Friday, March 29, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-65 in Kentucky & Tennessee

Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky)
Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 65 runs north to south through the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. Cities along this route include Louisville, Elizabethtown and Bowling Green in Kentucky, and Nashville and Franklin in Tennessee. Mammoth Cave National Park is located near Bowling Green, Kentucky. Other attractions include the Ohio River, Bernheim Forest, Rattlesnake Falls, the National Corvette Museum, Big Dude River Falls and the Bluegrass Country horse farms. Nashville offers numerous country music and historical sites.

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.



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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Road: Goodbye LA 2013

Every trip I take to California is different and I try to accomplish a new task on each one. This is my thirteenth trip to Los Angeles. Two of the trips were taken many years ago, but the other eleven have been done since 2004. Sometimes I do the tourist thing and see the standard famous places. Other times I do the resident thing and see how I would feel if I lived here.

This trip ranks as one of the best I have ever taken. It has been relatively stress free and I have not had to deal with any strange incidents this time. I was able to see everyone I wanted to see and I met many new people. Originally I planned to spend two months in California, but I decided to double that time since I was having so much fun. Only one month of this period was spent in a hotel. The rest of the time I have been apartment-sitting for my daughter while she is away for work. This year's task was to see how I would handle living in a residential area in a private apartment and not a hotel. It was great!!

I am used to seeing my daughter's smiling face when I arrive in Los Angeles, so to have her gone was rather jarring. However, she did fly in for the holidays and I stayed in a hotel during that time so she could enjoy her apartment. Since the girls in the hotel room next to me were noisy, I was able to get only a few hours of sleep a night. I was happy to leave that property. Now that I am back at my daughter's place I have been getting a full night's sleep each night and I feel rested and healthy.

Each trip has a different focus in regard to things I want to find. Last year it was jeans. The year before that was charms and a digital camera. This year has been boots and I will be going home with four new pairs. Since I have maintained my weight loss, I have needed new clothes and have purchased many new tops.

The car is ready to go. I am really diligent about making sure the car is in excellent shape for the trip, so I have the oil changed in Akron and in Los Angeles. This year the mechanic had some bad news. The water pump was leaking and the car would never successfully make the trip home. I was not happy since the pump had been changed less than three years ago when I had the timing belt done, but the work was necessary. Fortunately, I have my mechanic in Burbank who quickly got the car repaired. That is the blessing of having someone I trust who will handle all aspects of my car and who cares about my safety.

I have been in the mode of watching the Weather Channel Weekly Planner reports to see what day I will depart. Unfortunately, multiple blizzards have prevented any serious plans to leave here. I have also spent time sitting on the stairs looking down at the pile of my luggage and wondering if it will all fit inside the car. Soon I will pull the car into the parking garage and pack the trunk. On the morning of my departure I will load the rest of the bags into the back seat of the car and get on the road.

This has been the best trip ever, but it is time to go home. Before I can enjoy my house, I have to complete the final leg of my journey - the trip home. Here's hoping it is a safe, but boring one!!!

(Photos taken in 2012 and 2008)
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-65 in Indiana

English: Clifty Falls, Clifty Falls State Park...
English: Clifty Falls, Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 65 begins its journey south from I-90 (Indiana Toll Road) and travels the entire length of Indiana. This interstate joins Gary and Indianapolis in Indiana with Louisville, Kentucky. Other cities along the way include Columbus, Merrillville and Lafayette. Interstate 65 intersects I-70 and I-74 in Indianapolis and I-80 and I-90 in Gary. Attractions near I-65 are the Tippecanoe Battlefield State Memorial, Hardy Lake State Recreation Area and the Clifty Falls State Park near the Ohio River.

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.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On the Road: Street Signs

In Los Angeles or any city for that matter, be sure to notice the street signs when parking the car. I was trying to find a parking space in Santa Monica and was frustrated because various parking restriction signs were all over the place. Finally, I found a spot that did not have a sign. I was overjoyed at my luck.


When I returned, I found a ticket on my car. I was upset and looked around for the closest sign. As it turned out, a sign was posted, but a tree had grown up around it and completely encased it. Since I have a camera in my phone, I took a picture of the tree-encased sign and gave a copy of it to the SMPD. I did not have to pay the ticket, but after that incident I paid even more attention to the street parking signs!!

Some streets have parking restrictions at certain hours of the day, especially at rush hour. Some streets prohibit parking on the hours that the street is to be cleaned. In some areas residents have special tags that permit them to park on that section of the street since apartments in the area do not have enough parking places for residents. Other drivers cannot use those street parking spaces.

