On the road through the years

Road tripAs I write this, we’re driving down to Washington DC to attend a wedding. Things sure have changed from the days of MapQuest and driving as a couple to today’s GPS and the boy seating in front and me relegated to the back.

I remember how we used to fight because I failed to prompt the turn or exit in time until I got the rhythm of reading the directions and calling them out. These days, any wrong turns are more because of the kid talking over the audio prompts or an outright miscalculation of the driver.

I still travel with my bag of “go-to” items… Paper towel, folded plastic bags, sanitizer, snacks, water, baby wipes. And there are the chargers, the various handhelds, the iPad, etc. the technology actually came in handy today as the boss started texting me early this morning. While I am happy he misses me, I worry that I’m out at the wrong time and day and start feeling guilty. I am lucky that he is generally very mindful of reaching out to me when I am out of the office, so when he does, I pay heed.

But back to being on the road.

I don’t know about you but I like visiting the rest areas. The ones in Maryland, in particular, have been recently renovated and Angelo says that they feel like you’re in an airport food court. I like browsing the convenience stores for postcards and other souvenirs. During the last trip, I got some wood-mounted postcards that were quite a find. We also got the tiniest snow globe magnet of New Jersey for my nephew, Art.

Each trip is different even if we have a familiar destination we’ve driven to and from before. This one’s been easier for the usually car sick 10-year-old this time around, thanks to his sea bands and meds. I let him sit in front and enjoy the drive with his Dad behind the wheel. I sit at the back and do my own thing.

We usually seek out the Cracker Barrel restaurants along the way, but we were in a rush to get going given all the traffic we hit, we’re postponing that for the trip back.

So the rain finally stopped

.. just close to noon. I was ready to “brave” the building cafeteria which, mind you, is run by a reputable catering company. But like most denizens of the many floors entitled to use that cafeteria, I try to avoid going there as much as I could. The quality of the food against its price just doesn’t make the trip down two sets of elevators worth it. So I’d rather take the elevator going straight down to the ground floor and walk out.

Walk to a favorite deli, I did. I can almost “see” the sun taking a peek.

So I had to grab some postcards for a swap I need to catch up with and I headed to my favorite souvenir shop on the corner of 39th and 6th avenue, “Gifts on 6th”. This place is owned by a very friendly guy named “Mo” (which, I think is short for Mohammad) who always struck a conversation with me from the time he noticed I was Filipina. Every time I went there to buy a dollar’s worth of postcards, we’d chat. I grabbed $2 worth this time plus some magnets (again, for a swap) and he rang up my purchases.

Here are two more recent shots, one of which is actually a rendering of the Freedom Tower which, in reality, is still under construction.  The second is an updated Statue of Liberty postcard.

NY PC: One World Trade Center   NY PC: Statue of Liberty

I had been meaning to ask him to get some map postcards from his supplier for me (those selling for 10 for $1) and we finally discussed it and he told me he’ll wait for my sample. In the meantime, I got some extra postcards fresh from his yet unopened stash of my favorite Bethesda Fountain in Central Park which was awfully sweet of him.
NY PC: Central Park

Just goes to show that when you make nice, you get more.

If you are interested in receiving a postcard from me, please e-mail me at postcardmailbox at gmail.com.