After breakfast with Laura this morning, Aaron and I took a detour and ended up swinging by Rider University and went into the bookstore to pick up some paper, pens, highlighters, etc. We then picked my mom up at the hotel, and drove 2.5 hours through the mountains to visit Ashly and Ian. It was a brutally tough drive, maybe because I wasn’t comfortable and didn’t feel well, but we finally met about half an hour outside of their city at a Wawa.
Here was a video from the drive up through the mountains … we kept passing more and more remote areas, big rig trucks, etc. and my mom started singing Smokey and the Bandit, cracking herself up.
We then got a tour of where they live, drove by the nuclear power plant in which Ian works (he is an actual nuclear engineer and was explaining how control rods and the rest of it works since I wanted to understand the mechanics of nuclear power). There were some extreme areas of poverty the likes of which I haven’t seen in a very long time. I mean, they took us through parts of town where there were families living on a few thousand dollars per year. My mom said she felt like time had been frozen back in the 1960’s and 1970’s and nothing had changed since then. It was just … really unsettling.
But we went back to their house and they all made another Julia Child recipe – chicken coq au vin, I believe.
We made it home after a white-knuckle drive. The fog was incredibly thick at the top of the mountain, reducing visibility to near zero and then came a rainstorm. Ashly once described some of the areas as the type of place you’d see on Scooby Doo. Yeah, I totally get what she was saying now!