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    « 13. | Main | 15. Back to School »

    Monday, January 14, 2008


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    Alarming Female

    Pity you couldn't attend the Salt Lake City Stitch 'n Bitch evening at which we discussed, in great detail, our "best pee." And then pondered the sad lack of bidets in the US. And then pondered how improved bidets might be if they pulsated. Yes.

    Perhaps another time.


    Um, but I've shown you MY underwear. :-)


    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one taking pictures at pee breaks. In fact, some of the truly loveliest photos I took this year were at a particularly scenic rest stop in Lake City, Minnesota (despite its name, on the Mississippi):

    In the post, I ask the rhetorical question: What kind of weirdo takes a camera basically to the bathroom?

    The answer: A blogger, of course!


    When we were kids on family trips in the car, my dad (of course dad drove) would periodically take a "tinkle-o-meter" reading of us 4 girls to determine the need/urgency ratio for making a stop. The scale was 1-10. I'm sure there was some kind of algorithm to it all (more than 2 girls rating 6 or higher on the tinkleometer means a stop, an 8 or higher by any single person merits immediate self-reporting). I hate to say I still use the ol' tinkleometer on trips. Math has its place!


    I love the tractor benches! I have a 7 yo that would die for one of those near us. I like how they even have the drivers seat at the end there. I love rest stops, but DH is of the same persuasion that my father was, go before you get in the car and hold it till we need gas then everyone MUST pee. Washington is upgrading their stops as well, I wonder if it was some national pork bill to improve all the rest stops.


    So, if Vermont's dairy farming and maple syrup manufacture are declining, what does Vermont have now? Besides marvelous court reporters with kick-ass jeans.

    In my experience, American "rest" stops are far superior to Canadian ones. Up here, I tend to rely on the malls and coffee shops I pass by on my travels. Cleanliness is restful.


    I think they are using the same blueprints for the barn outside Williston is amazingly similar to the one immediately before Brattleboro on Rt. 91 North! It's the greatest place to stop that I do even if I don't have to use the facilities. The coffee, the nice state employees inside who will answer questions, the art and local goods exhibits; yep, obviously a government backed plan to keep us all happy travelers!


    Oh, Norma. You do crack me up.


    My exit is right before the williston one. I have only seen the moose. I love the benches. I will have to go and check it out. It looks wild! Montpecular, eh? Boy you do get around.


    I remember that rest stop as if it was yesterday. I'm going to look for my picture of you driving the


    You are a riot Norma!


    my mom grew up on a farm in the Pyrenees mountains and in the summer when working the fields she wore shorts while most of the women wore dresses (this was the 40's and 50's). my grandfather would get a lot of shit from the villagers about his girls who wore shorts in the fields and the implications of such a wardrobe choice on their morality. my grandfather, who happened to be the grand poobah of the village (and therefore probably got away with such pronouncements) would respond by pointing out that lifting a skirt up was way quicker than pulling off shorts.


    Pee-larious! Looks like a nice place to stop. We'd make a good traveling pair, I'll go any ol where!

    Jean E.

    Gotta keep the local economy flowing, that's funny!

    Sheepish Annie

    I used to have amazing bladder control. Then I turned 40. 'Nuff said. It's only a matter of time before I start wearing skirts, I fear.


    What a great rest stop! As one prone to long road trips alone I have also come to appreciate a good place to stop and rest (and pee).


    I can't tell you how much I hate, er love, that you went back to the rest stop to take more pictures. That has to be one of the funniest things I've heard in a while.


    I was shocked to see the green grass. Where the hell is your snow???

    And re: Dairy farms - they make very nice, lesbian, wiccan communes as an after use. Ask me how I know.


    I SO want the superpower of teleporting.... that said.. thank you for going back and taking photos.
    I hear you on the skirts... seriously, skirts, kilts.. they just make all kinds of good sense to me. Does Margene really have a photo of you driving the tractor?


    You know, of course, that if you are British, pants means something entirely different...


    Our green grass is covered again this morning so the snow must be coming your way.
    Tea, cold and long car trips do me in!
    Now we all have to see you on the tractor.
    I hope you are wearing a skirt.

    Beth Ingersoll

    Norma, sometimes you scare me....

    But, I'm all about a clean bathroom too :-)


    I may need to see that place for myself next summer.

    Marcia Cooke

    Connecticut's "rest stops" are pretty much hideous, especially on I-95. New Jersey has a few real pits, too. THE best I've ever found was on a cross-country car trip. It might have been in Wyoming, or just over the line in Utah, but it was spectacular, in a place called "Little America". And, the best sandwich I've ever had, although not in the bathroom part, but in the restaurant/gift shop! I did take pictures in the ladies' room, it was so gorgeous.

