Saturday, September 18, 2010

Road Tripping It Down Route 1

I guess I just needed a road trip.

After the reading this afternoon, I started thinking about where I might want to have dinner and what it came down to was where not what.

I felt like taking a drive.

But I had plans later, so there were some time constraints; I couldn't go as far as Fredericksburg or Charlottesville.

So I got cleaned up and decided to take a drive down colorful Route 1 to Petersburg to enjoy the road view and have a bite to eat.

Yes, I could have taken I-95 except that it sucks my soul to drive that road, so I reserve it for times it can't be avoided (hello DC).

Besides, if I'd driven 95, I would have missed the series of mid-century motels that once provided respite for north/south travelers.

Places like the Relax Inn, the Snow White Motel, The Martha Kay, The White House Motel, the Par 3 Motel and the wholesome-sounding Family Motel.

And the Sunrise Motel? Yep, it faced east.

I'd have missed the "Coin Laundry. Open 24 Hours. Air-Conditioned" sign. How long has that sign been up, do you suppose?

I wouldn't have seen the gun shop sign saying, "Conceal Carry Class Oct. 2."

Or the "Jefferson Davis Highway/Route 1/Welcome" banners all along the road, which actually tickled me.

I guess I'm not the only one who appreciates the scenic nature of the number one byway.

And certainly I wouldn't have had a guy in a black truck pull up next to me at a stoplight in Colonial Heights, smile right at me and say through our open windows, "You have some pretty teeth."

Sorry, but that kind of stuff just doesn't happen on the interstate.

Once I crossed the Appomattox, I stopped at the first restaurant I came to, Wabi Sabi and took a seat at the sushi bar, much to the staff's surprise.

Since I was there last, they'd added tapas to the sushi menu, so I decided to give a small plate a try.

After an above average house salad due to the roasted red peppers, abundance of red onion and grated cucumber and carrot, I enjoyed the lamb chops with North African and Middle Eastern spices with cucumber salad and kiwi sauce.

The dry rub was excellent and although the server tried to warn me that it was a tapas-size portion (3) and not an entree, it was plenty of food.

The kiwi provided the sweet complement to the savory spice of the chops.

And, yes, I sucked bones.

The owner chatted with me about the ghetto cheeseburger he'd just had (a slice of cheese on a hamburger bun) and the upcoming Hops Festival and how best to milk it.

Then he took his plate of sushi to his office to work and eat on a Saturday night.

Better him than me.

The drive back was just as compellingly scenic, except in a night-time kind of way.

The moon was out and the neon was on and I got a whole different perspective of Route 1 in the dark.

Not only did I satisfy my road trip jones, I had a nice meal in a place where I didn't know a soul, a rare occurence for me.

And did I mention that I now know where I can rent a crane?

Such is the beauty of a drive down Route 1.


  1. i learned about rt 1 the hard way, i think, because on the map it seemed the most direct route to where i was going, and turned a four hour trip into a nine hour one. but one of the things i loved about it was how it always stayed near the coast--i love when it feels like geography aligns with reality.

  2. I feel the same way about following the coast, but I'm also a poor navigator and Route 1 just makes sense to me.

    As for your extended route, I once had the bright idea of taking Route 60 to VA beach because I detest 64-East. It took every bit of three plus hours and cost me some beach time, but it was worth it for the experience.

  3. i'm taking note of that bright idea--that's one i think i'll be using soon.

  4. I'm full of 'em. You have no idea...