked hints number 7 and 9! Definetly info you need to know. And Amen to the DVD's...

Lynne Chapman said...

Hilarious! I will be checking you out regularly from now on.

Love the loo-seat technique - is the pop-up thing normal over the pond? In the UK we are just thankful that most toilets on the road actually have seats these days, and the whole 'multi-sensory toilet experience' is generally a thing of the past!

Mrs. R said...

Remind me again why you didn't fly?

Jennine said...

Which car IS designed for a guy with a boney ass?

Asston Martin?
Isuzu GIGA 20 Light Dump?
GMC Yukon Still Walk?

Sandy said...

We have so been there with no. 9

Famous last words? We can just catch the next McDonalds....

Roger said...

We here in Illinois thank you for using the tollway and bankrolling the corrupt government of this state, that said the tollways would pay for themselves withing five years... forty years ago!!

Don't you just love the Open Road tolling? Oh wait you probably don't have an I Pass so you had to pay full fare (i.e. you pay $1, I pay .50). Our governors way of screwing the tourists, I guess.

There is no such thing as an "Express Lane" in Illinois, all they do is make it so that if someone has an accident or breakdown on it, the whole highway backs up... ingenious, don't you think?

Why on earth would you ever poop in a gas station - that's just crazy! I'd rather do it next to the dumpster, at least it's more sanitary. :)

I'm rambling, sorry.

Jeff said...

but momma - Amen is right. I thanked God for those DVDs several times.

lynn - Thanks for stopping by! I certainly don't need ANY sensory experiences when I use the loo, thank you.

mrs. r - We decided to incorporate a family vacation into our trip to see RIT in New York. Flying to that many places wasn't an option.

jennine - See? That's exactly what I'm talking about. You pun-ish me every time you leave a comment!

sandy - Are you saying you've actually traveled highway 8 across WI too? That's one lonely road, that's for sure.

roger - Excellent comments! Thank you for all the clarifications. You should write a post about that stuff.

Corrina said...

Those are hilarious! I so wanna visit Pennsylvania now! Yee haw!

Michelle said...

Were you traveling with my friend Emery? In college we rented a Taurus (he's 6'4" with a very bony ass) that SIX of us drove in from Chicago to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.... He wasn't comfortable.

And in Illinois we use the money from the toll roads to pay off the politicians. DUH. Didn't you see the nice "Open Road Tolling. Brought to you by Rod J Blagovich" signs everywhere? They aren't cheap, you know ($15K FYI). Not that I'm bitter.

JD at I Do Things said...

You're about as toilet-obsessed as I am.

Next time, instead of using that toilet paper to sit your bony ass on, try using some!

JD at I Do Things

Jeff said...

corrina - I hear they also have .75c pitchers too. It's a crazy place, that's for sure!

michelle - Well then, Gov Blog-o-vich must be doing OK for himself then.

jd - You and I should start a toilet obsession support group. I bet we aren't alone.

Trooper Thorn said...

Good point about the TP, Jeff. Didn't Exxon make a kajillion dollars last year? How much would it affect the gas station's bottom line to shell out an extra buck or two for bumwad that was slightly less like using a handful of crumpled leaves?

LOBO said...

Man, I wish I would have "connected the dots" on this sooner ... Terri and I would have loved to meet you! :(