"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pedro Sez......

Today's post isn't about Disney World, it's about the journey there, because that's important, too.

Ours is a family of wanderers. We go, just to go, and we don't always have any destination in mind. Our friends joke about looking forward to the "Where's John" pictures on our Facebook pages because they never know where he'll pop up next. We enjoy the journey for its own sake. We tend to take the "scenic route" as my father was fond of calling it. Country roads are better than superhighways, in my book. I'm not a car guy and driving at breakneck speed among a thousand crazed tourists is not my idea of fun. We like to mosey, to stop and see the sights, to explore.

We apparently don't do a trip to Disney like any other people. There are those who wonder how we can drive at all. Many think it's nuts that we consider a 9+ hour drive suitable for a long weekend trip. Our normal routes, either down the coast through Charleston and the tidewater, or out through the South Carolina Piedmont by way of such awesome towns as Summerville and Turbeville, get strange looks and shakes of the head. Some can't fathom that we plan to stop part way down over night, but have no earthly idea where or when that will happen. It's ok, we wander and we play it by ear and we like it that way.

Having said that, this time we are traveling to Disney on the widest, most highway-like highways possible in our little neck of Southeastern North Carolina. Nope, we aren't THAT excited that we need to find the fastest route. Everyone in this area has their own special way to reach southbound I-95, and this isn't anyone's idea of the best. We will be on the "fastest" roads headed our general direction, but they take us quite a bit north before we can head south. Actually, that's all in the plan. I want to cross into South Carolina on I-95 so that my son can experience the joy/horror that is South of the Border.

Oh, South of the Border. Can there be a more apt definition of "tourist trap?" Can there be anywhere more gloriously, hideously neon-ified? My son thinks the "strip" in Myrtle Beach is tacky. Ha! He ain't seen tacky yet! And the stores full of fireworks and cheap plastic toys and tons and tons of pecan rolls. Who actually eats pecan rolls, anyway? I don't think I've ever seen one pass a human being's lips.

As children of the Northeast, every trip to Disney meant a countdown of miles to South of the Border. Everyone read out what "Pedro sez" next. The weather .... Chili today, Hot Tamale. Keep Yelling Kids, They'll Stop. You Never Sausage A Place (with a big sausage, of course). And the mileage on each billboard, and the billboards coming each mile as you get anywhere near the place. I loved it all. It all meant we were AWAY, we were GOING SOMEWHERE, it was REALLY VACATION!!!! And my own son has never experienced that. And I just couldn't stand it anymore.

So this time we go all interstate, all boring road with no small towns and cows and dilapidated farmhouses. Well, there will be some, this is North Carolina after all, and our interstates aren't actually all 4-lane highway. But there will be less and it will be all stuff we've seen before. But it will all be worth it when John sets eyes on that great shrine to Crass Commercialism (built by a Greek immigrant, by the way.) He won't like South of the Border, mind you. None of us really like the place. But he'll have seen it and we will have one more memory in common and lots to laugh about as we head down 95 South on our way to an overnite somewhere, whenever I get tired of driving.

And no, we won't have any reservations. :-)

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