Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the Road: Shoes for Driving

Taking the time to choose a comfortable pair of shoes for travel is an important task for any driver. Many people do not worry about their footwear since they figure they will just be sitting in the car for the entire trip. Those individuals do not think about the swelling of the feet that occurs when a person sits for a long period of time. The possibility of having to walk a long distance for assistance in the event of a car mishap does not enter their minds.

In the past I have usually worn tennis shoes when I am driving for a long distance. When I wore sandals for an entire long trip, I sometimes suffered from swollen ankles by the end of the day. In the winter I found boots too uncomfortable for driving for a long stretch, but I have worn them if the weather was bad. Hiking shoes that do not cover the ankles have also been a good option for me. I just make sure that the height of the heel on any shoe does not put my foot at an odd angle that would make my ankle hurt after a long time. If I ever find myself in a situation where I need to walk for assistance, I want to have a good pair of shoes that will not damage my feet.


Last year I dug around in the mass of shoes in my closet and found a pair of tennis shoes that had velcro fasteners instead of shoelaces. What a pleasure it was to wear them! I did not have to worry about the shoelaces coming undone at inopportune times. If my feet started to feel a little uncomfortable, I just loosened the velcro. When I stopped to get out of the car, I could quickly refasten the strap. Love these shoes!! Shoes with elastic laces are also a good option.

When driving for hours in the desert, I have chosen sometimes to wear sandals for that time period because my feet got too hot when I wore tennis shoes.  However, I always made sure to have another pair of walking shoes available in the trunk of the car. Taking the time to make sure I took proper footwear on vacation helped to prevent some sore feet later.

(Photo taken in 2011)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in South Dakota

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Kimball, Presho, Kadoka, Rapid City, Sturgis and Spearfish are some of the cities joined by Interstate 90 during its 412 mile trip through South Dakota. I-90 is the only east-west interstate in South Dakota and Interstate 29 is the only north-south one. Badlands National Park is located south of this highway east of Rapid City. Other attractions near I-90 include the Akta Lakota Museum, the U.S.S. Battleship South Dakota Memorial, Fort Kiowa, Fort Hale, Fort Defiance, West Bend State Recreation Area, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Ice Cave, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument and Spearfish Canyon.

The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the v...
The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the viewing plaza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in MInnesota

Looking west from an overlook of the Upper Mis...
Looking west from an overlook of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge over the Mississippi River.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 90 travels for 275 miles along the southern state border of Minnesota. I-90 joins the cities of Stewartville, Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea, Fairmont and Worthington. Attractions near this interstate include the Mississippi River, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Whitewater State Park, Myra-Big Island State Park, Blue Earth River, Ocheda Lake, Blue Mounds State Park, Niagara Cave and Mystery Cave. The gold paint on the highway near the rest area at Blue Earth marks the joining of the eastern section and the western section of Interstate 90.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 20, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in Wisconsin

English: The Madison, Wisconsin skyline, seen ...
English: The Madison, Wisconsin skyline, seen from the shores of Lake Monona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 90 has company as it travels for 187 miles in Wisconsin. I-90 is joined with I-39 as it enters Wisconsin near Beloit. Near Madison, I-94 intersects the other two interstates for the longest stretch of three interstates traveling together. I-94 then continues with I-90 after I-39 runs north. At Tomah, Interstate 90 ventures west on its own for the rest of the time in the state. Cities near this highway include Beloit, Jamesville, Madison, Tomah, Onalaska and La Crosse.

Many attractions are near this interstate. They include Rock River, Angel Museum, Lake Koshkonomo, Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Waubega, Lake Wingra, Perrot State Park, Wisconsin River, Wisconsin Dells, Cascade Mountains, Christmas Mountain, Mill Bluff State Park, La Crosse River, Mississippi River, French Island, Mississippi Palisades, Devil's Lake and Cave of the Mounds.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the Road: Quiet, Please!

