While Penelope and this blog are new, traveling in general has been a part of our lives for as long as we have been together.  We’ve taken trains, planes, buses, and boats, and met a bunch of WONDERFUL people along the way.  (MW will tell you that I just don’t meet a stranger.  Sometimes it is irritating for him!)  Along the way, we’ve noticed some things that just don’t seem right:


Why do people feel that it is okay to walk up and down the halls in a hotel or outside the windows at a motel at all hours talking in loud voices?  Hotels and motels are made for SLEEP.  Just because you don’t go to bed until late doesn’t mean everyone else is still up.  We have had people coming in after midnight laughing, talking loudly, and slamming doors.  Do they not realize that people are trying to sleep, or do they just not care?  I’ve been so tempted sometimes to give them the same treatment at 6 AM as we are leaving, except that it would disturb other people.  I will admit, though, that I have been that woman once or twice; you know  the one, with the crazy hair in pajamas storming out into the hallway to tell people lingering in conversation to shut the hell up.  I do it in a quiet voice, though, so as not to disturb those sleeping.  Seriously, be quiet in hotels and don’t be a jack***!

While on the hotel/motel subject, there is really no time that your TV volume should be turned up to ear-bleed, either!  I know that you might be in the bathroom for a critical part of Ex on the Beach or Life of Kylie, but seriously, resist the urge to turn it up so you can hear it over the exhaust fan.  Again, don’t be a jack***!


About 10 years ago we went on a cruise/tour with my parents.  The schedule was seven days of trains and buses through Alaska and parts of the Yukon, followed by seven days on a ship cruising along the Alaska coast and into Glacier Bay.  This was through Holland America, which is typically an older person’s cruise line.  It was wonderful…except for the two-year old.  Some folks from Winston-Salem decided that this was the perfect celebration of their sweet daughter’s second birthday.  The problem was, their daughter didn’t like it one bit.  She was cranky and tired almost the whole time.  It wasn’t the child’s fault.  The blame rests solely on the shoulders of her idiot parents.   That sweet baby was just being…a two-year-old.  She needed naps and play time, not lectures and bus rides.  Her parents, for the most part, spent the entire trip ignoring their screaming child and enjoying the view.  There was one point when we were riding a narrow gauge train up through the gulch following the path of the gold rush.  Baby girl was inside the train sitting with Daddy and screaming for Mommy.  Daddy was ignoring her.  Mommy had escaped to the outdoor platform and was ignoring her, too.  The rest of us were stuck trying to enjoy the view and block out the screams.  No fun!  I LOVE babies, and my Boogers mean the world to me.  But I would not put them into a situation that they are not capable of handling and expect them to behave in a way that they are not able to understand.  I also would not take them anywhere with the attitude that they can do anything they want and screw the other customers.  That just goes back to common courtesy.  Come on people, next time you consider taking your kids on a trip, think age-appropriate.  What would your kids really enjoy?  I’m pretty sure, for a two-year-old, it isn’t a crowded cruise/tour.  Don’t be a jack***!


We were recently passing through an area where a sign said that blocking more than five cars was against the law.  I wasn’t quite sure what they mean’t, but it turns out it is driving slowly and causing traffic to stack up behind you.  Now that I can get behind…well, not literally, because I prefer to be out in front.  (I think it is a psychological thing.)  However, we’ve always tried to be conscientious of the folks behind us, particularly in areas where the scenery is such that we are traveling more slowly than normal or when towing Penelope.  At the first available opportunity, we pull over and let folks pass.  Recently we were in Arches National Park.  That definitely qualifies as scenic and worthy of driving slow, and we did on the way in.  It is a long road, and the speed limit for most of it is 45 mph, so we pulled over several times to let those behind us pass.  We made it all the way out to the end and, as we circled through the parking lot to begin the drive back, a large RV pulled out in front, then a couple of other cars, then us.  The RV proceeded to drive the entire way back at between 20 and 30 mph.  This park has an abundance of turnouts, so there is just no excuse for not letting other people pass. Maybe the person behind you has someplace to be.  Maybe they have to go to the bathroom.  Whatever the reason, they just might want to go a little closer to the speed limit.  It is much more dangerous for people to try to pass than for you to just pull over for 10 seconds.   Don’t be a jack***!


