Things I’ve Learned:
1) Pennsylvania is a soothing balm for weary eyes that spent too much time looking at a lack of scenery in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In other words, it’s damn pretty there. And verdant! – so, so verdant. The old joke is that Pennsylvania is made up of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with Alabama in between, but Alabama is one of those creepy white dog turds when compared to the prettiness of the Pennsylvania scenery (note: Alabama is one of those creepy white dog turds even when not compared to another state). After so much Midwestern blah (Michigan excluded), it’s been revitalizing to be around mountains again.
By the way, I know that joke is meant to describe the politics in Pennsylvania and not the scenery, but it still gets the point across.
2) Western Connecticut ain’t too shabby at all. My time in Pennsylvania was short – just two days of work in Williamsport and Scranton before continuing east. On Friday, I started my day in Pennsylvania, dipped my toes into New Jersey, washed my toes vigorously before entering New York, then ended up in Danbury, Connecticut. I still have work to do in New York, but Danbury was where the hotels were cheapest. So I wasn’t expecting much – just a cheap place to stay before heading briefly back to New York, then forging ahead towards Massachusetts.
And . . . well, the city isn’t much. But if you start heading north from the quaint South American village that comprises the city’s downtown, you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by hills, lakes, hiking trails, and some really awesome, twisting, two-lane roads that are a lot of fun to zoom around (pics of which can be found both in yesterday’s Instagram post and at my Flickr page).
I’ve been to Connecticut several times before, but I’ve never really explored it – for me (and likely for others), it was just that thing you have to get through when you’re going from New York to Massachusetts. And I’ve actually spent a night in Danbury before, but never left my hotel room after checking in (and quickly headed to New York City upon checking out). Beyond my Monday trip to New York, the rest of the week will be spent in Connecticut. After this weekend jaunt into the countryside, I’m looking forward to my remaining time here.
The Week In Hotel Rooms:
The only things of note from this week’s hotels:
1) The Super 8 in Danville, Pennsylvania was full of trapshooters, who had been having a big ole trapshooting shindig in the area all week.
2) I stayed at a Knights Inn (in Pittston, Pennsylvania) for the first time since a 2008 stay in Greensboro, North Carolina, in which some scary dude started knocking loudly on our door at 3 in the morning looking for Donna. Donna wasn’t in our room, though – it took a while for him to believe us. That experience, coupled with the overall shittiness of the motel, is why I had stayed away from Knights Inn until this past Thursday (a stay that was fine and uneventful). I hope Donna’s okay.
3) My room at the Super 8 in Danbury is the exact same one (Room 215, directly across from the elevator) as my last stay here. I know this because the “Carl Wuz Here” that I carve into every bathroom mirror at every hotel I stay at was still there.
1) Panera – North Ridgeville, Ohio
I’ve never cared for the food at Panera, but there were very few options available near my hotel in North Ridgeville. I had an asiago roast beef sandwich with some chips – it was nothing special. Trying to avoid sodas, I opted for some acai raspberry tea for my drink option. It was vile.
2) Sheetz – North Ridgeville, Ohio
This was my dinner option in North Ridgeville. I had a roast beef pretzel sandwich with pepper jack cheese. It didn’t taste like anything.
3) Mr Hero – Streetsboro, Ohio
Their chicken bacon and ranch sub was really damn good. Their Romanburger – which features three patties, genoa salami, Swiss cheese, Italian dressing, and some kind of special house mayo – sounds like it should be the greatest thing ever, but it was merely okay.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, it was a pretty shitty week for food.
4) Domino’s – Pittston, Pennsylvania
Yep, shitty week for food.
I bought a six-pack of Yuengling on Monday because I was planning on doing some writing (on what would become this post) and beer is good for writing (I’ve said this before). I ended up working on other things, though, so the beer wasn’t necessary. But since I didn’t know if I’d have a mini-fridge at my next hotel, I went ahead and drank the six-pack. I’m usually a-okay with Yuengling, but on that night I just wasn’t feeling it. Really, that’s been the case over the past couple months with me and beer. I’m just not enjoying beer anymore, which is rather disheartening, especially since we’ve gotten along so well for so long.
With that in mind, I went to a Trader Joe’s in Danbury looking to buy a couple of bottles of wine. Apparently, though, they have the same bullshit alcohol rules here that Tennessee has, and there was no Three-Buck Chuck to be found. So I made do with more beer, settling on Blue Point Brewing Company Toasted Lager, which tasted as appealing to me as the Yuengling did.
According to the label, they won a gold award at the World Beer Cup. Miller Lite – if their commercials are to believed – have won multiple gold awards at the World Beer Cup. The World Beer Cup is fucking horseshit.
White Plains for a day, the Connecticut for the rest of the week.