A to Z Overview

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A to Z Overview of “The Doc In America”

A ~ America: This country truly is beautiful.  No matter my sarcastic rants.  It truly is amazing in physical geography and cultural geography.

B ~ Bumper Stickers: My favorites thus far, “Support Magnetic Ribbons”, “Don’t Drink and Park: Accidents Cause People” and “If you must burn our flag, please wrap yourself in it first.”

C ~ CAR-eoke: Anyone that has ever been in a vehicle with me knows that I am prone to belting out a verse or two of any given song of any given genre.  However, I feel that my skills as a “Car-eoke Queen” have gotten to the point of being Broadway worthy.  Furthermore, my car dancing techniques have now surpassed that of Fosse.  Jazz Hands, everyone!

D ~ Deplorable for $100, Alex: BUZZ…Uh, What is the state of nearly every truck stop restroom in the South?

E ~ Eisenhower: the great man who decided to make this land not one of opportunity, but one of freeways, highways and byways.  And I say, Thank you!

F ~ Freeway Friends: The other out of state drivers that speed with you on the freeway.  I have had Freeway Friends from Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and New York.

G ~ Grammar & Syntax (or lack thereof): I have noticed that signage in every state has an issue with this.  A few examples: Peddle (to sell) Vs. Pedal (as in gas pedal), Principle (belief) Vs. Principal (the guy that calls you to the office and gives you detention), “Bridge Maybe Icy” (uh, that should be “May Be”),  “We Buy BROKE Gold.” AGH! Enough, I can’t take it!

H ~ Highway Robbery: Same day price comparison: Gas prices from $2.62/gallon in Gettysburg to $3.71/gallon on the Indiana Turnpike. 

I ~ Illumination (or lack thereof):  I would like to personally plead to the various departments of transportation to light any curvy, hilly, mountainous one-lane road that is in their state.

J ~ Java, of the gas station variety.  It is more akin to burned tar in a styrofoam cup in most cases, yet still better than Starbucks in business principle and oddly enough, taste.

K ~ Keen & Witty: I love a good religious joke.  I love witty church commentary on a church marquee even more.  I would care to share a few that made me giggle, “Always OPEN!”, “God answers Knee-Mails”, “God called. He Wants to know why you NEVER call him back” and my favorite, “Pinch, Punch, Steal or Deal and YOU’RE OUT!” 

L ~ Liquor Laws: PA you can only buy beer at a beer distributor.  Wisconsin you cannot buy beer from a store after 10pm, except in Fond Du Lac where it is 9pm. Michigan you can buy regular-proof liquor at Rite-Aid.

M ~ Mass Retailer: Namely, Wal-Mart.  There has been a Wal-Mart within a few moments drive of any of these small towns.  I am seriously amazed at how many Wal-Marts there are and how many different types of Wal-Marts there are in this country.  I feel that Mr. Sam Walton is crying with joy from heaven.  

N ~Newspapers: I am beyond amused by what makes the front page of a small town newspaper.  My favorite headline was in Gettysburg.  A man spent two years plotting, planning, designing and constructing the World’s Largest Light Brite Display.  His subject matter – The Last Supper.  Awesome!

O ~ Off Road: Thank the lord that I own a Jeep.  Every town that I have driven to or through has had at least one dirt/gravel road involved.

P ~Prep School: The collegiate experience at any of these schools is reminiscent of the stories I have heard about going boarding school in Vermont.

Q ~ Quantify:  Who is responsible for quantifying all of the “World Famous” items across this land?  I have seen everything from “World Famous Cheese” to “World Famous County Fair” to “World Famous Amish Furniture.”  All of these “World Famous” items are located in places that are barely a speck on the map and in no way, shape, or form “World Famous.”  For the majority of these localities, I can say that if you sneeze while driving – you would miss them.  Furthermore, who determines which areas can be labeled “Scenic View” or “National Scenic View” at rest stops?  And how do I get this job?

R ~ Relative Distance: In my suburban world, “around the corner” means just that.  However, every town has their own concept of this term.  In Danville, KY and in Cowan, TN I asked a random local where the Wal-Mart was.  In Danville, I received the answer of, “It’s aways away down the road off of 127.”  So, I assumed it was going to be a minimum of a half an hour when I got there.  Uh, it was two blocks away.  In Cowan, I was told “Oh, that’s just up the road, uh, a quick drive ‘round Bypass Road.”  This translated into about twenty to thirty minutes away.   Hmmm.

S ~ Sketchy: Avoid any restaurant that advertises their “$10.95 All You Can Eat Buffet” with a to-go option where you pay by the pound. 

T ~ Trinity:  The Father, Son & Holy Ghost are…looking, watching, coming, blessing and forgiving all of us, so says all of the billboards.

U ~ Unreal: The host of characters that I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with on my journey.

V ~ Vehicular Musical Motivation: For some inexplicable reason certain songs motivate my right foot.  Here are a few ditties that attack my subconscious and make me unknowingly speed:  “Ring of Fire” by Cash, “The Diddy” by Paperboy, “Tainted Love” by Soft Cel, “Roll Out” by Ludacris, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles and “Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac.  I know it is an odd collection of songs.  Maybe I should consider using my cruise control.

W ~ Whore House: What the state of Pennsylvania considers more than 7 unwed females living in the same dwelling.  Hence, no sorority houses.

X ~ Xenophobia (of the small town variety): On my travels I have been privileged to experience more than one über judgmental moment in every small town that I have been to.  The locals live their religion or at least give the façade of religious belief and guidance.  More than once, I have had a random local make a comment about Christianity, its importance in the world and, in turn, dealt with their ignorant assumption that everyone believes in Christianity.  Quick example: At a truck stop in Tennessee, an employee of a local diner asked me why I was sitting in their establishment at 9 AM completing all three of the crosswords and drinking coffee all morning instead of going to church or mass like everyone else.  I then told him that every house of worship that I have seen has been Presbyterian or Episcopalian.  He then asked me if I was Catholic.  He didn’t even wait for a response and started spewing out directions to St. Francis in Alto.  At that moment my inner devil’s advocate was forced to interrupt his babble and ask where the local Temple was.  He looked confused and said, “We don’t have no Muzzz-lams, nor Muzzz-lam houses of worship here.”  I ended the conversation with, “Uh, actually, I was asking about a Judaic Temple and by the way, why are you working and not at Mass right now?”  He didn’t have a response to that.

Y ~ Y’all: Short for You All or All Of You.  I have become accustomed to hearing and saying this…yup, everywhere I have roamed the locals say y’all (including Michigan.)  I suppose Y’all is better than the Pittsburgh variety of this contraction, which is “Y’inz.” 

Z ~ Zig-Zag: After driving through every mountain range from the East Coast to the Mississippi I can now state that I am the master of the Zig-Zag-Ess curve.


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photo by: ErikaMont