Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day One:

It was only a Wednesday...but it seemed more like the longest day EVER!

I didn't leave the Memphis area until "late"...or "later" than expected--even though my appointment with the Director wasn't until THURSDAY I wanted to get to my hotel before dark.

At first the little GPS box and I didn't get along...

I figured following it and ignoring the obvious (aka just get on the Interstate)...would somehow lead to something miraculous. I drove up and down tiny streets NEXT to the Interstate for twenty minutes before realizing there probably wasn't a hidden secret passage...

I thought about that episode of The Office where Michael drives INTO a lake while blindly following the GPS...and just got ONTO THE INTERSTATE!

Then we were friends (Me + GPS = Foreva)!

So out of Tennessee and into Mississippi we (GPS & I) went--Interstate onto U.S. Route 78...which has it's own Wikipedia entry....fancy fancy! I guess that explains all the "Corridor X" signs I saw...okay, I saw two or three and I had something more sinister for the meaning.

One of my favorite parts was passing the Tallahatchie river...which had me singing my own rendition of "Ode to Billie Joe" of the greatest songs of ALL TIME!

Best county name in Mississippi? Itawamba!

Then into Northern Alabama...where the speed limit drops a full 15 MPH...uh oh! I saw a state trooper (even wearing one of those hats) out writing a ticket and knew I needed to watch it.

Thank goodness for Cruise control.

(worth repeating)

Thanks goodness for Cruise control! (exclamation point is better)

By the time I made it to Birmingham (which smells like BBQ, a compliment) it was time to grab something to eat and fill up my tank (even though it was only half empty). I did all of this before jumping onto another Interstate (20).

The rest of my Alabama route was hilly. I drove past Talladega Superspeedway and through the Talladega National Forest before crossing the Georgia state line.

I noticed the time/time change and realized I would hit Atlanta during "rush hour"...although as a friend aptly put, "it is always rush hour in Atlanta."

There is even a webpage (which I JUST found) discussing the perils of driving in Atlanta: via Emory University, even.

Thankfully, I made it through with little incident. Three lanes seemingly became seven lanes faster than you can read this sentence. I kept my eyes forward (trying not to notice the sea of vehicles behind me) and stayed in my lane (which I knew was the place to be due to GPS).

Eventually I made it to 441 as the sun was setting. The sky held blue and orange as I passed cows of every color grazing. It was both tranquil and beautiful...and dark by the time I went through the Lake Counties.

Final Destination: Holiday Inn Express
Final Time: more than 8 hours, but less than 9


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