Rainy Days and Tuesdays

Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Ripley WV to Pittsburgh PA  240 miles

As we made our way down to the car with our bags this morning, we had to dodge the masses of people waiting for the Mega Gold Roadshow to begin at our hotel.  Oh yeah, the ‘bring your gold to sell for LOTS of money’ show was in town!  But we managed to maneuver the minefield and we were on our way.  We opted for breakfast at the Belrock Cafe in Belpre, Ohio.  Kim reverted to her old standby, ham and eggs, and I had a cheese omelet, and we both had big fluffy biscuits.  It was a good choice for brekky!

Since we had crossed the river already, we just drove up the highway on the Ohio side of the river instead of the WV side.  Our plan was to cross back over at Sisterville (photo op, you know) and continue on to Moundsville, where we had plans.  Along the way, though, we took a little detour in Belpre and found an old brick road along the riverfront and just enjoyed seeing that little town.

Alas, as we drove along the river, the skies got darker and darker, and before too long, they opened up and the rain came pouring down!  Lightning flashed and thunder roared, and the water just poured over the road.  To top things off, when we got to the town across from Sisterville, there was no bridge – just a ferry!  Kim pronounced that we were NOT crossing the Ohio River on a ferry in the middle of a huge thunderstorm.  We may be sassy, but we’re not stupid!  The rain got so heavy that we even pulled off the road for about 15 minutes, and once we got going again, we saw a sign for Marv’s Place in Sardis, OH.  Even though it hadn’t been long since breakfast, we decided to stop and check it out. Good call!  Kim had some ice cream and I had a homemade cherry custard pie – both were delicious!  Just think of it as breakfast dessert.  Or morning tea…. We chatted with Ethel, the proprietor (Marv’s daughter, who has taken over the place since Marv and her mom died) and she told us to go up a hill to the cemetery for the best view of the river.  Off we went!  She was right – too bad it was still raining pretty hard!  GIven that it’s only rained once on Tiki Island since January, I had not even thought of bringing rain gear.  Thankfully, Kim had two of a three-pack of ponchos, and so I was good to go.  If I could have gotten it on!!  It took a while, but I got it!

We had two things we wanted to do in Moundsville WV – the Marx Toy Museum and the WV State Prison – so off we went.  We crossed the river at Martinsville, where one of the first streets we saw was Paducah Drive!  We rolled into Moundsville in plenty of time to get to the toy museum before it closed, and we were not disappointed!  We had great toys as kids, and we played with them a lot!  One of our favorite things was our Gunsmoke set, which we got when we were about 5 and 6.  We still have it – I have pieces of it on display in my house today.  It was made by Marx Toys, as were Rock’em Sock’em Robots and tons of other fun things!  I think ALL of them were on display here – we had such a good time strolling down Memory Lane!  Mr. Marx was ahead of his time – he had made toy sets out of almost all of the TV shows of the 50’s and 60’s – Amos and Andy, Dick Tracy, the Flintstones, Johnny West, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Yogi Bear – you name it, it was there!  If you’re a toy lover, be sure to make your way here someday!  We had a great time chatting with the lady in charge – she has a sister that she enjoys doing things with and she shared our love of Marx toys.  Oh, and Elvis had found us again, as had Matt Dillon.  They can’t resist us!

And they’re off…really badly off!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

OK, I’ll take all the blame for our late start today!!  I know, it’s not like I haven’t known for weeks that I would be leaving this morning, but it’s sort of like knowing when Christmas is and still not being ready.  And I have had just a little bit on my plate lately!  But Anne and I spent a good part of the evening printing transfers, ironing transfers, washing t-shirts, buying t-shirts, printing Flats, laminating Flats, cutting out Flats, making a cute suitcase for the Flats, shopping for some last minute necessities, and enjoying a fantastic dinner at Margaret’s.  By the time we got all those preparations done, I still had a bit of packing to do…

Suffice it to say that even getting up before seven didn’t get us out the door before 10:30.  And I think Anne thought we would be ON THE ROAD by ten.  Oops.  But we did get going, and shortly after we were on our way it started pouring down rain.  We need the rain so badly that we couldn’t be upset about it!  And it only rained for a few minutes, anyway.  When we realized we would be going through Mt. Airy, NC, at noon, we decided we would have to stop at Snappy Lunch for a Pork Chop Sandwich.  You may remember that Kim and I stopped in Mt. Airy (aka Mayberry) on our 2008 Sassy Sisters Trip, “Ye Olde Curiosity Tour”; however, we had breakfast there, as we had gotten an earlier start!

