Friday, August 21, 2009

DF20: Home Again Home Again

Another really long day. Half a day on-site, then the drive home. Nothing particularly interesting foodwise. But my site visit was very successful. It was a really beautiful drive home for the most part, except for the icky part on 95, luckily only 50 min. or so.

I was late leaving the host site, so I didn't get on the road until after 2. I didn't have time for lunch, so I ate a protein bar in the car. By 4:30 I was starving and near Petersburg, so I stopped at the same Cracker Barrel I ate at on the way there. I am so boring.... I think I even ended up eating the exact same thing. The only other obvious dairy-free choice was the potroast, and I just didn't feel like messing with it.

On my way out, the sign said the cooler full of ice at the hostess station was supposed to have bottled water. I looked in there, but nothing except soda. I could see a shelf sort of behind the hostess station that had bottles of water on it. I kept waiting for the hostess to come back from wherever, but when she did, she seated the people who had been waiting. (Didn't she know I needed a bottle of water?) Finally I took matters into my own hands, stepped behind the hostess station and grabbed a bottle of water from the shelf. Luckly, no one noticed my lawless behavior. Though the cashier did look at me strangely when she picked up the warm bottle of water that obviously did NOT come from the cooler. But that may have been because I had just refused a free sample of coconut candy (it looked like it might have dairy in it).

Back on the road again. Only a few more miles on 95-- then 85 pretty much the rest of the way home. The whole state of Virginia is notoriously known as a speed trap, and I worried and fretted, trying to figure out how much above the speed limit I could drive and still not get a ticket. At one point, I nearly had a heart attack-- I was clearly going 70 in what I was pretty sure was a 60 mph zone, and looked in my rearview mirror to see a state trooper practically in my back seat. It took me a second or two to realize he had no interest in busting me, he just wanted me to move over so he could chase someone else. Which I did posthaste. He shot past me and busted the jerk that must have been going 90, weaving in and out of the lanes and cutting people off like a maniac. Sometimes there IS justice in the world!

A bit later I was going about 78 in a 70 mph zone, and passed right by a state trooper hiding by the side of the road behind some trees. I couldn't even TRY to pretend like I wasn't speeding. But he didn't come after me. He actually passed me later on.

All this reminds me of my friend Angie that got stopped for speeding in VA when she was driving a state car (embarassing...). But the funnier Angie story happened when she was late for work, had dropped the kids off at daycare and hadn't bothered to fasten her seatbelt (against NC law). Next thing she knows, there is a cop blaring his siren and indicating she needs to pull over. She does, with sinking heart. He comes up to the window of her minivan and says, "Ma'am, do you know why I stopped you?"

As Angie says, NEVER answer that question. As far as the police know, you are the dumbest person on the planet, you know nothing.

So Angie timidly ventures, "Because I'm not wearing my seatbelt?" The cop gets a surprised look on his face and says, "So you're not! Well, I'm gonna have to write you up for that. The reason I stopped you was to tell you one of your tail lights is burned out, and you need to get that fixed right away." So Angie got another ticket... Suffice it to say, when several of us had to travel in a state van to a conference in Atlanta, Angie was not allowed to drive.

I arrived home late and exhausted but without getting any tickets. DC met me at the car rental place. I was very glad to let him heft my giant suitcase out of the trunk and into our car. I was pretty well fed up with hefting at this point.

Even though DC had already had dinner, he took me to Mimi's so I could get something, the only thing at home being... chili!! Which I had been eating daily for what felt like forever. You know, I never noticed this before, but about 95% of the menu at Mimi's either contains cheese or is served in a cream sauce. I ended up getting a pork chop and some steamed potatoes and veggies.

I think my days of eating at Mimi's may be over. That porkchop was really not good-- dried out and tough. My beloved turkey dinner comes with a giant mound of from-scratch mashed potatoes, and it just wouldn't be the same without it.

But if this dairy free thing gets rid of my sinus problems, it will be worth it.

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