monday, may 16th, 9:30am - leaving pittston
the super 8 motel in pittston, pennsylvania treated us just fine, thank you very much. we headed out early, drove through this long tunnel in the side of a mountain in the poconos region of PA, and resumed counting roadkill. as we skirted philly, it occurred to me how sad it is that big corporations make every town look the same (after passing a mall identical to one in revere - petsmart, target, old navy). which led to our deep thought for the day:
"the globalization of american has left us with no regional identification" - concisely worded soundbite courtesy of kate
1:00pm-ish - through pennsylvania and onto delaware
delaware has the honor of being the only state that did not welcome us. i mean, i know it's small, but come on. the upper part of DE was pretty budget, but the beach region near the butt-end was just lovely. we passed through a town called little heaven, rife with churches. the nondenominational church's billboard had these words of wisdom - "beware of paranoia." ooo-kay. rehobeth beach tried to suck $5 out of us to park on the state beach - no sir. instead we parked illegally and cut across what may well have been someone's yard to see the beach - i'd show you a picture, but kate thought she left the camera in the car. turned out she had it with her but couldn't find it in her miniscule bag. maybe it briefly turned invisible, i don't know.
from the beach region of delaware down through a lovely little state park/island, we crossed over to maryland. maryland sure showed up delaware - not only did they welcome us to their state, but each town individually welcomed us, too! two thumbs up, maryland. we rolled into ocean city, maryland around 3pm. ocean city is a fabulous town with a ridiculously long boardwalk, a ton of resort hotels, and oodles of miscellaneous rides and attractions (the rides were not operational yet - too soon in the season, i guess). we parked the car and hit a bar on the boardwalk for lunch, scarfing down the most delicious crab cakes i have ever eaten. then we wandered along the boardwalk, watching people and musing at the proliferation of old time photo places.
we were lucky enough to catch the sermon on the mount (two sand sculptures of jesus with relevant quotes from john, matthew and the psalms... luckily i was able to place each quote in context for kate - thank you professor wollman. really. thanks.).
we blew out of town around 5ish to hit assateague island, aka the island of the wild ponies. apparently some spanish settlers left some ponies here back in the 1600's or something, i'm not clear on the details, all i know is that we drove around looking for wild ponies and finally found some. cute, huh? we were warned many times not to touch or interact with the ponies. there was even some guy wearing a flourescent vest that said "pony patrol" - he looked old but tough, so we left the ponies alone. between ocean city and assateague island, maryland's a super great state.
then we continued down the del-mar-va peninsula and crossed over to virginia. the peninsula looked a lot smaller on the map. in reality, it's about 70 miles of driving in VA alone, all of which is boring and slow (55 mph speed limit). finally we hit the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel - 3 bridges and 2 tunnels covering 17 miles. whoa. totally terrifying. it made me really anxious to know that if i had to pee, there was no where to stop. so of course, i really had to pee. and we had to pay $12!!!!!! wtf?!?!?!? it is really beautiful, though, especially at sunset. the chesapeake bay area gets a big 2 thumbs up.
from the virginia beach area, we pushed on through to suffolk, VA, where we got a room at the rodeway inn. it wasn't in the AAA guidebook and now we know why. suffolk is a cesspool. and it smelled funny.