June 10: On the Road…

“Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It’s time to leave this town
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost
Anywhere in the U.S.A.”
~”Road Trippin'” — Red Hot Chili Peppers

After a month of waiting, the time finally came. Madison finished her last exam and we headed off to Wilson yesterday to meet up with Paw-paw and celebrate his 81st birthday. After getting a buzz haircut from my Dad and stuffing myself with heaps of fried seafood (even though it looked like I barely made a dent) it was time to head back to the house and make sure everything was ready for the next morning.

This morning we got up and got on the road earlier than expected at around 7:30. We hopped on I-95 South right out of Wilson and made our way to the South Carolina border. The whole way to the border we were kept company by South of the Border’s ridiculous Mexican stereotype Pedro and his many, many signs that carried obnoxious and inane sayings (“Ooops…you just missed us!” No, we didn’t.)

In South Carolina we jumped onto I-20 and followed it west across the state toward Georgia, where we would meet up with I-85 in Atlanta to take us down to Alabama and Mississippi. Today was meant to be mainly a travel day, so we stuck to the interstates to try to make the best time so that we ended up as close to Biloxi as possible. We traveled a lot farther than we planned to, and even made it into the Central Time Zone. This is the first time Madison and I have ever ventured out of Eastern Standard Time. I got really excited when I cut my phone off and cut it back on to see that it showed an hour earlier.

Most of the trip, Madison mostly sat quietly in the back while Paw-paw and I talked about the Air Force, his propensity to get rid of a car after four years and the fact that the highways in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama all look just about the same.

That last one is surprisingly true. I’m not sure what I expected to see as we traveled to the deeper south (maybe more broken down full-service gas stations owned by a guy in overalls named “Bubba”) but I didn’t find it. In all four states we found ourselves on a four-lane divided highway with trees on either side. Tomorrow we will be taking a smaller highway along the Gulf Coast, which should give us more of a taste of the country out here.

After driving for almost eight hours, we decided to stop in Greenville, Ala. (the only city that looked bigger than a crossroad between Montgomery and Mobile). After we got checked into the hotel (by a lady named “Dottie,” which to me felt like the perfect name for the first lady I met in Alabama), we decided to ride down the road to the downtown area to do a bit of sightseeing and find all that little Greenville had to offer.

It looked just like any other small southern town, with lots of little storefronts (many of them closed, unfortunately) along Commerce street. The main drag of the town went from an old train depot to a courthouse that sat in the middle of a traffic circle at the far end of town. The area was nice, but didn’t have any promising looking restaurants so we headed back toward the hotel and got some dinner.

Tonight we will catch up on some sleep after a long day of driving and look to head into Biloxi tomorrow around noon so that we can go around the town for the afternoon and possibly do a bit of gambling.

The trip is off to a good start and should only get better from here.


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8 responses to “June 10: On the Road…

  1. Dad

    Sounds like you guys are off to a great start. Have fun. Put a buck on black 7 for me! What Motel are you in?


  2. gabby!!

    hey guys! sounds like you all are gettin down to business on those roads! tell paw-paw i said heyyy and madison- get a move on w/ los fotos or you’ll be hearing from me again. but corey keep up the good work bud 🙂

    (aka ill make sure yo momma doesn’t get out of control at the pool. lol)

  3. We’re checking in and enjoying your trip so far.

  4. It sounds as if you are off to a good start! I am really going to enjoy riding along with you all on your trip. The website was a terrific idea. I will print it out each day, including any pictures, to show to your Uncle Terry. Thanks so much for including all of us! Love to all.

    P.S. Being the dummy that I am, I posted my message to the photo page instead of here…duh.

  5. The family support is as full-throttled as it is heart-warming. It’s as if there is a small, Little League sized bleacher section and the whole extended family is there cheering you guys on. “One more strike Corey; right into the glove”. “Good eye Madison! That’s it, give it a good crack!”

    Reading your post got me thinking about my own propensity to steer clear of stereotypes (even though it’s impossible to be rid of them altogether). I think the wisdom goes: how could you ever truly get a good feel of a place if you constantly carry with you every pre-conceived notion you had about a locale and its people?

    But I think that’s more than a denial and a philosophy. As you’ve briefly demonstrated, possibly the best way to deal with stereotypes is to truly engage with them–to note that they exist, particularly within yourself, and then to analyze how they’ve held up.

    After all, you’re likely to come away from this trip with stereotypes of your own. Some changed, others confirmed. But the fact that you’re openly addressing them not only makes for interesting writing, but its probably a very beneficial thought process to have if you’re doing any kind of traveling.

  6. More a denial than a philosophy*

  7. kiwiadventures

    I’m really glad you started your first post with that Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Whenever I thought about your road trip the past couple of weeks that song popped into my head, so fitting, especially since you really do have 2 allies. I’m glad the trip is starting off so well! (I’ve already read both posts even though I’m commenting on the first one.) Keep having a great time!

  8. roundamerica

    Roadtrippin’ is simply the best. We have a granddaughter named Madison and a grandpa named Paw-Paw. All the best. RoundAmerica

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