We parked right on Main Street and strolled down past a big crowd at Floyd’s Barber Shop and turned into a very crowded Snappy Lunch.  Right up front was a woman whose only job was cooking pork chops, and boy, did they look good.  We never even saw a menu, which was fine.  We just ordered our pork chop sandwiches “all the way”, like the locals eat them.  Talk about YUMMY!!  A HUGE boneless, breaded, fried pork chop (twice as wide as the big bun it was served on) dressed with mustard, slaw, tomatoes, and chili – what a mess!  And have you ever noticed that the places that serve the messiest food usually have those little napkins like we had in the “Hav-a-Nap” dispensers in the grade school cafeterias?  The ones that cover about six square inches of your lap?  Seriously.  We attracted a bit of attention when I started pulling the Flats out of their cute suitcase and lining them up on the table, but it was so worth it!  I didn’t see anything even close to resembling this food in Australia!

After lunch, we were lured into Opie’s Candy Store by the smells and the colorful variety of candies inside.  Mmmmm, mmmm, as Andy would say.  Mighty fine candy!  We only bought a little, and the Flats loved it.  Did I mention it had poured down rain the whole time we were at Snappy?  And that the line at the barbershop was for the tour bus load of people who had to board the bus in the pouring rain? It was the happening place to be, but we were running so late that we didn’t even go to the old jail!  We zoomed right past the Blue Ridge Parkway and traveled up I-77 through Virginia on our way to Charleston, WV.  From there, we thought we were going to Huntington, Ashland, Lexington, Louisville, and Indianapolis, but Lee, our wonderful Australian Garmin guy had another plan…..

We sort of missed a little exit on the interstate, so we just did what Lee said on his ‘recalculation’, and the next thing we knew, we were headed for Ohio!!  So instead of crossing Kentucky, we crossed Ohio from Chillicothe to Dayton!  We were running so late!!  But, in the good news category, there was NO traffic, five o’clock or otherwise, and the scenery was lovely – gently rolling hills reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch country.  So we just sat back and enjoyed the ride, and felt bad that our time with Carolyn would be less than planned!  In fact, we took it so easy that we almost ran out of gas, and Priuses are not forgiving when they are not fed.  When the tank is empty, they just stop.  No sputtering.  Not that I’ve ever had that happen to me….So, around Dayton, we took another unintended detour in search of a little pusholine.  You know you cut it a little too close when you put 9.44 gallons in your ten gallon tank!

Crisis averted, contact made with Carolyn, and plans in place, we stopped for a quick drive through at the Steak and Shake (Anne’s VERY FAVORITE thing) in somewhere, Ohio.  Soon, it commenced to being dark thirty, and we skedaddled on around Indy and soon pulled in the driveway of Carolyn’s beautiful home.  We had a quick tour of the house (it was FANTASTIC!!) and met her two sons.  Daughter Ann was fast asleep already, but Jack and Sam were hanging out in the basement watching TV.  They had graciously given up their rooms to Anne and me – what troopers!  Then it was sharing time – Anne shared jewelry, I shared the Flats, and Carolyn shared DESSERT!  My, oh my, did we enjoy that!  Key lime pie with macadamia nut crust, a humongous piece of carrot cake, and shark’s fin pie (chocolate and peanuts and vanilla ice cream).  YUM.  Soon it was bedtime – Anne couldn’t get there fast enough!!  Of course, I found things to do online for a while.  What a great day!

Sweet dreams!