Friday, September 26, 2008

Roadside Surprises and Cuisine

I know, I know... I promised you my last two vacation posts earlier this week but what can I say? Work is work and well, I've been trying all week to hang onto that relaxed vacation feeling.

One of the best things about traveling by car on vacation is all the fun things you discover roadside. Part of my vacation plan was to just "wing it" in regards to where I was headed each day and to stay off interstate highways. I had hotel reservations each night in a different town about sixty miles apart but how I got from Point A to Point B was entirely open to my whim and whimsy.

An old country church at sunset in Shenandoah

For example, two different times I was driving along the General Lee/General Jackson highway (Route 11) and a side road would just call to me to drive down and discover what is at the end of the road. Both times I discovered lovely covered bridges

Covered Bridge outside of Cedar Creek, VA

crossing over pretty little creeks.

Another covered bridge I found in VA

Another day, I decided to completely re-route myself and drive back the way I had just come and take a highway marked scenic. I found myself in what probably was my favorite small Virgina town, Front Royal where along with visiting the house of Belle Boyd, the notorious Confederate Spy, I sat in the town square

Bandstand and town Square in Front Royal, VA

eating my lunch, reading a book, and watching the world go by.

On the day I headed to the Shenandoah National Park to drive the Skyline Drive, I pulled up to a stop light looked right and thought I had traveled back in time all because of these guys!

Got to love the kitzy 1950s roadside attractions

One thing was constant though in all my travels, if I got a craving for a mid-day breakfast all I had to do was look for was the black and yellow roadside sign for a Waffle House.

My favourite roadside sign in the South

If you aren't familiar with Waffle House, it is the Southern version of Denny's but better.

You know you are south when you see this place

I get excited when I drive up to this building because I know I'm minutes from a pecan waffle, side order of real hash browns and a slice of country ham.

Pecan Waffle with Hasbrowns and Coutry Ham from Waffle House

And if I can't find a Waffle House I can find a Dunkin' Donuts that not only sells me a big coffee and a creme filled long john,

Dunkin Donuts and Exxon station where you can also get live bait!

but I can get some bait...

Mmm...donuts, gas and live bait!