BBQ! Bedbugs! Busted! Travel Tales & Smells & WINNERS!

Hi, all!

We’re baaaack!   And omg!  What a great trip!  Realz.  It was marvelous!  I have never spent any real time on the Atlantic coast, being a Left Coast Girl and all, and the Japanese Beetles were depressing the hellz outta me, so March’s invitation to do a Hampton Roads Road Trip was eagerly accepted.  The parameters were thus:  we haz a good time and if we got sick of each other, we would take a break (we rarely had to say anything about that – we’re old friends – and OLD – so, like a married couple, we could read the bodylanguage that says ‘okay – I’mogoforawalknow.  See you later.  Like AFTER BREAKFAST.  Don’t call or write’.

We had a blast.  I drove because MarchHatesDriving and since I live in a place where you can’t go to the bathroom without driving 40miles, so I don’t give it another thought,  it was a win!  She’s a great navigator – anybody who can get you through the Beltway  without  drama is aces in my book!  We hightailed it down to Hampton VA – it’s still just so weird to me that you can be in another state in the time it takes for me to get to Peoria! – and I was thrilled to see the NASA museum that honors the real-life ‘computers’ in ‘Hidden Figures’.  We did NOT drive into the bay, though it was a close call.  It’s a working seaport and the bay comes up fast!  If you’re close enough to see the paint peeling on a boat’s hull, chances are you may end up in the water.   It smelled like a working seaport, too.  Fishery was right there – and it Smelled. Like. Fish.  And not the briny, brisk smell of the ocean type, either.  Or that lovely, Brittany-ish Ambre Grisea.   Just fish.  It’s fine – but after a minute or two I was happy for a quick breeze. Like garlic, fish isn’t really a great perfume note, y’know?

Chesapeake Bay is HUGE!  Who knew? and disconcerting (I’m used to SF Bay, which I totally understand and can parse.  Chesapeake feels much more WHOLE LOTTA WATER EVERYWHERE! ALL AROUND!).  I got to grok out on all the shipyard equipment and wonder why March wasn’t all nipply at the sight of miles of gantry cranes.  ah, well.

how can you not LOVE it!

Then we got to Portsmouth VA.  My New Best Friend.  I LOVE that town.  Absolutely charming.  Big enough to feel like a Real Town without feeling like LA.  Cute neighborhoods.  Very diverse.  We met two delightful Navy officers – and I was SQUEEE! to find they were the military version of OSHA !  These two ladies were just fabulous!  We had a wonderful tapas lunch and  talked about everything from the role of Health and Safety in the military to why marriage can be fabulous…or Weird AF .   You know, Standard Girl Stuff.

And then.  So.  We checked into the ho-tel.  And it looked Just FOINE.  Sheets all crisp and white, bathroom clean.  And we plunked ourselves down and then March said:  “omg.  are these bedbugs?”  – and I replied ‘no!  those are just some Summer bugs’ ….because 1)  I had NO idea what bedbugs looked like and 2) these bugs were such Brazen Cheetos that they were crawling ON THE NIGHTSTAND.  IN FULL DAYLIGHT!  which I thought bedbugs did not do  and 3) see 1 &2.  Luckily, March & I are not ‘strewers’ so our stuff stayed in our bags which also stayed on the table (her) and luggage rack (me).  By the time she figured out I was an idiot, then Googled and found out they WERE bedbugs, gotdambit!, it was time to check out.  Imagine out surprise when we found out that the ho-tel KNEW about the damb things, Orkin’d the room…but then just re-let it!  No checking, no nothing.  The young lady at the desk didn’t even try to spin it, just cleared the charges.

They comped our stay, yay – but you can betcherbippy that both of us bombed our cases, bombed our car(s), dryer’d the clothes, then washed/ironed (to kill any lingering eggs or super-insistent bugs – it’s what I recommend for a lice infestation, too.  A good flatiron (or even a hotAF curling iron) will take those feckin’ things out in a nano) – and it’ll be a good eon before that suitcase comes into my house.    I guess next trip we’ll have to go equipped with one of those blue lights.  And some spray.  And a Really Bad Attitude.  And Hazmat suits.

Oooh!  Ferry to Norfolk, too cool!! – it’s a bigger version of the Chicago River Water Taxi from the train station to Michigan Avenue.  I got to see Even More Shipyard stuff, with giant Navy vessels hoisted out of the water like rubber duckies.  Omg.  I sooo wanted to go onto the BAE floating dock and ogle the welding – but something told me that security would prolly shoot me and dump me into the bay.  Plus the ferry doesn’t stop at the BAE floating factory.  Imagine that 😉

Why am I not BAE?

On to NC.  BBQ HEAVEN!  I would have to use Metamucil DAILY!  I confess, Mt Airy was a bit of a letdown.  I think it’s because it has refused to stay locked in place.  The very thing that made it the inspiration for The Andy Griffith Show has moved it beyond TAGS – and that’s a good thing – folks have to live there.  But, still.  I would’ve liked to have seen the Hollywood version.   Of course,  that was all backlot  and stage anyway….but still…

Mayberry courthouse,and Main Street, upper right – and that’s Tara, from GWTW, at top center-left!

