“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.