Tuesday, March 10, 2009
500 miles and 4 states
Miles driven: 503. States crossed: four.
A smooth day of travel-- beautiful weather. Hot and sunny. And no traffic except through Jackson, Mississippi. Goodbye, Georgia. Hello, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana.
Meals: Burger King and Cracker Barrel.
As of now, all three cats think they've always lived in room 327 at the Jameson Inn in West Monroe, LA. Satchmo is in his love bucket, Lulu is on the bed, Rumi is sitting in the window, fascinated by the air conditioner.
Random highlights from Day One:
America's Best Inn. We had no idea it was just off the I-20 in Union, Alabama.
Crossing the Mississippi River.
Cracker Barrel. Best malted milk balls ever.
Road conditions. It's impossible to decide who has the worst: Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana.
The Jameson Inn. Where Mom and I made fifteen trips back and forth to the car, up and down the elevator, unloading the cats (Satchmo was one trip alone), cat supplies, and only the barest essentials for our overnight stay.
Other travelers laughing and waving and pointing to us and at us as they passed us on the road. Was it our Obama sticker? The sight of my Beetle stuffed to the ceiling with all my earthly possessions? The fact that we were traveling with three cats, one of which was walking around on the dashboard or draped around my shoulders? At the Burger King in Mississippi, I figured it out. Pressed up against the back window, for everyone to see, was my brand new bag of Always Maxi Pads.
Socks. There was a pair of socks, balled up and thrown on the floor, by Mom's bed in the Jameson Inn. I assumed they were hers. She assumed they were mine. She said, "Don't forget to pack your socks." And I said, "What socks? I thought they were yours." She said, "Those aren't my socks."
Lulu. She let herself out of her cat carrier twice, once after I'd reinforced it with duct tape. (Her new nickname is Ludini). After a brief antiphonal chant of kitty protests, they all settled down for the car ride. The boys slept and Lulu helped me drive. She spent most of the ride curled up on my lap or sleeping with her head on my shoulder.
Tomorrow: Gibbsland, LA, where Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down. (!!) (http://bonnieandclydemuseum.com/)
Goal: Sweetwater, Texas, home of the official WASP Museum, where I'll be doing research for my next novel, the sequel to Velva Jean Learns to Drive. (www.waspmuseum.org/)
(We'll be doing Thornton Wilder research when we reach the Arizona desert.)