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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Long Road to Venice

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I-285, I-675, I-75, FL-681
River waited patiently by the door in the Tucker motel room as I sipped my coffee and packed up the car for our long trek to Venice.  I took him for a little walk before we hit the road.   We drove for maybe half an hour when I saw a sign to a town called Griffin. I could use some gas, so I thought it would be fun to do it there. Once I got off the main Interstate, I realized Griffin was going to be about ten miles out of my way, so the fun wore off and I turned around. I spotted a gas station in McDonough, just before getting on the Interstate.
Next to the highway was a BBQ place and a shack next to it, selling peaches. I didn't realize that I was hungry until I saw the BBQ sign, so I pulled in. There was a man and a woman standing there as I looked at the menu. It was kind of like a food truck, just a ramshackle lean-to with kitchin equipment inside. The menu was tantalizing, and as I was deciding what to get, the man standing nearby mumbled something…

Gorgeous Georgia

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Strangers here say "hi" to each other.

I didn't do any highway driving today, so no map.  I spent most of the day on Friday, hanging around the motel room.


I ate some soup, tuna and bread out of my ice chest and cleaned out the car. I accumulate junk, and without the occasional purge, it can really pile up. I found a search engine online that will tell me where the nearest Crystal water filter dispensers are. I found one outside a Kroger store and filled up my three jugs.

I found a great burger on Thursday night, which I blogged about here.

And I checked into my motel room. I've stayed at this place before and it perfectly meets all of my criteria for a perfect Motel 6 experience. I blogged about that here.

My burger blog is done chronologically by the date I ate the food, but the Motel 6 blog is done alphabetically by region. The reason for that is that for the Motel 6 blog, I am creating a database for myself, so the next time I set out to plan a road trip, I can l…

Alabama Adventures

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This morning at 4am, I was awaken by the neighbors, calling up to the upper floor from their car, right outside my door. River, actually is what woke me up. He responded with a loud bark. The neighbors had what seemed like a pretty long shouted conversation from across the parking lot. Finally the loudmouth got in her car and drove off and we fell back to sleep.

A couple hours later, i hear a lot of dripping coming from the bathroom, like someone is taking a shower in there. I go in and see that there is a waterfall coming from the lighting fixture in the shower stall, it's splashing all over the floor, which explains why it was a bit wet when I checked in last night, and why it seemed like the shower stall floor hadn't been cleaned. Obviously whenever they shower in the unit above, I get the run off. Gross.

And then finally, it was actually time to wake up and get ready for class.  I had about an hour of driving ahead, so I got up and out in plenty of time.
I-20, I-65, US-31, …

"Bama Bound and Babe Business in Birmingham

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Today I was on a mission to get to Mini Birmingham. I needed to extend my maintenance agreement soon or my oil changes, air filter and the like would no longer be 'free'.  I would have just paid the fee to Seattle Mini, but my representative there told me I had to go in physically because they needed to scan my key.

Well, that wouldn't be possible, considering I wasn't planning to be home for months, and I was about to go over the maximum 36,000 on the basic maintenance agreement. So I started contacting Mini dealers and giving them my situation and my schedule to see if i could come up with a match.

And, on a whim, I also decided to make a bee-line for the Mini Dealership in Birmingham, where I was staying that night, and seeing if someone could squeeze me in without an appointment.

US-98, FL-85, US-331, US-31, I-65, I-459 Fortunately, it was doable. The guy was busy with someone, but that gave me some time to feed River his dinner out on the lawn while he finished up…

Southern Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle

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Wow, did I make a discovery today.
On a whim, I decide not to follow my original plan, which was to visit the De Soto National Forest on my way to Decatur, AL. I was to stay two nights in Decatur and teach my Nia class once, then move on to Atlanta, GA. Well it turns out, it makes just as much sense to go to Destin, Fl for one night, and then up to Birmingham for a night, and teach my Nia class on my way from Birmingham to Atlanta.
I was missing the beach and Destin came up in two different conversations, so I went for it.
So glad I did.

I-10, US-90, FL-281, US-98
I was going to take I-10 the whole way to Florida, but I saw a sign that indicated the coastal scenic route alternative to I-10, so I quickly veered onto the road that lead me to US-90 and all the coastal towns of southern Mississippi. I loved the white sands and grassy dunes and ample parking and vast open spaces of the beach in Pass Christian. 


