Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Recap 11/22/2009-11/28/2009

Beginning Mileage:123,677
Ending Mileage: 124,063
Total Miles: 384
Vehicle Expenses: $67.43

Generally speaking, this week was rather slow.  I didn't have school because of the holiday, I was at work all but two days, one of which was a holiday, the other was spent on a minor renovation at my house.  Because of this, I didn't rack on terribly many miles.  If it weren't for the trip to Harrisonburg, I'd probably not even break the 100 barrier this week.

The next few weeks will be slow because of a heavy work schedule and finals.  Watch for another road trip in late December.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On The Road Again: Harrisonburg, Va

November Road Trip: Harrisonburg VA.

Beginning Mileage: 123,737
Ending Mileage: 123,989
Total Miles: 252
Total Expense: $22.34

They say holiday travel can be miserable.  They're absolutely right.  Poor planning by highway construction crews, early rush hours and more can cause massive delays.  Add that to our woefully inadequate Interstate Highway system, and out pops a mix for massive delays, and massive casualties.  In 2008, for example, 389 people were killed on our nation's highways during the official Thanksgiving travel weekend.  That's the equivalent of taking one of Airbus's new A380's and crashing it into the ocean.

Unfortunately for me, I landed right in the middle of an early rush hour, followed up with a healthy dose of poorly planned highway construction in Winchester, VA.  The early rush hour in Leesburg, VA set me back about 15 minutes, the construction in Winchester nearly 45.  When that was followed up with rolling waves of traffic dropping to a near standstill near every exit on I-81.  All told, the drive which normally takes me just under two hours, ended up taking a good bit over three.  (Pictured above: the Volvo just before leaving my house on Nov. 25th)

The trip started out rainy, which certainly didn't help the traffic out of Northern Virginia one bit.  After sitting in traffic on Highway 7 for what seemed like an eternity, the break came just past Leesburg.  Traffic picked back up, the rain cleared, I assumed all else would be smooth sailing over the mountain and down I-81.  Only 3 miles off I-81 the moving traffic came to a dead stop.  I moved to the other lane and pulled into a Sheetz gas station to refresh my drink. After a 5 minute break, I looked down the road to see that by pulling in to sheets around the traffic, I had moved up in line over a dozen cars.  The truck I went around at the beginning of the jam was still far back in line, and people who I had passed to get in to the gas station were the ones letting me back in to line.

After what seemed an eternity, I discovered the root of the problem, a poorly planned inactive construction zone taking away the left lane of 7.  Finally after passing the construction, I merged on to I-81 south into what appeared to be smooth sailing (Pictured above).  Until, of course, I hit the first traffic wave, only 3 miles down the road.  This was a continuing trend the entire way back to Harrisonburg.  Traffic would clear out completely, and then all of a sudden, with no warning or reason, traffic would slow to a complete stop, and then take back off.

4 hours after starting on my journey, I was home for Thanksgiving dinner.

The trip back north was far less exciting than the trip down was.  I left Harrisonburg at about 8 pm, and with a stop for gas, and a small side stop to drop off my nephew in Warrenton, I made it back in just over three hours.  Exactly as long as it should take.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gasoline Mondays

Gallons Used: 15.552
Price per gallon: $2.89
Total Cost: $45.09
Odometer: 123,686
Miles since last fill up: --
Avg. MPG: --

This is the first of my weekly price at the pump entries.  So, because of this, there won't really be any comments :-).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekly Recap: 11/15/2009-11/21/2009

Beginning Mileage: 123,221
Ending Mileage: 123,677
Total Vehicle Expenses: $30.28
Total Miles Traveled: 456

The Week of November 15-21 was not only a good week for me, but it was a great week to be out driving the Volvo.  The weather here in the Washington DC Metro region was perfect for late fall.  No rain, clear skies, and the last of the autumn leaves falling off the trees.
November 17th was a very interesting day.  I had to change my class schedule to attend the Tuesday and Thursday classes rather than the Wednesday class I normally go to because my work schedule wouldn't allow me to attend on Wednesday this week.  I also needed to drive out to Middleburg, VA to return some borrowed equipment from a friend out there.  I was a little late bringing it back (it was due soon after I got back from Toronto) but alas, it is now safe back in it's owners hands.  .  Unfortunately for me, the only time I could slip out there was when he was out on another assignment, so I did not get to see him while I was there.  There is, however, a bright side, I got to take one of my favorite roads in Virginia back home because I had an extra hour to kill that I had not planned on. (Pictured above: the Volvo in Middleburg, VA).