When I stay at my usual hotel complex in Los Angeles, I always have the incredible luck of getting one of two types of rooms. In the past I have stayed either in the room located under the 300 lb. people who like to dance or in the room located next to the drunken interns who like to party every night. Dealing with the noise of other rooms is one of the challenges of staying in a hotel. If the establishment clearly posts the quiet hours and the noise is occurring after that time, a traveler can call the front desk or security to complain.

If nearby rooms are noisy but quiet hours are not yet in effect, a few options can be tried. One technique is to turn on the television. Over the past few years I have learned how to fall asleep this way. It enables me to be one in charge of the noise level. Another idea is to pack a small desk fan and use it on the nightstand for some white noise. Hopefully, the noise of the fan will drown out the loud people. A last resort would be to use earplugs. I usually take several different brands with me. In fact, I always carry earplugs with me just in case I need them. Check out online reviews and find the pair that works best to keep out the noise.


If those options fail, one can always request a room change. Sometimes the hotel is full and a change is not possible. A new room can bring a whole new set of problems, so make sure to investigate the change as much as possible.

Online reviews of hotels are available on several travel sites and Yelp. Taking the time to research a hotel can help to give travelers an idea of the personality of hotel. If the reviews of the hotel contain countless comments about paper-thin walls and excessive noise, vacationers might look elsewhere for a good night's sleep.

I wish I could say that I have found a way to deal with the sound and vibration of heavy footsteps above me, but that is not the case!!!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 13, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in Indiana & Illinois

English: Dan Ryan Expressway at 33rd Street lo...
English: Dan Ryan Expressway at 33rd Street looking north (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For all of its 156 miles in Indiana and almost all of its 124 miles in Illinois, Interstate 90 is a toll road. However, during the time it travels through Chicago, I-90 is toll-free. This interstate is known by many other names. The Indiana Toll is its other name in Indiana and in Illinois I-90 is known as Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, Kennedy Expressway, Dan Ryan Expressway or Chicago Skyway. The Indiana cities of Elkhart, South Bend and Gary are joined to the Illinois cities of Chicago and Rockford by this highway. I-90 and I-80 travel together across most of Indiana. In Illinois this interstate joins I-94 for a while before joining I-39.

Attractions near I-90 include Pokagon State Park, Crooked Lake, Door Prairie Auto Museum, Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the casinos in East Chicago. The nearby Illinois attractions are Lake Calumet, Fox River, Rock Cut State Park and Lake Michigan.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in Pennsylvania & Ohio

Photo by Brice Burtch, June 24, 2007
Photo by Brice Burtch, June 24, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After traveling through Pennsylvania for 46 miles, Interstate 90 journeys across the northern section of Ohio for 245 miles. I-90 intersects with both I-71 and I-77 in Cleveland. This highway joins I-80 to the west of Cleveland at North Ridgeville and the two continue together to the western state line. I-90 becomes a toll road during its time with I-80. Drivers should be cautious of this interstate in Cleveland especially the section know as Dead Man's Curve, which has been the scene of many accidents. Also avoiding this interstate during rush hour in Cleveland is a wise choice for travelers. Cities joined by this highway include Conneaut, Ashtabula, Mentor, Cleveland and Toledo.

Attractions near I-90 include Lake Erie, Headlands Beach State Park, James A. Garfield National Historical Site, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Hayes Presidential Center, Fallen Timbers Battlefield, Fort Miami National Historical Site, Maumee River, Fort Meigs State Memorial, Kelly's Island, Blue Hole and Seneca Caverns.

Sunset over Lake Erie from Voinovich Park
Sunset over Lake Erie from Voinovich Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 6, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in New York

Seneca Lake, Geneva, N.Y.
Seneca Lake, Geneva, N.Y. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 90 travels 386 miles through the state of New York. This highway is also known as the New York State Thruway and does have a toll. I-90 runs parallel to the southern border of Adirondack Park and to the southern shores of both Lake Ontario and Lake ErieSchenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Fredonia are some of the cities joined by this interstate.

