The Accidental Tourist

I was up before my alarm this morning, and decided it was time for Waffle House. I was on the road by 7:00, and had a lovely conversation at the breakfast bar with some serious hikers. They told me some places to look, and I asked if there was anything around here (Dumfries) that I shouldn’t miss. They told me that the Marine museum was cool, so I said I would check it out. Before I did that, though, all three wipers on my car (I have one of those cute little rear ones) needed to be replaced, so I set out for Wal-Mart (shut it). I got three Rain-X brand, but the book was wrong and none of them fit. So I took them back off the car, returned them to Wal-Mart, and headed to AutoZone, where I should have gone in the first place. They had the front to, but the rear was out of stock. They told me that they could hold one for me at another store, and they listed several. Apparently, I do not know Virginia as well as I thought I did, because I thought Stafford was on my way back to Maryland. As it turns out, not so much. Stafford is way the hell out into nothing, about 15-ish miles from Fredericksburg, or “FredVegas” to locals. I do not know why they call it FredVegas. It is the AntiVegas…. but I’ve heard it referred to as such since 2001, so I know it’s not a new phenomenon (menomenon). Fredericksburg is about the size of Longview, Texas in 1980. Though I did see a few tattoo shops, I believe that is the limit to their Vegas-ness…. because of course if I was only a few miles from there, I had to see what it looked like.

So I went antiquing in a few stores (didn’t find anything I’d be caught dead with… much less alive), took pictures of the foliage, and stopped for a beer at Capital Ale House. Then, when I looked at the food menu, I decided I needed a pimento grilled cheese sandwich with ham and bread and butter pickles. NEEDED.

The main drag in “FredVegas” looks a lot like The Strand in Galveston…. so familiar and warm. All that was missing was a Yaga Ragz and King’s Candy.

I also got a chance to do some grieving, because I looked up Dana’s old high school on my GPS and walked around. I’d hoped that she’d be along with me for that ride, but no matter. It felt good to be on my own, just taking it in. I didn’t cry, but I almost did when I realized that a spider had gotten under my sleeve when I got back in the car… and in fact, the first time I went there, I didn’t take any pictures… just drove off toward FredVegas and then realized I wanted pictures, so I drove back. It didn’t matter. I didn’t have anywhere to be. It was just me and my little egg car, my Eggsy, and our NPR One (coolest app on earth). I call my car Egsy because he’s my favorite spy in Kingsmen: The Secret Service, and in my head, Mike Meyers as Austin Powers always says, “your spy car’s a YARIS?”

And in conclusion, here’s some of the pictures I took:

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