Ok, let's get back to it. I had a rental car with functioning A/C, clean clothes, a large cup of coffee mixed with a splash of hot chocolate, a pimento cheese sandwich, and somewhere around 16 hours to drive less than 550 miles. Driving is boring, so instead of getting into the thoughts I thought and feelings I felt over those hours, let's do the highlights.
1. Alabama Rest Stops
Having slept in the drivers seat at my fair share of highway rest areas, I feel like somewhat of an expert in the field. From the crowded chaos of stops along the Jersey Turnpike to the minimalist shade structures in Wyoming to senior citizens handing out coffee in Colorado, I was pretty sure I'd seen it all in the way of rest stop offerings. But then I got to Alabama.
|Plenty of open seating at midnight.
A wraparound porch with rocking chairs? Where was I, Cracker Barrel? Alabama clearly took their country living seriously. That or the ample seating had more to do with the toll taken by oppressive heat and humidity. Even at night, Alabama felt like a sauna, so I could only imagine how many sweaty layovers occurred in those salt-stained rockers during a brief journey from bathroom to car. I didn't touch any of them.
2. Chunky, MS
Not much to say about this, other than it's the best name of a town ever. I didn't stop, as I was sleep-deprived and over-caffeinated, but I did paint a pretty nice mental picture of a town full of cherubic, roly poly Chunkyans walking their chubby, little English bulldogs through town square, tipping their hats or waving their forehead dabbing rags as they pass. There was even a gazebo in the middle of town with a barbershop quartet doing the truffle shuffle. Ok. It's very possible that I just imagined Chunky Stars Hollow.
|Yeah, I took this while driving. #rebel
The winner of the worst town name was Philadelphia, MS. Never before in my life have I had to explain which Philadelphia I was from. Context clues, folks. I clearly asked for an ice cold glass of woo-duh, not wah-tuh.