I always look forward to the opportunity to travel. Even a mini vacation, resulting from Ashton’s job as a car-buyer, is a treat! You can find the post about my Florida auction trip here. Usually before we go out of town, I research the area we will be visiting. By the time we leave for our destination, I have a wish list of restaurants and activities to try. This time was a little different. Ashton was asked to go to Pennsylvania with only a moment’s notice. In fact, I was still packing furiously on the morning we left. Not only did I feel disorganized, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to watch the pool people place the liner in the pool. I’d waited months for the pool to be finished!
Below are the highs and lows of our Lancaster, Pennsylvania trip…..
We shared the drive with Ashton’s friend and fellow car-buyer, Timmy. Having an extra person was very entertaining and passed the time more quickly on the long drive. I didn’t have time to eat breakfast, so I was grateful when we stopped for lunch. I chose the grilled vegetable plate and it was amazing. Riding when you are hungry is miserable! We took a Pennsylvania selfie. I forget that downtown Lancaster is so pretty!
Little did I know that I was going to have such a difficult time finding food on this trip. Really, having food was something I took for granted. Usually when travelling, I will pack healthy snacks for the road and the hotel. Because of the lack of time to prepare, it didn’t happen. The auction provided complimentary food and drinks that evening at The Cat’s Meow, one of the local restaurants. However, I didn’t find anything among the choices that hit the spot, so I ordered vegetables (again). I learned that several glasses of wine wasn’t good on a nearly empty stomach. And that’s all I am going to share. That’s all I care to remember. Never again…..
While Ashton attended the auction, I stayed behind to enjoy the hotel amenities. I had a fantastic massage at the Mandarin Rose Spa that left me sore for days. How can you be so tense and not realize it? Although I couldn’t swim in my own pool, I did have the opportunity to enjoy the hotel’s pool and hot tub. It was very peaceful as I didn’t see another soul, other than the masseuse, for hours. Pure bliss…..
The hunger struck again with a vengeance. Room service wasn’t an option. I didn’t have any tip money. Going downstairs to eat at the restaurant alone didn’t seem appealing either. So I endured, while I dreamed of dinner. Hungry, hungry, hungry. This was the theme of the trip.
As soon as the storms passed, we had a fantastic walk around downtown Lancaster. Downtown is so beautiful at night! While walking, we discovered The Pressroom Restaurant. Inside, there was a jazz band playing. The restaurant atmosphere was so cozy. Since I had been hungry all day, I splurged on the cheese fries. They were so good! The fries were topped with a cheese-horseradish sauce that was amazing! I had never been so thankful for food. I ate as if there were no tomorrow….
Little did I know the result of eating duck fat fries. When you are used to eating clean foods, duck fat cheese fries are a shock to body. I’d never felt so sick in my life! Once more, I found something that I would never do again, To top it off, we only had the same wet towels and unmade bed when we returned to the room. One of the biggest pleasures of hotel-living is a freshly made bed and fresh towels. I decided that the Marriott is definitely not the same as my favored Hilton!
On the trip, we did find time to visit of couple of fantastic wineries. It’s not a trip unless there is wine tasting involved. Once again, I had to taste on an empty stomach. We kept thinking that we would find food, but it was never convenient to stop. At least, that’s what the driver (Ashton) said. That driver had probably had a large breakfast and lunch! The first winery was in the country. We had a scenic drive along the winding roads. At one point, we saw an Amish man plowing his field with a horse and plow. I definitely have an appreciation for the simplicity of their lives. It must be difficult to maintain a quaint lifestyle in modern times. The second winery was in a shopping center, in town. Actually, what we thought to be a winery was a tasting room. At first, we didn’t have high expectations. As soon as we walked into Thorn Hill Vineyards, we were greeted with a beautiful tasting room. The wines were some of the best we have had. While we expected their wines to be local, we discovered that the wines were actually from California. After learning about the history of the vineyards, we spent a couple of hours relaxing and making new friends over wine. Before we left, we joined their wine club. Of course, that didn’t make much convincing on my part. Because I had an empty stomach, I slowly sipped my wine this time. Kudos for me!
After wine tasting, we looked forward to a good dinner. By good, I mean somewhere upper-scale. We were in the mood for wonderful, unique dishes created by a talented chef. After a day of only three crackers and wine, I needed food. Although, downtown Lancaster was flocked with restaurants, we sat down in two different restaurants, only to leave because of the limited menu selections. By that point we were so frustrated, we settled for pizza. Apparently, that’s a staple in that area. While the pizza was tasty, it wasn’t what I really wanted. You would think that I would have learned that grease on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea.
The last day, we attended my favorite auction. The auction in Manhiem, Pennsylvania is one of the world’s largest. The auction is always bustling with activity and excitement. While Ashton worked, I took pictures of my favorite cars. It’s not every day that a North Carolina girl gets to touch a Lamborghini. And, of course, I found the Maserati that I am sure I will one day own. I’m not giving up that idea anytime soon!
The drive home always seems a thousand times longer than the original drive. Though I did eat a light breakfast, I was hungry by lunchtime when we left the auction. Ashton wanted to wait until we were past the Washington, D.C. area before we stopped for food. Unfortunately, we were stuck in traffic, at a crawl, for hours. At one point, it took over an hour to drive two blocks. I was so hungry, I thought I’d pass out. At least, if I passed out, I was already seated. I made a note to myself that one should never venture out onto I-95 without having a full stomach, a full gas tank, and an empty bladder. Finally we had to stop to buy gas. I ran, not walked, to the store where I purchased a huge bag of pistachios. That proved to not be a great idea, as I was covered in nut debris for the rest of the trip. There were a few nasty looks from Ashton as I completely littered my side of the car. Not to mention, shelling all the nuts ruined the polish on what was left of my thumbnails.
Finally, we arrived home. Our glorious, peaceful home with our three precious cat kids…..I’d never been so happy to return home! Not only that, our new pool was begging to be used! I wouldn’t consider this trip to be the best we’ve had. In fact, probably the only thing that I will remember long term is the extreme hunger. As hungry as I was, I did enjoy spending time with Ashton on another adventure. And, I realized that there truly is no place like home! Especially, when an inviting new pool is waiting!
Have you ever been on a less-than-perfect trip? Were you able to find a few good things about the trip? To share your story, comment below!