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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 19, 2009

And, I Actually Made it Back to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

The car repair man finally called me Wednesday morning to tell me I could pick up the car any time after 12:00 noon and I decided that I would see if I could return my rental car to a place near my son's apartment rather than to Maryland where January and I picked it up.  That would save her having to come over to VA to meet me and then me drive the rental car to MD and her drive my car to MD after which I'd drop her off and have to drive back to VA.  Seemed much harder than it needed to be.

So I called Hertz and found out that, yes, I could return the car to them in VA.  My on-line search told me that they were just about 2 miles away on the same highway as my son's apartment building so this was going to be easy-peasy.   Seems like I should have known better, given the history of this trip!  When I called to confirm the time I'd be bringing the car back, fortunately the location was mentioned (I forget why) and it turns out they were no longer at that address.  So I looked up their current address and told her I might not be able to get there but that I would get a map and see what I thought.  I checked with Chris because on the map, it looked pretty horrible (like most anyplace you try to get to in the DC area!).  He pointed out what appeared to be an easier route - a little longer but not too much and also it was through an area that I've been through by myself before.  So I decided that's what I'd do.  They had said that when I got there, they would then take me back to the car repair place so I could get my car.  And that way, January wasn't going to have to do any transporting.  So, off I go and everything just was going swimmingly - I drove the part I was familiar with like an old pro, and after that, came to the highway I was supposed to get on, got on it and started looking for Army-Navy Highway which was the rental car road.  And I kept looking...and wondering...and then suddenly ahead of me were the big green overhead signs indicating a choice:  I could either take the right fork, staying on Rt. 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) or I could take the left fork towards Rosslyn.  And with a sinking feeling, I opted for the right fork and, of course, almost immediately realized it wasn't going to work.  I was now on the same road that I take to go to January's apartment in Maryland!  There was no way I was going to get off and try to get myself turned around and go back, so off to January's apartment I went, picked her up, we drove back to VA, had lunch, picked up my car, went back to Chris's apartment to look at the map again, and started off.  By now, I've called the poor woman at the Hertz place about 6 times saying I'm coming, no I'm not, yes I am, etc., so I call yet again to say "yes I am".  We follow the same route, and this time have actual directions (not just a map) telling us that we need to go left on 15th St., off J-D Highway.  So, she's following me and I see a big green sign for 15th St., but it's a right turn and I frantically debate - should I take it or will there be another one going left up ahead?  I opt for going on ahead and what comes next is the fork in the road - Rt. 1 or Rosslyn.  At that point, I pull off the road, January behind me, and we confer.  She takes the lead and if I remember right, we take the Rt. 1 again, but she manages to get us off that, turned around and headed back on to J-D Hwy where we then get off at 15th St., and after circling the hotel where the Hertz place is two and a half times, finally find it.  Talk about insane!

That pretty much took the entire day and once I took her back to Maryland, I decided to spend the night there and then go back to Chris's Thursday morning, pack and get the heck out of Dodge which is what I did. 

It had rained through most of that ordeal on Wednesday and rained pretty heavily most of the way to West Virginia on Thursday.   But once I got into West Virginia I noticed how much the leaves had changed color and, though it would have been really beautiful on a bright, sunny day, it was still beautiful with the clouds resting on the hills.  There's no two ways about it, West Virginia is a beautiful state.  So, I took just a couple pictures just to prove I didn't mind the rainy weather.  After all, after 16 days in the incredible sunshine of Florence, I wasn't about to complain about a rainy day.

See?  Even with not great photos, you can see that WV is beautiful come rain or come shine...


January said...

Oh those West Virginia hills, how majestic and how grand...
It's good to see some home :)
Glad you made it back safely!

Christopher said...

P H E W ! ! !
How nice to finally be back in your home, I imagine, after a much longer-than-anticipated absence. Sure was nice getting to spend some extra time with you, and of course, keeping up on the great saga unfolding through this blog!

Mary Lynne said...

Ah, my faithful children!! You two are probably the only people who will see future posts cause I'm not sending out the notices anymore. And, of course, you'll probably have heard it all in phone conversations and such, but thanks for being "followers".

Mama and Mom

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