Snickersville Turnpike is a very picturesque winding, hilly country road, that doesn't even have a painted yellow line for the majority of it.  It's a great driving road because there are a few long stretches where you can see for about a mile ahead (which also makes for great pictures because you can see cars coming for quite awhile...see above).  This road is one that has either caused me to fall completely into love or completely out of love with every car I've owned since moving to Northern Virginia.  Believe it or not, it caused me to fall out of love with my previous car, a 2006 BMW 325i.  While that car was great, this road, which completely excited the senses in both cars previous to the BMW, seemed absolutely boring in the car.  In order to make the road fun in the BMW, I'd have to push the car to a point where I was no longer comfortable.  The Volvo, on the other hand, was very much at home on this road.  I did not have to push it beyond the point of safe driving to have a good time.  The turbocharger kicked in at will whenever I saw a long enough straight that building speed wouldn't be an issue.  The tires chirped just plenty around each of the tight corners. The brakes performed magnificently when a deer wandered into the path of the car right near the end of a straightaway.

It is probably this trip which caused my brake rotors to warp...because before it, they were smooth, now they're warped.  That'l be a repair for another week.

Since it had been awhile since I'd traveled Snickersville Turnpike, I forgot that at the end to get on Hwy 7 you have to turn right in the town of Bluemont, VA.  Also, I had forgotten that when you look to the right after making the right turn onto 7 you have a magnificent view.  Due to traffic, and nowhere to pull over, I unfortunately do not have a photo of this.  It was quite rewarding just after sunset.  35 minutes later down 7 and I was home for the day.

Aside from my tour of Horse Country, the entire week consisted of driving to and from school, and to and from work. 

*Update July 6, 2014.  Changed font color to make it more readable on a white background.  It had been awhile since I got back this far in the archives!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Recap: 11/8/2009-11/14/2009

Total Vehicle expenses: $47.37- gas

Light boring driving week...only 200 miles between work, school and home.  When did gas go back above $3.00 per gallon?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On the Road Again: Toronto, Part 4

As time goes on I get more and more questions about how I manage handling long road trips.  Generally speaking, I can drive 12-15 hours and be ready to do whatever I need to when I arrive.  For example, this January, I'll be driving to the Chicago Auto Show.  Driving out one day, driving back two days later, for a total of 3 days gone.  Because of the inquiries, I've put together a small guide to handling a long road trip.

Rule #1.  Know your limits.  If you cannot work a full 8 hour shift, don't plan an 8 hour drive.  Generally I don't recommend a longer one day drive than one would be able to handle behind a desk, cash register, etc...  If you aren't used to working long shifts, I'd say plan on driving as long as you typically work plus or minus an hour or so.  Arriving at your destination exhausted only takes away from what you can do on your trip.

Rule #2.  Know where you're going.  While I don't heavily research my trips ahead of time (you never know what you're going to find on the way) a general idea of how to get to your final destination is always a good thing.  Looking over maps on Google Maps or on Mapquest will give you a good idea of how to get to the hotel/resort/restaurant, or whatever you're planning on ending up at for the day.  This rule became very important very quickly on my recent trip to Toronto which leads me to rule 3.

Rule #3.  Update the maps on your nav system.  Make sure your GPS unit has the maps for your destination loaded before you head out.  As soon as I crossed the Canadian border, my GPS unit told me Navigation to my final destination was ending.  It accepted my final destination when I left but didn't know how to get there.  Needless to say, if I hadn't followed Rule #2, I would have been hopelessly lost.

Rule #4.  Don't be afraid to try new things.  Not every restaurant is worth going back to.  Not every roadside attraction is worth spending the money on.  However, if you never stop at the gem you passed you'll never know.  I'll never forget one day I stopped for lunch at a diner that looked superb from the outside.  When I got in, the sheer volume of the army of cockroaches astounded me.  Needless to say I didn't stick around to wait for my food.  I ended up heading two doors down to a biker bar that did not look so appealing and ended up having some of the best value road food I've ever had.  I am not going to name either restaurant as the last time I passed through both had since closed.

