Saturday, July 26, 2008

PA Visit That I Don't Even Really Feel Like Writing About

Gah. That's how I feel about writing a post.

I almost had to issue a public apology for wise-cracking on the Pennsylvania roads, but was vindicated when we entered a ten mile stretch of highway that went from two-lanes to one-lane for ten miles (did I already say that?) with NO APPARENT CONSTRUCTION happening. There were also NO APPARENT EXITS and GirlChild was screaming to pee since she scarfed an entire water bottle on the sly. That would be my $2 water bottle from the un-airconditioned Pennsylvania Welcome Center where we got a KitKat to share, but couldn't because it was too melty and so we had to put it in the cupholder in front of the AC vent for 20 minutes before we could eat it.

At mile nine of the construction we hit an exit with no businesses but a trucking company so they got an eyeful of GirlChild hunkered on the grass, pantless. And I only got a little pee on my foot. And my hand.

We stayed in Frackville with a friend and hit up the amusement park, Knoebel's (pronounce the 'K') which was truly wonderful for the ages that my kids are. On a Tuesday, the crowds were completely sane and I only needed half a xanax. Didn't need the spare in my purse. Unlike my trip to Disney during Spring Break which would have benefitted from harder drugs or animal tranqs.

Here's BoyChild staring out from the crotch of the world's creepiest wooden Indian.



GirlChild just turned 5. She went on this ride.



She went on every ride she was tall enough to get on. On the last ride I rode with her, she got eerily quiet.

"Ummm...GirlChild...are you OK?" (No response.)
"GirlChild?" (Vacant stare.)
"Lean THAT way when you puke darlin'."

Are the Amish even allowed to go to amusement parks?!




We headed home on Wednesday, flirting briefly with the idea of swinging by Gettysburg. Between the rain and my retarded quest for gas, I nixed the historical visit and headed straight home. What's that? You wanna hear about the world's dumbest quest for gas? I'll sum up:

1. Leave Frackville with very little gas.

2. About 2 miles down, think - "I don't remember seeing a whole lot of gas stations on the way up, perhaps I should just turn around and go back to Frackville for gas."

3. Nix that idea, continue on and pull off at the next exit. Only trees for miles in each direction. Drive a few miles through creepy backwoods, get scared of running out of gas when I'm not even sure exactly where I am and turn back to highway. See some road workers and ask where the nearest gas station is.

4. Go down highway some more and turn off per the road workers instructions. Drive lots of miles and pray they didn't give me faulty directions while staring intently at my gas needle.

5. Find gas station and do the happy dance. Ask gas station attendant if there is a faster way to get back to highway. She says I can just stay on the road I'm on.

6. I do this and end up back in Frackville. I have just made a complete counter-clockwise loop, with what I'm SURE were only right-hand turns.

7. Weep.

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Posted at Humor-Blogs.

36 Comments :

Cocotte said...

I have never been on the PA turnpike when it wasn't under construction. And be glad you skipped Gettysburg with the kids!

Alice said...

THANK YOU! What is up with the perpetual construction? DAYYUM, the workers in my county can repave a 25 mile stretch of road in one night for pete's sake.

And thanks for the heads up on Gettyburg!

LceeL said...

Alice, there's this thing. It's called a GPS. Next time, okay?

Rickey Henderson said...

Amish on amusement rides? Not if they're powered by electricity. Looks like you had a rogue amishman on the loose when you snapped that photo.

Rickey was in PA three weekends ago and let Rickey tell you, Mennonites are strange strange people.

Queen Goob said...

I LOVE PENNSYLVANIA!!! Sorry, but I do. Oh, and to answer you question about the Amish and amusement parks – take a look-see at his shoes. Sneakers = Mennonite and they’re allowed to ride the kiddies rides meant for little children. You know, the ones scary old men that stalk single moms stand around waiting for their next victim. Maybe you ran into one at that gas station?

Manager Mom said...

Didn't REM write a song, "don't go back to frackville?"

I need to live there, just for the sheer entertainment value of having that as my return address.

Alice said...

Lou - My truck is pushing 11 yrs. old. I'm lucky I can get my iPod to work in there. Lost my antenna at least 2 years ago.

