Today we start back. Some people look at the traveling part of travel as a necessary evil that occupies the time between leaving where they are and getting to where they want to go. I’m not one of those people. Carla isn’t either. It’s another one of those little things that illustrate how I hit the spousal jackpot.
We both grew up in families who loved to travel but didn’t fly to get there. We drove. Long, long road trips. Pile in the car early in the morning, load up up on books. Stop at rest areas and get lunch out of the cooler. In my family’s case we tended to have our travel trailer behind us, so if it was a multi-day trip we’d find a KOA or other campground and set up for the night.
I really hate flying. I’m that guy no one wants to sit next to on an airplane. It’s no picnic for me either. It’s a dehumanizing experience all the way around. I choose not to do that anymore. I prefer to drive. When I was freelancing the last time, the folks I did onsite webcast engineering for found it very amusing how much I hated to fly. It probably cost me a couple of gigs, but if it did they never made an issue of it. They were actually very accommodating.
So while you are reading this, we’ll likely be on the road, It’s the classic I-75 route. Walt Disney World to the turnpike (SunPass FTW), the turnpike to I-75. We’ll spend the night in Atlanta and see my sister-in-law, then back on I-75 north to KY-18 and we make a left. And yes, as a matter of fact, we probably did go to Wawa for breakfast on our way out.
We’ve made this drive so many times it’s routine. When we cross under the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway we’re really on our way. We’ll cross Payne’s Prairie up around Gainesville and also get Stephen Foster stuck in our heads for the hour after we cross the Suwannee river. Then South Georgia, the land that makes Audible pay for itself. The trip just hasn’t been the same since Tifton! (the exclamation point is silent) has quit promoting itself as “The Reading Capital of the World” on billboards.
The billboards are actually some of the most entertaining part of the trip. In Florida every fifth billboard proclaims that heartbeats begin “18 days after con-cep-tion.”1 The other four billboards are for Ron-Jon’s Surf Shop. In Georgia you start seeing the billboards that tell you why you’re going to hell. They fail to point out that, by being in South Georgia, you’re already there.2 It’s always struck me that you see more billboards for strip joints and adult book stores in the Bible belt than anywhere else. Those start becoming less frequent as you get closer to Macon. I have nothing to say about Macon. No one does. I do enjoy going through Vienna, GA because of all the Ellis Brother’s Pecan billboards and seeing the site for the Big Pig Jig. I’d like to see that some day.
Macon to Atlanta is an exercise in trying to figure out where Atlanta really starts. I don’t have an answer for that yet. Then there’s the try-not-to-be-killed-by-an-idiot-Atlanta-driver on the way through. Assuming we do that we’ll get to out hotel that conveniently shares a parking lot with Taco Mac. It’s not a bad way to end the day.
Then tomorrow we go back to real life.
1I don’t understand the hyphens either, but they’re there. I’m assuming they’re having to break up the word because it’s too long for the target audience to parse.
2Motto suggestion: “If you were going to hell, you’d be home by now.”