Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 19

Day 19 – Monday – June 25, 2012

0600 Wake up.  Watch updates on the weather channel.
0745 Leaving Kim’s house.

0830 Pell City, AL.  80 degrees. Stop at McDs for breakfast and coffee.  Gas, $3.06/gallon.

0905 Oh no!  Car trouble! The VSA! and check engine lights are on and it won’t accelerate.  Drive to next exit and call Ron.  Sure am glad he hasn’t left the country yet.  He says there is a Honda dealer in the next town, about 10 miles or so and other service garages along the way in case we can’t make it that far.  I haven’t turned the engine off just in case so we pull out and putt putt our way down the back roads towards the dealer.

0945 Safely seated in the Sunny King Honda service waiting room in Anniston, AL.  Whew!  Hope they can fix it quickly and it won’t cost too much.  I don’t want to have to buy a new car today!

1045 Still waiting for a diagnosis.  Ugh!  This does not bode well for getting back on the road quickly.

1050 Got the word… the variable cylinder system was stuck on and a manifold something or other needs to be cleaned.  For $200 they can have us back on the road in about 90 minutes.  I had our overdue oil change and burnt out brake light to the work list.

12:14 p.m. Leaving the dealership!

12:20 p.m. Wendy’s for lunch.

12:55 p.m. Starbucks inside Target.  Good thing I know to look inside when the GPS directs me to a Target or a grocery store after I ask for directions to Starbucks.

1:00 p.m. And now finally back on the highway heading for Florida and Tropical Storm Debby.

1:08 p.m. Talladega National Forest

1:26 p.m. Road work next 35 miles?! Bummer!

1:27 p.m. Georgia and Eastern time zone.

2:32 p.m. See a “flock” of helicopters flying over Tallapoosa.

2:46 p.m. See a car with no license plate (and no temporary plate).  Then the sheriff just drives right past them.  I guess license plates are optional here in Georgia…

3:05 p.m. Genie pops up with a traffic detour ahead.

3:12 p.m. I cannot find a single news radio station for Atlanta.  No one is offering a traffic report either.

3:14 p.m. Everyone in this state is speeding like crazy.

3:22 p.m. On 285-S.  The detour is not as bad as I thought it might be. Traffic was moving and not too many stoplights.

3:23 p.m. Planes landing almost on our heads as we drive under the runways.

3:30 p.m. I am just now getting through Atlanta.  We left 6 hours ago and I feel like I have made absolutely zero forward progress driving today.

3:54 p.m. PTI (professional transport) van passes me.  It is from Indiana.  Now that would be a much better driving job than driving a semi-truck I think.

4:02 p.m. Lots of utility trucks heading south today.  Must be on the way to help out with the Tropical Storm damages.

4:21 p.m. Rest stop.  Cancel our reservation in Jacksonville for tonight and switch it to the Holiday Inn in Valdosta, GA instead.  Set Genie.  Our new ETA is now 7 p.m. at the hotel.

4:34 p.m. Leaving the rest area.

4:45 p.m. Bella saw a leg on the back of a truck.  No one else saw it.  I wonder if the truck was from Texas.

5:32 p.m. Sign for Georgia State Cotton Museum.  That sounds like a good future stop.

5:36 p.m. A few sprinkles start to fall.

5:40 p.m. Jimmy Carter State Historic Site. Another future visit possibility.

5:52 p.m. Ron called.  He changed the lock on the back door of the VA house.  The replacement mini-blind slats look fine.  The insulation looks good – nice and thick.  He was not able to pick up the closet door.  He is at the airport, getting ready to depart.

5:57 p.m. Giant peanut

6:04 p.m. A field of cows and white birds of some sort.  Egret maybe?  Something with long legs.

6:17 p.m. Gas, $3.09/gallon.  It has gotten really humid as we are getting closer to the storm.

6:34 p.m. So dark!

6:35 p.m. Rain!  We are about 30 minutes from the hotel.

7:01 p.m. Emergency message on the radio.  There is flooding in northern Florida.

7:04 p.m. Hotel!  I dropped the kids and the luggage off under the cover then park the car and dash in through the rain.  We opt for dinner at the hotel restaurant.  The have gator tail as an appetizer so of course we have to try it.  The pool here is an outdoor pool so we won’t be swimming tonight.  Instead the kids played BS (Bologna Sandwich) and we watched the weather channel.  Looks like we made the right decision to not drive all the way to Jacksonville tonight.  We finish off the night with the Disney Channel Movie “Let It Shine”.

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