RIDING SHOTGUN – Southeastern Seaboard

When we got to North Carolina, it was dark and late.  We stopped in a rest-area to sleep for a few hours.  When I woke, the most beautiful sites greeted me.  There were fruit trees blooming, perfuming the air.  It was quiet and peaceful.  Then we went on through to Georgia where George had to unload.  The country-side was beautiful and sparsely populated.  After reading and watching North and South I kept looking for those huge plantation houses, but didn’t see them.  I couldn’t see the ocean either.  As we were riding in a semi we couldn’t travel on the roads beside the Atlantic.   There were sites that made my two boys laugh.  First we crossed the Chattahoochee River.  Both boys loved listening to Alan Jackson’s ‘Way down on the  Chattahoochee’ and finally they saw what he was talking about.  We went to Savannah, which is a beautiful little city with lots of old, beautiful houses and mansions.  After spending two days in Georgia I only have one thing to say – Georgia should teach courses on service.  I can honestly say I never received such absolutely great, friendly and helpful service anywhere else.  The service in Georgia guaranteed I was in a good mood. The odd thing I found is most people knew where Calgary was in Canada and knew many things about Canada.  There were two explanations.  The Calgary Flames hockey team used to be the Atlanta Flames and there is a huge migration of ‘snowbirds’ in eastern Canada who go to Florida for the winter.

Then we moved on to Florida.  Daytona Beach was having their famous Daytona Races, but we couldn’t go – George had to work.  However we had a few pleasant surprises in store.  First my brother met us for dinner.  He had a house in Florida and was actually there.  Second – the hotels/motels were filled.  Finally we got the help of an individual who found two rooms still available.  Both were charging astronomical prices – that was until George mentioned to a Best Western on the interstate that he was a truck-driver.  Their rates dropped to an amazingly low price.  To this day I search for a Best Western when traveling.

We then went to Miami.  We watched a couple – dancing while we had dinner.  It was very pleasant.  Miami was very clean and open, not crowded.  I again saw my little gecko’s running around and tried to catch them to no avail.  The weather was balmy and warm – but too humid for my western tastes.  We crossed Alligator Alley and saw those unique sites, never seen in Canada.  It was a wonderful, informative trip.  I often took my boys out of school for these adventures and I don’t regret that  even slightly.  They learned more than most do in school and they never fell behind.