Report from the Road #2

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Continuing the detailed report from the road as we wend our way from Georgia into South Carolina with many things falling into place.MONDAYTerri and Stanley are in their 70s but still teach so we had to be up and ready to leave by 7:30. Matthew stuck his head in at 6:52 to make certain I was up and moving. We eschewed coffee and breakfast figuring we’d find something on the way.We got to the truck a little after 7:30 and we took some time to rearrange and retie things. A glass top had already broken so things needed to be tighter. Once that was done, I practiced driving in the parking lot then we hit the road for the first full day. By 7:52 we were moving and seeking the highway and coffee.Our goal was to be in Atlanta so Matt could make two necessary stops so there wouldn’t be much time for casual sightseeing which was fine. Getting some miles behind us seemed like a good plan. We drove on the highway through cloudy areas then we hit some dense foggy patches which was surprising. Our search for coffee became almost comical as we skipped one stop after another and then when we did stop for gas; hit a station that had a store but not much in the way of coffee.We cruised along, passing from Florida into Georgia and Matt wanted to pick up brochures at the Welcome Center so we pulled over. He checked in with a Virginia locale that might want to interview him for a position but got their answering machine. I called to take care of business as well. Once done, we headed up one more exit in search of coffee and while the place had coffee, they didn’t have decaf for Matt so we skipped it.As the miles stretched on, we began commenting on the billboards. Matt likes a good bargain, especially closeouts so we began debating the merits of pulling over to check out an adult store with a going out of business sale but decided against it. We also decided against determining which farm or plantation had the best pecans and peanuts by skipping them all.Finally, ten miles later, well after 11, we pulled over and decided since neither of us had ever tried a Waffle House, and down here they’re every 10 feet or so, we’d have breakfast. It was fresh, hot, and inexpensive but certainly nothing to write home about but at least we tried something new.Back on the road, Matt was driving this time and we had determined that one of the 46 recommended restaurants would be our lunch destination. This one was in Macon, en route to Atlanta so that worked. There was also a flea market he wanted to check out which was a few miles off the highway so that was our next destination. As we pulled off and began driving towards it, I reread the flyer and realized it was only open on the weekend. Ah well, so we returned to the highway.Roadfood recommended Bear’s Den, a cafeteria style restaurant with a somewhat different menu daily. We found it and settled in for lunch. While the choices were nice and the fried chicken was tasty, neither one of us was sure what the fuss was all about. We liked the food and the attentive staff, but it was nothing special enough to demand a return visit.Matt had decided one of our two stops being first, but when we double-checked his notes, it turns out we had to get to the other place before 4 when the loading dock closed. Garmin said we could be there by 3:45 but we tried to play beat the clock to be safe. Traffic volume, of course, grew heavier as we approached Atlanta but we still found the place with plenty of time to spare. In short, Matt bought something very large and heavy via eBay and having the truck allowed us to collect it and save on shipping fees. We had little trouble fitting it into the truck, secured it, and then moved on.The next stop was a consignment warehouse that Matt had done previous business with. They had been expecting us and when we arrived, he got out and let the experts maneuver the truck to their loading bay. I found a hot spot and happily stayed out of the way, reconnecting with the world. Matt had offloaded a dozen or more pieces, did the necessary paperwork and discovered the items would be tagged and put up for auction on Sunday. We browsed the warehouse and while we found things we liked (me, a game table I want for the living room), neither would be around for the auction and if we won by phone, the shipping could prove prohibitive.It was around 6 as we finished so we took a coffee break at Starbucks where we both checked in online. Matt found out his interview isn’t until the 14th, which was fine with him and allowed us to complete our planning. One thing was certain, we needed to put some miles behind us so despite it being 10-15 minutes away, we skipped a visit to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack and headed out of town. The drive from Atlanta wasn’t too bad given the tail end of rush hour.We kept on driving into South Carolina and finally we got tired and hungry and it turns out all the South Carolina recommendations were behind us so we just sought a hotel. We pulled into Lavonia and scouted the options settling on Shoney’s, another first, and then the Sleep Inn. Shoney’s was adequate with a plentiful salad bar and a tasty blackened catfish. The Inn was comfortable with a nice work space and a great connection. I got some work done since politics and publishing wait for no man.

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