Anyone who travels with me learns right quick that I have a teeny-tiny bladder. A four-hour road trip easily turns into four and-a-half, because of all the "rest stops," a phrase that makes my English friends amused. ("Whot? Are you taking a rest in there?") Ten minutes per stop at every rest area, and it really adds up. Or as my father-in-law would have said, "Ten minutes here and ten minutes there. Before you know it, you've lost ...(pause for comedic effect)... twenty minutes." (ba-dum-DUM)
It's like I have my own Rule of Roadtrip Physics: Ride somewhere with me, and you might never reach your destination.
If push comes to shove, I'll pee anywhere, even a filthy port-o-let, coz when you gotta go, you gotta go. I've even learned recently (in the last year and a half -- what TOOK me so long?) one of the biggest benefits of wearing a skirt, versus pants or shorts, for traveling -- it takes much less time to go to the bathroom. Funny how the '70s feminist girl in me fought so long and hard against wearing skirts. (Pants! It's gotta be pants! Skirts are feminine and frilly and a sign of male dominance! I don't know where I got that stupid idea -- it's probably more of a misinterpretation of the idea that not being ALLOWED to wear pants is discriminatory or something. But whatever. That notion is gone now, I'll tell ya that.) And if you skip the underwear, I suppose it's even faster, but I'm not saying I know anything about that.
Now I know that every time one of you meets me, you'll be checking to see whether I'm wearing a skirt or pants, (and no, you may not check to see if I'm wearing underwear) and you'll know exactly why I've been won over by the skirt. Oy, the things I tell you! (and as I'm writing this, I'm thinking ABC-Along.
C is for commando; P for pee break; R for rest areas; S for skirts....okay, keep working with me here.)
But back to pee places: Oh, how I hate the run-down and filthy places. So imagine my delight when Vermont (and I've noticed New York State, too -- and I bet lots of other states) started to upgrade its pee facilities, incorporating into the designs beautiful local materials and sculpture.
When I was on my way home from work Saturday, (I had a job in Montpelier) I stopped at one of my favorite renovated rest stops on I-89 in Williston, Vermont. I noticed that the sun was setting and the sky was pretty, and I started taking photos of the sky for a Saturday Sky photo. But before I knew it, I was taking photos of the cute-without-being-too-twee picnic tables that look like tractors:
(See the sky? Those were my intended Saturday Sky photos, but the little curved road to who-knows-where said a lot more about what I was thinking yesterday. Thousand words and all that.)
...and the goofy moose sculpture:
Now you see what the little curving road from Sunday's photo leads to. It's meant to be a tractor track. If you click the photos to make them bigger, you can see some of the other bits of landscaping in the background, which are supposed to be Vermont-themed.
They've put miniature rolling hills and a small orchard, beautiful stone walls, and a stone sculptured cow-feeding trough (I think that's what it's supposed to be). Never mind that dairy farming is almost obsolete in Vermont now. It is what we like to think of when we think "Vermont."
The building itself is reminiscent of a barn, built of lovely natural local materials, although it is not the traditional red barn with a silo that is becoming only a faded memory to those of us old enough to associate that with the Vermont landscape. It's lovely and spacious inside, with free Green Mt. Coffee Roasters coffee and lots of tastefully presented advertising for local businesses and places of interest, and nicely presented informative exhibits of various sorts. (e.g., History of the Interstate Highway System)
The building is more like a large sugar house -- another thing that, because of climate change and acid rain, I fear is fast becoming a relic of Vermont's past. An aside: Green grass in January? Mildly disturbing, to say the least.
The northbound facility seems better kept than the southbound one (different caretakers, maybe?). It's also larger and contains more pretty sculptures, such as the moose above and the plow shown below, as well as the cool "park bench yoga" display.
And two words that make me weak at the knees:
The "free" part is a new thing. I have been annoyed that you had to pay for the WiFi (and not too cheap, either -- something like $10 or $12 for an hour.) So my tax dollars are nicely at work here.
So ends our Pee Break Williston VT. We'll call this the beginning of a series. I even started a new category for it. I had not taken enough photos the first time around, so when I decided to do this post, I took another trip to the rest stop to get more. Life really is all about the blog. Plus, it was a nice day for a Sunday drive, and it gave me another chance to buy a chocolate bar and pee there. Gotta keep the local economy flowing. Or something.