Hi guys! Here I am in Orlando, where I live now. Yep, the old hometown. Got a grapefruit and some Viagra at the border. Good thing I held out for Florida, cause I was so sick of driving by the time I hit Valdosta, GA, that I had decided to move there and commute. I ate lunch at a Chik-fil-A there and when I went to the bathroom before I left, I found a $5 bill wrapped in a Disney World receipt on the floor of the stall! Georgia rocks! Chik-fil-A is good too, as fast food goes. Despite the dorky name, I think they serve actual chicken, and the owners are religious, so they’re closed on Sundays to give employees a day off. Weird, but nice I suppose. Google maps also had me drive through the center of Atlanta instead of using the bypass, so I got to drive on an eight-lane freeway for the first time. (while texting, drinking a soda and eating sunflower seeds) The $5 bill was undoubtedly the highlight of my never-ending drive though. Let’s see if I can break down the rest of the last two days for you:
Day 1: Goodbye, cheeseheads. The day before I left, I went to Target to get a new adapter for the portable CD player in my ghetto car, which does not have one, only a tape deck. I have to use a tape/lighter plug-in combo thingie to get CDs to play on a discman.
Me to Target girl: Do you have a car adapter for a CD player?
She, with utterly blank expression: A CD player? You mean like an iPod?
You’d think I said, “Excuse me, do you have Earth, Wind and Fire on 8-track?”
Me: No, you retard, I mean a CD player! OK, fine, I didn’t say that. I did have to go to Best Buy though.
So I left Jeff and Julie’s house in Milton, armed with my new adapter, a few music CDs and a book on CD by David Sedaris. Had to stop at Super Wal-Mart in Janesville though, because between Julie’s house in Milton and the Interstate, my discman broke. Oh well, picked up a crappy one for $10 – thanks Wal-Mart! Finally left Wisconsin around 10:30am. The rest of the day:
10:30-11:30 – Illinois
11:30-12:30 – Illinois
12:30-1:30 – Illinois
1:30-1:38 – Stop to pee in Illinois. Carry on stoically.
I think I can abridge the hours between 1:38 and 4:30 and just sum it up by saying: Illinois. Then, in a flash, I was in Kentucky! Who even knew those states bordered each other? Wisconsin is only one long, flat buffer state away from the South! After a brief time in Kentucky, I was into Tennessee, and nearing Nashville, where I should’ve stayed the night, but noooo, I forced myself to carry on to Chattanooga, despite extreme tiredness and crabbiness, arriving just under 11 hours after I left Wisconsin. Forgot the time change, so by the time I ended up at a Super 8 by the Interstate, it was 9:48 instead of 8:48, so I had to jet over to Cracker Barrel to get some to-go dinner. Any port in a storm, my friends.
Day 2: As detailed above, today was the day I made money in the bathroom at Chik-fil-A. How often can a respectable lady like myself say that? Drove and drove and drove, crossing the border to the Sunshine State in mid-afternoon. Here’s a series of signs along the highway, in order of appearance:
WE BARE ALL
breakfast, lunch, dinner (Well, I am a little peckish!)
WE BARE ALL
Couples welcome! (How thoughtful!)
WE BARE ALL
Food ‘n Fun!
Now, I’m sure you can all guess what had me chafing at that last one – yep, the inappropriate apostrophe. When will these smut peddlers learn some basic grammar? The signs did continue, though without any more horrible grammatical mistakes. Next was:
Trucker discount and showers! (Ewwwwwww. Whatever caché they hoped to earn by changing the name to ‘Cafe Risque” was obliterated and then some by the image of a bunch of dirty truckers showering after you-know-whatting their you-know-whats.)
Finally, as if worried that totally naked chicks wouldn’t be enough to entice the truckers to their establishment, the last sign promised that in addition to some nakedness, you could play pool, video games and eat some great food! I declined to stop, though I may have to take a road trip up there in the future to check out the video games. I hope they have Ms. Pacman.
Arrived in Orlando without further incident at around 5:30 – rush hour! I luckily picked a crack motel right by my exit from the turnpike onto the Interstate though, so I avoided the traffic. My room isn’t really that bad, though only one outlet works in here, which means either my phone charges or my computer does. I’m more worried for the safety of my TV in the front seat of my truck, though when I called the front desk to inquire if it would be OK, the dude reassured me that we’re right next door to the sheriff’s office. I said, so if it gets stolen, they’ll be here right away? I don’t think he laughed though. Tomorrow I have a bunch of apartment appointments, would like to get that settled by Thursday. My POD is waiting for me somewhere in Orlando, minus my floor lamp, though. (Thanks Shawn; I would’ve let you have it if you’d just asked.) So glad I did the POD, because I would have had to use the runaway truck ramp in Tennessee if I’d been driving a Uhaul pulling my truck.
Spent the evening driving around my potential new neighborhood looking for “For Rent” signs. It’s feeling a little surreal that this totally alien city is home now. I suppose that will dissipate once I have a place and some structure, though. A busy few days await. Will keep y’all (am Southerner, now) posted. xx