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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Drive to Miami, Part 1

So, it’s Friday night and I’m in DC taking it all in. The drive has been quite a trip, literally. The 96 hours that it took for me to go from Miami to Milwaukee to Washington, DC were too eventful and stressful for my liking.

It all began last Saturday night when I met a friend in Coconut Grove for a night out in Miami before I left and began my drive. The night started at Sandbar, an apparent UM haunt. It lived up to its billing as a place for cheap drinks, good specials, and the clear Coconut Grove equivalent of Thirds. I’m not sure how often I will be able to frequent to the bar, but it looked to have some good affordable food and certainly is a place to have a good time. My friend showed me around the neighborhood, pointing out the best restaurants and bars. I must say that one of the highlights were the alcoholic slurpees that come in 5/6 different flavors and can be mixed and have a shot added to them. She even introduced me to some French guys who work for a good French restaurant in Coconut Grove that I plan to try within my first few weeks in Miami. All in all, it was a great night out and made me even more excited for my move.

Speaking of my move… Sunday proved to be quite eventful. I had an early flight out of Miami to Chicago that tested my ability to quickly recover from a late night out. As I learned yesterday, I’m not quite the same young man that I was a few months ago, but that’s another story. The flight to Chi-town was basically on time and pretty smooth. However, when I landed at O’Hare, my connecting flight to Milwaukee had been cancelled. American Airlines couldn’t reschedule me until the next morning, which simply was not going to work. They told me that my bag would be released in Chicago because my connection was canceled, but as I soon learned, that did not happen. Instead, my bag never came out and the American Airlines Baggage Service personnel politely informed me that regardless of my travel plans, my suitcase would travel to Milwaukee on the next flight out. At this moment my only concern was hoping that my suitcase made it to me ASAP and finding an alternative way to Milwaukee. Luckily the relatives I was meeting knew of a bus that would take me right to their town. I guess everything happens for a reason, but this really made everything a lot easier. So, I got to Racine, WI, met my relatives, and crossed my fingers that my bag was coming soon. To make a long story short, and trust me, it is a long story and my relatives are a bunch of characters, my suitcase did not arrive until almost noon on Monday. A night without my bag is nothing, but given that I wanted to be on the road much sooner than later, it began a large speedbump.

Anyway, now it is Monday morning and I arrive to the dealership when my Uncle’s car has been since early May. Getting the keys and car was easy enough, but when I tried to start the car, nothing. The service guy gave me a jump and I was on my way. Sounds good, right? Well, I got about a mile down the road and noticed that the speedometer and odometer were not functioning. I turned around and went right back to the dealer. The service guy was a little more than surprised to see me back so soon, let alone at all. After an hour, it became clear that it was a bad speed sensor, a $200 repair. Ugh. Well, after leaving the dealer for the second time, the car was finally all good and ready for my drive. A few hours later, my suitcase arrived and I loaded up the car and off I went.

The drive from Southwestern Wisconsin to Bloomington, IN. was fun. I got on the road, had lunch at a pancake house, encountered Chicago traffic, and drove through the flat Indiana corn fields. Getting to Bloomington was great. I had driven a good 6 hours by myself, bonded with my car, and realized how valuable my GPS was to me. It was all good. Bloomington was a lot of fun and a good night out.

Tuesday was an eventful day to say the least, and it all began with a 6AM alarm. Up and on the road, I began my day-long trek to Philadelphia. It was extremely uneventful until. Pennsylvania. Despite the beautiful topographical changes from flat fields to rolling hills to mountains, rivers, and forests, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I will say that the bridge into Wheeling, WV is gorgeous and something everyone should get to see. That all said and done, once I got into Pennsylvania I let my mind wander and was caught speeding at 75MPH in a 55MPH zone. This was my first speeding ticket and the officer took his time, a good 20 minutes, researching my clean record before giving me a $160 speeding ticket. The best part was definitely his comment that if I don’t pay the ticket or contest it, that my license will be suspended in 10 days and that county will come looking for me. I can’t wait to mail that check. Ugh. After the citation, it was smooth sailing until Philadelphia traffic. I got to the infamous Bodzin’s apartment not quite 12 hours from when I left Drew. We quickly donned our baseball gear and headed off to Citizens Bank Park. I love the game of baseball and most of the time love going to games, especially when my team is playing. The Giants unfortunately lost, but the stadium was great. It really is one of the nicer parks in Major League Baseball and was designed and operated for the fans. That is the mark of a great park. In terms of all of the stadiums I have been to, this one ranks near the top. The lone black mark for the night was one fan’s rather offensive and derogatory name that he yelled to me as I was walking to my seat. Oh well, Phillies fans are still Philadelphians, no shock there.

Wednesday was a short drive down to DC, and I have to say it felt great to be home.

That’s it for part 1 of my drive to Miami. Part 2 will be in a few days once I get to Miami and am settled in my apartment. 

1 comment:

  1. Philly fans are as courteous and gracious as a rabid street dog. Probably the same intelligence quotient as well...