Saturday, January 23, 2016

Reminiscing About Road Trips With My Wife in 2001, Pt. 2

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 Part 2 of one of my favorite trips...


Day 6, 12/31/2001 - Still in Lakeland, FL.  Up at 8 or so.  Relaxing morning.  Got ready.  We took T2's (Teresa's) grandfather to the doctor to have his knee checked out.  First we went to the wrong place.  That one sent us to another place.  It was the wrong one, too.  The 3rd one was the correct one.  The appointment went well, with the doctor recommending knee replacement.  I had to go in the examining room with T2's grandfather because of his hearing difficulties, and I could answer any questions the doctor might have.  We went out to lunch at Jimbo's BBQ, then headed back to their house.  Rested and regrouped.  T2 and I back out later to Disney's Pleasure Island to celebrate the New Year!  It was still a little early, so we walked around Downtown Disney, first at the West End, then at the Marketplace.  We ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  Very good food and neat atmosphere.  We went back to the car to get some warmer clothes.  It got cold after the sun went down!  On to Pleasure Island!  First we went to a comedy improv show, then we saw the Devonshires, and then Tone Loc with a bunch of rappers, all at different sites.  We got some dessert, then we saw Cyndi Lauper perform.  We went to the Adventurers Club, which was really cool, then we brought in the new year with Cyndi Lauper again.  Lots of excitement and fireworks.  Back to the Adventurers Club again for one last show, then we left Disney and went back to T2's grandparent's.  Went to bed at around 3 a.m.  Lord, thank you for a wonderful New Year!

Day 7, 1/1/2002 - We got up at 8.  Another relaxing morning with the grandparents.  Neighbor Les stopped by, then we were called by T2's parents and her Aunt Jody.  Then we got ready and packed up, said our goodbyes, and left at noon.  Stopped for some lunch at a Fazzoli's and gassed up at Citgo, and headed south out of Lakeland on US 98, then to US 17 (long, boring road) to I-75.  Stopped in Fort Myers for a short break, then continued east across Alligator Alley on I-75 to Miami.  We arrived at our "swanky" Crowne Plaza at around 6:15 p.m.  We refreshed, then over to the Dolphin Mall, but it closed at 7 (for New Years Day).  Dave & Buster's was open, though, so we ate and played games.  Then we went to Miami International Airport to pick up our friend, Elizabeth (who was flying in from Chicago for the Orange Bowl!).  All of us back to the hotel.  Whoo-hoo!  On to bed at 12:30 a.m.  Lord, thanks for blessing my wife and me!  Bless us and our family and friends with a prosperous New Year.

Day 8, 1/2/2002 - Up at 8:30.  Slow morning.  We got ready.  Elzi came by.  I called my Mom to check in at home.  We went out at 11 to drive to the Keys.  Raining, but not cold.  We got some gas, then drove south to Key Largo!  Weather lifted a little bit.  We went to the Visitor's Center, then ate lunch at the Bayside Grill, right on the water.  Very tasty!  Stopped at a gift shop, then saw the real African Queen!  It was getting late, so we headed north.  The skies got very dark.  We reached Florida City, and the skies opened up.  It was a terrible thunderstorm, one of the worst I've ever seen.  We stopped under an overpass to wait it out.  There was a lot of hail, too.  We continued on after it let up.  We had a local radio station on, and it reported that there was a Tornado Warning in the area we were just in.  We were convinced it must have just passed us.  We made it back to our hotel to regroup, then we drove to the Orange Bowl for the Maryland Terrapins versus Florida Gators!  It was being played at Pro Player Stadium at 6:30.  We wandered through a few tailgate parties, then int the stadium.  Sitting in Section 431, Row 4, Seats 18-20.  Game started out close and exciting, but soon became a rout.  Our Terps got clobbered 56-23.  It rained on us during the game.  We headed back to the hotel after the game a little bit bummed, and we went to bed at 1:30 a.m.  Lord, thanks for a great day!

