A friend and I were heading up I-81 recently when I suddenly exclaimed, "Thank you, Governor Bob McDonnell!"
She looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
I pointed out that we were passing the Mt. Jackson rest area on I-81 and I was grateful to Gov. McDonnell for keeping his campaign promise to reopen Virginia's rest areas that had been closed by former Gov. Tim Kaine, supposedly for financial reasons.
Nothing says, "You're not welcome," to tourists and travelers more than closed rest areas.
Democrats tried to justify the closings by suggesting that people could pull off at exits and use commercial facilities. They added that it was a waste of tax dollars to run the rest areas and all sorts of silly arguments.
Drivers of tractor-trailers, horse trailers, campers, boats, and other large vehicles often found it difficult to navigate small parking areas to use those commercial facilities.
Odd how Democrats were able to find money for all sorts of programs they wanted ... but when it came to welcoming visitors to historic Virginia, they agreed with the Democrat governor to shut the door on rest areas and one visitor center.
In my opinion, it was nothing more than politics.
Meanwhile, the final rest areas will be reopened tomorrow just in time for vacation season.
To travelers both local and from out-of-state ... welcome to the Commonwealth of Virginia!