Attractions located near I-90 include the Shaker Museum, the National Shrine of North American Martyrs, Oneida Lake, the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Chautauqua, the Adirondack Mountains and Niagara Falls.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On the Road: Beverages & Coolers

On some vacations I take a cooler full of drinks, but on other trips I leave the cooler at home because I do not want to be bothered dealing with the ice. Taking a cooler saves me money and makes refreshments available to me at any time. On my last trip the temperature was low enough for me to put the soft-sided cooler in the trunk and have the beverages stay nice and cold on their own. On the other hand, if I do not take a cooler, I have to go inside the travel plaza to get drinks. This forces me to get out and walk around to exercise my legs which is beneficial.

After many years of trial and error, I have decided on a good balance of beverages for me. Diet Coke gives me my caffeine fix and I try to take only two cans per day. I have found in the past that drinking too much caffeine dehydrates me while I am on the road. In addition, if I drink caffeine all day, I will have a difficult time falling asleep when I stop at a hotel. My second drink is Arizona Diet Green Tea and four small bottles per day works for me. If I feel dehydrated, I add a packet of EmergenC to the bottle because the two mix well together.


The last choice of drink is water. If I decide to take only one beverage with me, I will choose water. For my first day of the trip, I freeze the bottles of water and use them to keep the rest of the drinks cold. Four bottles of water a day brings the total to ten beverages per day.

Having drinks in the car is very convenient. However, not taking a cooler frees up room in the car. For my last few trips, I have taken a soft-sided cooler that will collapse when empty. The hard-sided cooler may be more efficient, but the soft-sided one will fit into more areas. If I have packed the car to its limits, I will fold down the cooler and not use it.

On my final day of travel to the west, I always stop to get gas just before I drive into the Mojave Desert. Even if I have not brought any beverages with me on the rest of the trip, I take that opportunity to purchase several large bottles of water just in case something goes wrong with the car. Those drinks are always ice cold - much colder than if I had kept them in a cooler with melting ice. I would rather have too much water than not enough for that section of the trip since services can be scarce in the desert.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 29, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-90 in Massachusetts

The John F Kennedy Library in Boston MA
The John F Kennedy Library in Boston MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 90 has a length on 3,101 miles and that makes it the longest interstate in the United States. I-90 begins in the Massachusetts city of Boston and ends in Seattle, Washington. The eastern section of this interstate is also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike. Locals refer to it as Mass Pike or The Pike. This highway joins the cities of Boston, Newton, Watertown, Auburn, Chicopee and Springfield.

Attractions that are located near I-90 include Bunker Hill Monument, the Charles River, Boston Harbor, Atlantic Ocean, John F. Kennedy National Historical Site, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Clara Barton Birthplace, the Norman Rockwell Museum, Walden Pond and Mount Everett.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 25, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-89 in New Hampshire & Vermont

English: Lake Champlain in September from Vermont
English: Lake Champlain in September from Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 89 begins its journey of 191 miles at the Canadian border in Vermont. The cities of Concord and Lebanon in New Hampshire are joined to White River Junction, Montpelier and Burlington in Vermont by this highway. Attractions near I-89 include Sunapee Lake, Franklin Pierce Homestead State Historical Site, Drew Lake, the Polar Caves, Connecticut River, Quechee Gorge, Appalachian Gap, Smuggler's Notch, Lake Champlain and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 22, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-88 in New York & Illinois

Plaque Gallery at the National Baseball Hall o...
Plaque Gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 88 has two sections and each section is considered an intrastate because it runs within one state. One part is in the state of New York and the other is in Illinois. I-88 in New York is 117 miles long and links I-81 and I-90. Schenectady, Oneonta and Binghamton are cities joined by this highway. Nearby attractions include the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, the Secret Caverns, the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Adirondack Mountains.

