the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Travel Update

Our total driving distance from when we stopped for gas at the south end of town until we parked the car in our garage again was just over 3,000 miles. That's not a bad little road trip in my book. Naturally that included city driving, side-trips and the like, but that is still a lot of driving.

I did it regularly when atara and I were still dating.

Aside from the glitch with our hotel room on the way down, everything went smashingly. We saw almost everybody we were hoping to see.

Pinkie Pie was our little mascot for the trip, so if you happen to wander over to my Flickr page you will notice her cute little mug in quite a few of the pictures. This is one of my two favourite shots of her though, posing in front of the condiments at Denny's in Wisconsin Dells. This was the morning after our hotel adventure mentioned in my previous post. I don't know why (other than having Pinkie Pie in it), but I really like the colour and composition of this picture.

What you can't see in this shot is the frighteningly patriotic pictures and wallpaper behind atara just out of the right side of this shot.

During one of our off-days in Ohio, we were out cruising for electronics and ponies to take home when atara began shrieking and carrying on about the county fair. Apparently she noticed the signs for it, and suddenly it went from being a non-issue to being one of the top items on our itinerary. I don't know why she was so anxious to go there because the last time we went (when we were still dating), I stepped on her foot in the chicken shed and tore some of the skin off her toes. She married me anyway. Must be true love.

I wanted to move the rakes for this shot, but I was not sure if somebody had just left them there, or they were part of the exhibit. It would have been embarrassing to be accosted while moving them aside by somebody yelling about how I was messing up the feng shui of the display. Ohioans and their feng shui - oy.

Speaking of chicken sheds, I stuck my camera up against the mesh of the chick cage and hoped for the best. Just as I was about to take the shot somebody started up a power drill at the far end of the cage, shoring up the side. Chicks apparently do not like power drills, and much fluffy panic ensued - with the exception of one brave (or deaf) chick who paused to watch the action. I have entitled this one, "Alone In The Crowd". Unfortunately it will likely lose some of its impact with the black theme of my journal (it looks best on a white background), but I am pleased with the look and feel of this shot.
Alone in the crowd

The town of Kent appears to revere black squirrels; every corner of the town is festooned with them in the form of pictures, posters, plushies, bumper stickers and even ceremonial metal statues. Pictured behind the squirrel is Jasons' Barber Shop, where I did not get my hair cut because they were crazy busy.

Instead I got my hair cut around the corner at Leander's. It was a charming, old-school barber shop similar to Jasons, but without the kitsch or the hot lather. The barber who cut my hair was pleasant enough, but talking with him was a little surreal. "Where are you from?" "Canada." "Oh, so you only live 2-3 hours away." "No, it's closer to 26 hours to where we live." (Apparently the entirety of Canada is that bit across the lake from Cleveland.) "I bet the night sky must be really spectacular up where you live because you'd be much closer to the stars."

Um... anyway, here is the squirrel.

Whoever organized atara's class reunion ordered a chocolate fountain for it. A chocolate fountain.
Chocolate Fountain
Also an open bar.

Her classmates were pretty good about making sure the spouses did not feel entirely left out, and I enjoyed the reunion a lot more than I did the pre-reunion at Ray's bar downtown the night before. At the bar, I got relegated to trying to communicate with the other husbands. I have noticed that there is a pattern that happens at these things.

Random husband tries to start a conversation with me.

RH: So how about those [NFL team that I don't follow]?
ME: Sorry, I don't follow the NFL, so I can't really comment.
RH: OK, so how about those [NBA team that I don't follow]?
ME: Uh, that's basketball, right? I've heard of that game...
RH: (Becoming awkward) Well, how about those [College team/sport that does not interest me in the least]?
ME: (Sardonically thinking, "If I don't follow NFL or NBA, why would I follow college sports?")Uh... Twilight Sparkle is best pony.
RH: ... [Turns to address another random husband.] Hi, you look American. Let's engage in shallow sports talk.

I took a lot of pictures of my niece an nephew while we were in Kent. I posted a couple of them in an earlier post, and here is one more of my favourites. I have entitled this one, "This pillow is relevant to my interests."
Relevant Pillow

Driving through Wisconsin is easily the most scenic part of the trip. This stone outcropping is one of the landmarks I watch for on the trip. I am surprised that this picture turned out as well as it did since I shot it through the dirty front windshield of the car while we were driving down the highway at ~70mph.

Photoshop stripped away some of the Exif data from the shot. You can see that it shot at 1/1000 of a second, but not that I had it locked there on shutter priority. I have started shooting more stuff SP rather than AP lately, in part because it gives me finer tuning. This camera has fairly limited f/stops, but lots of range for the shutter.

We stopped for the night at the Holiday Inn Express in Madison after we decided we were going to do the trip in three days instead of the usual two. This shot is actually from the fancy hotel next door, where they had a nice restaurant. The first thing I did was order myself a Spotted Cow (a local microbrew that I quite like). I accompanied it with some beer & cheddar soup, and a smoked duck-breast pasta.

I like the effect of candle back-lighting the beer, with Pinkie Pie and her clone (Flower Ass or some similar name) in the foreground.
Pinkie Pie Beer

Speaking of Pinkie Pie and candles, here is atara's birthday dessert at a pleasant little restaurant named Le Vichyssois that duncandahusky and takaza took us to for the occasion.
Tags: fim, mlp, pictures, pony, travel
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