Rickey and Q.Goob - Apparently youz guyz are more hip to the Amish/Mennonite thing. And I sorta like PA, but sometimes, it's just a little too Deliverance for me.

Manager Mom - Seriously. I've spouted off before on some of the unfortunate town names in PA. Frackville is pretty awesome though. I'll get you a postmark next time!

for a different kind of girl said...

You've just described my recent road trip adventures to Missouri, minus the amusement park and creepy Indian statue, but complete with the bawling young child in the backseat, who hadn't heeded my warning about not guzzling the bottle of water! Good, good times. Thanks for making me remember them!

Tina said...

You were in PA and didn't visit me? I'm hurt...

I hear Knoebels is great, but have never gone there. I have, however, been stuck in non-construction construction areas of the PA turnpike and it's INFURIATING.

jen said...

i SO need to chat with you about my mom's inability to part with the hammer. i'm so sorry it's taken me this LONG to tell you that. i OWE you big time.

now...on to catch up with you!

(and sorry i just put that on this post...i figured it would be the best place for you to actually SEE it...)

Alice said...

FADKOG - Anytime sistah. We should ALL remember the good times!

Tina - Seems like half the blogging world lives in PA. I smell our own Blogher on the East Coast next year.

Jen - Howdy! Howdy! I really need to go through Bloglines. I think I messed up some feeds over there. What's up with the hammer story?!

unfinishedrambling said...

Alice: Half the blogging world does live in Pennsylvania. I live there too. :)

The roads, Knoebels, Frackville: You captured it perfectly and did justice (if justice can be done) to our "fair" state. The roads: where do you live that they can pave 25 miles of road in one night? I want to live there. The "little too Deliverance" for you: Keep going farther north and central part of the state, if you really want Deliverance.

Actually, though, in all seriousness, I've lived in PA all my life and for the most part, the folks here are friendly. It's like anywhere, though, you have some that aren't, and others that are downright scary in their beliefs.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Oh, honey. You were still a good three hours from PA deliverance country. Someday Unfinishedperson and I will have to organize a tour for our blogfriends. All the muffin tops, gun racks, and teenage parents you can handle.
But he's right, its not a bad place to live, construction aside; (I have one closed bridge and a widening project to skirt just on my twenty minute ride to work) I haven't locked my car in three years.

Bobbi said...

Interstate construction - one of the main reasons I stick close to home!

Great post! Fearless Girl Child is a girl after my own heart - I love those rides!

Kaye Butler said...

First time stopping by, found your blog on humor-blogs...loved it!

Kaye

Alice said...

UnfinishedR. and Shieldmaiden - Yeah, it was nice not having to worry about locking doors while I was there and I generally do like it. But the road construction and jersey walls...ARGHHH...

I live in MD and they are WAY on top of the road system here.

Bobbi - She cracked me up. Mainly because she went on more than BoyChild would.

Kaye - Thanks! Will stop by and visit you in a bit.

renalfailure said...

Oh, you didn't go to Dutch Wonderland? Or as everyone else calls it Dutch Oven Land because you're better off having your loved one fart under the covers of your bed and then hold your head down there.

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

Are the Amish even allowed to wear sneakers?

Bee said...

That Amish guy is wearing sneakers/gym shoes, is that allowed??

Janet said...

"Frackville"...it says it all!

Alice said...

RenalF - No we haven't done Dutch Wonderland and Dutch Oven Wonderland is grounds for divorce.

BMP and Bee - Some other folks said the guy must be Mennonite because of the sneakers. I have no idea what the difference is beside sneaker-wearing.

Janet - Oh Frack!

Hey It's Di said...

I'm feeling so left out and far away! Frackville sounds like a fabulous adventure. OK, so maybe I don't get out much. I don't get to stick my head out from between an Indian's crotch either OR see an Amish guy:(

I can however go on vacation about 6 hours away and see some Polygamist freaks piling out of a huge van to go shopping, maybe for another partner:-0

Adriane said...

Oh gawd Alice... T and I ate at the Cracker Barrel in Frackville in our horrible trip of doom to New Jersey. Right off the I-81? I have a theory that the road construction is a Amish conspiracy to get back at us English for driving by too fast and scaring the horses and making fun of their hats.

