First a little Christmas recap. This year, Christmas was simple, low-key and fun, at my house just the way I like it pretty much. I got lots o' moolah which is always useful and we had our hot pot dinner. I gorged myself on lamb and shrimp and promptly went into a food coma afterwards. Cousin A, my cousin on my dad's side of the family, got me an iPad which is extraordinarily generous albeit unecessary but nobody in their right mind would say no. Thing is, I'm worried I'm going to either lose it, break it or both at school so my mom is now the owner of the new toy. I want to get myself a Kindle Fire after Amazon updates the software in a few months anyways. I set it up for her and now all she's been doing is playing spider solitaire, Bejewled and watching Brothers and Sisters on Netflix in her spare time. I really need to get her more apps that will actually put the thing to good use though. That piece of tech has so much potential it would be shame not to use all of what it can give y'know? This year I ended up forgoing the jewlery or roses which I've done for the past few years and instead gave her and my aunt gift certificates for a mani/pedi at a local spa so they can go together some time. She seemed to enjoy it, so hopefully she'll find some time to use it.
A few days after Christmas, I had a quick reunion with my friend Mad and Christine who I've been hanging out with for a few days now. Maria is out of the country visiting family so I haven't seen her yet unfortunately. We got lunch at Noodles and Co and caught up on school, life, guys and such. I also got myself some peppermint bark from Mad as a belated gift which was pretty sick. I also finally got a long overdue haircut.
Overall, break has been pretty low-key and chill. Good stuff.
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A little while ago I wrote a post called "Head West" which you can read here here where I wrote about how I wanted to drive into the unknown and escape from the familiar. I've always wanted to do something spontaneous; mysteries are always thrilling for me. Well, this morning, with no real plans for the day, I decided to act on impulse, so I decided to go for a nice long drive out west.
I left home around 1 this afternoon and started out west. I jumped on 66-West towards Front Royal, a sleeply little town by the Shennandoah Valley, which ultimately was my final destination. I hadn't gone to the Appalachians since I was in elementary school for whatever reason so I forgot just how different Virginia gets outside of the DC metro area. First, where I'm from, the landscape is as flat as board so it was fun to be reminded that the state actually has some different geographical features.
|Look Ma, weather eroded Ordovician-period rock formations!|
|I pissed myself out of chicken-n-dumplings happiness|
In the same place was a Wal-Mart Supercenter which I haven't seen since I last drove down to Florida a few years ago. I swore that you would only find these in the South and midwest but I guess I was wrong. It was really funny walking in because A. I was dressed better than almost everyone there and B. I was the only Asian person for probably a 20 mile radius so I got some funny looks. The people of the area are nothing like the crowd from where I grew up; lots more camo, hunting gear and redneck goodness than I'm used to to say the least. Also, there are a lot more pickup trucks.
Afterwards I ended up driving downtown which was pretty much how I pictured a mountain town would look like. Lot's of older, wooden buildings and also a really cool building with a bunch of old painted ads on the side; I saw one for Coca-Cola and another for something like "Benson's Seltzer - Take for Headaches" which I thoght was really cool. The building looked like it used to be part of a row of buildings since it also had some bricked-up windows on the sides but now only short more modern buildings flank it. What was really cool though was going down East Main Street which was still all decorated for the holidays and lined with these really old fashioned brick buildings which made it feel like I was going back a few decades in time. The traffic was too stop and go for me to get a good picture though.
By 4 or so, I started heading back which was fun for a few reasons. First was seeing this car in front of me...
|It had a huge pair of silver balls|
...and also the fact that rural roads let me go so much faster when driving. Usually I'm stuck topping around 70 or so because of police and traffic but out there, it was clear roads so straight I couldn't help but indulge my right foot a little.
|And that was just cruising speed.|
I also played leapfrog with this SUV from Georgia who kept passing me and then me passing him when we had ot change lanes because of a slower driver in the lane. It was a little too fun probably but the roads were straight and I was paying attention. I ended up getting back a good bit quicker than when I was going over. In the end, I drove a total of about 150 miles and finished my trip with a clear head. I think it would be pretty cool to do something like that again some time and maybe go into Maryland or south instead of west.
I've been wanting to just go for a drive for the heck of it and I was glad I finally did. It cleared my head, gave me something to do and I got to explore somewhere I haven't been to before. I look forward to doing it again some time.
Enjoy your weekend!
All the best,