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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Road Trip...WV Mountains, Hooters, Hillbillies and Toxic Fumes

This past weekend, I took a four day trip to the beautiful mountains of West Virginia.  My baby sister, who once lived with me but now lives with her paternal aunt and grandpa in the mountains, was graduating from high school so it was time for a road trip.  Friday morning my son and I are packed and ready.  We were soon joined by my baby sister’s (BS) best friend from middle school, then stopped to pick up my mother and off we went.  It took us about 8 hours to drive through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia before we finally hit the West Virginia border.  It was rainy a good portion of the drive but the beauty of the mountains and the excitement of seeing family I hadn’t seen in over a year had us all in good spirits. 

I was driving on I77, my mother was taking pictures from the front seat and my son was taking pictures from the back seat.  As we climbed higher and higher on windy roads through the mountains, we eventually got so far in the woods that the ONLY radio station we could get was a blue grass station.  So here we are in the boonies listening to banjo music wondering what type of people we would encounter when we reached our destination.  The wilderness of lush greenery was beautiful and was occasionally interrupted by a small town or a run down shack in the middle of woods on a hill and I could just picture some old hillbilly man with few teeth sitting on the porch in the evenings playing his banjo with a huge wad of dip in his cheek as he spit off the side of the run down porch.  This brought on the whole mountain men, hillbilly stereo type conversation.  Little did we know how accurate we really were. 

My siblings and extended family live in a tiny mountain community of Lynco, miles away from any suitable lodging facilities so we were forced to stay in the town of Beckley and drive an hour each way to see them.  We arrived in Beckley at about 6:30 p.m. and decided to take a look at a few of the hotels before deciding on which one to stay at.  The people at the front desks were SO rude!  The friend traveling with us got a bit upset saying, "These people don't know us.  Us southern girls have both manners AND guns!"  As we were eating hostess cupcakes I came up with a brilliant idea to fit in better.  I told everyone that we should take some of the chocolate icing and black out a tooth or two and then everyone would think we were natives!  I know, BRILLIANT.  I then looked at my mom (who is missing a front tooth) and told her she didn't have to worry about it because she was already there.  For some reason she didn't find that near as funny as the rest of us did.

After unpacking our luggage at the Baymont Inn and Suites, we set off to baby sister's work, aka Hooters for a family reunion (I know...what a fabulous place for a reunion with the kiddos!).  A couple interesting things happened during our time at Hooters.  I got to meet my newest niece for the first time who is now four months old and so freaking cute I could just eat her up!  My son thought he'd died and went to hotty heaven but definitely didn't like the way one table of guys was looking at his aunt.  Then just after we ate, there was a ruckace on the other side of the restaurant.  All the waitresses were gathered and clapping for what I presumed was someones birthday.  Then BS comes running toward me and grabs my hand saying come here for a minute.  I assumed she was taking me to meet some of her coworkers when I suddenly became aware that I'd been set up.  It had been MY birthday a couple days before this and the gathering of clappers were preparing to embarrass ME.

Me standing on the chair praying I didn't lose my balance,
giving baby sister the look while son clapped along.
A paper sash was placed around me saying Happy Birthday and signed by all the waitresses.  Wearing my high wedge sandals I was asked to stand on a chair and try not to fall off and bust my ass or break my neck (which was harder than you might think in those shoes).  The waitresses then all began clapping loudly drawing all the other patrons attention to this ordeal as they sang their version of happy birthday and I gave BS the "you're so gonna get it for this" smile.

Baby Sister having a big time.
Other than the few minute chair balancing act, it was a good time connecting with my siblings I hadn't seen in a while and their paternal aunt.

To save money, my mother and I shared a room.  However, we were not alone.  While BS's BFF went home with them, my 14 year old little brother wanted to stay with us.  So it was me, my mother, my 11 year old son and my 14 year old one hotel room.  It wouldn't have been so bad except the hotel served boiled eggs for breakfast, and the boys ate them...a lot of them.  By lunch time it was a regular fart fest in that hotel room.  Both the boys farting away, trying to out do the other in both noise level and stinkiness.  They'd bust out laughing and let another one rip, further assaulting my nasal passages.  I might have been ok with just the two of them but then gas hit my mother, and when it comes to stinky farts, my mother is the champion!  She can clear a whole building I tell ya.  What comes out of that woman's ass should be bottled and used as a biological weapon!  I had to throw a couple in myself just to make the room smell better.

