HPSBFFT2008 – Chapter 3: Baltimore, MD to Charleston, WV (365 mi.)

One mile for every day of the year! My longest stretch yet! Holy mother of sweet Jesus is it nice to not have to be in the car for five hours at a time for a few days.

So, yeah, yesterday was a long drive. So long that by the time I got to Charleston, all I wanted to do was check in to my hotel, find some food, and vegetate in front of the TV. Which is exactly what I did. (Which is why this entry is late. Desire to veg trumps blog-updating responsibilities every time.)
In the food finding process though, I did take the opportunity of not being in the car to get out and walk around for a little bit. I’m technically in downtown I guess, but really a mile and a half or so from the city center. So I drove to as close to the middle of the city n order to wander around a bit and find a bite to eat.

Which didn’t really work out so well.

I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday at 7:30 pm, but man – that was one dead town. There was some vehicular traffic and a very small handful of other pedestrians, but it really felt like I’d wandered on to the set of some post-apocalyptic movie. At one point, some guy across the street yelled “Hey!!!!! Do you know if mrffgrrrhsgfstshgdggfffm is open?” I stammered out a ‘no’ and hurried on. There were a few blocks where I honestly couldn’t tell if I’d wandered in to a shady area or a non shady area of businesses who normally just shutter up for the weekend. There were no people to give me context. Context is everything.

The best I could do for dinner was Captain D’s Seafood, which I guess is like the Burger King to Long John Silver’s McDonald’s. It was ok, but probably more because I was starving than for actual taste reasons.

Today is day 1 in Charleston and technically my schedule is wide open. I do have two irons in the fire though, so we’ll see if they pan out.

HPSBFFT2008 – Chapter 2: Binghamton, NY to Baltimore, MD (262 mi.)

Back again to a place that is no longer home.

I love Baltimore and always will, but it’s been interesting to see how living in Vermont has realigned my various scales. Wait…what?

Before living in VT, anything below 30 degrees felt fairly cold to me. After living through (most of) a Vermont winter, now I don’t feel a temperature’s cold until it’s in the teens. Likewise, when I was living here, Baltimore always felt right-sized at best and more often slightly small. But today? Today while I was driving through town, Baltimore felt unmanageably big.

So, yeah, here isn’t home anymore. But I’ve known that for a while.

It’s been a good day, but damned if it didn’t start off a little weird. I was all set to leave Binghamton when I stopped for a pre-getting-on-the-road email check. Good thing I did because I had a message from my hotel in Charleston kindly informing me that the guest staying in my room decided to extend their stay and that they canceled my reservation. They left an 800 number, so I called and had choice words with the moronic and mush-mouthed “reservations manager”. To his credit, he did offer to make new reservations for me at another hotel, but I told him I didn’t want him anywhere near my reservations. So I found a new hotel and all should be fine.

The drive to Baltimore was rainy and foggy, but never close to freezing, so I was able to make reasonably good time. Once in Maryland, I had lunch with friends Joey and Amanda, saw my cousin Pete’s house, saw my cousin Emily and her husband Zach, and had dinner with friends Ben and Tara (who are nice enough to put me up for the night.)

One thing I haven’t really thought about since I moved to Vermont is crime, but tyoday I made sure that I didn’t park my car with anything stealable showing and made sure the club was firmly affixed to my steering wheel before coming inside for the night. Ben says his block has seen a car break-in spree, so I’m nervous.

Again, nothing preservation related today other than someone who let me describe what I’m going to school for and then proceeded to talk about how a nearby neighborhood should be totally razed because it was beyond saving. Nice. (Also, totally untrue.)

Tomorrow I drive to Charleston where I will have a king bed and a distinct lack of five-hour driving days for a while.

The too-many beers I’ve had tonight are telling me it’s time to sleep.

(Oh, also I’m not the only preservation student blogging their spring break trip. Check out http://jessiebisventingagain.blogspot.com!)

HPSBFFT2008 – Chapter 1: Burlington, VT to Binghamton, NY (286 mi.)

Hello from Binghamton, New York! I like to call it “the Bing”.

I realized on the drive over here that I am approximately one million years old. Or a pussy. Or both.

I mean, honestly. It was raining – raining – for most of the way here. Nothing more. Nothing scarier. But I drove as if I were terrified. And at times, I was terrified. My honda civic weighs about as much as a two-ply tissue and any amount of wind or water will send it careening all over the road. So I drove slow. Too slow, probably.

But I made it (eventually) and was greeted with warm friendship, hot spiedies (look it up) and cold beer. After some music and some Flight of the Conchords, Nick and I played a furious session of Connect Four and drank what will probably prove to be too many beers.

This leg of the trip has featured nothing preservation-related to speak of, unless you count some stressing over a phone interview I have scheduled for next Friday.

Tomorrow, I turn south and head to Baltimore, for an agressive schedule of catching up with friends.

Will I have time for fast food breakfast? Oh, rest assured, I will.