Two little Boston Terrier girls bring their Momo & Mr.Momo to Paris for a long stay. These are the tales of their very fine adventures.
In America, a road trip means something special. It means really special bad coffee or four hundred McDo's three minutes apart, or hours of fun watching RVs and trailers try to navigate their loads with underpowered autos, or my personal favorite, the ever changing speed limits. It means even in a very nice automobile, your rear end is guaranteed to hate you. But mostly it means putting up with the craziness of state speed limit laws.
Yes indeed, there is a federal speed limit, but don't tell the individual United State's that! After all, the sovereignty of the states would be at jeopardy if they all acquiesced to a cooperative speed limit on major highways. What fun would there be in that?
So for example let's talk about interstate route 5 which was our road trip from CA to Seattle. CA understands that central valley (no offense central valley people) is so very boring and that 70MPH on Interstate 5 is a nice little gift to make the countryside disappear faster. And everyone knows that speed limits in many places are simply guidelines. Just don't go too far over and you should be just fine. Unless of course, it is the end of the quarter, the month, or a bored highway patrol car is following you going 78 in a 70MPH zone.
Oregon, attached to CA in the north is like the pesky little sibling with an attitude. The speed limit on Interstate 5, on the same highway mind you that you were just zooming about in CA, drops to 65 which is how you can tell you have entered Oregon. Then it continues to drop to 55 then 50 as you approach a big city, like let's say Eugene which we all know is far larger than, oh, how about Weed, CA? Yes indeed, we would not want the city traffic to have to speed up on the highway since they might miss one of the three exits for Eugene. Seriously, Eugene is a very pretty city, but come on, really - do they actually need to go 50MPH to be sure to not miss an exit?
Then we pass through beautiful Portland, land of not ports, but bridges. Many many bridges. They looked and felt sound to me, but they sure are pretty high up there, and a bit curvy for bridges. Now, there a 50MPH speed limit makes some sense. Portland still goes by quickly if you are passing through, even at rush hour at 50MPH.
And then you drive into Washington where it feels like a nice day for a quick drive. Back to 70MPH for the most part, and even on long stretches of the 101 coastal highway, the speed limit is a generous 55 to 65MPH. Washington even has a "welcome to Washington" sign like they are glad to see you. Thank you Washington.
This is a photo of what the L&P do while being chauffeured in the auto on a long road trip. Thankfully they don't require many bathroom breaks. Momo and Mr. Momo need breaks more often, and L&P were happy to oblige. Mr. Momo can tell you that there is very little good coffee along that route. Actually no (real) cafe express and that is sad. With one exception. Somewhere along the road near Vancouver, WA there is an exit that will dump you into a parking lot, and voila! Peets. Anyone who loves coffee knows that Peets is fabulous and is a gift to those who are craving a cafe express, like Mr. Momo. In France along the very long and boring toll highways you can at least stop anywhere and ask for a cafe express and get one. Mostly tasty ones too. And not one McDo.
Does everyone who drives on road trips actually get up the morning of the first drive day and say, woohoo, a day filled with roadside McDo? Does no one want to stop at a place that sells not only good cafe express, but decent food? Someone ought to apply for a grant to study the drivers who frequent these roadside heart-attack shacks and measure the cholesterol of those on those highway routes v. those on the highways of France, for example. Just guess who might need some statins? There is a fortune to be had in someone's ability to pop up a million roadside good food and good cafe shacks next to America's super highways.
The Momo family gave up on stopping for food and bought supplies at the grocery to carry us through the trip. With one celiac, two BTs and one crabby Momo, it was to our advantage to have some good food with us. The only thing missing was an espresso maker. Does anyone make one for a car? I would buy it. Seriously.
The beauty of the Northwest gets a big old 10. Who can be in a bad mood with that view whizzing by? L&P rate the car ride a big fat 6. They would seriously have preferred that we stop at McDo's or at least had burgers. Route 5? Who knows. Maybe someday it will be a coastal highway and worth the asphalt it is paved with.