Rule #5.  Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. If you see a nice view, or a cool building. Stop, take pictures, walk around a bit.  Not only will it keep you refreshed but it will also make you look forward to your next trip even more!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On the Road Again: Toronto, Part 3

I spent my days in Canada doing many MANY fun, exciting and entertaining things.  What was most fun for me, however, was just wandering Toronto.  I never thought that would ever be the case, but I spent many hours walking through the downtown neighborhoods, wandering the Eaton Centre, and enjoying the wonderfully diverse food and people.

The most surprising thing about my entire trip was by far the final morning in Toronto.  I had not been to Tim Hortons yet as instructed by my Canadian co-worker (rather strongly instructed in fact...) So, I got up, packed my bags and walked around the corner from the hotel to the closest Tim Hortons.  I walked inside and stared at the menu board.  A lady was behind me so I told her to go ahead and order, as I hadn't come anywhere near deciding what I wanted, as I'd never been to a Tim Horton's before.  "You must be American."  Little did I know those words would begin a two hour conversation.

The final morning absolutely flew by.  I had spent the previous night downloading the Toronto maps because the Toronto Marathon was running downtown and many streets were closed for it.  Rather than spending two hours wandering the city to try to find my way out, I realized the $40 for the Toronto maps would be well worth it.

At around noon I called for the bell staff to come bring my bags down to my car.  The valet pulled around, and I realized then the damage that eight hours of highway driving in the rain did to the car.  It was by far the filthiest I'd ever seen it.  I was a bit disappointed.  You'd think that after spending $40 per night for Valet parking the hotel would atleast run some water over the car.  I guess my expectations were slightly out of line, however.

After checking out, it was on the road again.  First stop on the way home?  Niagara Falls. Parking is expensive, and I wasn't terribly impressed.  Sure the falls were amazing, but spending more than an hour there alone kind of has potentual to drive you batty.  A small tip:  Before you go to Niagara, know the exchange rates of the credit card you're using rather than paying US Dollars.  They accept them everywhere, but, the exchange rate is horrible.  I saved almost $5.00 on my parking by paying in CAD.  Another interesting tip about Niagara is my american cell phone worked just fine without roaming, however I will be getting a prepaid phone next time I make it across the border because I spent well more than the cost of a prepaid in roaming in the three days I was in Toronto.

After a while I left the falls, and started across the border.  I passed straight through Buffalo without stopping this time.  The next stop I made was just to get gas in Erie, PA at the same, exact Shell station I stopped in on the way back.

The route home from Toronto was slightly different from the route up.  On the way home I bypassed most of I-90 in favor of taking highway 5.  Highway 5 is a spectacular two lane road which passes through Pennsylvania's wine country and winds along the shore of Lake Erie.  I couldn't see any significant difference in time between 5 and I-90, so from now on my rule will be on good weather days I'm taking 5...bad weather 90.

Once I was back on I-79, the trip home ran like clockwork.  Two hours on 79, two hours on the turnpike, two hours on I-70, and then I was home!

Next entry in this series: Tips for a long road trip.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 4: An unusally big driving day.

Wednesday, November 4

Beginning Mileage: 122,959
Ending Mileage: 123,064
Total Miles: 105
Total Vehicle Related Expenses: $16

Originally Wednesday was not planned to be a very busy day. I had a breakfast appointment with a friend, a lunch appointment with another, and class in the evening. Overall, it wasn't a very busy day, it just involved a lot of driving around trying to find parking, and a few hours spent just waiting.

I left my house at 7:45 to meet up at a local 24 hour diner for a breakfast meeting with a friend of mine. It's not a far usually only takes 10 minutes, since I was supposed to be there at 8...I pulled into the parking lot at 8:05. The killer is that rush hour wasn't even that bad, I just forgot to allow for the light timings.

After breakfast, I left to head back home and get ready for my lunch meeting. Lunch already? Yes. Here in DC there are more good restaurants than there are days in a year. Our town is a foodie's heaven. Since lunch was in the Arlington, VA neighborhood Rosslyn at Ray's Hell Burger, I had to allow time for travel down to Rosslyn at lunch hour (we have a third rush hour every day...11-1) as well as allow time to drive around and find a parking spot.

I arrived at Ray's Hell Burger right on time.  Of course, there was no parking available in their lot when I arrived, which meant laps around the block until a spot opened up.  As I was pulling out of the parking lot a left-hand parallel spot opened up.  Aside from tearing up my rims (pictured above) and using all my quarters on the meter, it was a perfect spot.  Left hand side parallel spots are a product of the devil...especially for left hand drive cars.  While parking, I actually physically ended up on top of the sidewalk at one point, which not only inspired rounds of laughter from passersby, but made me decide to completely pull out of the spot, and attempt it again.  The second attempt (pictured above) atleast I stayed within the lines...I just couldn't tell where the car ended.   When the tire finally lodged itself into the curb I just let the car sit and fed the exceptionally hungry meter.