HappyHourSue said...

Welcome to PA, baby!!!!! (we moved here 2 yrs ago). Just try buying beer in a grocery store: No. Beer in a liquor store?: No. 6-pack at a BEER DISTRIBUTOR? No - cases only. Where can I buy a damn 6-pack???: Bennigan's. WTF.

swampy said...

The Amish and the Mennonites are going to be sending you hate mail. But that pic with that caption was funny, I don't care who you are.

"Lean THAT way when you puke." Just gotta love moms like you.

Do GPSes (is that how you spell it?) notify you of construction? Mine keeps saying, "Recalculating." I'm not wanting it to do math problems. I just want it to find the place I'm looking for.

Kylie in Warsaw said...

Yes! If I ever go to Disney again I WILL bring drugs. Thanks for that tip.

I love that Swampy says you're going to get hate mail from the Amish. I somehow doubt it will be hate email. Are they allowed to use USPS?

Alice said...

Di - Come on over for BlogHer PA next year since every blogger but me and you live there! And I'll go to watch the polygamists with you. I can't even tear my eyes away from the fam with 18 kids on TV when they go shopping. Gah.

Adriane - There was a Cracker Barrel there?!? Dammit.

Sue - Oh my. South Carolina was all strange with their liquor laws too. They had all these mini-bottles in bars for legal reasons, but they sold beer in grocery stores, but not on Sundays... I feel a post on this buying a 6-pack at Bennigans HAHAHAHHAAAA...

Swampy - They'll never see it. I'm gonna guess that they're not trolling the blogosphere in their free time. ; ) And I need a GPS. OK, first I need a new car, then the GPS.

Kylie - Do Disney in Jan or Feb. My husband went for a convention in Orlando then and said it was great! If I can ever get up the nerve to recall that experience, I'll post about it.

JD at I Do Things said...

I love vacation or getaway stories that include this line:

"and I only needed half a xanax"

That is indeed the true sign of a good time!

Fearless GirlChild indeed! I'd be puking in all directions on that ride. I'd probably even puke on that Indian.

JD at I Do Things

Sunshine said...

The turnpike is demon spawn... I try to avoid it as much as possible, I would rather go the back hills of Penna. than the turnpike... next time find your way to Pittsburgh and check out Kennywood..Sand Castle and our great Zoo.. we have three baby elephants now... maybe breeding is the thing to do here?

Jenn Thorson said...

Welcome back, Alice. And I agree with Sunshine-- come to Pittsburgh! It would be awesome! Kennywood! Or Idlewild Park! I would be thrilled to meet you guys somewhere!

And yes, our roads also suck, but they suck in a City-suckage way, and not in a middle-o'-nowhere suckage way.

Woo!!

Kelly said...

Amish, at the amusement park? They are allowed? Weird.
I secretly want to live with the Amish..why? I have no clue...Weird.

gadragonfly said...

Great I can't wait to go to PA now when I come visit you. Sounds like fun. I'll be sure to fill up on gas & not on water when I enter the state. I'm so glad GirlChild likes the fun rides. I'll have to take her to Six Flags next time you all are down here.

Sparkliesunshine said...

Holy Crap! I used to go there all the time when I was younger. Another blogger in the Pocono area. Unthinkable! Sorry to hear about you getting lost and I know exactly the area you are talking about and the weeping is justified.

Hope the trip was good overall though!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Another PA blogger and I agree with many of the above comments.

Seriously, when isn't the turnpike under construction?

I went to visit my brother in college...under construction. Went three years later to pick he and that wife of his up for a funeral in N.C. and ...under construction.

Weird.

And Shieldmaiden is right, you haven't seen deliverance country yet, dear. Come to the Dark Side!

Plinko said...

Ha Ha Ha HA - That is so funny only because I went through the same Frack yesterday - I was driving from lovely Western NY through PA and got stuck in the never ending construction non construction..... Though Western NY has it's own Problems in the fact that - instead of construction you have cops in every other bush... just to keep you on your toes... We will have to see how Delware is faring in constuction season soon...

Bryan said...

who the hell only takes half a xanax? a margarita has the same effect.

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