Friday, December 23, 2005

Road Trip 

December 23rd-25th 2005.
Day 1
We got started way beyond the time I hoped to get going. I wanted to leave right after work- 4 or 5ish. But Ben (the guy from school who wanted to go down with me) didn't want to leave until 7, and Jon wanted to stop and see me on his way to Buffalo. It ends up good that we didn't leave til later. All that last min running around- cleaning the cat boxes, vaccuming, getting my digital camera (A BIG thanks goes to John and Buelly from Pizza Hut who made that possible). Anyway, we got on the road around 8. I had hoped to drive 8 hours on the first night, however around 1am I fizzeled and with Ben fast asleep in the car next to me it seemed the best choice to stop for the night and get a good run tomorrow.

Day 2 12-24-05
Up at 7am, feeling much more rested, if not a trifle cold. So on a long trip you tend to notice things.
T Houses. There is no other way to describe these houses- they are the WEIRDEST things I have ever seen. Seen in West Virginia I suddenly understand why the Virginians make fun of the West Virginians. You know how some houses have a chimney up the side the house that is at a different level than the wall (ie juts out)? Ok now imagine a 2 story house with the base floor one level with a Chimney like column in the middle, now the upstairs is level with the chimney column- making it look like a Giant T. So facing the back of the house it would look something like this:

|____ ____| <--Upstairs
| | | |
|___|__|___| <--Downstairs

Ok so you would assume that chimney shape would be a chimney right? Wrong. Some of them had windows in them. Freaky. It wasn't like it was a freak designer house or anything- there was whole COMMUNITIES of them. I am still looking at houses every where I drive to see if I can see ones out here- so far, no luck.
I saw Santa Clause riding a motorcycle somewhere in Virginia.
Waffle Houses. These stinking things are EVERYWHERE. In the North East you find a Dunkin Donuts every 2 exits or so. Which is great seeing as you know any exit you get off will have coffee (or in my case, Iced Latte's). Down South it's teh Waffle House. It's not like the other "regular" stores you find all over the country where you have one every other or every 3 exits. Every single exit from the Virginia/ Tennessee border down to New Orleans had a waffle house. Or rather a Wafle House seeing as often one of the F's would be burnt out. (It was rarely a different letter, always one or both f's). I stopped for dinner at one of these establishments one night in Tennessee. (My god- I could barely understand the woman- in fact, presonally I think accents in Tennessee are broader than any other place I passed through on my journey). It was quick and cheap and the food wasn't half bad. On my next journey I may even stop and get a waffle.
One of the best things about the drive was the gas prices. I think I was paying around 2.01 and 1.98 as soon as I left the northern states. I felt so pleased when I only paid $18 for a full tank (This memory now haunts me as I put $25 in for a 3/4 tank- eep). Also the weather. I actually drove with the windows down. The feeling of fresh air on my face was great.
Ben and I shared the trip evenly. He did all the sleeping and I did all the driving. I was still feeling fairly good, it was about 1am, and we were 3 hours out of New Orleans. I had just planned on finishing the drive when I got the call from Glenn. Keeping abreast of the news- knowing where I was going- called to tell me that there was still a curfew in affect on the east side of the city. I was coming in from the east. So we ended up stopping a 2nd night, because I didn't know if we'd be able to GET to our destination.

Arrival 12-25-05
We got up kinda late- 8am. My god it was warm. We got on the road by 9.30. Sun shining, windows down. It was a GREAT morning, almost felt like I was going on vacation. This feeling was dispelled when we got to Louisiana. We crossed the bridge into the city, and right there in the middle of the median is a boat. Now that's unusual enough being that we were not THAT close to the water, but the fact that it was upside down was the kick. And this was not some small paddle boat. This boat was the size of a semitrailer. As we drove further in we started to see more damage. Pieces of fence and roof missing, an abonded car. But what was most surprising was the number of cars on the road. There was way more people on the road than I had expected.
I found Celebration Station (an old arcade that we were using as a center) without too much trouble and headed to the door, still not sure what to expect.


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