On the road in NC, the real-time traffic/info signs kept flashing about a Missing Person, Maroon Camry, and March and I both worried quite a bit about that little boy, Maroon.  We worried (privately) for at least 50 miles, with every flashing sign.

Until March said something about it.


Oooh!  and?  EX208344 ran under little Maroon’s name.  Dog Mom here thought..‘wow.  I didn’t know they were chipping kids now’


I’mo just leave that here for a minute.



Came home to a pinched nerve that paralyzed me for nearly 4 days.  O.M.G.  Those of you who were around a few years ago remember the last time this happened and the whole ‘peeing in the shower’ thing.  Well.  Yeah.  Same thing, only more painful (and one instance involving a bucket – but we won’t go there).  I am recovering, slowly, but those nerves don’t just snap back overnight!   My left foot is still numb and I am still walking like this:  though I am wearing makeup, jewelry and the Morillas Ines de la Fressange in hopes I can pass it off as this:erm.  yeah.  Well, at least I smell good!


Hey!  I need to say Thank You! for reading all this!  Tell me a funny story.  I’ve got scads of stuff in the MA and would love to share.   I’ll have The Girl pull a couple of winners – her manicure is still good!


And OMG!  I had a BLAST reading all the Whooo Are you Posts.  Y’all are some intriguing-assed folks!  LUH you!


And here are the peeps The Girl picked:


Spring Pansy

Gretchen Wyatt

gmail me – evilauntieanita – remind me what you won (MA samps) and I’ll get them out to you as soon as my leg says okay!

  • Stephanie says:

    Bedbugs! Terrifying!!! That’s such a huge fear of mine. I can’t believe how laissez-fare the hotel employees were about that, good lord. I’m glad the rest of your trip was fun, though!

    Not too many funny stories lately, which is weird since I live with a comedy writer. I guess there was the time a few weeks ago where he, his boss and I were walking to a birthday party at a karaoke bar and I tripped on a sidewalk grate and ate it on the sidewalks of beautiful, downtown Burbank! Pretty embarrassing, but at least I was wearing a long skirt and didn’t flash anyone. There was a Bono (from U2) impersonator at the bar in full regalia who got really mad and yelled at my friend when she sang With or Without You before he got the chance.

  • lena says:

    Nothing funny to tell you right now, I’m afraid, but I’m hoping for some laughs tomorrow when my nephew and niece come over for a visit – they’re always gorgeous, hilarious and entertaining 🙂

    Your trip sounds wonderful – apart from those bedbugs (makes me all itchy just typing the word, yuck yuck yuck)! And all the best for a speedy recovery from your pinched nerve 🙂

  • Tatiana says:

    One of the gals I follow on social media posted short clips where she had taken her kids to one of those urbanish working farms that teach kids about farm animals, etc. There were two calves they were cooing over and she goes, “Aren’t they cute? This one’s named Stew and this is Chuck.” Lol.
    Still makes me laugh a bit.
    Seriously, just buy a new suitcase. Bag the old one up in plastic, seal it with duct tape and get rid of it. I heard that the bed bug life cycle can be over a year and they love seams and crevices. Almost enough to make you miss DDT. Almost, but not quite.

  • March says:

    Oh, lord, little Maroon, bless him. I thought I’d wet myself laughing when I realized and YOU realized simultaneously that we were thinking the same thing, lol. After that conversation about intelligence. Anyway, thanks for all the fun (and driving!) I haven’t done a road trip like that in eons, and it was a blast. XO

  • Rosemary says:

    Hahaha, the Maroon Camry part made me LOL! Glad y’all had a great trip! I don’t think I have any funny stories, but I do have a feel-good story. Last Friday night, some great organizers put together a Celebrate Our City music festival (FREE!!!) in downtown Mobile, AL. Local band Yellowhammer rocked out, and we were graced with Dirty Dozen Brass Band from NOLA too! Also had some special guests, including harmonica badass Johnny Sansone, and one of my alltime fave bass players, George Porter Jr.! But for me and my guitar-loving self, seeing Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) playing with Yellowhammer was a bit of heaven. And I’ve gotten to meet Luther enough times over the years that he recognizes me, and when I waved hi to him after the show, he came over and gave me a hug & kiss 🙂 My husband jokingly calls him my boyfriend 😉 But yeah, I love live music, especially rockin’ guitar, and to get an embrace from a musician I love always makes me super happy…still floating on cloud 9!

  • HeidiC says:

    My son is adopted, and we’ve connected with the family who adopted his half brother, so that the boys can have a relationship — we used to live in the same town, so playdates were easier, but now we’re 5 hours apart. But this past weekend we had them down, and the boys were SO FUNNY together — totally in love, and totally pushing each other’s buttons at the same time. Scene (boys plotting something) — Son: It’ll work. Don’t you trust me? Brother: I trust you, but I don’t believe you.

  • Tiara says:

    Sorry, no funny stories. Spending 10 days with our grandchildren on a trip and I’m exhausted. Bone tired and we don’t go home until Friday. How about a fun fact instead? Went to the SpaceX rocket launch today with the kids. When the Falcon 9 rocket returns to land on the pad, there are 3 sonic booms in quick succession.