Sunday, November 2, 2008

Whoops forgot the title

This morning we contemplated getting arrested for the sake of marketing (and a great handcuffs photo op!) but decided against it.  Instead, we waited around in Brooklyn for the race to start to pass out cheer signs and free stuff.  I took the opportunity to wander down to the waterfront and take a few pictures of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The runners came by in three waves (we'd forgotten about this, which made things confusing when the racers coming by had slowed to a trickle and then another massive group showed up).

...yeah, don't ask.

It's quite the change going from big city New York to Staunton, Virginia.  Not that Staunton is the middle of nowhere, but it sure feels like it after having more restaurants in a one block radius of the hotel than I could eat at in a week.  My whole eating schedule was off today, so I went looking for dinner at 10:30PM and stopped at several different places that would have been open in the city but were very closed here.  Even Taco Bell wouldn't let me walk through their drive-through.  They insisted I drive through, even after I pointed out very clearly that my 12' tall truck would cause massive property damage should I try.  I didn't bother illustrating my point.

I ended up at a hybrid gas station/fast food restaurant called Sheetz.

Nothing particularly remarkable, except for their touch screen ordering system.  Pure brilliance.  Bright colors, easy to use, and a perfect way of luring customers into spending more money.  You start off picking your main item (chicken sandwich) and then the next screen is add-ons (tomatoes $.15, lettuce, $.15) - ok so I just spent $.15 more on tomatoes.  Still a cheap sandwich.  Next screen - add cheese for $.30!  Ok.  Fries?  Nope!  You sure?  Pretty sure.  Ok, well how about upgrading your sandwich size and getting 20% off a drink?  Uh... no thanks.  A smoothie then?  Well, maybe... For a limited time only, add whipped cream for free!  No thanks.  BUT IT'S FREE!  No, thanks.  Fine, your sandwich is $1.99 and the add-ons bring your meal to a total of $1,900.83.  Please pay the cashier.

It's so much more effective than the low-morale fast food worker asking if you'd like to super-size your meal.  

It was certainly not the best food, but given my hungry state it did the job.

In other news, I now have a good sense of orientation and layout in many of the country's biggest cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Philly, Atlanta, Washington DC, and San Francisco.  That should come in handy in the future.  As of now, we're done with the biggest cities this tour.  

I suppose it's simply that I'm very well-traveled within the U.S. after the last few months, but I find myself valuing certain aspects of travel time much differently than I would have a few months ago.  Things such as, say, hotel check-in process.  When you're staying at a hotel once for a trip, the check-in is fairly insignificant.  When you're checking into your 50th hotel in 4 months, the ten minute check-in process versus the 30 second check-in can make or break your overall opinion of a hotel.  Note to hotel front desk staff - hurry!

Let's see, what else?

Stephen is off to some magnificent European cruise.

The election is in 2 days.  I expect to have the truck radio tuned to the news all day while driving.

I'm coming to Oregon this Thursday, where I will proceed to spend the following extended weekend 1) working out and hanging out with the cycling team 2) seeing some family 3) changing out some of my stuff in storage 4) going to a football game 5) finding some job leads hopefully 6) seeing other friends 7) checking out the old stomping grounds 8) insert other fun and exciting activities here.

Brooklyn is pretty much what I pictured it like.  Lots of brick buildings and porches and small shops.

Six states today (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia) and tomorrow brings a new one - Alabama!

1 comment:

  1. Another nice blog, especially loved the sandwich ordering dialogue.