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Westbound and Down: Day 1

There may be beer in Texarkana, but that’s not where we’re headed on this little westward excursion. (And we don’t have a Trans Am — yet — so I’ll leave that job to some other bandit). Regardless, we’ve completed day one of our three-day journey, and are currently about to turn in early here in Tallahassee.

Speaking of which, the hotel here is phenomenal, making the steal of a price we paid even more amazing. It’s right off the highway but nicely isolated and surrounded by picturesque trees, features complimentary wi-fi and a microwave and refrigerator in every room. There were even new pillows, clearly marked as offering your choice of “firm” or “soft”. Coming from this particular major name-brand chain, this is a pleasant surprise.

As we rolled into Tally this evening, we were seeing state troopers everywhere. To our mild concern, we found that they were all going to our hotel. As it turns out, Florida’s new governor-elect — Rick Scott — is being sworn in on Tuesday complete with an extravagant inaugural ball, so there’s a huge police presence already gearing up. (Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, after all.) Most of them seem to be staying at this hotel too, if the slate of FHP cruisers and even an FHP trailer (filled with motorcycles, I’d guess) in the parking lot are any indication.

The trip here today was mostly uneventful, save for a nearly hour-long pocket of stop-and-go traffic on I-75 north of Tampa. It was one of those famous unexplained Florida highway delays; there was no sign of any root cause, and eventually everything got back up to speed for no apparent reason.

The tailgaters I groused about recently were also out in full force, making for some unreal hijinks on the highway. I-75 around Gainesville was the worst I’ve ever encountered. Once we got onto I-10, the situation improved markedly (though not completely). Overall, though, I’d say we had a pretty good day. Splitting the trip into three easy-to-swallow days of equal length was the right thing to do.

After dinner at Red Lobster, where we used a gift card that we’d received for Christmas, it was back to the hotel for some Plants vs. Zombies and a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we’ll probably try the hotel’s breakfast buffet; it’s not badly priced at $7.95.

Check back tomorrow for an update from Lafayette, the heart of Cajun country. (To this day, when I think of Cajun food, the first thing that comes to mind is the “Cajun & Sushi” diner from Howard the Duck. I guess some things really never do change.)

One thought to “Westbound and Down: Day 1”

  1. I’ve never understood those traffic jams – you can be stopped dead forever and never see any reason for it. Then suddenly, everything’s moving back to normal speed again.

    Another Florida anomaly. Wonder what’s weird about Texas freeways?

    Hopefully you stayed out of the inauguration traffic and had a good travel day today.

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