Because my grandparents are the main reason I started this blog, I decided to start with a story of them.
Wes and I embarked upon a long weekend road trip with Gramps and Grama during the fourth week of October 2010. Gramps and grama had missed their flight due to an excessive wait on the tarmac in Los Angeles so Wes and I got a few more things done until it was time to pick them up at 12:40 at the Dulles Airport. For being 84 and 79 (Grama turns 80 next week) I was amazed at how spry they were acting after an incredibly long day of flying and sitting.
We headed over to the Donahoe’s where Helen had stayed up to welcome us. Before she showed us our room, she introduced us to the continental breakfast she had prepared for us. The entire countertop was full of all sorts of breakfast foods and she told us to take whatever we didn’t eat the following day. We headed up to bed around 1:40 for and got a wonderful nights rest until 8:53 rolled around. I was having a deep dream when Grampa’s alarm clock call came through shattering all remnants of sleep. After lollygagging a bit, I finally got up and we gathered our belongings and actually beat them downstairs for our breakfast.
We hit the road at 9:47, only 17 minutes off Grampa’s estimated time of departure. Pretty good for that many Bowins. Grampa had our route all planned out. Fifteen or so years prior, he had come across a magazine article that had told of the route one must travel when touring the North East part of the country during the fall. This clipping had faithfully travelled in his briefcase for many a year and he was glad to finally be able to put it to use. Wes and I just hoped the road was still there. We left Virginia behind and entered Maryland and didn’t stop til around lunch time in Pennsylvania. We drove through Lancaster and it was not what I was expecting. The town was a very quaint cute town but I don’t believe I spotted any Amish.
We headed towards the country and I wanted to go eat in a little amish bakery and eat an amish sandwich made with homemade bread and maybe a nice bowl of amish soup. As we drove through Bird-in-Hand, gramps spotted a restaurant that they had eaten at fifteen years prior and decided he’d hop out and see if it was still good. After getting the opinion of other 80 year diners, he declared this was the place to eat. Suffice to say, it was one of your typical buffet places that I would prefer to only go to once.
As we continued on our journey we stopped at a few little shops that were full of some pretty cool things. I really wanted to get this lamp base. It was an old looking jar with the date 1858 stamped on it and the lid had the light bulb attachment on it that you could screw on and off. It was very cool but I couldn’t think of a place to put it. So we journeyed on and saw quite a few horse and buggy and some Amish girl on a bicycle that had no pedals. It was basically a scooter with bicycle wheels and handle bars. I wonder what’s wrong with pedals?
New York came next and it was quite a change from the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. They’re not kidding when they call the place a concrete jungle. Wesley did some expert traffic maneuvering and I think all other passengers were glad they weren’t driving. It is pretty in its own way with the setting sun illuminating some of the buildings on the horizon and the immense bridges.
After only a Starbucks drink after our rather questionable lunch I was pretty hungry when we arrived at Bethel, Connecticut at 7:10. Gramps had gone in to check in and when he came back he declared that there was a good diner just down the street and that no one was probably hungry for an Angus Steak. I decided that since gramps had gotten his way I’d put my foot down about dinner. I was in the mood to go to bed full and content. So down went the foot and we ended up at Outback after dad struck out looking up places for us on Yelp. Gramps ended up going for that Angus steak and I do believe all were satisfied with the fare.
As we finished with dinner, I asked Grampa to tell the story of how he met Grama. It was so cute to hear him talk about her coming in with her sister and watch how grama just gazed up at him and smiled as he told the story. Although sales weren’t really his thing, he was on the sales floor learning the ropes when she came in to look for a car. And like someone who isn’t really in sales, he neglected to get their name or number when they left. He had figured out they were from Cayucos and thankfully he had met a couple from Cayucos at his weekly square dancing gatherings on Saturday nights. They were immediately able to tell him who he was seeking so the following week he called her at her work and asked if she wanted to go to lunch to discuss cars. Go gramps.