Road Trip

I went on a road trip from Bloomington, Indiana to Orlando, Florida to attend a convention.  Day one was a 7 hour drive to Marietta, Georgia. I usually stay at a Hampton Inn just off the interstate in Marietta.

On day 2, my morning started oddly enough. I was on the third floor and when I left the room I went to the elevator and waited forever. Evidently the hotel was full last night. Finally the elevator was headed for the first floor. When it stopped I got out. I didn’t notice that no one else got out. When I looked up I found that I was on the second floor, not the first floor. So I press the button and waited again.

I took my bags out to the car and while I was out there I grabbed my coffee cup. It is a yeti coffee cup designed to keep the coffee hot for a long time. My plan was to fill my cup with the delicious Hampton Inn dark roast coffee so that I’ll have it for the road trip. When I got to the coffee pot though, I found that they were out of dark roast. Evidently they are completely out of dark roast, meaning there will be no dark roast today. So I filled my coffee halfway with their light roast. I only filled it halfway because evidently they just ran out of light roast too.

I went ahead and grabbed a light breakfast from the hotel breakfast bar. It was typical, an omelette and some sausage. Not too bad, I ran out of coffee while I was eating. Afterwards I carried my poor lonely empty coffee mug back to the car.

When I packed for this trip, I planned on changing into shorts and a T-shirt when I got to Marietta. After all, Georgia supposed to be warm right? So I got up this morning and it was 37° outside. That really changed my packing and clothing selections. So I had to decide do I want to just go ahead with my shorts and T-shirt and risk hypothermia? Or, do I want to change it and wear jeans? If I wore jeans I wouldn’t have enough socks! So, I toughed it out. I put on my shorts and a T-shirt. I risked hypothermia. By the time I made it to my car, I was questioning my decision. However, here I am. I lived through it. I did not get hypothermia.

Tuesday, November 9.

Today I went to Clearwater first thing, and I had a cigar and some coffee with my friend Ernie. His cigar shop is a quaint little shop on Mandalay Dr. He and I sat there for a while and talked about random things. The primary topic of conversation was the current state of affairs in our country. Everything just cost too much he said. On a positive note it was great catching up with him without having to deal with other stresses of life for an hour or so. He also fixed me up with some really nice cigars to take home with me, that’s an extra bonus!

Saturday, November 13

I woke up this morning around 9:30. I slept about an hour and a half longer than I really wanted to, I needed to get on the road! I finally made it on the road and the drive straight through to Indiana was totally uneventful until my last stop for gas. On interstate 24, exit 24, I stopped at a Mapco gas station. I walked in and a young girl greeted me saying “welcome to Mapco!” After I used the restroom, and washed my hands for the totally acceptable 20 seconds, I walked out and started looking around the store for something to snack on. I noticed that they had one of those new coffee machines that will grind the beans before it makes your cup of coffee. I love those machines and the coffee taste delicious every time. So while my coffee was brewing, I went over and saw a display of fried chicken. The young girl that greeted me came over and talk to me about the chicken. She explained the chicken tenders are a good choice if I’m driving somewhere because they have no bones. So, naturally I chose chicken tenders. She told me I made a great choice and would I like some barbecue sauce to go with that? Of course, you can’t eat chicken tenders without barbecue sauce! So I paid for my chicken tenders and my fresh cup of coffee and I walked out. I pulled up to the gas pumps and while  putting gas in my car, I noticed the girl walked out front and was having a cigarette. After I put gas in my car I walked over to talk to the girl because I really felt good about the way she was so friendly and helpful inside the store. I offered to buy her and her crew a pizza. She said thanks but I’m getting off work in about an hour. So I said “tell you what,  here’s 20 bucks, get pizza or do whatever. I appreciate you being so friendly and helpful for me tonight. She started crying and gave me a hug. It was the highlight of my trip.