♪♫Cele-Brate Good Times-C’mon!♪♫

For an audio transcription (me reading) this post, click play below:

 

Yes a blast from Kool & The Gang’s past!  Quality Old Skool R&B, let me tell ya!

Today I got to officially celebrate getting my CDL-A License!  I passed the Road & Skills Test on Wednesday, Feb 5th!  I have blog posts which journaled my CDL-School Story, so catch up on them if you like–I put link-backs to those at the end of this post. They also have audio transcriptions in case you are driving, or just don’t feel like reading.  I think the transcriptions are fun coz you can hear my voice inflections and maybe it could bring some words on the pages to life a little more, but I have no idea; haven’t received any feedback on that yet.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that I’m uber-excited about an idea that no one else thinks is worth a penny.  In fact, that very statement is so true and it’s very evidence is my new career endeavor!  HAHA

So, moving right along…

There’s a place in Orange, VA that I have been wanting to dine at for 3 years.  It’s a place that I wanted to go to for a special occasion – first date, or something along those lines.  Not quite a place that one stops off at to grab a solitary meal, if you can appreciate what I mean.  Those types of places are like Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday kind of joints, ya know restuarant-y, yet chain-y.  lol…  So Celebrating my CDL License was definitely worthy of this place, although when I made the reservations, I worded it a little better: “Celebrating my Ascertaining Licensure”  haha.  The place is called The Inn at Willow Grove.  The restaurant is called Vintage.  I made reservations for 2: myself and my longest-time friend Sarah. Sarah and I went to high-school together in New York!  We had re-connected back in 2017 via social media, and we live fairly close to each other here in VA… and over the years we both have lived so many different places, so how interesting to be so close to each other now, some X amount of years later. She’s now married with an amazing son.   She was happy to join me for this celebratory brunch – she and several others have really been rooting me on the past year or so from when I left Corporate America after a 15-year stint in government contract (Gov-Con) project accounting.  I initially ventured out to do my photography and art full time.  Got my FAA Drone license in October 2018.  Photography is a very hard business to break back into I subsequently found out.  I had built a thriving photo studio business in the 90’s – (back in print film days), but things are waaaaay different now.  So, here I am on a new path to a trucking career, because I LOVE driving, traveling, adventure and making pictures/videos. So now I can incorporate all that in to this career; it was almost a no-brainer!  Plus I love doing unique things and while trucking is not unique, female truckers are, and make up less than 7% of the trucking workforce currently in 2019.  That number is growing though.

Seeing Sights is not quite Sight Seeing…

So this past year I put 39,000 miles on my Jeep driving around the eastern half of the US, doing photos making videos, etc.  Visit my YouTube Channel for some of the video clips I made. Most are in the 3-6 minutes range. Please subscribe – I need more subscribers to that channel!!!!  (Thanks). I did get some commercial drone cinema work here and there, and sold some photos here and there, but nothing at all that I could live on. Especially after the investments I made into the very little that I sold/worked.  I made a lot of donations of my art.  Well, when you’re driving in your POV (personally owned vehicle) you stop and go when and wherever you want really.  It’s definitely on the “sight seeing” end of the spectrum.  When I begin my trucking career, I will be on the opposite end: “seeing sights”.  I’m illustrating that yes, being an OTR (over the road) long haul driver, I will see a lot, but it’s not like I can just pull over to “get that shot” or stop off at place X-Y for a few hours to do photos… haha  I will be WORKING – just as the majority of the world. And some days will be longer than others for sure, so it might be tough seeing so much beauty pass into my rearward-viewing mirrors, but I’m confident I will get a dispatcher who will help me do layovers and 34 hour re-sets in lots of different places, hopefully home-times also, eventually.  My first year or so on the road is going to be hyper-focused on learning this industry anyway.  I know so little and already what I know is mind boggling as to how infinite this field is.  It’s so fascinating.  The rules, the regulations, the federal oversight, the nuances of dispatchers, miles, mechanics, safety ratings, routing, trip planning, log books, inspections, drug testing, customers, types of trucks, “lanes”, bulk tankers, Hazmat Tankers, Liquid Tankers, Border crossing, Intermodal, TWIC Credentials, Reefers, Dry Van, Flatbedding, Regional, dedicated, Jet-Setting, Heavy Hauls, staying physically & mentally fit while driving long haul, golly, I better stop, or I’ll never get through this post!  haha.

Brunch

The dining room was beautifully lit, toasty fire roaring strong, and my menu was customized to include a Congratulations!  It was subsequently rolled and tied with a bow for a take home memento.

Vintage Table Setting
Vintage Restaurant – Our Table
Dining Area
Vintage Dining Room Lovely Lighting and Toasty Fire
Place Setting
Place Setting

IMG_3119We enjoyed a cheese & charcuterie platter to start. Sarah has been trained in Culinary School and also in Artisan Cheeses, so it was kewl hearing her talk so knowledgeably about the contents of this platter.  Also she also asked for a side of honey to top some of the cheeses – WOW that was yummy!  We had Brie, Bleu Cheese, I forget the third one, plus Prosciutto, Hot Salami, and two other meats, and garnishes of seeded dijon, baby okra, pickled onions, baby peppers, and a few other tasty bits.  The bread for the tray was an amazing flat bread, toasted warm.  I had sparkling water, with a twist of a cucumber slice. The two servers were very attentive in re-filling our glasses, very kind in manner, and efficient.

 

Eggs Benedict and Salmon Entree

I asked ahead of time if the Chef would prepare a special menu item.  All the items were on their menu, I just didn’t want to show up and ask for substitutions, so I asked ahead.  My favorite of all breakfast/brunch meals is Eggs Benedict, and my favorite of all meats is Salmon.  So I asked for the Eggs Benedict to be over Smoked Salmon, with their house dill-hollandaise.  Another “favorite” spice.  I live extremely minimalistically and the only three spices I own are Cinnamon, Dill and Paprika haha.  Well, they accommodated my request, and omgness it was exquisite!  Sarah had a Salad with Grilled Shrimp.

Custom Menu Title
Take-Home Memento Menu!
Rolled Menu
Special Menu for a Keepsake

Dessert

Oh yes, this was a must.  I had a Decadent Chocolate Pavé, and it was adorned with a chocolate sliver with a congratulations inscribed and edible.  Sarah had the Crème brûlée

Short walk around the grounds

IMG_3158The main building is circa 1770’s and the grounds hosts some period style cabins, Boutique B&B rooms, a Spa, Fitness Center; all the trimmings for lovely getaways, or weddings, and other various affairs.  Even in the month of February, the grounds looked beautiful!  We walked off that dessert for a short bit and took a few snapshots.

 

Well, that sums it up for my celebratory brunch as I set out now on my new Career. I have a pending offer from mega carrier Schneider, and I’ve been talking to USXpress, Stevens Transport, and Werner.  I’ll keep you posted as to the where’s, why’s, and how-to-for’s.

Love and Clix, and guess I’ll be seein’ ya’ll on the back-haul. haha

JJ

xx

IMG_3093

Past Posts related to my CDL Training School at Blue Ridge Community College.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5 (Test Day)

 

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