Lunch at Ray's is quite an experience that anyone who has never been before needs to try at least once.  First of all, they serve (in my humble opinion) what has to be the best beef burger known to man.  They grind cuts of steak into their burgers, therefore, you can have it cooked properly, at about Medium Rare or even less.  Next, they add whatever topping you would like, whether it's as simple as chedder or as complex as foie gras and white truffle oil.  Rather than napkins, they provide each table with a (very necessary) roll of paper towels.  At first it is a bit off-putting, however soon after my first Ray's burger landed on my table, I was greatful for the paper towels rather than the wimpy paper napkins used by most takeout joints.  Also, be warned, they only accept cash.  No cash, no burger.  It's well worth the ATM charge.

My friend Meta arrived about 10 minutes after I did.  Unfortunately, she had a much more difficult time finding a spot than I did.  She also burned all her quarters in a meter, only to find out when she returned to the restaurant that there were three spots open in their parking lot.  Needless to say when we got our change, both of us asked for quarters.

Lunch ended at around 1:30 PM.  I crossed the street and headed southeast to the Crystal City neighborhood, where I was supposed to meet up with my friend Matt at about 3 pm.  I killed a lot of time at Gravelly Point watching the planes land. (Pictured right)

At about 2:50 I left the park and headed in to Crystal City to find a parking spot.  At first I found one, and fed the meter, only to find out that I wasn't expected at his house (as I had thought but a quick review of my text messages revealed I was incorrect) but at Pentagon City Shopping Mall.  Unfortunately for me that meant all of my quarters were gone, and there was a parking meter in Crystal City with three hours of time remaining for some lucky person who happened to run across it.

The trip to Pentagon City was uneventful with the exception of...again...parking.  Finding a spot wasn't a hassel, leaving was.  Somehow when I was in the mall, my parking ticket managed to disappear.  The parking company only accepts cash, I had $5.00.  The lost ticket fee is $16.00.  I showed the lady proof that I had only been in there for an hour (a reciept from the meter I had bought earlier would do the trick...or so I thought) she didn't care.  Eventually after I threatened to block the entry of the parking lot until she either took my credit card or let me out for $5.00 the lost ticket fee suddenly became $5.00.  Still fully $3.00 more than what I should have paid to park there, but significantly less than the $16 I was going to have to pay.

After leaving Pentagon City, I headed directly to class in Annandale, VA.  With the exception of a badly marked detour which ended up getting me lost on the way home, and slight rush hour traffic on 395 on the way to class, both legs were uneventful.

Finally, at 11:30 I returned to my house.   No issues with the car all day, only issues with parking!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the Road Again: Toronto, Part 2

I pulled into Erie PA at about 10 AM.  Like I said in the previous post, I made very good time by leaving at 5 AM.  While the drive up I-79 was incredibly boring, what I didn't know is the drive along I-90 would be just as bad, only due to the fact that the sky was incredibly cloudy, and it was still raining in torrents.

As noted before, I had mapped out my stop in Erie before I had even left my house in the DC Suburbs.   I pulled in with a full 1/4 tank left to re-fill the Volvo, exactly as I had planned.  The drive along I-90 was exciting knowing that if the sky were clear, I would be able to see north to Canada.  At this point in my trip, I had never even seen Canadian soil, much less stepped on it.  I kept looking left, without any luck, because according to my GPS unit, there was a large body of water (Lake Erie) within a kilometer to the left of where I was sitting.  As I was driving along, I noticed on the GPS screen that not only was there a body of water to my left, but there was also another road that drove along the lake shore...NY/PA 5.  I decided right then that the trip home was going to be a lot more interesting than the trip up.  I kept debating getting off I-90 and on to Hwy 5, but at every exit, I opted to remain on the interstate rather than getting off and driving on a secondary highway, which was probably a good decision considering the weather, and the fact that I wanted to be checked into my hotel before rush hour started in the 5th largest city in North America.

