"I would not like nights so bright you could not see the stars." -- Akira Kurosawa

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Atlanta
I grew up in a family of Southern storytellers. Back in 2004, I started Whole Bean to continue the tradition in a new medium. Over the years, I've written about families and friends, peculiar situations, extended road trips, recalcitrant home appliances, and many things for which I'm truly grateful. I hope you enjoy your time here.
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Famous Highways of the Northeast


I just returned from a Thanksgiving road trip from Atlanta to Boston and back. It's a trip of over 2,200 miles, and many of my friends are in awe that we would even consider driving on a trip of this length. But for us, it's fun to get out and see the U.S.A. at street level. Besides, without such a voyage, how could I be in the know about what's happening between here and there? Consider the following (please excuse me if you're already aware of any of these facts):

  • Dunkin' Donuts has a significantly increased presence in the Northeast, and the people get upset if you don't state your order immediately.
  • Burger King has come to the New Jersey Turnpike. Fortunately, Nathan's is still there. T-shirt/cap souvenirs are $14.99, with no sales tax.
  • Maryland charges tolls at random! Are there some signs missing or something?
  • Iced tea does not appear to be popular north of Virginia.
  • West Virginia has friendly people handing out free coffee at their rest areas.
  • McDonald's in New England sells a delicious iced coffee marketed by Newman's Own.
  • Coffee in general (even at Starbucks) appears to be weaker in the North than in the South. Is it the water?
  • The Massachusetts Turnpike apparently has no enforced speed limits, but New York state still has a speed limit of 55 mph.
  • Much of the entertaining graffiti on the Cross Bronx Expressway has been covered with brick red paint.
  • The morning mist on the Shenandoah mountains in Virginia is a thing of beauty.
  • Baseball caps appear to be even more popular in the North than in the South.
  • The world's slowest fast food service can be found at the Arby's in Newburgh, New York.
  • Many people on the Harvard campus wear black clothing. They seem quite serious.

If you don't take a good road trip now and then, how can you stay up on this stuff?