Sunday, January 10, 2010

Traveling with T

One of the reasons taking a driving trip with T is so much fun (other than the fact that I like her) is that we both enjoy taking a look around as we drive through the country side. Our recent drive to/from St Pete, FL had its share of moments. And, at the risk of ...well... everyone figuring out exactly how odd we can be...

Winner of the "That's a GREAT name" Award:
HERCULENEUM, MO - we liked it so much, we stopped there to eat. Even better, it is located just south of Festus. Absolute heaven for those who love to look at maps and be amused by odd names and name combinations.

Runner up has to be Lumpkin in Alabama. Although, Eufalla was pretty good too.

Winner of the "Navigational Creativity" Award:
This belongs to the traffic circle-ish town square that had a sign at each corner telling us the highway continued if we TURNED LEFT (after the initial right turn to get into the circle). Think about it. (yes, there was a sign that showed a right turn to exit on the highway...but it wasn't very prominent)

Now, ask us - "how many times did you go around the circle?"

Runner up - the scenic back road guess to get to US 78 in Birmingham...ok outer suburbs in NE Birmingham. Hey, we found it without any backtracking.

I'm NOT turning left - how about you?
Our last day on the road on the way down was a long one. The most disturbing fact about that day had to be the sheer number of accidents we passed on the road. The majority of which had something to do with failures to yield on a left turn. If not that, it was failure to note the vehicle ahead of you was going to turn. This doesn't seem to explain the accident on the Interstate.

Mmmmm Citrus.
An advantage of driving is the fact that we can easily stop at roadside or other local vendors to peruse their wares. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't. We particularly enjoy the oranges from Hancock Groves in Dade City, FL. And, because we were driving and not flying, we could carry a couple of nice big bags of fruit home! Hey, we purchased local! It was the two of us who weren't local.

License Plate Bingo and Raptor Rapture.
Yes, we play the license plate game and try to see how many different state/province names we can collect on the trip. Forty-two different plates is pretty good, but not our best. We have also been known to keep an eye out for hawks, osprey, eagles and other birds of prey. The stretch through Arkansas and Missouri yielded the most birds this year. Hey - we were on the road a LONG time - we didn't say everything we did or noticed would totally captivate your interest!

The "Felt Most At Home" Award:
Hellooooo southwest Georgia. Granted, we were visiting in January with mild temperatures. We might have felt a bit differently in July. Nonetheless, we had an opportunity to stop in Adel, GA. And, because we had one of our navigation snafus - we stopped at a gas station that was not directly off of an interstate exit. The result? Lots of pleasant people and lots of OLD pickups. cool.

Scenery Surprise of the Trip/Geography Lesson:
Yes, the Appalachians DO go into northeastern Alabama. No, the roads were not terribly steep, but there was plenty of hill to satisfy an Iowan in search of a mountain. But, seriously, we enjoyed the non-interstate, cross-country trek through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

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