Thursday, January 15, 2015

Florida 2015

Last year we were excited and couldn't wait to get on the road to warmer climes, but this year we're a bit more reluctant. Probably because the winter hasn't been quite as bad, not as much snow, not as many days of severe cold.

Or maybe it's our new house and town: we love them. We could happily burrow in and not leave.

Perhaps it's the fact that the Canadian dollar against the American is absolutely awful (for us).

 The other reason could be California:

I'd much prefer to be heading there for the warmth because of our gorgeous new granddaughter.

Once we're on the road, though, we're happy, anticipating the backyard pool, the laid-back lifestyle. Everything is great until we hit Windsor, where one wrong turn leads to several circles that use up a good hour of time. And inject a great deal of frustration. Though I do a little walk through memory lane when we hit La Salle, where I spent a few summers with my friend Connie Meloche. Of course, we pass a business owned by a Meloche, but that's like O'Sullivan in Bantry, Ireland.

Over the border, we let Monkey out of her carrier and she's content as can be. Hardly a peep!

After Michigan, we're into the State of my Cousins, Ohio. We have fun reading bits of information from "Along Interstate 75" by Dave Hunter. For instance, the Black Swamp just south of Toledo, along the Maumee River, was once a bog filled with black muck that could only sustain snakes and mosquitoes. Once it was drained, a rich fertile cropland was revealed and became productive farms.
Cincinnati reminds us of the old TV show, WKRP. Another walk down memory lane!
We hit Middletown a little earlier than we thought, but that's all right with us, because we're at a Drury Inn & Suites. We have an extra large room, which gives Monkey lots to sniff. After we're settled, we proceed downstairs and have pasta and salad and wine. That's enough to put us, contented and tired, right to sleep.

The next morning, the roads are gorgeous. Lovely rolling hills, sans the potholes of Michigan and Ohio. Great names like Tuskegee Memorial Trail, Man-O-War, Athens, Paris, London...huh?

One thing the Americans do well is honor their "fallen soldiers". I'm just always sad there are so many of them and for such a variety of reasons. 

When we reach the Tennessee border and enter the Pine Mountains, a magnificent sight greets us. The trees, which grow straight up from the sheer cliffs, are tipped with frost. At first it looks like a tidal wave heads our way. We're bummed that we don't have our camera out: the effect is astonishing. The pines etch the sky with white and silver. Breathtaking.

This is the closest picture I could find to compare to the sight. But since there's no peak above them in the Pine Mountains, the trees appear to be a wave of white across the horizon.

Knoxville gives us the most trouble. Traffic is backed up along the interstate where it splits toward the city of Chattanooga.  Not only that, the few drops of rain turn into a swirl of snow.
We check into the Comfort Inn under a laden sky and patches of snow at our feet.

After dinner, we hunker down and pray for clear skies tomorrow. Monkey snuggles in beside me.

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