Ales & Astros: Day 1

It’s been a long day. It started at 5 AM this morning at home and is winding down almost 17 hours later in Williamsburg, VA. And this is just the first of nine days on this trip. A little background: Several months ago Carla heard about a conference here in Williamsburg called Ales Through the Ages from Tanya Brock at Carillon Brewing in Dayton. She’ll be speaking Sunday about being a Brewster at a brewery that brews the way it was done in the 1850s. Once we saw the schedule of speakers we were hooked. We had to come. Then Carla poked around and realized that we can go from here to Lorton, VA to catch Amtrack’s AutoTrain to Sanford, FL. And the Astros are having their last Spring Training in Kissimmee this year. Oh, and did I mention this is Cincinnati State’s Spring Break? Plans made.

So we got up this morning at the butt-crack of dawn, loaded up and got coffee at what we lovingly refer to as the World’s Fastest McDonald’s. We were headed east by 6:15 AM. I can’t say that the drive was all that exciting, but the sky was blue and the sun was out. The fact that it’s Spring became more and more apparent the further east we went.

We stopped at a rest area somewhere in West Virginia a bit east of Charleston and I was amused by a sign on the bathroom door.

I really kind of wanted to stop since I’m not sure what advances have been made in pouring water over your head in the last few years.  Alas, we had to make time.

When in West (by God) Virginia there is only one place where one gets lunch (or breakfast, or really any meal): Tudor’s Biscuit World. We did our civic duty.

Everything went swimmingly until we got on the leg of I-64 that goes through Richmond and then to Williamsburg. I think I understand how McClellan was never able to make any progress against the Army of Northern Virginia:  he was stuck on I-64. I shall say no more about it, except to say it attracts one of the worst collection of drivers I’ve ever seen anywhere at any time.  Atlanta included.

We arrived in Williamsburg in good enough time, however. We were able to get checked into the hotel and then go over to the Art Museums for the opening session of the conference. It was great. More will be written another day on Hoperatives.  Conference participants got a very kind invite to go to a preview of a new brewery in town, The Virginia Beer Company. They don’t actually open until next week, but they’re ready. Good stuff.  They had a Pecan Smoked Porter that was out of this world. The weather is supposed to get colder and rainy tomorrow, but for tonight it was gorgeous.

We were too tired to do anything adventurous for dinner, but I’d discovered that they have the Holy of Holies of convenience stores here:  Wawa. So we went to get sandwiches.

And while we were there we found out why Williamsburg isn’t quite like anywhere else. Colonial-era reenactors everywhere agree that nothing beats a Wawa sandwich after a long day of pretending you lived in a time where there were no Wawa sandwiches.

This is going to be a fun trip.  Hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.