Here's what's great about road trips: If you've carefully picked your companions, then you're in for a heck of a ride usually, since there's lots of time for ridiculous stories that would, under normal circumstances rarely be heard. You get to see the world moving right outside your window, taking in the changing landscape and the way the side of the road changes from rocky side walls to trees to swamps. You get to make stops at places that promise if you buy one bottle rocket you get one free. It's an exciting life. Here's the thing about traveling with your family on a road trip: Not only do the suitcases get packed but so does all the rest of that baggage, so that inevitably, about 3/4 of the way to the destination, once the excitement has worn off, and once the tolls have been paid, you realize just how small a mini-van really is, and you start wishing for one of those giant RVs, or maybe 2 separate giant RVs, like the ones you keep passing in pairs on 95.
All in all though, yesterday went fairly smoothly. Leaving Fayetteville behind us as a distant rear view memory, we headed towards Savannah and stopped at that good old standby Shoney's. For those of you who have never been to a Shoney's the best way I can describe it is like a Friendly's with a buffet. The one we stopped at seem to be attracting motorcyclists for some reason. Or maybe that's all Shoney's. But I have never seen so many men and women eating breakfast food with chaps on. Shoney's also happened to next to Crazy Joe's, said purveyor of 2 for 1 bottle rockets and a brand new fresh batch of pecans. People are really hyped on pecans down this way, a fact that I was not previously aware of, but now knowing, will use to my "useless trivia advantage". "I'll take Southern Nut Regions for 400, Alex".
After my mother insisting that the Shoney's bathroom would, by far be the lesser of two evils, my father insisted on making his own decision and going with the Marathon gas station bathroom instead. After which the phrase "well that was an experience" was heard and an unfortunate vindication for "I told you so" was won.
The last stop we made for the day was in Jacksonville at a Flying J, which is like a stop designed for road trippers and truck drivers. It's oh so much more than just a gas stop. Again, once getting on the road, Dad uttered the quote of the day (see below). It's actually quite a distance from Jacksonville to Tampa, so don't let mileage fool you. Never underestimate the power of the mouse to make life difficult for you. In this case, I'm referring to Mickey and the general Orlando area, where traffic was pervasive at 6:00 at night. I'm convinced that at some point, if it hasn't happened already, Disney will officially buy the city of Orlando and make it its own little Vatican City, with Mickey Laws and a Goofy guard of its very own. Mark my words, it'll happen people.
We pulled in to the hotel in Tampa just in time for me to catch the Oscars in which Avatar was surprisingly (in kind of a good way, sorry Kev!) shut out even from some of the technical categories. The Hurt Locker was pretty much a sweep and why oh why AO Scott ever thought UP! wouldn't win best animated feature is beyond me. It was a pretty good show, complete with a return to old Hollywood glamour, which I appreciated. But for the most part, the predictions were pretty much on point, with most of the voters going with the nominees with the most momentum.
I was too exhausted to write this last night, so I'm going to post this and then get ready to enjoy my first day of 60 degree weather in roughly 4 months, if not more!
Quote of the Day: "I just realized the first time I went in, I went into the Trucker's Lounge. I mean I'm dressed like a trucker, how would they know I'm not a trucker?"-My father, who indeed does not often look like a trucker.
Road Trip Soundtrack: West Side Story
Best Road Trip Podcasting Companions: Hamish and Andy
Most "Did I just See that Moment?"- 2 college age boys pulling over to the side of the road to take a picture of the sign that read "Faver Dykes park".
Most overused phrase of the day: "So What Did We Learn?"