Is it drunk driving if they’re driving horses?

20 Dec

Alan and I drove home for the holidays on Saturday, and our original plan was to finish our 9 hour drive around dinner time. As it turns out, we arrived at 2pm. You do the math.

OK, OK. Since you’re probably half-drunk off eggnog, I’ll help you out: that means we hit the road at 5am. Was that part of the original plan? No, but – as often happens the night before a road trip – I was too keyed up to sleep.

So at 3:45 am, after tossing and turning for the greater part of four hours, I nudged Alan awake and said, “How would you feel about hitting the road, as long as I do the first round of driving? I am WIDE AWAKE.”

He was surprisingly easy going about it, so an hour later we were pulling out of DC, his SUV fully-loaded like Santa’s sleigh with gifts for my family.

We made our first stop about 2 hours in, at the “Gateway” rest stop in Breezewood. If you’ve never stopped at the Gateway at 7am, here’s what you’re missing: Mennonites.

There’s something almost horror-film-esque about walking into a rest-stop while it’s still dark out and finding that the only other visitors are all wearing dresses or suits and head-coverings of some sort. I think I actually would’ve been more comfortable to find a fat hairy man hanging out in the ladies’ room, than seeing four pairs of perfectly plain black sneakers with equally drab dresses hiked up over them under the bottom of every stall.

I found it odd enough that I remarked on it on Facebook. My status was, “Was just the only non-Amish woman in the rest stop bathroom. Felt a little under-dressed.”

The responses posed by my friends made me giggle, including suggestions for what the term is for plural Amish. Among the suggestions:

  • A gaggle of Amish
  • A pod of Amish
  • A stoic of Amish

And… my favorite (for its irony): A dazzle of Amish. I just need to find the time to update Wikipedia to include this term.

As one person noted, “Whenever I travel I always sneak into the Mennonite bathroom. They are so much cleaner and I love free champagne too.” That leads me to believe my spotting was most definitely Amish, despite the cars: there wasn’t a trace of champagne for me. Unless they were hoarding it in the stalls.

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