I also loved Long Beach and Biloxi, though the latter actually had casinos and l…

Texas Part 10 - Leaving for Louisiana

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It was after 11am before I finally got my act together and started driving out of Houston.  As usual, I wanted to get a little driving in before stopping for gas. But I didn't get far. In fact, I believe I was still in Houston when I did stop.   And then I stopped again very soon thereafter, when I spotted a place in The Highlands/Baytown called River Terrace Park.  I couldn't get it to show up labeled in the map, but it's the dot near Pasadena, just east of Houston.
I-10
I guess it's technically in Channelview.  Anyway, we had a great time exploring this park/picnic area/boat launch on Old River.
We saw a turtle
He found a place that combined two of his favorite things, grass and still, fresh water.
I dont' know how safe and clean this water was, but he was having such a good time, i couldn't bring myself to stop him. I did give him a bath later, though. 

After swimming, he dried off by rolling around in the dirt in the parking lot.
Its a good thing I check my…

Locating the Lost Abs

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I've been on the road for three weeks and adjusting gradually to life on the road.

One of the things that offers a great challenge, even in the best of situations, is eating healthy and finding the time and motivation for exercising. Yesterday, I took a picture of my belly for someone who requested it on Facebook and was shocked to see that my abs were covered with flab.

I'll be 50 years old in 23 days.   So I've made myself a challenge:
To take steps toward reclaiming my abs before my 50th birthday.

I'm going to start with two very basic steps.  One is to do daily ab exercises.  I do feel like my abdominal muscles are strong, I can feel them under there. But building them up more can't really hurt the cause.



The second, and I think more important step is that I'm going to swear off of eating junk food and candy out of the vending machines late at night. It's very clever how Motel 6 always places those vending machines where you can see them as you check in…

Texas Part 9 - Nia in Houston

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I-75, I-45, FR-1960, I-10
There are so many different highways weaving throughout Dallas, I couldn't seem to get on the right one. It took me a few tries to finally get on a trajectory out of town, but when I did, I let myself get a good distance from the urban hustle and bustle before I stopped for gas in Ennis. 

At about 4PM, River's usual feeding time, we stopped at a grassy picnic area in Leona. We spent about twenty minutes stretching, running and rolling in the grass after eating. I also applied some Frontline flea and tick repellent to River's coat. I thought I had brought some heartworm medication, too, which I need to give to River now that we're in mosquito country and considering River's love for high grass and marshy swamps. 
I'll pick some up the next time I get him a bag of food. Since I feed him frozen raw meat, I shop for him every three or four days. 
We settled into the motel room in Houston.  Since it was after 8pm, all of the interesting re…

Texas Part 8 - Nia in Dallas

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I got to sleep in today, since I didn't have to be in Dallas until the evening. But I still managed to dawdle in my motel room, sipping coffee and chatting on Facebook until almost noon, when I had decided was the latest I should leave.

I took the interstate route but avoided the toll roads.
I-35N,  I-35E, I-20N, South Loop 12
I made it to the motel room in plenty of time to eat, feed River and drive to the studio arriving about an hour early. Jackie, the owner of the studio was there and the room was available, so she let me in and I practiced a different routine for about half an hour until students started showing up.
My host was Jan, but she was out of town so I was subbing her class. We did Amazing and had a great time. I learned a few new variations. I love to watch the students. Whether they are struggling or being creative, they sometimes show me aspects of the movements I hadn't considered.
the Amazing post-Nia glow Move Studio, Dallas
I've decided that when my cr…

Texas Part 7 - San Antonio

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Short driving day and not too early of a start, I was up at six to be out of the room by 7:30.

I took I-35 from the Motel 6 in San Marcos to The Synergy Studio in San Antonio. It's in a shopping center called The Pearl. We got there in plenty of time to take a long walk and shoot a picture in front of the studio.
Adelle Brewer was my host. She and Joanie Brooks have a great group of experienced Nia students that are so fun and easy to teach to. I had a great time sharing my Woodstock Experience routine. This is the first time I have taught the routine on this trip. SInce the focus was on FreeDance, and I knew I had the routine in my body, I decided not to review my music before class, but to go in cold and let the spirit of Woodstock move me.  It was so charged with energy.  It makes such a difference, teaching to group that has very little resistance to anything. It allows me to explore so much more than when I'm teaching to groups that I have to hand-hold through the experie…