The other part of Interstate 88 is also an intrastate of 141 miles in Illinois. This highway joins Hillside, North Aurora and the Quad Cities. Part of I-88 is the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. Lake Michigan, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, the Ronald Reagan  Boyhood Home, the John Deere Historical Site, Ronald Reagan Birthplace, Lincoln Monument and Mississippi Palisades are located near this highway.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 18, 2013

On the Road: What to Wear

When I am on the road, I like to observe what other travelers are wearing. Some people dress for comfort in choosing what to wear on a trip. They look like they just got up in the morning and wear very casual clothes such as sweats. Others dress impeccably with every hair in place and the clothes that are perfectly pressed. These people look like they could be on their way to a party or church.


For me comfort is a big consideration, but so is the weather in each location on each day of the trip. When I leave Ohio, the temperature is always freezing. The sun warms up the car quickly, so I do not like to wear a jacket or coat in the car. I would rather be a little cold than too hot. By the end of that day I am in Missouri or Oklahoma and the weather is warmer. The outfit for the first day is jeans and a hoodie over a t-shirt in the morning. I take off the hoodie by the afternoon.

The clothes for the second day are jeans and a t-shirt. By that time I am on I-40 going into Texas and New Mexico. The temperature might be warm during the day, but once the sun sets, the temperature really drops. I do not want to take the time to change from shorts to jeans, so I just wear the jeans. I keep a jacket handy for the evening. My last day involves driving in the Mojave Desert, so I wear shorts and a tank top or t-shirt.

My return trip in late winter is different since I am leaving from a warm climate and driving north. I start off in the desert which is cold in the morning, but warm by midday. The temperature drops drastically when the sun goes down and I am freezing. I keep my coat in the car and wear it when I get gas. The second and third days of the trip take me further north, so I wear jeans, sweatshirt, coat and gloves. The most difficult part of the return trip is getting out of the car at the gas stations because no matter what I wear, I still cannot stop shivering.

The most important aspect of whatever outfit drivers choose to wear is to layer the clothes. I build an outfit so I can add or decrease the pieces of clothing with ease because being too hot or too cold makes driving miserable. I also make sure that I have a small suitcase in the back seat that contains changes of clothing I can utilize if necessary. On the road comfort is a huge consideration.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-87 in New York

English: Mount Defiance from Fort Ticonderoga
English: Mount Defiance from Fort Ticonderoga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 87 runs north to south for 333 miles along the eastern border of the state of New York. This interstate is technically called an intrastate because it is located entirely within one state.  I-87, which is the longest intrastate in the United States, starts at the Canadian border and travels through the Hudson Valley before ending in the Bronx. The section of this highway between Albany and Yonkers is part of the New York Thruway and does have a toll.

Champlain, Plattsburgh, West Glen Falls, Glen Falls, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Albany, Newburgh, Tarrytown and Yonkers are connected by this interstate. Attractions near I-87 include Lake Champlain, the Catskills, Fort Ticonderoga, Natural Stone Bridges & Caves Park, Hudson River, Home of FDR Historical Site, Long Island Sound, Lake George, Ausable Chasm and Adirondack Park. The beaches of the Atlantic Ocean are a short trip away from the southern end of this highway.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-86 in New York & Pennsylvania and Idaho

English: Fritillaria pudica, Yellow Bells at C...
English: Fritillaria pudica, Yellow Bells at City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho. (Photo credit: Wikipedia
Interstate 86 has an eastern section and a western section. In the east I-86 has a journey of 207 miles through Pennsylvania and New York. This interstate intersects I-90 just east of Erie and travels through Pennsylvania for seven miles. In the state of New York, I-86 joins Elmira, Bath, Hornell, Olean, Salamanca and Jamestown. Corning Museum of Glass, Allegany State Park, Rock City Park, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Erie, Orchard Beach and Presque Isle are some of the attractions located near the eastern section of I-86.

