Day 1: Pennsylvania to Ohio

Berwyn, Pennsylvania—Dayton, Ohio

Superstitions

Very superstitious. Mom, Andy, and I hoping the car does not fail us.

We got up at 6 A.M. to begin this monumental trip - the dream has begun. We took showers and ate the last home-cooked meal for a while - eggs, thanks Mom. We decided something must be done for the opening ceremonies of a trip of this magnitude. We settled on two things: Mom surrounding the car with white light and Andy and I christening the car by spitting tap water on it. With this we were off.

Leaving

Leaving home.

It was a foggy, muggy morning which was fine since it was going to be a day of driving. We got gas and were on the PA turnpike by 7:45. Not much time for scenic travel today, we had many miles to cover. Our first stop will be Morgantown, WV to see WVU and, hopefully, some friends. I took the usual route out there, I-76, US 220, and I-68 to Morgantown, not much had changed along the way.

High St, Morgantown, WV

High Street, Morgantown, West Virginia.

We arrived in Morgantown around 12:30 P.M., parked the car on Fife St. which is way up at the top of High Street. It was a hazy, humid day. Morgantown had changed quite a bit, a lot of new landscaping and restructuring. Took a few pictures of downtown then went to the 'Lair to call Tomás and Mary Ann but neither was home. Took more pictures from across the Monongahela (Mon) River, at Evansdale, and from the law school. Tried calling again but no one was home so we went to the store to get some food. Drove out to the Coliseum to fix an afternoon lunch. We set up shop in the parking lot under a tree but the ants soon caught on. Our PB&J attracted them. Got gas in Star City, WV and were on our way by about 2:30 P.M.

Woodburn Hall, WVU

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University.

Got on I-79 north to Washington, PA where we switched to I-70 toward Wheeling, WV and Ohio. Got to see a bit more of Wheeling than I did last time I passed through. Before we knew it, we were crossing the Ohio River and into the state of Ohio. Ohio is big, and unfortunately, the only way we were going to get to Scott's at a decent hour was by taking the interstate. I would have liked to take the scenic roads near the Ohio River but it would have taken all day. Instead, we drove straight through Columbus on I-70. The city had a decent skyline.

Continued on what seemed like a straight path through the state until we reached I-75. At this point we turned south toward Dayton, where we were going to visit Scott and Alicia. At US 35 we headed back east through the southern part of Dayton. Scott lives in the south-east corner. Both Scott and Alicia ("Leash") have not changed too much, it had been a while since I'd seen some of the Scott-isms (those who know Scott are probably all too familiar with the Scott-isms and know that it's not suitable material for this composition). Andy and Scott had not been face to face in a very long time. We were introduced to their cats, Bubba and Little E, both little and both male. They got along with each other very well. Scott wasted no time introducing us to his gun. It was a big shotgun. I keep asking myself why? What's the deal with a gun? Not that there's anything wrong with guns necessarily, it's just that I can't see myself wanting to own one and have trouble understanding why anyone else would.

We all decided to go out to dinner to some Mexican place where they gave us beepers that, rather than beeping, vibrated when your table is ready. This is the first time I'd seen one of these, am I that clueless? On the way, Scott drove us by his place of employment, primary care for those with brain injuries. We ate outside in front of the sunset which was quite late since we were on the western end of the Eastern Time Zone, I had noticed the same thing when I was in Michigan last summer.

Scott gave us a little driving tour of Dayton after dinner. We started at the University of Dayton which was quite beautiful. The campus is kept up wonderfully and is creatively planned. The architecture varied a lot, large intricate buildings surrounded by exceptional landscaping. Villanova could learn a few lessons here. There's even a pendulum in the science building. Saw some of the student housing and into the "slums" of student housing where Scott lived with the holes in the floor and the crack-heads in the alley. We went into the city where Scott made sure to point out all the gay and lesbian bars and told us of his experiences there - it took him a while to figure out what that pink triangle was. He told us how racially divided the city was and took us by the municipal hotel where he won a weekend vacation paid for by the city of Dayton a few years back.

Scott had to work tonight from midnight to 2 P.M. the next day! He had Alicia work for him until about 2:30 A.M. so he could have some time with us. He told us of his engagement plans with Alicia and that he had bought a ring. He eventually went to work and we went to bed as Alicia walked in. We all talked for a while but she had to go to work early the next morning and we had to get up early in order to get to St. Louis, so we all went to bed. Although we didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked to with Scott and Alicia, it was great to see them and they were kind to work us into their busy schedule.