Monday, February 25, 2008

It Just Wasn't In The Stars

We didn’t’ make it to the Manatee universe and the ball game. It just wasn’t in the stars. It started with me picking up the kiddies after school. The plan: pick up Bug when she got out at 3:00 and drive over to J-Man’s middle school to sign him out of band class early. No problem. I kill time around the house until 1:30, when I go to the Waffle House for a bit to eat before I go get the kiddies. After I place my order, Marni calls and tells me I have to be in line by 2:15 to pick up Bug and still have time to get to J-Man’s school before he has to get on the bus. This means I have to go by Marni’s house first to get the window decal for student pickup. SHIT!

I am driving 80 mph to get from my hometown to hers while eating a chicken sandwich. I get to I-75 and I-285 where it gets a little tricky if you don’t know what you are doing. To go right, you must be in the left lane and to go left you must be in the right lane. I was too busy getting my next bit of chicken sandwich and went the wrong way. The way logic would tell you to go. So I had to get off at the next exit, turn around and go the way I needed to go. This involved a right turn at the end of the ramp and three left turns to get back on I-285. But I mad it to Marni’s town at 2:05. I called Carl, who was going to get Bug and told him I would meet him in town to get the pickup card. He told me to go ahead and get J-Man and he would get Bug. Finally, we all met up back at Marni’s house and got on the road to meet Sweet Tea (Me Maw) at the airport.

Sweet Tea was returning from a week in France. That country is six hours ahead of us, and I had to call her at 10:30 EST to wake her up at 4:30 France time. She had to fly from Salzburg, France to Paris with a three hour layover. Then a ten and a half hour flight to Atlanta. She was to arrive at 3:30, but touched down at 4:00. Two hours later she finally got though customs, and another hour before we were able to pick up her luggage. There were many pissed off travelers that night. Anyway, we finally got on the road for Florida around 7:30 p.m. We drove down to Perry, GA, a little over a hundred miles and stopped for supper. We then drove down to Unadilla before Sweet Tea was just about dead. She hadn’t slept in 24 hours, plus the strain and stress of air travel. We got a motel room and tried to sleep on the most fucked up bed I have ever slept in.

The next morning it was drizzling rain and we had a flat tire. Sweet Tea asked if I was going to change it. Silly woman! I told her when Death Valley turned yellow and green from wheat and corn I would change that tire. I told her we have been paying an exorbitant extra $6 a year for roadside coverage and this was the perfect time to reap on that investment.

While we were waiting on the service truck to arrive, I was standing in the doorway of the Motel drinking a cup of coffee. I told ST that it just wasn’t meant for us to go to Florida. She agreed. It seems that she forgot to tell me that when there is heave rains, the park is closed to everyone but the guest because the rivers and lakes tend to flood and stuff. That area had sever thunder showers all day on Friday and that night. So we talked to the kiddies and we decided to go to Valdosta to a park called Wild Adventure.

It was a ball. One of the best decisions we’ve made in many a year. The rain stopped about an hour before we got to the park. On Saturday the park was ours, along with about 300 other people. The good thing was that it was two days for the price of one. So we went back on Sunday and shared it with about a thousand others. We didn’t have to wait on any rides, there is a zoo with kangaroos, emus, wallabies, elephants, bears, birds, monkeys (I have a picture of a monkey masturbating and didn’t know it until I got back home. I’ll post it later) ‘gators and snakes. We got to pet two wolf cubs, several snakes and birds, a pigmy fox and a cockatiel.

It wasn’t in the stars for us to go to Florida, and I believe in the stars. They were right this time. We’ll catch the Manatees next time.


Burfica said...

It still sounds wonderful, fucked up bed, flat tire and all!!!! Can't beat having a good time with the family.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

Well, it didn't start well, but luckily you had another option.

I love Atlanta, but I HATE the interstate system. It is completely screwed up with the ramps and all.

Cap'n Ergo "XL+II" Jinglebollocks said...

hehehehe... "the armpit of Florida" That still krakks me uppp...

hell of a weekend-- you read that I'm getting divorced, right??

Christine said...

I crap...well, I guess I'll blow the lamp light out...maybe I'll see ya next year.

Olly said...

Sometimes when plans have to change, the best times just happen!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Welcome home, glad you managed to have a good time after all that! AK!

I can't wait for the monkey photo--my major professor had one up in his office of a monkey giving himself a blow job! LOL!

And when you do get to see the manatees, I want to see pix of them, too!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

soldier boy will be in town through the 11th or 12th of March. We will be seeing him again, hopefully, before he leaves.

Jane said...

Ah yes I've been throught that area. Too bad that it didn't quite work out, but it sounds like a nice time anyway.

Oh and the pics....I'm in Illinois, land of 60 degree weather one day and 22 degree weather another day. Snow from Friday has melted away by today, but the freezing rain just started here and the snow will start after midnight again with a total forecast of 4" by this time tomorrow. (yeah i know you thought Illinois was just Chicago, but no most of he state is vast lands of corn & bean fields)

Coffeypot said...

burfica, it really did work out for the best. I love doing stuff like that with the kiddies.

rwa, for a single guy Atlanta is the place to be. But being a native Atlantan, born and raised there, I wouldn't give you five cents for the place. I prefer living in the burgs about 30 miles away.

captain hot lemon, yes I did and I am sorry. But you have to do what you have to do. I appreciate the invite, too.

christine, do you live in Florida? Was I suppose to meet you down there? Are you yanking my chain? OUCH!

olly, sometimes it's the alternatives that are the most fun.

mst, I'll publish the photoes soon. The little dickens (no pun intended) had some wood of his own. And I didn't notice it until I was downloading the pictures.

jane, I have spent some time in the Chicago area (Lyle and Naperville, etc.) In fact, my best friend from my navy days lives in Des Planes. And I have been there for work and play. But NOT during the winter.

Heidi the Hick said...

Valdosta. I've driven through/ past it! Should I stop there next time? We stayed at a motel there a few years ago. They had a super heavy metal radio station nearby. That was cool.

I just love saying the name VALDOSTA.

Florider is weird. So beautiful and so tacky at the same time. But I'm looking out my window at all this snow and I think I'd go if I could... hope you get your trip one of these days!

Coffeypot said...

Heidi, you came though Atlanta and didn't stop long enough to have a beer with us? Don't let it happen again, young lady.

Valdosta was originally named Troupville, but when the railroad came to South Georgia it missed Troupville by about 30 miles. So the whole town uprooted and moved south and renamed itself Valdosta in honor of the former Governor’s plantation, Val d' Aosta. I think it is Spanish for, "You have to be crazy as Hell to live in the hot, swampy, mosquito infested swamp." But, yes, it is worth spending a couple of days there.

whatevergirl said...

What a ride!! I will pass on the monkey photo, but I love the visual of you eating a chicken sandwich and going the wrong way on I-285. At least you didn't drive in a circle on 285 for 3 hours!!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

We're getting quite a snowstorm as we speak. What's it like there?

Wanna come help shovel, LOL! :-D

e.Craig Crawford said...

Wonderful! Life gave you lemons .. and you made lemonade. Way to go.

Pamela said...

I love a happy ending!!!
It doesn't always work that way. Proves we all need to have a Plan B.
(The monkey did)