Category Archives: Travel

More Guts Than Brains

Today represents a significant day for me and Chick #3. One year ago today, we successfully navigated from SW Georgia, over the West Virginian mountains, in and out of tight-fitting spaces, and safely arrived in NW Pennsylvania – all while driving a beastly 26 foot truck and hauling my little VW Beetle. I still remember the knot in my stomach when I picked up the moving truck from the local Home Depot. My mind raced and for a minute, I sat frozen behind the wheel thinking, “How in the Hell am I going to drive this monster truck through the mountains?!” For the first time in my life, I felt fear gripping intimidation and I questioned whether I had the fortitude to actually complete this mission. My brain and gut both called for a white flag. “Throw in the towel. What were you thinking? This is CRAZY!” While my thoughts argued back and forth, I sat silently, taking in the magnitude of the situation before me. And then I slowly turned the key in the ignition.

I’ve always been a jump with both feet kind of person and that philosophy helped guide me from point A to point Z. Without it, I’m certain I would have jumped ship right after getting the truck and tow stuck in the middle of the dead of night in an almost impossible situation that took nearly an hour to maneuver. And if it not that night, then most definitely the next morning when it was quite evident that monster trucks can not make 90 degree turns while clearing football out-of-towners who have their butt end’s sticking too far out of their parking space. That little morning escapade became the spectator sport of the day with all eyes on me as I backed and pulled, backed and pulled, backed and pulled for about 45 minutes so as not to damage the unclaimed SUV blocking my exit. Seriously. The owner never did show face and yet against all odds and with a little perseverance, I snaked that 26 footer and tow between the unmanned SUV and dumpster completely unscathed. Hey mister guy pretending to rummage through your trunk, thank you for giving me the thumbs -up, you got this encouragement I needed at just the right time.

Yes. I received the quick-learner permit on how to unstuck the biggest ride I’ve ever driven and after the third mishap, I’d say I’m a pro at larger than life Houdini escape tricks. But that wasn’t the worst part of the trek. Nor were the blind, idiot drivers. Hellooo! Very HUGE and very, VERY YELLOW wall on wheels driving here!! Nope. None of that made me call it quits but tackling windy, mountain highways with a big-butt truck almost did me in. I’ve driven that route many times and in a little beetle bug, hugging the twists and turns is amateur play. I love the roller coaster ride! But, cruisin’ the highway in a titanic, yellow submarine is anything but amateur. That feat requires serious mad skills. Needless to say, three, stomach-ulcerated and white-knuckled hen clawed days later, I successfully docked that beast like a boss in my new front yard.

And so here we are 365 days later; laughing about an adventure that was never on my bucket list of things to accomplish. Would I choose to repeat that trip? Maybe. But Am I happy I did it? Absolutely!

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The Great Escape

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A week ago I just got in the car, gassed up, and left town. I had no idea where I was going. I had no plans. I had no one telling me to stay or question my motives. But what I did have was this overwhelming and driving need for something unplanned.

So, I packed a weekend bag, finger foods, a case of water, phone charger, and a few camping supplies (just in case I decided to “rough it”). You see, I may have been on the verge of a momentary mid-life crisis, but hey – I’m not lacking in cognitive fore planning even if this was a spontaneous, fly by the seat of your pants escape.

And there you have it. Me, my thoughts, and my beetle hit the road heading north. At first, I considered making the trek to the beach. Sand in my toes. Salt breeze kisses on my skin. Sun on my…”WAIT! What the hell are you thinking?! SUN? Absolutely NOT!” My recently 2nd degree blistered and burned legs screamed at me making me reconsider that weekend option and thus the idea to head north…to parts unknown.

I spent the early noonish hours traversing ‘cross the Georgian countryside. Look at a Georgia map and you’ll get the feeling that moonshine had a lot to do with off the beaten trail routes ’cause not a single road leads straight any place. Needless to say, the drive was peaceful, serene, and as I took in the landscape and scenery, my thoughts bounced from this, that, and the other. I still had no idea where I was headed. I just knew that I wasn’t really in a city mood and since my legs strongly opposed the sunny beach idea, I figured I’d just continue driving until I ended up some place interesting. Interesting, hu? The irony is finally setting my sights on Bristol, TN for a surprise visit to my sister (less than 2 hours away) only to find that she was literally moving back to Florida that same night. Haha! No joking. True story. You see – that little asshole, Murphy and I have been at odds for years and whenever he feels neglected, this is the shit he pulls. Well, Murphy – I’ve got news for you. Sister or no, I’m not turning around. And I didn’t. And Murphy got left in my beetle dust.

My final destination? I ended up in The Great Smokey Mountains. The drive was insane but the sights were beyond beautiful. I needed this drive. I needed to feel free and to sort things out in my head. I needed to recognize that there’s still so much out there that I haven’t explored and not just physical explorations but also personal ones. And more importantly, I needed the time to refresh and renew my personal drive. To step out from the mask of complacency and really take an introspective look at my life and where I want to be. I came to the understanding that we all make mistakes but life is ultimately what we make of it. It’s ok to go off road and take in the sights along the way but eventually, even if it’s the long way, find a way to stay driven towards your goals.

Moral: Sometimes when life has you feeling boxed in…claustrophobic…you need an unplanned, great escape in order to put it all back into perspective.

Drive

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today Was a Good Day

Today Was a Good Day

Mesh Gallery

90 Years & Always Young at Heart: My Grandmother’s 90th Birthday.

Feedback:

I’m not thrilled with this photo gallery. Not being an iPhone user, it is extremely limited and the computer based program is also restricting certain functions. I am unable to label each picture and I can not embed the gallery. I can only provide the link. This gallery may be very useful once it is user friendly to all types of devices. I like the idea that you can select which gallery you want to share and continually add to it if needed. Other programs do not limit viewing once you share. For instance, if you share a gallery in Flickr, the author’s other galleries can also be viewed. Mesh may be better for sharing personal galleries that you don’t want others to view but for the intention of blogging, I really don’t see the point.

Addition: My gallery title isn’t viewable and I don’t like the pictures resize based on the device size being used. There’s no way to tell prior to the resizing what part of the picture will be viewable. Instagram resizes pictures, also. However, you’re aware of the re sizing and can choose how to crop the picture. Thus allowing the author to have complete control. Again, not very happy with this viewer.

More: The link will embed in my Facebook, though.

~SE

Today Was a Good Day

It’s called CRUISE CONTROL!

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Ok…so I might have a little bit of road rage.  Just a smidge. Haha! So here I am, cruising along the country back roads at a steady 60 mph and I round a corner to find myself smack up on this monster going barely 40! Holy crap, Batman! And…not only is he going a snail’s pace but he MASSIVELY protrudes into the other lane, making it difficult to see around him.  Nothing irritates me more except maybe the green beetle driving lady who REFUSES to use her CRUISE CONTROL! Seriously? ! Speed up.  Slow down.  Speed up.  Slow down.  I try to pass and she speeds up.  I get back behind her and she slows down!  By the end of my morning commute,  I’m an aggitated mess, want to slap the woman silly and scream, IT’S CALLED CRUISE CONTROL!  I’ll take the combine any day!  At least he knows how to get over so you can pass!  #countryliving
~SE

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadowed

A few Christmas back, I took the girls and mom to St. Augustine for a little holiday get away. St Augustine is beautiful all on its own but the seasonal lights and sounds, made it even that much better. This is a picture of a small enclosed courtyard decorated for the season.

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