Thursday Thirteen #3: Roadtrips
…or thirteen places I have. Nothing too terribly exotic here but there are cool stories behind each.
- Los Angeles – in 1987 my friend Chris that passed away last year was home on leave and wanted to take his pickup truck back to L.A. with him but didn’t want to drive by himself. I’ve posted about the trip but long story short is that I drove him out there in three days, hung out in L.A. and flew back home and ended up getting a date with this hot girl on the flight back to Atlanta.
- Las Vegas – This was a very SHORT stay. We stopped in Vegas on the way to L.A. in ’87 overnight and since I wasn’t yet 18 I got thrown out of Caesar’s Palace.
- New Orleans – I’ve been to New Orleans many times over the years, starting with road trips with my friends when I was 17 and most recently in 2005 with the wife. THAT one was a blast and the only one when I have been drinking. It brought a whole new atmosphere to the place.
- Naples (Florida) – One of my friends and I rode his Goldwing down to Naples to a convention about 23 years ago. LONG trip on a bike. We stopped with my Great Aunt just north of Tampa and what I remember the most about the trip was going over the Sunshine Skyway. Portions of it are just metal grid. The bike slipped and slid the entire way across and you could see the ocean underneath your feet. Very unsettling but in a pretty cool way. Not that I want to do that again.
- Miami – Just across Alligator alley from Naples. We drove down the same year as Naples. One of my ex-girlfriends was living down there and really had nothing to do with our trip down but certainly made it uncomfortable to be there. On the ride back we drove across Alligator Alley and then came up 75. Alligator Alley is pretty cool. Nothing but miles and miles of road, it’s a rather difficult drive.
- Daytona Beach – drove down there for another convention. A friend of mine had moved from Atlanta a few years earlier and worked as an aircraft mechanic. He had an apartment right on the beach and we hung with him on one of our many trips to Florida.
- New York City. I drove up to Westbrook, Connecticut for a week and during that trip we got to pull up lobster traps and eat what we caught, and made a day trip into NYC. My friend’s dad treated us to dinner at Trader Vic’s. That’s the first time I ever had swordfish and I have loved it ever since.
- Natchez, Mississippi – This is a small town and doesn’t seem really worth mentioning but it is one of the friendliest most beautiful places I have ever been. I was a history major during my short-lived college career and history has also intrigued me, so naturally I fell in love with Natchez.
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee – This is a small town and pretty much a tourist trap. One one of our vacations to see my parents we stopped in Gatlinburg for the weekend and hung out. It was pretty fun but I would love to go back when there is snow on the ground, around Christmas. It’s supposed to be very nice that time of year. It was pretty damned hot when we went and that always puts a damper on things.
- Panama City Florida. The Redneck Riviera. I have been down to P.C. Beach many times. One November about 24 years ago, in November, a group of about ten of us decided that we wanted raw oysters and nothing would do but to make a drive to Panama City. This is when the great Car Wars happened. I can’t find the link to THAT post so I guess I need to write about it some time soon.
- The Grand Canyon – When I drove out to L.A. we decided that we couldn’t make the trip without stopping at the Grand Canyon. We were both pretty whipped form non-stop driving so we got there, took a couple of pictures at an overlook, had a smoke and got back in the car and drove away I would love to go back eventually so that I could actually see the place.
- Washington D.C. – My parents lived in the Arlington area for about ten years after my dad got transferred by MCI into Crystal City. We have made several trips up there, by car, plane and train and I always had a pretty good time there. I flew up by myself back in ’92 and spent the week with my parents. I literally walked most of the city. Walking the entire length of the Mall will kick your butt.
- Hilton Head, SC. Can’t forget about this one. I love the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. I’ve been down to the low country countless times but always seem to find something new and cool.
Obviously I am not a world-traveler or anything, but I do like going to see new places with new people. Hopefully I will have thirteen more to post about in a couple of years.
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