This is the third installment of my summer road trip travelogue, starring Artificially Sweetened (AS), Cupcake, and this Turkey.
Morning came and we awoke. As I exited the bathroom, I found AS and Cupcake out in the room playing their respective computers like Vladimir Horowitz played his Steinway. This is a vacation, already? Oy! I wrested them from their screens and we packed up for departure. The destination for Day Two would be Pittsburgh, but first, a taste of the mountains was in store.
We descended to the lobby to check out. Cupcake admonished me for averting the checkout line and just leaving my key cards, stating that they would likely charge me for three or four days. I didn’t feel the need to argue with a teenager who somehow surmised that she had learned all about how hotels operate, but AS chimed in that I knew what I was doing, so I didn’t need to. I just wanted to hit the road.
Staying away from Belle Chere, the art festival we had stumbled into in downtown Asheville, we found the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is one of my favorite scenic roads in all the land. After all, not only is there abundant mountain scenery, but also speeding is a Federal offense. Zbeard had once fallen asleep while driving with me as a passenger on this very stretch of road. The sinuous, narrow, two-lane strip has some impressive overlooks and drop-offs at elevations up to and greater than one mile. I think the ladies were enjoying the scenery, if not my driving.
After a while, I felt that Cupcake, who had been taking pictures through the not too clean van window, needed to get out and take some non-occluded shots for a change. I pulled off the parkway onto one of its many scenic overlooks where she could better indulge her photographic creativity. Meanwhile, AS was rescuing a partially disabled black butterfly, at least from her perspective. Soon, I heard the inevitable bickering, “Mom, like you’re not saving it! You’re like killing it. You like rubbed the black flight powder off its wings!” Then AS responded saying something about like this and like that and whateverrrrr. They were both speaking Valley Girl.
Oh, no! It’s contagious! I knew that I would have to recall the entire script from Clueless and try to pepper my sentences with “like” in self-defense from then on. [Read more…]