Category Archives: Travel

Full Circle

This is the same place I took the picture for my dirty window blog entry a week ago: the Hampton, VA Grayhound station.

It’s dark, but the rain has washed the dirty windows clean.

How very thought provoking.


What Now? A Tale of Two Feet

What do you do when you get a little blister in a big blister on your heel? I guess I have a detail to use next time I write a story about hiking.

So how did this happen? Spending this last week in D.C. for school, I have been living on the cheap. And that means walking and being thankful for the Metro rail system. But it’s still 6 blocks to the Metro station, then 8 blocks between where I get off the train and the hotel this week long school event is taking place in. On the way back a free shuttle bus takes me back to the Metro, so it’s only 6 blocks of walking going ‘home’. That’s still 20 blocks a day plus whatever walking I do to find something for lunch.

That’s not outrageous at all. But it’s been a while since I’ve done any serious walking on a daily basis. The feet aren’t as tough as they used to be. My shoes aren’t terrible, but they’re on the old side and they rub a bit.

So there’s my complaining for the week. My poor abused heel is suffering. I’m not totally irresponsible and picked up a pack of heavy duty blister bandaids the second day. But I’m still totally looking forward to getting home and putting my feet up.

Then we’ll see if I feel like writing a story about walking.

One Thing Hampton Roads VA Needs

One of these. For pity’s sake. A real one, not the one little light rail line it took Hampton Roads 30 years to plan, fund, and build.

It might be possible if this was one city with seven boroughs rather than seven cities pissing away enormous resources duplicating all their efforts seven times.

But what the hell do I know?

I know I’d rather live up here in DC where you can go see the rest of the city. Where you’re not completely boned if your car breaks down.

Hell, you can even count on buses running on time here. In Norfolk, VA, I have seen people lose jobs or not be hired at all because if you depend on the bus, you cannot be depended on because the damn bus cannot be depended on.

Because Hampton Roads, which people with sense have been recommending incorporate into a single city since roughly the Civil War era, refuses to do what makes sense.

Well, actions have consequences. You can bitch about them, Hampton Roads, or you can act.

We all know which you’ve chosen for the last 150 years. How’s that working for you? Get that major sports franchise you’ve been wanting forever? No? They said you’re seven third-rank markets instead of one big first-rank one?

Stop complaining. They’re right. And it is YOUR choice, Hampton Roads, and you continue to make it. Stop pointing fingers unless you’re facing a mirror.

The Windows Need Cleaning

So, I’m on a bus heading from Norfolk, VA to Washington, D.C. The bus is nice enough; decent seats, a place to plug the phone in, wifi.

The windows, on the other hand… there’s a nice thick film of yuck to filter out any bothersome sunlight. Or view. It comes through very nicely in the picture, I think.

Personally, I tend to be a skeptical sort. A bit of a cynic, sometimes a little pessimistic.

It’s nice to see a metaphor in person like this, to remind myself that the world viewed through a layer of cynical yuck isn’t really accurate. It’s a little blocked out, muted, not as rich as it really is, like the view through this dirty bus window.

The dirt really is there. Things happen in the world that justify some of my cynicism. But I don’t always have to look through the dirty glass, either.

I hope that makes a little sense to someone out there.