Monday, July 7, 2014

Observations From the Road

I noticed a few things during my holiday weekend in the Northwoods:

--Illinoisians will drive like bats out of hell trying to get to their vacation destination--doing 75 on a two-lane highway with a 55-mile per hour speed limit--and attempting to pass 15-vehicles at a time, veering back into their lane seconds before a head-on crash with an approaching vehicle--and then swerving back to the left in an effort to pass another ten cars on a blind curve.  However, once they reach their destination, those with the Lincoln license plates like to go at least 15-miles per hour BELOW the speed limit--slowing down even further when approaching all side roads and business driveways. "Is this where we turn for the resort?" "Nope. Maybe it's the next one down."  Of course, once their stay Up North is done, they are back to driving like they stole their vehicles and the use of un-neccessary force has been authorized in their capture.

--Jobs American teenagers will not do are not just found in Wisconsin Dells.  The young ladies working at two different t-shirt shops in downtown Eagle River had distinctive Eastern European accents when asking if there was anything they could help us find.  It's possible that there just aren't enough kids--or unemployed adults that could use some cash--in Northern Wisconsin to work in those shops, but there aren't nearly as many positions to fill as there are in the Dells either.

--Appleton isn't the only place where curbside seating for a parade is apparently the most important thing in life.  Driving through downtown Eagle River before 6:30 in the morning on July 4th, every single inch of the sidewalk for several blocks was filled with chairs, blankets, mats and police tape blocking off areas that were "saved" for a parade that didn't start for another five hours.  (By the way, setting up two barstools about 20-feet apart and running red warning tape between the two shouldn't count as "saving spots".)  Apparently, the Eagle River City Council has more important things to deal with than passing ordinances limiting the times people can litter the streets with unattended junk.

--In tourist areas, Townies still rule the roost.  I found that out at the grocery store trying to pick up some baked goods when the two locals that got to the counter after I did were both served before me--even though one of the ladies said "I think he was here before me."  That didn't matter to the Bakery Lady--as she was more interested in having a conversation with the other two customers while getting them their "usual" orders. (Of course, this was at a grocery chain that features the worst service here in Oshkosh as well--so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.)

Vacations over--back to the grind.

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