Dang it! I had been taking little notes here and there during our trip because we had some rather humorous events occur, and now I can't find my little Moleskin book. Buried, no doubt, in the bottom of a giant U-Haul box or stuffed in one of countless plastic bags....
I'm afraid that my memory is lousy without my notes because I have a sieve for a brain pan. Which wouldn't bother me except that all the Really Important Stuff obviously comes in liquid form and just leaks right out of my mind, whereas all the Completely Worthless Bits are the approximate size and shape of tater tots - which just sit there and get soggy from all the Really Important Stuff's sliding past. Which means I'm dealing with a lot of mush most of the time - hence, the copious notes written inside the Moleskin book - whose known location is obviously Really Important Stuff - which means that information is in liquid form and is, therefore, Long Gone.
(I'd like to speak to the management about my general unhappiness with the situation, but there's a strictly enforced "no refund/no exchange" policy in these matters. Let the record show, however, that I think this is more than a little unreasonable.)
One thing I DO remember is driving for three hours and advancing only 87 miles on I-75 out of St. Pete. Now, I have been in traffic jams before, but this was ridiculous. Spouse was fuming. He was so annoyed that he finally took Highway 19 west to Alabama where we eventually hooked up with I-65 - which takes you straight to Indianapolis.
Only we sort of ran into some unplanned - and undesired - detours. This was not the map's fault. Nor was it the navigator's fault. The fault lies somewhere in the intersection of Appalling Lack of Proper Signage and Cranky Spouse Syndrome. Probably the oddest part was how we somehow ended up....
You know, I can't even begin to explain this, really. Basically, we came into Anonymous, Alabama, via Highway ABC. As we drove through town, I started my usual narrative on points of interest. I do this so that when we get turned around (and we ALWAYS get turned around), I can confidently identify landmarks: "No, Honey, this IS the way we came in - from the South. See? There's the Big Peach Cobbler statue made out of old tires? And look - there's Bar-B-Q Bill's Ribs 'n' Bibs!"
I'm real helpful like that.
In this case, the most distinguished landmark was a large billboard that appeared to have a naked woman with a bosom that defied both gravity and nature. Upon closer inspection, I could see that her nakedness was covered (just barely) by a very tiny bikini that was only a few shades darker than her skin. I don't know who was responsible for the swimwear, but the anatomical marvel of engineering was provided by a local plastic surgeon who was, according to the sign, more than happy to "give me the enhancements I deserved to improve the quality of my life."
By some cosmic twist of fate, this particular billboard was located directly above a chiropractor's office.
There was also a Hancock's Fabric holding a "241 Sale", a Golden Corral with a packed parking lot (despite the fact that it was 9:00 p.m.), and a McDonald's with a very distinctive chaser of golden arches - in light blue neon - running the entire length of the store. (Tacky, yes, but also impressive and certainly distinctive!)
So we drove past all these eye-grabbing sites as we came INTO town on highway ABC going NORTH. We had been on ABC North ever since leaving highway DEF many miles and towns back. We had passed through each and every town as indicated by the map.
As we headed NORTH.
Which means we were coming from the SOUTH. And we passed all these lovely landmarks. ALL WHILE HEADING NORTH.
The reason this is so important is that ABC does not circle around the city. We eventually ended up looking at a city map, and ABC goes straight through the city. We never got off of ABC, so you can imagine how unsettling it was to find that, although we came in heading NORTH, we were told to turn around and go back the way we came because we were currently headed SOUTH - back the way we came was actually NORTH.
So we turned around and drove past Dr. Boob Job, the 241 sale, and the blue Golden Arches... while goosebumps prickled my arms and the theme from the Twilight Zone crescendo-ed inside my head.
I fully expected a giant hand to reach down and pick up our car so a giant eye could peer in at us, before giving us a giant shaking.
But the only giant thing we encountered was our bill from Arby's.
That was really our only unusual experience on the drive home.
Except for the Colony of Baptists.