Chocolate lovers Paradise!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, October 29, 2007

    "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
                                     Scott Adams (1957 - ), 'The Dilbert Principle'
    I drove up and down the rolling hills of East-Central Pennsylvania this morning. The penetrating blue skies. The colours on the road...the greens, the oranges, the reds, the yellows...the blues, the blacks and the whites. Oh!...those are the colours of the trucks that passed me. There were also plenty of reds, oranges and yellows of fallen leaves on the road. In the distance it looks like there are a lot of leaves on the trees, but up close, the trees are mostly bare. My Charmed Life is not letting me down. I passed 3 or 4 construction zones. In the opposite direction....traffic backed up for miles on side...cruising along as though there was no construction. I had less than 150 miles to drive today. That's 250 kms to those of you who only know metric. I never know whether I should convert stuff. I know I have a lot of readers who are use to one or the other and then those who learnt one then the other. I just know someday I'll mention that the temperature was 32 and somebody is going ask if it was sweltering and the others are going to ask if there was snow on the ground. I used my GPS to get me to the campground today. Towards the end I was driving down fairly narrow roads with twisty...rolling hills...then I end up in a town...then I turn a corner...then the GPS says I have only 300 metres to the campground...BUT...(well, that is the address I inputted)...but it looks like a residential street...houses lined up both sides of the street. I'm starting to worry. It's happened before where the street address I inputted was in a different district and I was clear cross town from where I should have been. Guess What? I was at the Right place. Phew!
    I get to the campground shortly after 1 and the office is closed. 3 o'clock is check-in. No problem. It's beautiful out. I'll just walk around the campground...then camp out in the driveway...and wait. Come back by the office at 1h30. It's opening up. I can check in. Chat with Ken for a while...a long while...a very long while. Hey! I'm in no rush. It's not like I have to go to work. It's early...all I have to do is write a blog for you guys! He and his wife are leaving tomorrow for Florida. Going to go work in a KOA in St. Petersburg over the winter. They're retired. From Michigan. But for tax purposes are from South Dakota (they just have a PO box there and mail gets re-directed to wherever they are). They spent the summer travelling around eastern Canada. Cost them more than they budgeted. High Canadian dollar. It's definitely benefiting me. I checked my Visa statement and the converted amounts are less than I paid. Sweet! But it's costing the Americans when they're in Canada.  A lot of things are more expensive there then they are used to (ie. gas is costing me about $0.75 to $0.80 per litre. What can I say. I'm an accountant. I track these things). So they're going to stay in the States to save some money for a year or so then continue their trip through Western Canada then up towards Alaska. They work in different campgrounds along the way to pass the time and supplement their pensions. As Ken is talking I notice a sign on the wall. "Remember you are in farm country...we can't do anything about the smell!" There must be a few cattle farms around. I mention to Ken that I'm also heading towards Florida. I want to be in Cape Canaveral for December 6th to see the next Space Shuttle launch, then will head to the tip of the south-eastern continent in Key West before coming back to Orlando for mid-December when the kids fly in for Christmas. There I will spoil myself by staying in a 2 bedroom timeshare townhouse with the kids as we visit Disneyworld, the Space Center and the other local attractions. It was cheaper than a campground. Some of you were wondering what my plans were. So...there you go. Between here and there the only planned stop is a few days in Washington, DC to spend time at the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. Other than that, the route will be decided as I go. Last week I had thought of heading to a KOA closer to Philly that we stopped at in July...but look where I am!
    So Ken starts talking about the kind of people you meet on the road. Before he told me where he was from I had already sensed that he wasn't a local. He says the easterners (New Yorkers and other local states, plus Ontario and Quebec) are the most arrogant, demanding people. They come into the campground in their million dollar motor homes and expect room service as though they are staying at the Ritz. I'm assuming that's why the farm country sign is up. Guess somebody came in and asked for the air freshener to be turned up. Either that or asked that the cows be told to keep the smell down. These are the type of people who end up on the east coast of Florida. On the west coast of Florida it's the mid-western folks and Prairie Canadians who end up there. They are a lot friendlier. That's also something I've been noticing in the campgrounds. You can usually tell from what part of the country someone is from by their accent and mannerism.
