So in case you were wondering why I wasn't around posting blogs willynilly Monday and Tuesday of this week is because Tim and I were on a road trip. ROADTRIP!
It turned out that Tim had a business meeting Tuesday morning in Destin Florida. In case you never heard of the place, Destin is in the panhandle of Florida. Roughly 7 hours away. North, West and then South is the general direction from where we started. It's so far west that Destin is actually in another time zone! (learn something every day! How many states have more than one time zone in them? Turns out it's 13!!!)
Tim actually did look into flying but it not only cost a lot more than driving, it actually would take longer between arriving early, waiting, going through security, waiting more, flying to Atlanta, waiting for the connecting flight, flying to Destin, renting a car and driving to the hotel. Whew! And that's assuming everything was on time and flying as scheduled.
So the decision was made to drive up Monday, have the meeting Tuesday morning and then driving back Tuesday afternoon. He asked if wanted to come along. Sure! Why not?
So Monday morning found us at the rental car place (no way we are putting those kind of miles on any of our own vehicles!), loading up and hitting the asphalt. I brought magazines, car games, my camera (of course), the morning newspaper and essentials like cough drops and water. I was ready.
The rental car we ended up with was a range rover. And oddly, the GPS/NAV system had a very posh British woman's voice. It said things like, "Stay the course" and "Keep on the motorway". It was like being guided by Mary Poppins.
It wasn't bad driving. Not a lot of traffic although, I did notice far more car carriers than I have ever seen before! Wow! I lost count after awhile. It took us the entire trip to finish the auto bingo game. But in between finding the Bridge and the Hospital, I read aloud from the newspaper, we chatted, I read some of one of the magazines, occasionally out loud and I took photos out the window of the car.
After a few hours, my butt was already falling asleep from all that forced sittage and we pulled into a Rest Area. It felt good to get up and move around. The bathrooms were very clean, there was a big map just to make sure the car's Nav system was accurate and they had vending machines.
Neither of us had eaten so we each chose a few snacks from the vending machines. Tip: Never buy snacks from a Rest Area Vending Machine. They were terrible and we threw them out. All we could figure is that those snacks had been in the machine since the day it was installed. Gack. We drove on and saw bulletin boards for fascinating things like the Florida Drag Racing Museum and the Sasquatch Museum (which is actually in Georgia)
As we got further and further north, the topography changed from very flat with lots of palm trees to actually kind of hilly with mostly pine and oak and other deciduous trees! We listened to (and sang along with) a lot of Christmas radio and drove over more curiously named rivers than I ever knew existed. By the way, the Swannee River from the song, "Way Down Upon the Swanee River" is actually the Suwanee River and we drove over it's bridge. Just an interesting tidbit. Tim took quite a few hands-free business calls. Sometimes technology is fascinating!
Eventually we took another break at a much better place and got some much better food. Tim had some real actual food and bought more water. I chose one of my favourite car snacks. Bears. You thought I was going to say M&M's didn't you?
As the 500 and something miles flew by, we pointed out interesting things like the worlds smallest rainbow., the exit for Tallahassee (the state capital), a lot of farm related things and some restaurant that has a giant chicken in front of it! Never a dull moment with us.
By the time our butts were completely numb, we finally saw ocean again and we knew that we were close to our destination. Hurrah!
The sun had set by the time we checked into our hotel and wandered around looking for any restaurant that would offer something resembling dinner. To our surprise, very close by was a Jim'N'Nick's BBQ, a place we adored in Colorado. Afterwards, back we went to our hotel.
We had a cute little balcony with adirondack chairs off of our room and we could see that across the street (the street being six lanes of highway) there was a park and then the ocean. Right there. So Close! So my plan was that while Tim was at his meeting I would walk across the street, through the park to the ocean with my camera and wile away my time, doing one of my favourite things. Taking pictures!
Neither of us ever sleeps well the first night in a new place and that goes for Hotel Rooms too. Nothing feels right, it's too warm, too stuffy, too much light from weird places, too much noise from the hallway or outside. But eventually we dosed off sometime well after midnight Only to wake up around 4 am to the weather alert on our phones telling us to take cover from the impending tornado.
Well nobody is going back to sleep after that. So we watched TV for awhile, waiting for a non-existent tornado and eventually Tim showered, dressed, had breakfast and left for his meeting. I got ready to head across the street with my camera but, but, but.......
Rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain. And wind. And Cold. Bah! So I stayed inside, packed and watched Christmas movies instead. Plan B.
When Tim's meeting was over, we headed up the car and prepared for the return trip. The rain let up just enough that we drove to the beach. I took pictures until my hands were too cold to press the button anymore and the rain started up again. It was a truly beautiful white sand beach with not a soul on it but us. Worth the small detour.
It rained the entire trip home. Sometimes just sprinkley, sometimes absolute downpours. There was far more traffic too, just for fun. And multiple different accidents which always slows things down. Lots and lots of big old 18 wheelers, one of which was down for the count. Not sure exactly what happened but we drove by it, laying there on it's side like a big old dinosaur. Always scary and sad.
As we passed Tampa the sky began to flash lateral lightening, which illuminated the sky in shades of lavender and purple. It was very pretty but definitely upped the degree of difficulty.
So there you have it. Roughly a thousand miles in two days, a beautiful ocean, a tornado warning, a business meeting, lots of rain, BBQ dinner, traffic and sore butts from sitting too long.
That is why I didn't write the blog Monday and Tuesday. I was kinda busy.
Have a wonderful last weekend before Santa Comes! Makes the most of it!
Hugs all 'round.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.