Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome Center

A building most Fredericksburgers are unlikely to visit is the new and improved Virginia Welcome Center on I-95 just north of Exit 130. I stopped there today on the way home from a trip to Quantico just to check it out. The original center was built in 1967, and the newly rebuilt center opened last fall. I guess it’s state of the art as far as rest stops go: it's newer and shinier and bigger and cleaner and better landscaped and more environmentally friendly than most rest stops, but it still has all of the usual features: bathrooms, vending machines, tourist information, picnic tables. Lots of open space inside, just in case you wanted to rent it out for ballroom dance lessons. The most powerful electric hand dryers in the restrooms that I’ve ever used—imagine actually getting your hands dry with one of those things, and not having to wipe them on your pants. And a giant computer display showing VDOT's “511 Virginia” website that gives you updates on traffic conditions:

Does that make you want to rush right out and visit? Probably not. I’m sure I’ll never go again. Can you tell I haven’t gotten out much this week?

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