Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From Near Disaster to Paradise

Every picture has a context. In order to understand this one, I'll need to provide that context. Since we had the Eurovan packed with everything we owned, when we had to switch to the rental car we wanted to take as much as possible with us. Not that we didn't trust the dealership, which is big, modern, and clean. It's just that we had lot's of electronics (cameras, laptops, etc.) and lot's of personal stuff like passports, checkbooks, and other stuff we don't like to let out of our sight. Plus clothes and toiletries and Otis and Otis supplies like timothy hay and kibble and bedding and...well. you get the picture. So we're packed into a rental Hyundai Accent the size of a roller-skate and we have to move all that stuff in and out of every motel room every time we check-in and every time we leave. So imagine the look on the desk clerk's face at the Econolodge in Hagerstown last night when I check in for one night and I look like I'm moving the luggage for an extended European vacation. Plus I'm using the bellhop cart in the picture with these huge brass tubes and a finial that looks like it's from the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Anyway, this morning I load up the bellhop cart and position it outside the front door of the motel, hand Wendy the room key to return to desk and go to get the car which is parked only about twenty feet away. As I am starting the car, something catches my eye in the rear view mirror and I panic as I realize it's the bellhop cart rolling away down a small incline. My panic increasing as it narrowly misses a parked car and starts heading for a drainage ditch. Mind you, Otis is aboard for the ride since his pet carrier is wedged between the two duffel bags on the floor of the cart. Luckily, the cart did not reach dangerous velocity and came to rest against a curb with a gentle thump. Still, I ran to check Otis and, of course, he merely gave me his usual 'Time for Carrots Already?" look. Near disaster averted.

The dealership (Sharrett's Volkswagen-Subaru in Hagerstown) is ripping open the engine on the Eurovan today to see what's going on in there. They think it's a cylinder head or something in the valve train so major surgery is probably in order. Hey, with the warranty, it will be like getting a new engine for free. Not like I need to be anywhere.

Since we had time to kill (at least a few days) we booked a room at a pet friendly ocean-front motel in Ocean City and drove back to the coast. It's another beautiful day here and it's real quiet and not crowded because it's off-season. Still, it's in the mid 60s and partly sunny. Might even get a beach day in tomorrow.

On the way over we stopped at Unicorn Books (Used and Rare) on Maryland 50 which I had noticed we had trucked over to Assateague last Saturday. I was looking for an used copy of the unabridged Don Quixote (did I mention I have time on my hands but the guy was sold out. Imagine that. He said he had a run on it lately. I said that's a good sign for America. We wound up buying paperbacks of Jane Eyre, The Wapshot Chronicles (Cheever), Love in the Time of Cholera, Atlantis Found (Cussler) and a 1931 Hardcopy of Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Michaelian I will be mailing that when I done.) The proprietor added up the total on an antique
adding machine and rung us out on an antique cash register. Pretty cool.


Wendy's photos to follow but the Wifi scene hear is a little sketchy so we'll
have to see.


  1. Gerry, I love your tales of the latest and greatest venture! Never a dull moment, right!?You and Wendy keep living life to the fullest! I look forward to the photos!


  2. Ha! You read my mind.... In the meantime, so far, so good.....

  3. WOW! Such a great attitude you have.....'not like I need to be anywhere.' As I'm reading, I'm a little pissed off about that happening to the van in the first place! Your freedom is freeing you guys and inspiring me. Stay stressless and enjoy your reading!!!!

  4. @lisa: Thanks for reading.
    @mr. michaelian: I thought of you as I was buying it. You would love this bookstore. Check it out if you're ever out east. When I asked the guy for the Don Quixote, he check the regular shelves and then he said 'Let me check one more place' and went to an anteroom and checked three boxes. I offered to check the fourth and he said 'No, if it was here, it would be in one of these three'. Guy knew where every book in the shop was. Incredible. I heard him saying to a woman at the counter 'No, I already have three copies of that edition of Chesapeake Waterfowls' Ha!
    @Barbara: What, me worry?