Okay, that’s the last of the baseball puns for this series. We arrived home late this afternoon/early this evening after a final hurrah as we headed home. As I mentioned yesterday, we returned to the hotel to watch the final semi-final game of the NCAA Tournament only to discover that we are older than we thought and that staying awake is harder than it used to be. Although a couple of us woke up in time to see the last couple of minutes of the game, we realized that maybe, just maybe, we need more rest than we used to. We got up, had breakfast and made our way to the van, not necessarily ready to return to work, but ready to return home.
This time the weather was beautiful, the drivers were marginally more intelligent and polite, and the potholes, although in abundant supply, didn’t seem quite as deep or treacherous. We realized a number of things while on the road together so long. One things is that none of us really stop very frequently, but we do require certain things to make the drive tolerable, such as coffee, music, and topics of conversation. While music (thank you XM Radio) and topics of conversation were never lacking, the nearest Starbucks was 40+ miles away, which meant we had to make the first short leg on nothing more than hotel coffee and happy thoughts. To keep our minds engaged, we began discussing this trip and our next one which happens to coincide with our fantasy football draft. We also decided that, since one of us is fleeing the US for London for a time, we should try to put together a trip centered around golf in Scotland. While none of us are scratch players, we agreed that a horrible round of golf at St. Andrews still beats any decent day at work, so, while we didn’t set a date, we did agree, in principle, to get a trip on the books at some point.
40 miles into the trip we made a very, very necessary stop at a Starbucks, which happened to be across the street from a “Color Run”. Thanks to exquisite timing, we arrived just behind some of the participants and their supporters, which allowed us plenty of time to examine the same food options that you can find at every Starbucks. Fortunately, the line moved at a decent pace and we gathered our liquid resolve and returned to the van ready to tackle the potholes of Pennsylvania. Now, I don’t know how many of you have had the opportunity to travel the Keystone State’s highway system, but it certainly will test your suspension, your tire integrity, and your physical stamina. It is an interesting problem, though, because the roads are equally chewed up, allowing the focused driver to see the historic first application of concrete to make up the highway, are also seemingly constantly under construction, leading us to conclude that Pennsylvania views road construction the way some of us view the snooze button. It is important to set it and acknowledge it on a periodic basis, but it doesn’t necessarily mean any action will be taken.
After stops for gas and lunch, we made the final run down Interstate 15 past Gettysburg, through Maryland and back to our starting point in Virginia. Two main things came out of this final run. First, we found a fantastic restaurant in Harrisburg for lunch. We had the pulled pork and pear pizza and the brisket and eggs tacos, which both seemed a little strange when we first ordered, but upon tasting them, decided that the chef was either brilliant or incredibly lucky. The ambiance was amazing and the location, down near the river was perfect. I can see going back there the next time we run up to Amish country. The second thing was we still continue to inspire and challenge each other. I have to admit, I, personally, am happy about this. I have had friendships where after about 15 minutes it gets stale and boring, and I was concerned that that might happen at some point. That is not a dig at my co-authors, rather an acknowledgement that, after all these years, the fact that we are still able to make each other laugh, speak truth to each other, and, together, create something better than any one of us could create, we really are blessed to have each other as friends.
I don’t want to take up much more of your time, however, I did want to address one of the comments from an earlier post. The pork “wings” are smaller pig knuckles, barbecued and marinated in a mango-habanero barbecue sauce, and they are amazing. One side note, an unnamed member of our group, who happens to be a Cardinals fan and who’s name rhymes with mob, raised the question as to how the brewery obtained such small pig knuckles, noting that they must have gotten them from piglets, rather than pigs. It would have been fine had he stopped there, however, he followed that up with the question, do they just slaughter the piglet or do they just use the legs and continue to raise the piglet to adulthood so as to maximize the potential of their investment. You may be pleased to note that 2/3 of the trio, while thinking that a humorously dark aside, decided that it was best not to pursue that line of thought and quickly changed the subject.
So, what came out of this that is relevant to you, our readers? Well, first off, the idea of taking time with your friends and family is something that all three of us believe is of the utmost importance. Most, if not all, people view their lives as experiences they have had rather than things they have acquired. During the course of our discussions we realized we could recall moments in time much more frequently than we could recall purchases. The point is that we remember more how we spend time than money. It is hard to believe that when money is tight, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Second, if there are things you want to do in life, write them down, and then do them. Not necessarily immediately, but don’t let limitations of the past become limitations of the future. There were a thousand reasons why we shouldn’t go to Cooperstown this weekend, and, frankly, only a couple supporting our decision, but at the end of the day, none of us can say our time together was a mistake or wasted. Finally, there are a few people in life you will ever want to travel with. Sure, we had friends throughout our collective lives, but the relationship we have with each other and our families is different…and that difference is vitally important. Enjoy the time you have with each other, and be open to new frontiers. The three of us have been greatly blessed. We have had the opportunity to travel around the world, but the opportunity is there for all of us. The main point to take away is don’t be afraid to travel and take on new things. It will grow you, much as it did us, and, if you need a traveling companion, any of the three of us would be happy and honored to serve in that capacity.
Remember, you can do anything you choose to do…embrace it!
Have a great week, the normal posts should return tomorrow.
BTW, interesting fact, the number of inductees to the baseball Hall of Fame and the number of World Series titles the Minnesota Twins have won is the same…3.