Ah, the joys of road trips with friends, family, or alone. On the open road and the wind is destiny and so does the rest room because the urge has now exploded into fury of urgency and half of the people in the car are hungry and you need directions because the GPS has taken you off course 18 miles.
Oh that illustrious rest stop – the haven to refuel, eat, potty, get our essentials and go.
Let’s deconstruct the peculiarity of this place:
Entryway: its always a zoo outside of cars because everyone in the nearest area code decided to go for a ride to visit this place, so good luck finding parking. Most of these places look like retro lodges and the newer ones look like down town plazas. Does this place have a directory?
Main Building: as with the recession most of the small rest stops have been cut out from the state since well they were underkept and hardly utilized. But for the main houses of rest stop areas it can be a mall of selections ranging from the tacky tourist gift shop, sunglasses stand, “what is this name” restaurant, and dungeon-like restrooms. They can be decorated with fine state history and a wall map of state’s roadways from 3 years ago. The decor is pretty lack luster and it smells of a bowling alley.
Tacky Tourist Gift Shop: junky state key chain? Check. I love the state T-shirt? Check. “All I got was this stupid mug” glassware? Check. Candy that’s been out of commission? Check. Snow globes odd scenery? Check.
Sunglasses Stand: you’ve seen them at the mall most likely; the knockoff brands off sunglasses that are so greatly priced 2 or $20. They’ll look so good they’ll fall off by the time you leave the parking lot! Good luck if you get that sticker off the lens!
“What is this name” Restaurant?“: The people could be less than thrilled you are there. Sure bring a party of 7, cause it sure beats service at your neighborhood family restaurant, wait time 45 min. One page menu’s and that one employee with the name you can’t pronounce and 3 accent marks in it. All on the order!, serve it up!
Dungeon-like Rest room: As you slowly wait your turn, you walk around the corner to the corral of stalls complete with wet floors, tissue paper wadded on the walls, and grungy sink counters.
Gas Station Phone/Plaza: Drive on up to the station where an attendant will fill you up (in some states) or will stare at you as they give you a pack of gum . o O (guess I should’ve got it at the Gift Shop). Gas pump is slow as molasses and the oil spots are slicker than Walden Pond ice on a winter morning. Dare even go to the payphones that still exist as a cold reminder to keep your cell phones charged.
Back on the road and would you have guessed 15 min later someone has to use the rest room – again?!
Now how awful is that?!