Another small section of Interstate 86 is located in Idaho. This 63 mile section joins Pocatello, American Falls and Declo. Many attractions are located near this short interstate. They include Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, City of Rocks National Reserve, Minidoka Internment National Monument, Lake Walcott State Park and the Crystal Ice Caves.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 8, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-85 in Western Georgia & Alabama

near Lumpkin, Georgia, USA. 32°4′13″N 84°54′47...
Near Lumpkin, Georgia, USA.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 85 continues through Atlanta and western Georgia and ends in Montgomery, Alabama, where it joins I-65. This interstate joins Atlanta with Newman and LaGrange in Georgia and Lanett, Auburn, Tuskegee and Montgomery in Alabama. West Point Lake, Tuskegee Institute National Historical Site, the First White House of the Confederacy, Martin Lake, Rosa Parks Library & Museum, the Civil Rights Memorial, Alabama River and the Horseshoe Bend Military Park are attractions located near this interstate.

South of I-85 near the Georgia-Alabama border is the Providence Canyon State Park. Travelers should take I-185S near LaGrange to Columbus. From there take 27 south and the park is south of Lumpkin. This beautiful park resembles a small Bryce Canyon or a mini Grand Canyon. Visitors to this park will be able to view an example of the magnificent scenery the western National Parks contain.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Preparation: Unexpected Home Expenses

English: Lowe's Home Improvement Center #487 w...
English: Lowe's Home Improvement Center #487 with a Lowe's rental truck on display outside at 1801 Fordham Boulevard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last year I had planned to go on a trip, but changed my mind at the last minute. We had been through a week of rain and then Superstorm Sandy arrived here. All that rain was too much for my sump pump and it gave out. If I had left on the trip as planned, the sump pump situation might not have been noticed for some time. I was glad I was here to handle it. Fortunately, this sump pump problem has happened before, so I was prepared.

As discussed in a previous post, I have everything in my basement in plastic tubs. That way if a water event happens, my possessions are protected. All file cabinets and the table are placed on several tiles. When the sump pump fails, the water comes up and goes out the drain. Nothing in the basement is damaged.

When the sump pump first failed years ago, my wonderful neighbors were creative and devised a great plan. They purchased a pond pump and attached tubing to it and the device pumped the water into the basement drain until I came home. In dealing with this situation last October, I used the pond pump to handle the water until I could purchase a new sump pump.

I wanted to make sure I had a way to purchase anything my neighbors or house sitters would need for my home if a problem occurred while I was on a trip. I went to Lowe's and we came up with a great plan. For example, if the pump had gone out while I was away, I would have gone on lowes.com and paid for another pump using my Lowe's store card. Putting the pump for pickup under my neighbor's name, I could pay for the necessary item and he did not have to use his own money. This solution gives me great peace of mind.

As most vacationers do, I always try to anticipate what might go wrong in the house while I am away on a trip. Most travelers will tell the people who are watching the house to call them if a problem occurs, but they may not think about how to pay for that solution. Taking a few minutes to figure out remedies for potential problems before departure on a vacation can save a lot of stress later.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 1, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-85 in South Carolina & Eastern Georgia

English: Photo of the carving on Stone Mountai...
English: Photo of the carving on Stone Mountain, granite dome located in Georgia, USA. Carving displays figures of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 85 travels across the northwest corner of South Carolina and into Georgia. I-85 to Atlanta will be covered by this post. This interstate connects the cities of Gaffney, Spartansburg, Greenville and Anderson in South Carolina with Lavonia, Commerce and Atlanta in Georgia. Attractions near this highway include Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Sadlers Creek State Recreation Area, Hartwell Lake, Lake Harding, Lake Sidney Lanier, Stone Mountain and Catawba Lake.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-85 in Virginia & North Carolina

English: The John H. Kerr Dam and Lake on the ...
English: The John H. Kerr Dam and Lake on the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, USA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam for flood control on the Roanoke River.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 85 begins its journey south from its juncture with I-95 in Petersburg, Virginia. I-85 connects that city and South Hill with the North Carolina cities of Henderson, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, Archdale, Salisbury, Kannapolis, Charlotte and Gastonia. The Virginia attractions near this interstate include Petersburg National Battlefield, Appalachian Mountains, the John H. Kerr Dam and Lake, and Lake Gaston. In North Carolina High Rock Lake, Morrow MountainFalls Lake State Recreation Area, Lake Norman, Catawba Lake and Chimney Rock are located near I-85.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 25, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Oregon