I pulled in to Buffalo almost exactly at noon.  What was surprising to me about Buffalo, is how incredibly depressing the city is.  What was at one point clearly a wealthy town, is starting to show a good bit of wear.  What were grand early 1900's homes, now have flaking paint, rotting wood, and broken windows.  It seemed that for miles, all that was visible from I-90 were abandoned warehouses and factories.  When I pulled off I-90 and headed downtown, evidence of the town's vibrant past was everywhere: from the ornate street lamps to the still well manicured parks.  A few quick turns, and a navigation-system guided trip through what was clearly not one of the safest neighborhoods in the city landed me in the main parking lot of Anchor Bar, home of the Buffalo Wing.  The most interesting thing about sitting at that bar, is it was the mother of my server who invented the damn things.  Aside from stopping at Anchor Bar one more time and any future drives to Toronto, I really don't foresee a trip to Buffalo again in the near future.

After lunch, I drove through town and crossed the Peace Bridge.  The Canadian border crossing was easier than I had expected (one of my friends did not have as easy of a time crossing as I did just a week before me).  I officially touched Canadian soil for the first time at 2:00 PM.

Once on the QEW, I was rather surprised with how different but at the same time similar Canada looks to the  USA.  It was a lot like New York and Pennsylvania, except without all the trees and hills.  The drive between the Canadian border and Toronto was only about an hour, about as expected.

What was not expected, is that even though my GPS unit recognized the address of my hotel, it didn't know how to get there.  The lady in the box piped up almost as soon as I crossed the border with "Map information unavailable...please proceed to your destination."  Fortunately for me, I had spent about a month studying maps of Downtown Toronto, and knew approximately where I was going.

As I continued on the QEW, I kept scanning the horizon for the CN tower.  Finally, I saw it, somewhere near St. Catherines, Ontario.  The bridge across the bay in Hamilton proved to be tricky, as there was enough wind that it treated my Volvo like a piece of paper.   After cresting the bridge, massive waves were visible crashing into the shore.  It almost made me forget I was on a lake.

An hour after crossing the border, I pulled in to Toronto, frantically looking for any exits to roads I might recognize.  Finally, I found the exit for Younge St and proceeded north.  I knew that Younge and Bloor was a major intersection, and was not too far away from my hotel, the Park Hyatt Toronto.  While I knew they were close, I did not know that you cannot make any turns off of Younge St. throughout most of downtown Toronto.  When I finally drove around enough blocks to end up west bound on Bloor, I realized that getting into my hotel would be nearly impossible.  After a few more trips around a few more blocks, I finally made it into the Park Hyatt, and gladly handed my keys over to the valet.

After the trip in, I decided my time in Toronto would be better suited by leaving my car in the Hotel Valet rather than trying to figure out parking in the city.  Parking, as it turns out, is not cheap, nor is it easy.  After spending a good amount of time driving around the entertainment district trying to find some place to land his Saab, my friend Kevin decided he would valet his car at my hotel rather than trying to find other parking near the hotel, and we would take public transportation everywhere.  Which ended up being a very, very good plan.

Part III- The trip home will be posted tomorrow :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

On the Road Again: Toronto, Part 1

Beginning Mileage: 121,440

Ending Mileage: 122,676

Please be advised: the trip to Toronto will be posted in three parts over the next couple days. It's far too long to post all at once. A fourth part of the series will detail advice for long road trips to places you've never been before. Specifically things I learned on the trip to Toronto.

While I'm generally not a huge advocate for planning road trips well in advance (spontaneity is part of the charm of a road trip), my trip to Toronto certainly qualified for some more in depth preparations due to customs, auto insurance, cell phone charges, vehicle inspections, border agents, not to mention, vast stretches of road which I'd never traveled, including large parts of two US States (Pennsylvania and New York), and one Canadian Provence (Ontario). Basically, by the time I left my house on October 15th, not only did I know how far I expected to get on each tank of premium, but I knew exactly where I was stopping for lunch, which gas stations (I only use one brand of fuel...once they decide to sponsor the blog, I'll tell you who) I would fill up at, which Service Plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I would get breakfast at, which restaurant I would get lunch at, and predicted within 5 minutes what time I would end up crossing the Canadian border. (Above: The Volvo, Stock image. Because the weather was so lousy, I didn't take many pictures on the way up. Apologies all around).

