Since the virus and quarantine most of us have not done much traveling long distance like you would normally do to get to a show.

Ellen and I live in New Smyrna Beach, seven months, and Saugatuck,MI the rest.

So every  May we pack up stuff and do a 1400 mile trip using two vans and pulling a UHaul trailer with my van.

This year because of the virus we left a month later.

Also Ellen left her van behind and rode with me.l

So the situations we encountered while getting gas, eating out at restaurants and staying at hotels are the same things we will encounter going to an art show while Covid is still active.

So I will pass on what we learned and hopefully it will be instructive for you.

We take three days to do our trip.  Usually about an eight hour drive each day. We used to do it in two days but our aging has made it different.

We left on a Saturday and made it to Pensacola.

Sunday we made it to a hotel just north of Nashville. Sunday is the best day to get thru there with mellow traffic.

Then Monday it was a straight shot north on I-65 thru Louisville, Indianapolis and on to Saugatuck which is the lower west coast of Michigan.

Saugatuck is “God’s Country.”

So here are some helpful tips about gas stations.

I grab a paper towel from their wiper stations and wrap it around the gas nozzle. No germs on you hands.

I use the towel over my finger when punching info at the pump station.

When I input my debit card and pull it out, I use an alcohol wipe to clean the card.

Also you could use an alcohol wipe instead of the paper towel to handle the gas hose.

We stashed a gallon water jug in the van with a little liquid soap.  This came in handy whenever we had to wash our hands.

Most of the gas stations and restaurants had soap and hot water and clean paper towels in a dispenser.

Thru this whole Covid I have always washed my hands for at least 20 seconds whenever I came back from somewhere, like the grocery store.

I did not mask it while pumping because there was plenty of social distancing.

Going into restaurants we always masked it going in and out.

We hit Cracker Barrel’s for breakfest both morns.

They had great table spacing everywhere we went. Also their bathrooms had great soap, hot water and paper towels.

Exiting the bathroom and the restaurant door I used my elbows to push against the doors.

The first nite in Pensacola we ate at the bar at the Fishhouse restaurant. They had three sets of stools

two each set a least ten foot apart.  Great social distancing. The bartenders and waitpersons were all masked. 

At Crackerbarrel all the staff were masked.

At Nashville we ate at a great Mexican restaurant and everybody was masked.

Now info about hotels.

We stay at Red Roof Inns all the time.  Been a member of their club for 35 years.

Checking in, they had six foot strips for spacing.  The clerk was behind a large plexiglass shield.

Rooms were super clean but they have scrimey little bars of soap, that is my only criticism of RRIs.

I still think the best three things you can do when traveling, to avoid getting Covid, are to wear a mask when out and about, keeping good social distancing (at least six foot minemum), and washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Ellen and I are in the most lethal group if we got infected because of our age and vulnerable immune systems.

So far we are staying very healthy.

I hope my insights are helpful for those of you who have not traveled far since Covid.

Please comment and let me know what you think.

Any new thoughts on what we encountered are appreciated.

Later, Gators.

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  • No, I have three shows scheduled for Sept.

    Who knows if they will happen.

    When I do a show, here are things I will do to hopefully be virus protected.

    I am shooting pics of signs that ask you to wear a mask.  I will put them on my booth.

    Will have a plexiglass shield between me and customers.

    Will have hand cleansers.

    Will make money.

  • Nels,

    But my big question is——- Have you done any art fairs???  What are the sales like?  Most of mine in Mich have cancelled.

  • Another good way is that I brought a box of hospital thin blue gloves. I put a pair on to pump gas or to pay or sign, (with their pen) for something. Here in Delaware it is law that a mask is worn in every place you go into, and that's Great! I'm taking a break this year from doing any shows, please inform us on the attendance turn outs that any artist may attend. Stay safe.

  • Thanks, Nels, this is important first hand information for all of us.  I really like the paper towel or wipe for the gas pump idea and will utilize it next time we get gas.  These are scary times and we can't be too careful.  I've been grocery shopping but only at small markets and always wear my mask.  The recent spike in numbers across the U.S. is disturbing and makes me think that we all need to be more vigilant, at least for a little while (hopefully) longer.  Thanks again...

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