English: The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River ...
English: The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River between Washington (right) and Oregon (left). The city of The Dalles is in the far background on the Oregon side of the river. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For half of its journey Interstate 84 runs parallel to the southern banks of the Columbia River in Oregon. I-84 joins the cities of Hood River, The Dalles, Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City and Ontario. Attractions near this interstate include the Columbia River, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon Trail Interpretative Center, Snake River and the Ontario State Recreation Site.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Travel Tales: On the Beach

My favorite vacations have always included trips to the beach. People assume I devote a lot of time to lying in the sun since I always come home with a deep and even tan. That really is not true. I get extremely bored sitting on a beach chair or stretched out on a beach towel. I want to get my sun and some exercise as well. That is why I spend all my time at the beach walking.

When I lived in Florida, I would park my car at one of the main beach areas and then walk down to the St. Lucie Inlet. That would take me at least an hour. I carried a beach towel with me as well as sunscreen, drinks, snacks, camera, phone and plastic bags. Here is a photo of my current beach bag, which has two zippered sections on the bottom. One section is a small cooler and the other is for small items such as sunscreen and valuables. I make sure I put my phone and camera in Ziploc bags so they will not get wet. The top part of the bag is for my beach towel.


When I arrive at the beach, I put my sunscreen all over my body. I walk to the edge of the water, take off my sandals and put them in one of the plastic bags, which then goes in the large part of my beach bag. I always walk along the edge of the water because the reflection of the sun on the water will help to give me an even tan all around my legs. The temperature of the water keeps me cool as I walk.

I have a couple pieces of advice for vacationers at the beach. Those who leave their belongings for a walk along the beach might consider using a camera phone to take a picture of the area. That could save time later in trying to remember where personal property is located in a sea of umbrellas, chairs and towels. Another helpful hint is to shuffle one's feet when walking into the ocean. Some creatures rest on the ocean floor and a swimmer who steps down on them might get a nasty surprise. Those who shuffle their feet will touch the side of the creature who will probably swim away.

I carry plastic bags for shells. Looking for shells as I walk provides an enjoyable activity for me. I never get tired of it. After this trip I brought back four bags of shells. What do I do with all these shells? I put them in tall vases and bowls and keep the rest in tubs for any craft project I might see on Pinterest. On some summer days my neighbor's grandkids come over and we go through the tubs and use my books on shells to identify the them. Then the kids get to keep their favorites. I can always find a use for the free souvenirs of my trips.

(Photos taken in 2013)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Idaho & Utah

Devils Orchard - in: Craters of the Moon Natio...
Devils Orchard - in: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 84 in the western section of the United States travels through Utah and Idaho before ending its journey in Oregon. I-84 joins the Idaho cities of Fruitland, Boise, Mountain Home, and Twin Falls with the Utah cities of Tremonton, Brigham City, North Ogden and Ogden. Attractions near this interstate include Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, City of Rocks National Reserve, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Great Salt Lake, Devil's Slide, Wasatch Mountain and the Golden Spike National Historical Site.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania & New York

English: A view of Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA.
English: A view of Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 84 has two main sections. The eastern part of the United States is home to an I-84 segment which is 232 miles long and travels through four states. This interstate links the Massachusetts city of Sturbridge with the Connecticut cities of Vernon, Manchester, Danbury, Hartford, East HartfordPlantsville and Waterbury. I-84 continues into New York joining Lake Carmel, Newburgh and Middletown before ending just east of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Attractions near this highway include Streeter Point Recreation Area, Lake Candlewood, the Hudson River Valley, Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Lake Minnewaska, the Poconos, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Kent Falls.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

Enhanced by Zemanta