Day 9, 1/3/2002 - Up at 9 or so.  Slowly getting ready, but felt well-rested.  Said our goodbyes to Elzi, and we headed out of our fantastic hotel.  Got stuck in traffic due to an accident, so it was well after noon before we got our of Miami.  Decided to stop for lunch near Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach at a Cracker Barrel.  Poor T2 got really sick a short while later.  We continued up I-95 after gassing up at a Mobil, and we stopped again at around 4:30 at the Kennedy Space Center.  We went in and walked around to see some pretty cool stuff, but it was so cold and we were freezing.  We left at 6 with some souvenirs.  Stopped for dinner in Daytona at a Steak & Shake, then continued north.  Got tired after going around Jacksonville, so we found a Holiday Inn Express in little Yulee, FL.  What a dump!  Our room needed a new battery in the smoke detector, so they moved us into a new room instead of just giving us a battery.  After moving, we soon discovered that the 2nd room didn't have a working shower.  Instead of moving us again, they gave us a key to a third room and said we could shower there.  With outdoor corridors, this was not a great option given how cold it was outside, so we just moved into the third room.  Unfortunately, it only had a double bed (the other two rooms had king beds!), but we finally went to sleep at 11:30.  Lord, thanks for keeping us safe!

Day 10, 1/4/2002 - We got up at 7 and got ready (our shower smelled like rotten eggs!).  Gladly left one of the worst hotels I've ever stayed at.  Stopped for breakfast and snacks at a Stuckey's just across the Georgia line.  I wasn't feeling well this time.  Continued up I-95 into South Carolina, and soon stopped at a rest area.  Still not feeling well.  Saw some snow on the ground.  Continued on, but needed another rest area.  Really feeling sick.  We stopped for lunch at a Shoney's, but I didn't eat.  Continued on into North Carolina, and we needed to stop again at a rest area.  I finally started feeling better by then.  We got off of I-95 near Fayetteville, and we tried calling T2's aunt, figuring we would have dinner with them.  The phone wouldn't work and we thought maybe cell service was out due to the severe weather they were having in the area.  We found a pay phone and called from there.  They invited us to stay with them for the night.  We headed down Route 24 to Jacksonville, NC, and arrived at T2's aunt & uncle's place at 6:30.  They had dinner ready.  Their granddaughter was staying with them, and her parents came by to join us for dinner, too.  We had a nice visit and talked well into the evening.  They had 6 inches of snow on the ground!  Finally went to bed at around 11.

Day 11, 1/5/2002 - Up at 9.  We got ready, and had a nice breakfast.  They wanted to take us on a quick tour of Jacksonville, so we headed over to see T2's cousin, Jenny, and her two kids.  Continued on and passed by T2's grandmother's old house, then to another cousin's house, Rob & Pam, who we had dinner with the previous evening.  They have a neat home, with a cool boat house.  We all went to lunch at a nearby restaurant, the Fisherman's Wharf.  Good food and nice time.  We went back to the aunt and uncle's place where we packed up and said our goodbyes.  We thought about heading up along the Outer Banks, but it would make for a much longer trip.  It was already 2 p.m.  We gassed up at a Citgo, and found one more Sonic for a last cream pie shake, then headed up US 258 towards Rocky Mount, NC.  Stopped at a Walmart for a break.  T2 drove us from there to US 64, then to I-95, and we headed north for home.  Stopped for dinner outside of Petersburg, VA, at a Golden Corral.  Good, filling meal.  We decided we were dieting beginning tomorrow!  Stopped for gas in Stafford, VA, at a Texaco.  Called our parents to check in, then headed home.  Made one last stop, at our local Weis grocery store for a few necessities, and then home!  Arrived at 10:30 p.m.  Lord, thank you for a wonderful, safe adventure!


One-Picture-Every-Day Project:  Pics from today's Blizzard...

View from our front door

Hour 30 of the Blizzard of 2016
Have a great evening, everyone!  Stay safe out there!

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