Also be careful to check the curb when parking on a busy street. If numbers are painted on the curb, look in either direction until you see a meter device. A credit card can be used to pay for that parking space.

Now when I park my car, I take the time to check the signs on both sides of the street. I am very careful to notice the times and days listed on the sign. Parking tickets are big business for cities and the fines, especially in cities such as Los Angeles, can be high. I want to spend my money on other things!!!

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-64 in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri

The Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, "Th...
The Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, "The World's Largest Ketchup Bottle", a water tower in Collinsville, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 64 leaves Louisville and runs west along the southern sections of Indiana and Illinois before ending its journey in East St. Louis. I-64 connects the cities of New Albany, Warrenton and Griffin in Indiana with Grayville, Mt. Vernon and O'Fallon in Illinois before crossing the Popular Street Bridge into Missouri. In 2009 I-64 was completed to I-70 in Missouri. Attractions near this highway include the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana and the World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois.

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.


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Monday, March 11, 2013

On the Road: California Border Protection Stations

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Рус...
English: Apples on an apple-tree.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I enter the state of California on Interstate 40, I need to go through the California Border Protection Station in Needles, CA. Officials at these agriculture inspection stations for the California Department of Food and Agriculture want to make sure that unwanted insects do not enter the state. They do have a legal right to do this. Their primary focus is plants, fruits, vegetables and firewood and they will ask drivers some questions and randomly inspect vehicles. Every vehicle has to go through the inspection station and at certain times the line may be long due to the number of cars or the number of inspections that are performed. Cars are not inspected on their way out of California.

I knew they were checking for plants, but I was surprised they were interested in my bag of apples. Before I travel, I wash the apples and then wrap each apple in plastic wrap. When I eat the apple, I put the core back in the plastic wrap so I can throw it away when I get to a place with trash cans. The few apples I had were of no concern to the CA BPS. However, if I had a plant in the car, I would have had to throw it out. I could not have taken it into the state. For more information, click on the link highlighted above link for the CDFA.
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-64 in Kentucky

English: Streaking Lights on I-64. Long Exposu...
English: Streaking Lights on I-64. Long Exposure taken from the horse/bike bridge at Seneca Park in Louisville KY. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 64 runs east to west across the top portion of Kentucky. I-64 joins the cities of Morehead, Lexington, Frankfort and Louisville. The Natural Bridge is located southeast of Lexington and the Otter Creek Park, the Ohio River Coral Reef Park  and Muhammad Ali Center are located near Louisville. The intersection of this highway with I-65 and I-71 is known as "Spaghetti Junction" to describe the appearance of the ramps. Interstate 64 also joins I-75 for a while.

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.


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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On the Road: Dust Storms

Arizona Dust Storm
Arizona Dust Storm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Usually I do not pay much attention to high wind warnings when I am using the Weather Channel Weekly Planner to check weather conditions for my trip. That changed a couple years ago when I had the opportunity to go through a dust storm in Arizona. I have driven through many types of severe weather situations, but this one was really terrifying.

As I was driving east I saw the dust storm ahead, but I thought it was just some dust blowing across the road. When I drove into the storm, I saw conditions go from day to night. An RV was in front of me, so I just kept watching his tail lights and maintaining a safe distance. Then the sirens started blaring. The Highway Patrol was shutting down the interstate.

The experience really upset me and I got off the interstate at the next exit. I pulled into the parking lot and tried to get out of the car. The wind was so intense that I could not open the door. I had to pull the car around in the opposite direction so I could open the driver's side door and get out of the car! That was an extremely scary situation that I do not want to encounter again. Now when I see the blue area on the weather map, I pay attention to it!!
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-64 in West Virginia

English: Cliffs of New River Gorge, West Virgi...
English: Cliffs of New River Gorge, West Virginia, USA. This section of the cliff is called "Idol Point" in the Endless Wall region. Polski: Skałki w przełomie rzeki New River w stanie Wirgini Zachodniej w USA. Zdjęcie przedstawia "Idol Point" w rejonie "Endless Wall". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 64 crosses the Allegheny Mountains into West Virginia. It travels through Lewisburg and Beckley before merging north with I-77 until it reaches Charleston. That section is part of the West Virginia Turnpike which does have a toll. After the merge, I-64 continues west going through Huntington. Attractions that are near this highway include the Pipestream State Park, the Bluestone Gorge, Hawk's Nest and the New River Gorge.

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.


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