Yes, this has been delayed a bit, but hey, at least it’s done now.
JenTastic and I set out on the long drive from Chicago to North Carolina on a Tuesday morning. It was a bright, happy morning and we were armed with coffee, grapes, potato chips and french onion dip (safely ensconced in an iced baggie) as well as other random car snacks. We had plans to drive about halfway and then stop for the night. No specific plans about where to stop, just whenever we felt tired enough.
As you will soon find out, that is not always the smartest strategy!
Our first cool sighting was the wind turbine farm we saw along I65. These things are HUGE. They don’t look that big, but when you get up close and personal, they are gigantic. I hear there’s lots of controversy about strobe light effects on the people who live nearby, as well as the dangers to the birds flying through the area.
Still cool to look at, though!
Ooh hey look we’re in Kentucky! Drive faster! I can say this, as someone who lived in Kentucky for a few years. I went to a grade school where you got extra credit for wearing shoes.
This was in 1980.
Need I say more? Hunk-a-pizza?
At one point, the car started making a really loud grinding noise every time Jen hit the brakes. Since we were at least 8 hours from our destination, this was cause for concern. In the end, it turned out to be something easily fixable (though not until we arrived in NC.)
We were never in danger of crashing into a ravine.
No, Jen really, we were safe the whole time. Promise!
Then there was the time we stopped at a doozy of a place to fill the tank. I had to use the bathroom (remember I have major public bathroom issues). One, teeny tiny problem. This wasn’t a gas station. It was a service shop with a few gas pumps, a garage and a greasy spoon dinette/shop/place. The bathroom was inside the restaurant (and believe me when I say I’m being polite calling it that). Throwing caution to the wind, I left all my stuff in the car and ran into the building. I had to ask the short order cook, who was flipping over eggs and hash browns to direct me to the bathroom.
It was about 1 1/2 feet from a table where people were eating. Ew, that’s a little gross, but beggars can’t be choosers. I went in and closed the door quickly realizing the light was not working. It was literally pitch black in this tiny room. I panicked. I opened the door to let enough light in about three times so I could see where everything was. Let me be clear here, I’m not scared of the dark, but I have an irrational fear of tiny, public bathrooms with no lights. I was so mad that I didn’t even have my phone to use as a light source. Needless to say, it was the quickest bathroom trip ever.
Back to happier things…along the way, there were sightings of beautiful scenery
and, um, some not so beautiful scenery. As if Piggy Bank Pawn isn’t bad enough, they are in a town called Locust. I’m sure that’s a lovely place, but I prefer not to stop anywhere named after bugs.
At the end of Day 1, we stopped in a little town in Tennesse. This was the bad part of the “no planned route” trip. This hotel, while it was clean, safe and full of friendly people on motorcycles, was out in the middle of NO WHERE. We asked about a restaurant and we were told that the mini-mart at the gas station had a great food selection. For real.
Someone also had a fascination with statues because the property, outside and inside, was filled with them. Here is a sample of the greatest.
Then Genghis Khan
I’m not sure why the eagle is eating JenTastic’s foot, but it looks painful to me.
No idea what’s happening here. When she gets this like, I just nod and smile. That happened a lot on this trip.
I thought this was creepy until we saw what was next to him….
A strange hungover, sleep deprived Mr. Lincoln. He looks like he could use some coffee. And shampoo.
Here’s the lovely eagle again, without Jen’s foot in it’s mouth.
I don’t know what’s weirder here…you decide.
After we had a good night’s sleep, a decent breakfast and stocked up on coffee, we were ready to hit the road for day 2. JenTastic commandeered the camera and took these shots.
A few hours into our drive, I did a spot check with Roberta (the navigator) to see what interesting things were around us. Hey, we were 2.9 miles away from Gran Nanny’s Goat Milk. Too bad it was in the opposite direction, that just might have been fascinating.
Ok, this is not scary or dangerous at all.
Really, Mr. Truck, you’re doing a great job with that dental floss holding back the tree trunks from flying into our car and crushing us like ants, and those tiny orange flags, yeah, those are really obvious.
Finally, we arrived at our destination, lugged our stuff into the house and quickly collapsed for the night.
I did get acquainted with Chick-fil-A on this trip. Boy, they have delicious lemonade.
I also discovered the Food Lion grocery store chain, where I saw this very exciting ad, especially for someone like me with an eyeball fascination.
Another Food Lion gem (reminiscent of the potted meat product Kim gave me for my 20th birthday, along with a hot pink toilet plunger)
We went to a local place for lunch and the food was absolutely terrific. We shared a cheesy seafood dip with pita chips (delish!)
as well as a burger with brie, carmelized onions and arugala and the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. They tasted like candy, so sweet.
Look at that burger!
The only weird thing…look at the ads on the glasses? Strange, no?
Not even the batch of raw cookie dough that was never baked, but mysteriously disappeared from the fridge
or the gem of a movie Jen dragged me to starring her movie star boyfriend that left us both stunned and in shock
or the “giving of the eyeball” at WalMart and the slippery shoes that almost caused my death or at the very least, serious maiming
or how I was tortured with Ke$ha for ten days and Jen was tortured with Celtics/Lakers games
or the countless times Roberta yelled “RECALCULATING” at us while we drove around
or when I had to restrain JenTastic from taking out a neglectful grandma in Barnes and Noble
or how many cups of coffee we actually drank
or the way JenTastic’s van kept giving me a concussion
or the number of times JenTastic called someone an assclown
or “The Great Eating Dessert in the Car” caper
My lips are zipped.
Not saying a word.