In case you hadn’t seen it on Facebook yet, I made it to Florida and let me tell you 947 miles in 2 days was a lot of miles. After the last few days, I will offer the following tips to anyone planning on driving a long way – things cost more than you expect and when in doubt, count on traffic and construction to slow your roll. Also, at some point, diet coke will stop being delicious.
So Friday morning I left Kentucky about 1015am which I was pretty impressed with since my goal was to leave at 10 – yeah me! I was pretty concerned about the drive on Friday since the remnants of tropical storm Cynthia were supposed to be in the area where I was driving and I was concerned about crossing a path of heavy rain/storms. Luckily for me, I got about 45 minutes south of Florence, KY and the sun came out it there really wasn’t anymore rain after that.
Friday I drove 543 miles by myself in about 11 hours. I’m a stopper, I’ll admit. It was nice being able to stop often and stay fully hydrated. This is a nice change of pace from when I used to travel in the semi with he whose name we don’t speak anymore. I went through Kentucky, into Tennessee, through North Carolina and finally into South Carolina for the night. I am pretty sure I stopped at every single rest stop along the way that was open, if for no other reason, to stop driving for a minute and re-arrange my supplies.
Before I left Kentucky, I did take a detour and drive past the Ark Experience. So basically, it’s this ginourmous replica of Noah’s Ark that you can tour. I thought about actually touring it, but it was $40 to get in. I thought that was a lot of money for something I wasn’t really, really excited about. I did however, manage to take some long range pictures as I drove past.
The drive though Kentucky and Tennessee included going over the smoky mountains and included going through 2 tunnels. Although it was not raining, it was little windy and as I only I could, I managed to get myself motion sick while driving. The up and down and curvy roads and in ability of people to pick a freaking speed all contributed to a sweet headache and upset stomach. Let’s be honest, that takes real skill to make yourself sick with your own driving. Taking breaks, snacking and taking Tylenol helped. The drive was gorgeous as you can see from the following experience video – FYI – there is also a tunnel involved.
I made it my hotel in Orangeburg, SC about 930pm Friday night and I was pooped. Did you know you could get hand cramps from driving all day? You can. Although I had had big plans for ordering dinner and swimming, I settled for a bag of microwave popcorn that was still only 1/3 popped after 4 minutes and went right to bed.
Saturday morning I woke up and was back on the road by 1030. It was crazy, I wanted to get gas before I got on the highway and the two gas stations by the hotel were PACKED. So I finally pull in what looks to be the less busy of the two, I got gas and when I went to pull out, there were only 2 cars at the one I had really wanted to go to – go figure. See I really had wanted to go to the Exxon station because I have a plenti card, which is a discount program, I know, shocker – Jennifoster has a coupon!
It was pretty exciting when I got back outside Saturday morning because there were palm bushes, palm trees and these really pretty flowering trees I have asked Barry the name of like 3 times already because I promptly forget the name as soon as he says it.
Saturday was “supposed” to be a short day – only about 400 miles and Barry had plans in the afternoon so I told him I wouldn’t be there until about 7 pm. I took advantage of my late arrival time to make some stops. I found a La Creuset store in Georgia where I bought some beautiful Au Gratin dishes in a color called Rosemary and I also bought the most beautiful robin’s egg blue butter dish. They were having a “sale”.
While I was driving through Georgia, I kept seeing signs for something called Peach World. Much like when I went to the candy “emporium”, I was expecting something amazing. That is not what I got, it was basically a small road side shop with fudge, lots of jams, that popcorn on the cob everyone thinks is so fancy and over pays for, pecans, wine and moonshine. Although it was not fancy and smaller than I expected, I somehow ended up with $10 worth of peaches, a bottle of blackberry moonshine and a new Georgia magnet for my fridge. I declined their offer to try to the moonshine because I am a cheap date these days and didn’t want to drink if I was getting back on the highway. I really think we have a problem with people not using description words properly in this county. If you look at the picture below – I think you will agree that “world” might be an overstatement. ( yes Jason, I know, I will figure out how you can click on the pictures to make them bigger this week)
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Panera? I haven’t seen them at home, but down here, they have drive thru’s. It was so nice to be able to get something other than a burger quickly. A chicken Caesar salad, sesame bagel and huge ice water have never been so delicious. On a side note – a sesame seed bagel is not the best way to keep your car crumb free – just a tip.
In case you had forgotten, I am not a fan of bridges. I was doing ok on Saturday through Georgia – I came down on I-95 and there were quite a few along the coast. When I got to Florida, I was like awesome – bridges should be mostly done. Then I got to Jacksonsville where my entire freeway experience was on a curvy/bridgey/overpass thing. My friend Jenny called just was the fresh fuckery was starting and our conversation kind of went like this:
me: I don’t like bridges
me: I don’t like bridges – this is not ok
repeat 17 more times and it will be like you were there eavesdropping.
As I continued along I-95 I decided to rename Florida the land of the corvette. I saw more on Saturday then I can every remember seeing out in the wild in one day before. I also saw a group of motorcycles at one point and like to think that my friend Kim was in them as she was hitting some of the beach town on I-95 on Saturday! It gives me a warm fuzzy to think we crossed paths!
And then finally, Saturday about 7:30pm I finally made it to Barry’s house where he fed me pizza and let me go to bed early. He gave me an empty room all to myself where I set up my sweet queen sized air mattress (it’s 22 inches tall) and promptly spread out all my stuff. Let’s just say I need to do some organizing on Monday so it no longer looks like Hurricane Jennifer hit this place. I took a muscle relaxer, drank 2 bottles of water, turned on Friends and slept like a teenager.