The other night Ashley and I treated ourselves to our first night in a hotel. Until that night we had primarily slept on an inflatable mattress in the bed of the pickup, with the exception of one night spent sleeping on Robert from Annapolis’s son’s bedroom floor. In addition to spending a night at Robert’s, we spent three nights sleeping at the Lums Pond campground and one night sleeping at a rest area on the Jersey Turnpike.
Ashley and I were both very excited by the prospect of sleeping in a bed, and even more excited by the fact we would be sleeping someplace where going to the bathroom in the middle of the night did not involve crawling out of the back of the pickup truck and stumbling across an often dew-soaked field. Throw in central air conditioning, a real shower, free WiFi, and a television, and Ashley and I were giddy for our return to society.
|Our “living room” at Lums Pond|
It is hard to say if I had been deprived of the normal comforts of daily life just long enough or if we happened to stumble upon the world’s nicest Red Roof Inn, but we were more than enthused by the appearance of our room. Having stayed in my fair share of budget motels, it has been my experience that you get what you pay for…and we did not pay much for our room. That being said, our room both smelled and looked clean. The fixturing all appeared to be new, and on the wall was mounted a nice and fairly large flat screen television. I am left to assume something awful must have happened at this hotel for such a nice room for such a decent rate.
As I enjoyed the free WiFi (the first time during the trip Ashley and I did not need to set up camp inside Starbucks to use our computers), I simultaneously watched ESPN news and joked with Ashley that I was going to stay in bed the next day until the absolute last minute before checkout. The plan to stay in bed sounded great but took for granted that I am the world’s worst fidget and under normal circumstances staying in bed past eight is considered an accomplishment. Additionally, I get hungry in the morning, a fact that was heightened by a great, albeit long, bike ride the night before when Kelly (the Christiana EMS manager’s wife) dragged me around every back road she could find in both Delaware and Pennsylvania.
|Thank you Starbucks. If not for your free internet and power outlets, this blog would not be possible.|
By nine I was starving. By nine-thirty I was literally pushing Ashley out the hotel room door. Our normal breakfast on the trip so far had been consumed at Starbucks and under the guise of using their internet, but too much time had passed and a mere breakfast sandwich or scone would not satiate my hunger. I searched the GPS for a local diner, willing to settle for a Denny’s or IHOP, but was unable to find one close enough. I was about to resign myself to a local bakery when across the parking lot I spotted a Old Country Buffet.
I had never been into an Old Country Buffet before, but I assure you that in one morning I undid a week’s worth of running, cycling, climbing, and attempting to eat healthy on the trip. It was fabulous and disgusting at the same time. For a little more than five dollars you get all you can eat of every possible breakfast food you can imagine (sadly I avoided all the good ones such as any type of fruit) and even some foods you would not consider for breakfast such as a nacho bar and salad bar. Even weirder, I actually saw people taking food of off both. Not to judge, but ten in the morning might be a bit early for nachos, and if you are concerned about eating healthy, person at the salad bar, this restaurant might not be for you.
The great part about being on a road trip is visiting new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. Ashley and I have certainly been enjoying our time on the road so far, and strangely a week into the trip the funniest time we have had was at the Old Country Buffet. It is hard to say if it was because we were finally well rested or if it was the plate of sausage I came back with after my third trip to the buffet.