    "Passion is the love of turning being into action. It fuels the engine of creation. It changes concepts to experience. Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are. Never deny passion, for that is to deny Who You Are and Who You Truly Want to Be...Passion is a love of doing. Doing is being, experienced. Yet what is often created as part of doing? Expectation. To live your life without expectation-without the need for specific results-that is freedom. That is Godliness.

                    God - Conversations with God - Neale Donald Walsch
                 Expectations! We all live our lives with expectations. How can we not. We expect certain results...and then we end up either disappointed, or satisfied, or, if we exceed our expectations...are ecstatic! I stopped for lunch at a Dairy Queen in a truck stop. My expectations, based on prior experience, were low. I don't particularly care for DQs burgers and fries. Their specialty is Ice Cream. I had to stop to was lunch I ordered some food. Boy was I disappointed...even with my low expectations. First of all...they had no Hot Fudge, so no PBP (Peanut Buster Parfait), and the burger and fries were the grossest I have tasted in a long time. So even low expectations might not be met.
                 Yes, my last blog left a lot to be desired. Katrine wasn't being critical. Just stating a fact. We had this conversation a few days ago on MSN. I asked her whether my attempts at humour were starting to fall flat. She indicated that she was rolling on the floor laughing when I was sending my emails describing my travels during July in "Paul & Alexis' Excellent East Coast Adventure". Those of you on my email list at that time have read those. For the rest of you, don't worry, I will be at my current location for a few days and I have excellent WiFi access so I will post that trip as a travel blog. I can easily copy and paste that diary and add pictures from that trip. But Katrine indicated that these blogs are OK, but only give her a chuckle. I guess I have a hard act to follow. I did get into more situations during that trip. So it was easier to make them sound funny. Luckily, from a travel standpoint, this trip is going smoothly, from a blog writers inspiration point of view, not so good.
                 I am slowly getting to the point where I have expectations but I don't have the need for specific results. Case in point...traffic. I hope...expect...that traffic will be light and that I won't get stuck in a backed up construction zone...and I haven't...there have been a few minor slowdowns, but nothing like what I've seen in the opposing lanes. But even if I did, I wouldn't worry about it like I use to. I always had expectations to be somewhere at a specific time, expectations to leave at a certain time, and if that didn't occur I would start getting anxious. That's where the anxiety disorder pops up again. Even now, though I have no specific deadlines to get anywhere or for any specific time, I would still get "anxious" if I wasn't on the road by the time I had "thought" I should be and arrive when "planned". Slowly I'm dealing with that.
                 Hopefully some of my messages from my writings are starting to sink in for some of you. Yes, Katrine wrote a comment about expectations in the blog (and my sister wrote me an email indicating the same), but by not writing much yesterday I had the perfect tie-in to my writings today. I did not do this on purpose. My mind really was blank yesterday. I never know what I am going to write until I start writing (well.. that's not entirely true. As I was driving I was thinking of a way to describe my drive. I knew I'd describe the colours of fall and then add in colours that were definitely not fall colours, but truck colours. The problem was, I was almost at my destination and I hadn't seen a yellow truck (I wasn't going to lie that I had seen one), and then guess what magically appeared...a yellow truck)   Call it Faith-God. Call it Karma-Spirituality. Call it Hocus-Pocus (Black Magic). There is something bigger than me at work here. I believe it! Hopefully more of you are starting to believe in it!
                 I didn't take pictures today, but promise you some fresh ones tomorrow. I am a few miles from the Hershey Chocolate factories. A Pilgrimage of sort for a chocoholic. I am also in Amish country. They are predicting sunny weather for the remainder of the week. I am sure there will be numerous photo ops available in the next few days. To satisfy your cravings for my photos, I have posted some photos from my portfolio. Enjoy!
                 "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."
                                                                J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973)
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