During my drive from Indianapolis to Florida, I noticed two big things.
First, roadkill changes from state-to-state. In Indiana, you see squirrels and raccoons on the side of the road. In Kentucky, it’s almost exclusively deer. In Tennessee, it was actual dogs (which made me miserable, not that any roadkill doesn’t make me cry). Once we got to Georgia, the weird thing was that I kept seeing dead birds. A few chickens, a prettily-plumed flightless something-or-other, and a few of your average, everyday, dead-on-the-side of the road skunks or furry creatures.
Once we crossed the state line into Florida, I saw an armadillo.
The second difference I noticed was drivers. Throughout the other 900 miles of the drive, faster drivers pretty much just passed me if they needed to. Once we were near St. Petersburg and Tampa, people were grimacing at me as they sped past. I was keeping up with traffic (so I thought), going about 65 in a 50 mph zone. In any given lane, though, people were doing anywhere from 40 to 80. The difference in speeds was ridiculous. The little blue-haired grandmas clutched the wheel as you could see the reflection of their knuckles gleaming white in the Florida afternoon sun. But regardless of whether I was in someone’s way or coming up on someone who was driving incredibly slow, none of them hesitated to give me a nasty look, or shake a gnarled fist at me.
We had a safe, fast trip. We stopped early on yesterday evening in McDonough, Georgia, where we had really good Italian food and watched the second Harry Potter movie on ABC in the hotel. We got a really good, free breakfast the next morning around 7am. We were the first ones in there, and I’d hoped we’d be the only ones, until two families of about 6 members each raced in and knocked one another over to get to the free bacon, orange juice, and biscuits. One grandma actually pushed me out of the way while I was struggling with the cover from a heating pan filled with eggs and cheese.
“What is that?!” She cried, leaning over the pan. “It’s eggs,” her daughter sighed. Her jostling made me lose the tentative grip I had on the mini-omelet. But rather than apologize or help me with the lid, she pushed her way past me to get to the microwave. So I just ate a biscuit and had some juice. I’m never that hungry in the morning.
We got to Jennifer’s around 3 in the afternoon yesterday and they made us a really good dinner. Today we’re supposed to check in to our condo on the beach. There’s no answer at the office, but I need to get hold of someone. I found out check-in isn’t until 4pm. The last thing I want to is drive around St Pete and/or Tampa with a car full of laptop, makeup, clothes, and whatnot, baking in the sun, or appealing to someone who might break in and take the crap. It’s not much, but it’s mine.
Today, once we get checked in and our stuff into the condo, we’re going to try and see an early show of Harry Potter. I also need to find a Sally’s Beauty Supply to get some blue hair wash. That’s pretty much the extent of my plans for today. Vacation is so nice.