I love bikes, so don’t turn this into a “Talisa’s a hater” thing.  Not the case.  I understand the law, which in most states says that a cyclist has the same right to the road and my vehicle.  I also know that, no matter how hard you are peddling, my Highlander is probably going faster.  Are you just trying to make the point that you can use all of the pavement by riding down the middle or in the left of the lane?  I mean, I don’t want you riding on the shoulder where there is more trash/gravel that can mess up your tires, but really, can’t you just move to the right 25% of the lane?  Because I’m not going to get too close to you, your riding further out has put me in the position of having to find a large gap to get around you (and possibly the rest of your bike team) instead of a smaller gap where I don’t need the entire other lane.  (Well, I guess I could just follow along behind you, but there is a hill coming up and I know you aren’t going to be able to keep up the 50 mph there.)  Which is safer for both of us?  Don’t be a jack***!


This has happened to us many times and is just baffling.  We get to a campground early and it is virtually (or completely) empty.  We select a site, get our camp set up, and settle in for a quiet evening.  A little later, another camper comes in.  After circling a couple of times, he picks his spot…RIGHT NEXT TO US!  What the hell?  The entire place is empty, and this is where you had to park?  Oh nice, and now you are bringing your yappy dog out for a walk!  What is the psychology behind why people pull in right next to the only other occupied spot in the campground?  There has to have been a study, because this happens ALL the time.  First, it is just possible that what we were seeking at the campground is peace and quiet.  PARK ON THE OTHER SIDE or at least a few sites down!  And for gosh sakes, if your dog is constantly barking, he/she is not a camping dog!  Don’t be a jack***!


Okay, since we are on the subject of campgrounds, let’s talk about quiet hours.  Almost every campground has them.  Do you know why?  Because at some point some jack*** deemed it necessary to play their radio or tv outside or get drunk and act the fool until the wee hours.  Finally, after a gazillion complaints, the campground owners had to establish a rule.  Why do we need a rule to be courteous?  There is nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying the evening outside.  (Although why there are TVs and speakers on the outside of RVs I’ll never understand.)  Seriously, though, when the sun goes down we should start thinking about our neighbors.  By the time quiet hours begin, people should have already naturally quieted down just out of plain niceness, don’t you think?!?!?  Once we were tent camping and the neighbors were listening to the NASCAR race until late at night.  No worries for MW, who falls asleep immediately and can sleep through a bomb detonation.  However, I was there, wide awake, until almost midnight.  Then it dawned on me that I was no longer hearing the race, but music.  What the hell?  I got up and went down to the site, only to find the radio sitting out on the picnic table playing at full blast while everyone else was asleep in the RV.  Wow!  I was absolutely the crazy woman and banged on their door.  The couldn’t understand why I was upset.  Don’t be a jack***!


One more campground thing:  As I write this I am camped by a lake.  It is beautiful, and the sun has just set over the water.  You may or may not know this, but if you are beside a lake at night talking in a normal voice, the people on the other side of the lake may be able to hear everything you are saying.  Sound carries well over water, folks.  Once we were by a lake in the evening and two ladies on the other side were sharing intimate details about their relationships and things I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t talk to someone in an elevator about, yet everyone in the campground heard it.  We’s all family at the campground!!  Don’t be a jack***!


One of the things you learn quickly when towing is that you have to plan ahead for parking.  You can’t just whip into the Hardee’s lot without making sure you have another exit or ample room for your turn radius. It makes it tough sometimes to stop.  Occasionally we pull into a large parking lot (a grocery store, for instance) and park at the end across several car spots, but only if there are plenty of other empty spaces.  It is very refreshing when we pull in somewhere and they have truck/RV parking.  Until we go to pull in and find a car parked there.  Really?!  There were plenty of car spaces for you to park in, but you chose to take up only one of three possible places that I could park this rig in this parking lot.  Cracker Barrel is a prime example as they always have RV parking, and there are almost always cars parked there.  Just like the sign for Veteran Parking, or Mom’s With Children in some lots, the RV sign did not say trucks/RVs/or cars if you just want to park here.  Don’t be a jack***!


I know that some people are not happy in traffic unless they are weaving in and out to gain an extra 20′ of ground and beat the guy beside them to the exit.  Those same folks pull out in front of someone and gun their engine to get up to speed so they don’t have to be behind them.  I get it.  As I said before, I like to be out front, too.  But changing lanes too closely or pulling out in front of a large truck, bus, or someone towing a trailer is just plain stupid and dangerous.  In our case, we have almost 10,000 pounds to get slowed down quickly if you get too close, and we are tiny compared to larger trailers, buses, and semi-trucks.  These vehicles just cannot stop like your car can.  Heck our truck alone will not stop like your car will.  So pay attention and don’t cut off or pull out in front of a truck, bus, RV, or anyone towing anything.  Quit being a jack***!

Okay, end of rant…for now!  Be nice (and courteous) to people, people!