Monday, December 06, 2010

On My Way

Uneasy as I am with periods of transition when I am neither here nor there, I already hate to be out of Charlottesville. The City seems cold, big and alien. I can hear the wind whistling outside my friend's thirty something storied apartment on the other side of the Hudson. I still have a 2500 hundred word paper to write which I just cant seem to get started with. To be fair, though, I did manage to turn in a 3 hour / 4 pages maximum exam this morning which I completed in 2 hours / 2 pages. Clearly, I wasn't aiming for the highest grade.

So a few days ago, I bought this book - In Other Rooms, Other Wonders because it has been a while since I bought one without knowing about the author or the book itself. Amazon cannot replace the charm of browsing through a bookstore on a Saturday afternoon and hence my habit of buying books based solely on titles and blurbs has taken a serious hit. 
Anyway, so the name is what made me buy the book in the first place. And I've been thinking about it since then. It's only now that I realized the slight similarity it has with the title of the last post I wrote about visiting this city.

Can't wait to get on the Wednesday morning flight to Delhi. Thursday and Friday night catching up with old friends and then off to Kolkata on Saturday. And then all would be good again. It's these intermediate periods that I don't quite like.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Snippets From The Thanksgiving Road Trip - 2

Travelling without my iPhone and watch

I always have these 2 things on me. On this occasion, however, I had neither. My watch battery died a couple of days before the trip and 3 hours into it, I realized I had forgotten my phone charger and had 10% battery left. No phone meant no constant status updates and check-ins. It also meant, as we realized in Charleston, SC, getting lost.

After having a delicious meal at A.W. Shucks, (AB had a seafood casserole and I had Lowcountry Crabcakes), we decided to check out the Market where local artisans sell their stuff. From the Sweet-grass baskets, to the trays made of flattened alcohol bottles, to the photographer who used Photoshop to lend a painting like quality to her shots, it was a market rich in variety and style. It was past 10 o' clock and the artisans were leaving so we decided to take a walk on East Bay Street which led to the waterfront. Having reached the shore, we kept walking for a while till it got a little desolate. Instead of backtracking, though, somehow we figured out that by taking a particular route we would get closer to the parking lot in shorter time. Then for the next half an hour or so we kept wandering with no clue as to where the streets were leading us. It was dark and there wasn't much traffic so it became a little frustrating after a point of time. Luckily we found this lady sitting outside one of the houses. AB asked her for directions to Queen Street and we were set. We missed the street, though and had to get into a shop and ask for directions again. It was funny and strange to not have the iPhone to find my way. But I think it made for a more interesting walk.

Helicopter Ride at Myrtle Beach, SC

AB spotted the $20 helicopter ride as we were entering Myrtle Beach and that's how we came to know of it. Again, it was a a chance discovery and was not planned which added to the charm. We ended up taking the $40 one but it was totally worth it. First helicopter ride ever!

Snippets From The Thanksgiving Road Trip - 1

Natural Bridge, VA

We had driven for about 2 hours and it was breakfast time. Pink Cadillac, with its name and color jumped out as the perfect stop. I took the exit and was soon inside this really huge place with Elvis pictures on the wall, a motorcycle at one end and pink coffee mugs. King Kong crushing airplanes outside the restaurant was awesome and the sausage and scrambled eggs tasted great. Perfect start.

While having breakfast, we figured that Natural Bridge was worth a visit. Since we were in no hurry to reach our destination for the day, we decided to take the detour. And this is what we found. Pretty impressive, huh!

Marion, VA - the birth place of Mountain Dew

Buoyed by the Pink Cadillac experience, we decided to avoid eating at big chain restaurants to get the authentic road trip experience. AB, with the help of the map and iPhone figured that Marion was this really small town where we could have lunch. So the via point was set in the GPS and we reached  Marion. 
The town seemed like a movie set. Very small, very beautiful, and very quaint. What made our day, because it's one of those totally cool, unexpected things that you hope to encounter on trips such as these, was this sign on the sidewalk. Second accidental discovery of the day!