    Teresa C

    I like this rest stop post. And, ask anybody that travels with me. We are always doing the stopping thing.


    "Ride somewhere with me, and you might never reach your destination." Even though I haven't traveled with you, I think it would be much more about the journey than the destination. You're awesome, and I thank you for making me laugh while sharing your keen observations about -- well, about everything.


    Well, they call them "Rest Areas" for a reason.

    Back in high school, my best friend and I used to hang out and drink lots of tea and coffee, so there were frequent . . . breaks. One of us would excuse ourselves, and the other would usually say, "Have fun," which became our private shorthand. "I'm going to go have some fun." Nicely euphemistic for parties!


    Norma, you have to bookmark this site :


    Okay... but all the time you saved by wearing a skirt you took up taking pictures.... lol. Hilarious. I love the moose.


    Now I know ONE place to stop on my trek to Burlington this Saturday!! Anyone have similar recommendations for 89N??

    nipper jenn

    I think "goofy moose" is going to have to be my status message today, just for you Cousin.

    It could be "pee break", but goofy moose just sounds so good.

    Dave Daniels

    Have you seen It shows where the stops are at. (You're probably a part-time contributor, right?)


    Just FYI another good place to stop in VT? The Mobil station at the Exit 1 of 89 in Quechee. It's not much too look at but the bathroom is freakin' SPOTLESS. So if you can hold it for 90 minutes between Williston and Quechee check it out. :)


    I just love those picnic tables. Probably more than I should.


    I am so jealous. The rest stops in California are dreadful... and populated by married men looking for some gay sex. Give me a fast food place to stop at any day. o.0

    Love the goofy moose.


    Tee hee, you said pee :) I'm with you there; I spend $10-12 a month on toilet paper (and I live alone). On a visit to Maine several years ago I got hooked on Green Mt. coffee...the best! If I ever find myself in (was it Williston?) VT, I'll be sure to stop in for a cup of the best coffee (and a pee).

    Jena (the yarn harpy)

    I'll have to remember that this summer - the worst thing in the world is stopping for a pee break and your pants or shorts get wet from either the damp floor (like when using a beach public restroom) or the condensation on the cold bowl. Ugh. We were down the Cape once and I was mortified because I didn't notice that I dropped my khaki capris right into a sandy puddle on the concrete bathroom floor and had to walk to the car looking like I hadn't made it into the bathroom in time. I was absolutely deathly embarrassed and refused to get out of the car again until they dried.


    The rest stops on I-80 in Iowa give you an insight into Iowa mentality. Clean, practical, functional, with free maps. No funny business with tractor-picnic tables. Although if someone in Des Moines sees what you guys have done then we'll probably have to have our own barn-shaped rest stops.

    When I went to Europe with my best friend from college, she was a little obsessed with the availability and usability of the bathrooms (we were doing the backpacking-staying-in-hostels thing). Every place we went (restaurants, hostels, cheap hotels, museums, trains, train stations) she checked out the facilities then reported back to me. She was not very happy about the porcelain hole in the floor in the bathroom at the hostel in Padua....

    Joan in Reno

    Have you ever heard of a prophylactic pee? My specialty, never pass up an opportunity to pee; you never know when your next chance may be. And I'll have you know, after your Abingdon post, I went straight to eBay and bought some. Lovely stuff and so much less expensive than Rookwood.


    Norma, interesting to see some of Vermont. Never been there. But I have to tell you that I watched a live concert from 2005 on PBS the other evening that featured Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Great band!


    Gawd. All of this talk about underwear is bringing back a memory of underwear left in a silly place. OY!
    Gotta pee...


    Excellent. Educational. Entertaining. I hereby nominate this post for the Letter E Award.

    Of course there is such an award.


    Today I overheard others talking about the need to pee while traveling. Pecans, umbrellas, and Jack Frost were mentioned. Somehow it loses a lot in the re-telling, so I will spare you. I like those tractor bits.


    T is for toilet, U is for underwear...


    I was waiting for the picture of the potty.


    What attention to detail! Of course, if all else fails around here, one can always take to the woods.... just sayin'.


    Ummm...if you've always had a bitty bladder I take it you are acquainted with the "prairie pee" practice? (Hint: it requires a four-door car.)

    And hey, we all have our priorities and interests! Just ask the folks who maintain the Happiest Potties on Earth site.


    I am with you in that matter, rest room is the first word I learn in any new country I visit and we too were happy to find the WiFi is free now in Vermont's rest areas.


    I think the pants thing is fine when you are in rough country, or have a youthful bladder. We don't think about such things back then. Then, the bladder ages. And our thoughts change.


    The worst HAS to be the stops on I-15 between California and Vegas on a Sunday evening. We almost had the girls just squat at the pet pee park because it was cleaner. Yuck! Great post!

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