A short while after the fart bombing, we took to the roads to go for a BBQ with the family.  Thank God we'd be outside for a while.  We drove through winding roads with little to no shoulders and steep drop offs as we wound up the mountains toward our destination.  The only thing interrupting the wilderness was the occasional coal mining operation.  The scenery was beautiful and we eventually made it our river bank BBQ destination.
Beaver playing on the other side of the river from us.
The next few pictures are just a touch of the awesome sights from the overlook of the park we grilled at.  West Virginia is truly a beautiful place.

The next day was BS's graduation, so we make the winding drive and arrive at the high school to find that it is packed.  Every person in two counties must have been there (though it took three of them to equal a whole set of teeth).  I didn't realize there could possibly be that many people in the area.  Graduating along side BS was a Hatfield.  One of the direct descendants of The Hatfields and McCoys, Hatfields and I found out that the Hatfield cemetery was only about 15 minutes from where we were. 

It was a great ceremony after which my mother, two sisters, niece and BFF went for a celebratory dinner.  Being a small mountain town, the culinary selection was limited so we decided on Giovanni's which is basically a mid scale fast food pizzeria.  As we're sitting there eating I saw several interesting things while looking out the window.  Down the road there was a trailer where reflective overalls were being sold on the side of the road.  I was informed that they were coal mine uniforms, but found it interesting they were sold roadside from a small trailer parked somewhere in town.  Walking down the road was a man in overalls with no shirt or shoes with a wad of dip in his cheek so big you'd have thought he had a tumor until I saw him spit a big stream of nasty brown slobber on the pavement.  There were several people riding four wheelers through the middle of town, and this guy taking a casual stroll with his dog through the downtown streets on his lawn mower.

While a good many of the people would hurt my camera if I attempted to capture their images, the scenery is amazing.  These are just a few of the sights I saw along the way.
Left to Right:  My gigantic 11 year old son and my shrimpo 14 year old brother.

The next morning it was time to get back on the road and head home.  I'd put my son on egg restriction, but apparently not soon enough because I learned a very valuable lesson on Monday.  Road Tip of the Day: When traveling with a male child, always bring a gas mask.  The child's asshole must truly be wore out as he farted for the entire 11 hours we were making our way home.  I'm not talking about small stinkless farts; I'm talking about seat vibrating, nostril burning, something crawled up his ass and died type of farts.  I think I'm still feeling the effects of the toxic gas exposure from the ride home as surely I've been poisoned from the noxious fumes emanating out of his asshole.  But as much as I'm complaining, at least I wasn't the one who had to sit in the back seat with him. 
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  1. I've never encountered a hillbilly settlement of that proportion. I just know when I go and visit my father in the deep woods of Maine, the general population despises my fuel efficient motor vehicle.

    And God bless Hooters. I love their spicy garlic wings!

    1. It was really an awesome trip, despite the hillbilly infestation. The scenery makes up for the asthetically challenged individuals that live there. As for Hooters, I think my son and brother love it for a couple different reasons (.)(.)

  2. I'm saw Hooters and beavers....

    Now you're from Georgia right? It cracks me up that you guys are calling yourselves southern too, to us in New England everything south of Connecticut is the South.

    Looks nice there, but paddle faster, I hear banjos.

    1. Kevin, I kid you not, when the ONLY station that I could get was a bluegrass station I knew it was going to be an interesting trip. As for your Hooters and beaver comment, you just jealous because on paper it looks like I'm getting more action than you! :-P

  3. Oh to be a member of your family! I want in!

    1. Oh Lily, could you just imagine your spawn being in the midst of my little devils? They'd have used their combined gases to at very least gain control of the hotel, if not the city!

  4. Love this post! Sounds like an extraordinary trip. There's a little town near where I live that is eerily similar to the hillbilly WV city about which you wrote. Your comment regarding needing 3 people to make up a full set of teeth really hit close to home...that little town near me is said to have invented the toothbrush, for had it been invented elsewhere, it would've bee called the "teethbrush".

    1. Oh Kelly, that's fabulous. Maybe the town should have invented it a bit faster, or at least showed the future generations how to use it better!

  5. Welcome to GA, Cali. I read your "About Me". I'm in SC, but originally from TN so if you want to see the true south, visit my blog. You are funny, by the way.