Friday, January 22, 2016

Reminiscing About Road Trips With My Wife in 2001, Pt. 1

My wonderful wife and I went on a lot of road trips during our short almost-five years of marriage, and one of the things I made a point of doing was documenting those trips in a trip journal.  I recently ran across one of them and really enjoyed reminiscing.  Here is one of my favorite trips...


This is TRIP #13, our Christmas Trip to Florida, which includes a visit with Teresa's (T2's) grandparents in Lakeland, my cousin's, Greg & Tiffany's, wedding in DeLand, New Year's Eve at Disney World, and a trip to the Orange Bowl in Miami to see the Terps play the Gators.  It covers 12/26/01 to 1/5/2002.

Day 1, 12/26/01 - Packed and left our home in Laurel, MD, at 6:54 a.m.  We stopped at 7-11 for drinks, then continued on down I-95.  Stopped for breakfast near Chester, VA, at a Waffle House.  We continued on down the road, made a quick restroom stop in Emporia, VA, and continued into North Carolina.  We then found a Sonic in Wilson, NC.  (Sidenote - we discovered Sonic's Cream Pie shakes on a previous trip and became addicted to them.  There are no Sonics in Maryland.)  Unfortunately, their shake machine wasn't working.  On down I-95, and we stopped to eat a lunch that my mother gave us yesterday, and T2 packed for us to eat on the road.We found another Sonic that DID have a working shake machine, and we got a Chocolate Cream Pie Shake.  We stopped in South Of The Border, SC, but it doesn't seem like a very nice place.  In fact, it's kind of rundown and shady-looking.  Back on the road, we decided to stop for dinner at a Cracker Barrel near Walterboro, and filled up on gas at a Citgo for 97 cents per gallon.  We finished our day of driving in Brunswick, GA, and we're staying at a Ramada Inn for $46.  Drove approximately 700 miles.  Whoo-hoo!  On to bed by 11.  Lord, thank you for a good, safe trip so far.  Please bless my T2!

Day 2, 12/27/01 - Up at 6 or so.  T2 & I slowly got ready.  We had a free breakfast in the hotel dining area, then packed up and headed out at around 9, taking our time.  We entered Florida and stopped at the Welcome Center and got lots of brochures.  Headed towards Jacksonville, then took I-295 to I-10 West to US 301 South towards Ocala.  We passed a few Gators fans, and they gave us a few arm gestures (gators opening and closing their jaws), since we were flying our University of Maryland window flag.  We stopped for lunch at a McDonald's for a quick lunch and gassed up at a Mobil just outside of Ocala.  We saw a Disney Welcome Center, and decided to stop.  We purchased tickets for New Year's Eve at Pleasure Island.  On to Lakeland.  We arrived at T2's grandparent's place at 3 p.m.  Great to see everyone.  T2's parents were visiting, too.  We celebrated Christmas with everyone and exchanged LOTS of presents.  We all went into town for dinner and a little shopping.  At at the Roadhouse Grill, which was great.  Back to the homestead, and we watched TV and videos until late.  On to bed at 11:30.  Lord, thanks for a safe and enjoyable trip.  We pray You will continue to be with us and our family, and keep us all healthy and happy.

Day 3, 12/28/01 - Up at 8 or so.  Relaxing morning.  T2's grandmother had a hair appointment, then her father did the laundry at a local laundromat.  T2 & I went to Publix for a few groceries, to the Hallmark Store, and to a hardware store to get a few house keys made for T2 and me.  Then we had lunch at a local BBQ joint, Jimbo's, a family favorite.  We then hit a flea market for a few bargains, and drove thru a few parks on the drive back to "home."  T2's mother made a deee-licious spaghetti dinner.  Afterward, we took a trip out to Target for a few items.  Back home, and we watched TV and had some ice cream.  On to bed at 10 or so.

Day 4, 12/29/01 - Up at 8 or so.  Another relaxing morning in Florida.  T2's parents packed up and headed for home at around 9:30 or so.  We noodled around for a while.  Les, a neighbor, came by for a short visit.  Then T2 and I got ready and packed up.  We headed out for lunch at the local Steak & Shake, then to a Dillard's for a wedding gift.  Headed East on I-4 thru Orlando and on to DeLand.  Checked in at the Comfort Inn and got ready for the wedding.  Found my Aunt Nancy & Uncle Jack, and cousins Jimmy and Nicole.  Uncle Jim & Aunt Nancy (my OTHER Aunt Nancy) had their motor home parked in the parking lot of the hotel.  Great to see everyone.  We rode with them all to the wedding.  Greg and Tiffany were wed at 5:30 in a very nice ceremony.  On the way to the reception, the directions and map were not very good, and we arrived late at the Yacht Club.  It was a really great time.  Back to the hotel, and we went to bed late.  Whoo-hoo!  Lord, thanks for a great day!

Day 5, 12/30/01 - Up at 8 or so.  We got ready, checked out, and headed over to the President's House at Stetson University for a brunch with Greg and Tiffany.  All of the relatives were there and we had a very nice time.  We called my Dad to wish him a happy 57th birthday, and most of the family spent some time talking to him.  Thank goodness for weekend rates on the phone call!  We said our goodbyes to everyone at around noon.  T2 and I made a stop at McDonald's for a quick lunch, then headed over to the Daytona Speedway.  Very cool!  We had fun taking a tour of the track.  We left Daytona at around 4:30 for the trip back to Lakeland.  We had dinner in Orlando at the Macaroni Grill, then to T2's grandparent's place.  Good to see them, and we talked until late. On to bed.  Lord, thanks for all that You do!  Please keep us and our loved ones safe, healthy, and happy.

To Be Continued...


Beginning a One-Picture-Everyday project, and will post a picture each day on this blog.  Here is today's picture(s), Hour 1 and Hour 5 of the Blizzard of 2016:

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