Trip Start Nov 05, 2006
182Trip End Jan 14, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Visiting "the South" is at times more shocking and adverse than some of the foreign countries through which we've traveled
We were visiting Staunton, Virginia (pronounced "stan-ton" by the residents of the town,) which looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting with it's colonial architecture, and blazing fall colors. My sister and her family live here, as does my father now. Staunton has a nice little downtown with cafes and restaurants and even a tourist office. We intended to use it as a launch point to visit Washington D.C. before heading home. On our first downtown visit, Laura left the cafe we used as our internet hub to gather information for our D.C. day trip. This is when our first incident of "Southern exposure" took place. Laura was walking across the street when a local man stopped her and said, "Now where did you get that brown skin?" "Are you Italian?" (pronounced "III-tal-yin") Momentary panic set in as the question registered
Lauras visit to the tourist office did get information that Virginia also produces wine. "Cool" we thought, we could round out our travels with another wine country tour. Laura grabbed a booklet from the tourist office touting the merits of Virgina's fine wine. I read through the booklet to select some vineyards for our tour. It was then that I spotted what would be incident two of our Southern exposure. In the center of the brochure was a picture with the caption "A fine Virginia wine will compliment the flavors of your favorite food." Visions of foie gras, crusty bread and exotic cheeses filled my head accompanied by a nice cabernet
Everything comes in threes so it would reason that we would have at least one more shocking encounter with the South. While relaxing one morning, the Directv installer arrived to hook up the satellite service. Half way through his visit he came inside to inform my father of some difficulties he was having with the dish alignment. He proceeded to offer a lengthy diatribe with a combination of industry acronyms, abbreviations and Southern slang, all layered under the reverberating twang that only Southern "gentlemen" can produce. Imagine an auctioneer but every word is supposed to mean something and convey a complex set of issues. My father and Laura sat smiled, and nodded their heads. Upon finishing his 5 minute speech, he turned and left the room to sort out his problems with the dish alignment. My father looked at Laura and said, "I didn't understand a word he said." "Me neither," she said. Having been raised in the South and having diligently maintained my linguistic skills with the aid of Hollywood movies, I said, "excuse me, I speak 'yall, would you like me to translate?"
We spent the rest of our time visiting with my sister's family and catching my nieces' high school's football game, topped off with a Veteran's Day parade in downtown Staunton. This is pure Americana. Some news from home about a job prospect cut our trip short and we headed out two days early for Sacramento.