We started our 1,400 mile roadtrip from Wilmington, North Carolina to San Antonio, Texas started early at 0330. Miranda, who is moving back to Texas til May, showed up at my house well before sunrise…..she had no sleep; I was running on 2 hours of slumber due to work. There was no coffee involved: oh yeah, we’re that hardcore. Also along for the ride was Miranda’s 2 year old Havanese and Adelle Magellan, a GPS system who reminded us to do legal u-turns (she’s named after a combination of our middle names since this was her inaugural trip) – our adventures had just begun. And so, with an Xterra packed to the gills, we hit the road.
We drove to the Cocaine Corridor (aka I-95) and watched the sun come up over the South Carolinian horizon heading for Columbia. We then headed east towards Atlanta with a stop for gas at a crazy hickish gas station. We then hit Alabama and got lost at the exit with the Kia Motors factory – Adelle swore there was a gas station there – there was not – just a lot of cars (oh the puns!). Luckily, the next exit had gas station.
We kept our selves amused by talking about random stuff, my first generation iPod via a radio transmitter, eating peanut butter M&M’s, granola bars, and drinking water. How we stayed awake is beyond me. Isabelle, the Havanese, was good in the car; a lot of nervous panting, but she kept me warm by sitting on my lap.
12 hours later we arrived at our 1st stop – Mobile, Alabama. We got a dog-friendly hotel just outside the downtown area – it was cheap, but it was nice. We set up shop, got ourselves cleaned up, and headed downtown in search of food (we really didn’t stop for breakfast….or lunch). Because Mobile is a port city, I expected it to be like Wilmington – a cute downtown with some nightlife. We weren’t in the right mode for bar hopping, obviously, but we figured there would be something interesting to see or do. There was not.
Even though it was only 5pm, but they had already rolled up the sidewalks for the night — on a Friday night, no less. It was strangely quiet among the french-inspired buildings of long ago. A very quant and nice downtown, but pretty dull people wise. We walked along Dauphin Street for awhile, and finally settled on dining at Buck’s Pizza. We both had strombolli’s since it had been forever since we had one – Miranda got one with mostly meat, I went with all veggies — so good — especially after not eating a full meal in almost 24 hours!
Because of our crazy hours, we were in bed by 8pm so we’d be up and ready to go by 0530. Yikes, another early morning for this night owl!
All went well until about 0100 and we heard gun shots – from a handgun, in our little corner of the commercial district of the city. Of course, Isabelle took this opportunity to want to go outside, so I followed Miranda and Isabelle outside, still dazed from sleep — no one was going out there alone after gunshots!
We fell back asleep until I heard Miranda rumaging around — my alarm clock that has been to more European cities than most Americans — didn’t go off. It was, as the Germans say, kaput. Ran into the shower, grabbed a granola bar and headed out the door. It was my turn to drive.
Isabelle ready for the road, a view of I-20 somewhere in Georgia, an the Kia Motors factory in Alabama
Driving down the beautiful view of Government Street in Mobile, view of lifeless Dauphin Street