For starters, my husband - AKA - The Weatherman, decided we best get an early start as there was some bad ass weather heading our way and he wanted to keep ahead of the worst of the "golf-ball-sized hail" that was a possibility along the route we were taking north. As a wife, it is difficult on the best of days to admit my husband is right, but as usual, he was, and we narrowly escaped (OK, not so narrow - about an hour) a tornado that apparently touched down on I-95 near Fayettteville, N.C. We kept ahead of the stormy weather all day thanks to my very own Dave Duval, a quality that at times can be annoying but on days like today is actually appreciated.
The next notable moment of the day occurred when we pulled off the interstate for gas just before Washington D.C. and it just so happened to be the road into Quantico, the famous U.S. marine corp base. At the entrance to the base, and kitty-corner to the Shell station stood the famous Iwo Jima War Memorial. "I had no idea this was where this was," I said to Doug. "Me either.", he said. I thought it was sort of strange that there weren't a bunch of tourists hovering around snapping photos and that it was surrounded by gas stations and was garnering little, if no attention at all. I tried to lean out the car window to take a picture, lens zoomed out to the max as I was too lazy to walk across the busy intersection to take a decent shot. The resultant photo was slightly out of focus as the car was moving, and half of the soldiers were blocked by a red pick-up truck that came racing by just as I was clicking. Oh well, I thought, I can always google a good image any time if I really have a need to examine the thing in detail and god knows every documentary ever made about American military history adds the thing at some point. Did I really need a good photo of my own?
Turns out, I was right to suspect this famous tribute to American bravery was oddly located near gasoline alley. This one at the entrance to the Quantico base is actually a replica of the original in D.C. Sure glad I didn't waste any time or burn any calories walking over to get my souvenir photo of a copy of the original. Would have felt like owning a knock-off designer hand bag - never quite right, always knowing it was a fake and wishing I had saved up for the real thing.
The funny thing was, we actually did tour Washington D.C. last summer and never came across the real one. Guess that's what almost got me to believing it made sense to find it where we did. Those marines - what a bunch of kidders with their G.I. Joe version! (it was smaller than I thought it should be too).
And finally, the only other notable moment of the day - one last "southern lunch" accompanied with warm Hush Puppies - the south's answer to what we in the north know as the bread basket. You know - the thing you are supposed to ask your server to remove.
We didn't. Y'all knew that though - didn't ya?