This is meant tongue in cheek. While driving across the country, we kept seeing the same signs for food choices, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Subway. Now we have nothing against these, they are reliable, you know the menu, and one of them has the best fries! LOL we know this. But if you are willing to try something the locals would choose, you have to drive at least a block or two away from the freeway off ramp. We found a great Mexican restaurant in Conway, Arkansas called El Acapulco. They had great service, great salsa and chips and truly enjoyed the seafood fajita. We shared this and it was plenty and kept us going until we reached our destination of day 3: Nashville, TN. We could not wait to arrive to Nashville and try something unique to the area.
Now a lot of people were recommending places, we heard about barbecue, hotdogs, sliders you name it. We were tired and did not want to go further than we could walk. Frankly once we parked did not even want to get back in the car; we still have another 5 hours to go tomorrow to our final destination! Our Airbnb host suggested Bella Napoli Pizza literally a block away. This was the best pizza I have ever tasted (said Mrs.A)! We have had pizza in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, but seriously this was mouth-watering! Wood fired; we had the spicy salami topped with arugula. Along with engaging and attentive staff it made for a wonderful close to a long day. We highly recommend this place and tomorrow we will go in search of more to try in Nashville before we get on the road again.
So it’s only day 2 and it seems we’re already a world away from our home. As Mr. A has shared this is the beginning of a journey to a new life, the long way. We have moved across the country once before and now although trekking once again across the country, definitely going in a new direction. A lot of friends and family and everyone in between have asked why we chose the south. We are originally from the mid west, then in 1988 moved to the west coast, (as our daughter says the “best coast”) and now the south-east. Truly every extreme. But enough about that for now…suffice it to say we fell in love with a vacation spot and could not stop thinking about it. We are not impulsive people! Honestly! But here we are.
Anyway we bought a little home in a rural part of USA and now are traveling across the country to make it homey. That takes a lot of stuff that does not travel well through airports and we have a month, so I thought driving a car loaded with our needs just seemed the natural thing to do. I consider myself an expert packer. I was taught well by my grandmother! My daughter says I pack like I’m playing a life-size Tetris game. Once we decided to use part of the month to drive there and back it was time to collect boxes from my job. A case of copy paper box is the best sized box and comes with a lid! Having these boxes made it easy to plan the layout of the packing of the car. Here is my first helpful hint: lay out all the boxes while empty in the car so you know exactly how many boxes can go with you. No mysteries. This way I could move them around and then I knew exactly how many I could load in. I was able to load our nifty folding ladder first, 2 luggage pieces (that’s right just one for each of us) an additional duffel bag and 5 boxes for tools and house supplies. Now I realize all these things could have been purchased, but you know after 35 years of married life, we do not need to purchase anymore tools etc! We saved on auto rental, flight costs, and like I said we brought everything we need (except the paint) to make the house start to look like our own.
We had spent the last few weeks making plans, packing and booking hotels for this trip. We had spreadsheets with all sorts of data, what to pack, what needed to be bought, how much to drive, and what to do when we got to our destination. The only variable that we had not factored into our schedules was the randomness of the universe.
The original plans called for getting up by 3:00 am and on the road by 3:30 am. Mrs. A had packed the car the night before, so what could go wrong? Well for starters I spent too much time getting my laptop and files ready. Mrs. A would call it “not being ready”, but I prefer not to label it. So because of this unnamed problem we ended up leaving at 5:15 am. With a 12 plus hour drive to Albuquerque we were looking at 7:00 pm not including stops for food, nature, and fuel.
At first things looked really good as we made up a lot of time without speeding, thank to very light traffic. We kept our stops to the absolute minimum, which meant breaking the “no eating in the car” rule.
We were within an hour of our destination when we hit a 10 mile stretch of parked trucks and cars on the I40. We spent over two hours sitting still or moving at a crawl. The amazing thing was everyone just accepted the event and endured with great patience. No one tried using the shoulder as their personal road, or honked their horns.
Lesson of the day, despite all your planning, make sure to pack a large dose of patience and be accepting of the things you can’t control.
Welcome to Green Tea to Sweet Tea blog. Sorry to disappoint but this won’t be about drinking tea, although if we discover a great one on our journey we will share it with you. What this blog is about is the journey of a pair of older “kids” who have decided to make the jump from the land of sun shine and green tea, California to the woods and sweet tea of North Carolina. Join us on the adventure and learn from our experiences.