SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 – Today we set off for Port St. Joe, Florida to stay for a week with Steve’s Aunt, Uncle, cousins and their younglings. This was a vacation that all of them had wanted to take for years, but knowing how way leads on to way, it had never happened. Finally, Amy took the initiative to actually make a plan, and it all finally came together! We didn’t all get to stay together like we’d hoped, though. We rented a big house (this one if you’re interested) and are staying here with Aunt Brenda, Uncle Garry, Amy, John, and their kids Kate and Sean. Greg and his family weren’t sure they’d be able to go until after we’d already made the reservation, but they managed to get a cottage about two or three miles away, but they are supposed to be hanging out with us most of the time that we’re here!
Today was a travel day, and it was the travelingest day I’ve had in a long time. We started out at 6:00 this morning, and I requested that we not stop for breakfast right away. That turned out to be a dumb thing to do, but more on that later. Steve told me he was going to be making a couple of stops, one of which was a surprise! I like surprises! He just told me not to ask any questions. We drove, and drove and drove, and drove. Once we got into Georgia, he told me not to get too excited about the surprise, because it was no big deal. In fact, he said it wasn’t really even a surprise, but he still didn’t tell me where we were going. Were we not married, I probably might have begun to fear for my safety! I’m not even sure where we were, but I knew we were somewhere around Atlanta, and I suddenly realized where we were going. Steve’s grandparents had lived somewhere outside Atlanta, and since they died a long time ago, I realized he wanted to visit their grave. I don’t know why he wouldn’t just tell me, because I was glad to go with him to do that, but maybe he thought I would try and talk him out of it. I have no idea.
We arrived at the cemetery, and since he hadn’t been there since he was a little boy, we had to follow his memory of where the grave was. We couldn’t find it. We looked around for a while before we saw the funeral home on the edge of the property and we decided to go in and ask. Unfortunately, we were there at the same time that a funeral was getting ready to start, so I rolled up into that place wearing a bright yellow shirt with a picture of Chewbacca on it and a pair of jeans. Steve was in shorts. I felt so gauche! The worker there was able to find the grave and led us out to it. We’d actually passed right by it! So, we visited. I introduced myself. It was nice.
Once we left there, we had to stop and get some provisions for the trip. We were hungry by then and were going to run through a drive through on the way out, but everything was so crowded that we thought we’d just find an exit down the road and go there. The problem was, wherever we were, there was nothing. NOTHING. We were getting hangry, so we just took a random exit and hoped to find something. We did find a gas station which had a really creepy vibe to it. It was the only thing around, and there were a bunch of people parked around it with kids running around. That doesn’t sound creepy, but you’d have to have been there. It felt like one of those places you’d see in a movie where travelers get stopped in a place, get chased through the woods and wind up getting eaten by the townspeople. We were inside for just a couple of minutes before the rest of the people poured inside all at once. We just left without buying anything. It was weird.
We did find out that Columbus, Georgia was probably the closest place to where we would be that would have a place with a drive through, so we headed there! It took a while, but we finally found the exit. I don’t usually eat at McDonald’s, but it was manna from heaven today. Thank you, Columbus! I’m sure you have many wonderful qualities, but today I’m most impressed by your fast food restaurants!
After that we drove some more. It felt like we’d been on the road for 12 days. It was only supposed to take us about 7 1/2 hours to get to our destination, but time just seemed to stretch on and on. Our GPS told us to take an alternate route though some towns I’d never heard of. In fact, not only had we never heard of them, but neither had my phone. I tried to keep up with locations with the phone, but except for just a few places, location designations just stayed blank. We went down two lane roads through cow fields, but the GPS continued to insist that we were on the fastest route. I think we actually may have driven through Canada at some point, but we finally (FINALLY) made it to the house. We were so tired! Thankfully, there were no plans for that night, so we just visited until it was time for bed. The house is great, and we have a whole week to have adventures! This should be fun!