Even with the dreary, cold, rainy weather the entire way up, road construction projects taking up one lane of highway the entire way through Pennsylvania, heavier than expected traffic in and around Erie...and having my Nav system's battery die in Buffalo on my way to get lunch, I still made it across the border right at 2 PM which is what I had originally planned. My goal of beating rush hour in Toronto appeared met.

I left my house at 4:00 AM sharp on October 15th. It was heavily overcast, but not raining. By 4:20 I had left Virginia and crossed the bridge into Maryland. I made very good time through the hours before the sun came up, crossing the Pennsylvania state line by 6:00 AM. I stopped at the first rest area in Pennsylvania to stretch my legs a little bit, and discard my already empty diet soft drink bottle. Surprisingly enough, I was around two hours outside of what is generally considered the Washington DC Metro Region but was still picking up the local NPR station (WAMU 88.5) crystal clear. At the rest area I decided it'd be a good idea to switch to my MP3 player rather than continue on with the radio, knowing all too well that the station would not last too much further into Pennsylvania.

By 6:10 I was back on the road, watching the miles tick by. I didn't get terribly far, however, before it started to rain. The first drops started hitting the windshield soon after I left the rest area, and picked up gradually. It didn't stop raining until almost 30 minutes after I crossed the Canadian border. About 15 minutes out of Breezewood, PA I hit the first construction project of my trip. I've not seen as much road construction on a road trip before as I did on this one. There were several work zones on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, on I-79 and on I-90 as well.

I usually stop at Breezewood for a quick bathroom and food break, however, when I came through, nothing was open yet, and my first scheduled stop wasn't until the Midway Service Plaza on the Turnpike.

By 6:30 I had pulled through the toll booths and on to the Turnpike. My nav system told me I should get off only a mile into the turnpike, however, the route it recommended me to take included many back roads, and Pennsylvania is notorious for not marking roads very well off the interstate. So, ignoring the lady in the box, I continued on the Turnpike, blowing past the I-99 exit without even looking twice.

By this point, rain was absolutely pouring down, and the thermometer in my car precipitously dropped below 40. The outside temperature was only 33 degrees when I pulled into the Midway Service Plaza. A bit worried (it was still raining...and it was 33 degrees) I went online with my blackberry to check the weather ahead of me. I decided that taking a quick break for some Cinnabon would be a good way to kill a few minutes and let the temperature rise a few degrees. Midway was where I had originally planned on getting breakfast, however, the only thing open was Cinnabon and Starbucks. While I enjoy what both companies offer, neither offers anything substantial enough to carry over on a day of heavy driving.

Fortunately, after some research, I concluded the temperature had not dropped far enough overnight to cause any issues with ice, so after a cinnamon roll and my second diet soft drink of the day, I got back in the Volvo and continued westward.

An hour later, I ran across the New Stanton Service Plaza, which advertised a Burger King on site. By this point I was ready to chew off my right arm I was so hungry. I was not the only person on the Turnpike with that idea. The line at the burger king was easily two dozen people deep as it is the first place I'm sure anyone had seen open that morning, and I didn't feel like waiting, so I pushed ahead, and didn't stop again until about half way up I-79.

I-79 was probably the least well researched part of my trip. Because of this, I know on my next trip, Cranberry, PA is the last worthwhile stop after getting on 79 before Erie. There is absolutely nothing on I-79 except for an outlet mall and about two exits with a McDonald's. So, that being said, if the tank is low, fill up in Cranberry: the next easily accessible gas station isn't really until Erie. One of those two McDonald's was where I finally found breakfast.

In Erie I picked up I-90 East. I noticed my tank was down around a quarter, so I watched for the exit for the service station I had mapped out on the way up. After finding the station and filling up with premium unleaded, I continued on I-90.

My next stop: Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Long Silence has finally come to an end...

While I promise I didn't die, the July-early October entries would have not only been exceptionally boring, but absolutely nothing happened with the car except a blown Turbocharger hose which set me back a total of $33.00.

Overall in those four months I spent a total of $465.44 on fuel, $36.27 on repairs, and $56.32 on maintenance. The vehicle was driven a total of 4692 miles between my June entry and my trip to Toronto which will be posted at some point in the next 24-48 still needs a bit of work.

The next few months will be significantly more interesting. I've already got road trips planned to Wilson, NC; Hauppage, NY; Harrisonburg, VA; and a return trip to Toronto, as well as many short day trips (like my trip to Pittsburgh, PA) from the Washington DC metro area which are still in the very early planning stages.

So stay tuned, plenty more is on the way.