My son Carder and his sweetheart Megs moved from St. Petersburg to Duluth over the weekend (for the uninformed, that's Florida to Georgia, not Russia to Minnesota).
And I helped.
Thursday, September 1, 6:30pm--we leave Georgia and head south to the Sunshine State. Traffic's not too bad. On this Labor Day weekend Atlanta would host the following:
--Georgia vs. Boise State
--Georgia Tech vs. the Lorraine Girls' School
--the Falcons vs. Lamar County High School
--the Braves and Dodgers (the hated Dodgers)
--the AdvoCare 500 (this was once the Atlanta 500) at Atlanta Motor Speedway (which is actually in Hampton, Georgia, but I suppose the Hampton 500 would sound like a motel race)
--DragonCon (Trekkies, Star Wars, a virtual plethora of Science Fiction fans)
In other words, a traffic nightmare. We left just ahead of all these events, but would return in the middle of them. More on that later.
7:38pm--we stop to eat at Cracker Barrel, the Indigestion Pit Stop of the Interstates. The Princess observes that there is a marked difference between "Southern" and "Country". This is based on the folks sitting across from us. They are Country. We are Southern. And yes, there is a difference. It has to do with the volume and content of conversation.
8:21pm--gassing up at WalMart (we'd already gassed up in one sense at Cracker Barrel. This would become very apparent in another hour or so.). The Princess had me clean off dog-slobber from the interior windows of her Focus. I'm surprised Jackson the Wonder Dog has any fluids inside him after cleaning the rear windows.
11:13pm--we stop at the Berry Memorial Exit 5, Lake Park, Georgia, to get gas. Again. The pumps aren't working properly, there's only one guy working the entire store, and it takes over twenty minutes to get nine gallons of gas. This does not bode well for the remainder of the trip.
11:42pm--we leave Georgia, enter the Sunshine State, and immediately raise the I.Q. in both places.
Things were pretty uneventful until we reached Wildwood, Florida, home of the Truckstops of America Truck Stop. Welcome the Department of Redundancy Department.
The restrooms were upstairs...upstairs. Don't know what you'd do if you were on crutches, etc. We got snacks and such and as we were paying for them the Princess noticed that for sale, at this location, was "Something Truckers Love"--a small bottle of a solution called "Rock-Hard Weekend". I am not making this up. And I don't know why only Truckers would Love this Something called "Rock-Hard Weekend".
And you had to ask for it. Couldn't just pick it up and put it with your other stuff. Yes, I'll have a bag of chips, a Coke, that hair comb, and oh, a bottle of Rock-Hard Weekend.
We laughed all the way to St. Pete, where we arrived at 3:48am September 2.
Friday we loaded the Y'all-Haul, including "Mom's Attic", a little space just above the cab. Don't know who's Mama would choose that over a normal attic, but apparently someone's did and hence, the name.
Friday night we went to the Pub at Tampa, a pretentiously British bar and grill (as if there's any other type of British anything). I ordered a beer, they brought it, and it was room temperature. At that point I understood why the Princess thought beer looked like bull urine.
I sent it back and demanded a cold one.
Saturday, September 3, 9:22am--we leave St. Pete. I could've thrown a rock in one direction and hit Tropicana Field, where Carder worked for the Rays. I could've thrown a rock in the other direction and hit St. Pete Beach, where the Princess loved to go. Alas, I could only look at both.
Carder asked if the load on the truck would shift. To answer his question I revved the engine up, threw it in Drive, lunged a few yards, then threw it in Reverse and slammed on the brakes. No, the load will not shift.
5:48pm--we arrive in Duluth at the new Berry house. I like to make things as easy as possible, so to unload the truck I decided to simplify, simplify, simplify. I opened the rear door (nothing had shifted), pulled into the driveway opposite Carder's, and backed across the street at around 60mph, slammed on the brakes, and Voila!, the truck was unloaded.
Three days, two states, four vehicles, two houses, and we're back in God's Country.
All in all, a good weekend.