We plan for an 8.30 hotel leave for the Smoky Mountains. So we struggle out of bed at 9.00 for breakfast…
We try to grab lunch early but get stuck in road works. It looks like they are rebuilding the whole town. Cherokee is an indian reservations so maybe that explains the 20 storey casino hotel that fits in the small town as well as Bugs Bunny fits in Disney.
We have a long almost six hour drive today so we grab a quick breakfast while watching the news. There’s been a mass suicide at a “cult-like” church, kidnapping of a young kid and a gunman shot out with the police. The “funny” story is a man who robs a shop at gun point – he’s wearing a pink dress. Is the news always like this?
We drive through Savannah, take a few shots but don’t stop but head out on a ridiculously large suspension bridge which dwarfs Savannah and is as long as the city is wide.
We will now spend almost the entire drive on Interstate highways. We normally try to avoid them but the distance means we can’t afford the additional drive time.
Time to pack. We seem to have a ridiculous collection of souvenirs, probably need an extra bag at airport, and there’s still two weeks left. Disney delivered a receipt for the charges to the room during the night, so if it’s all correct we can skip check-out. It is.
We start throwing things in bags bit it gets boring fast so we meet back up with a friend for breakfast at the main lobby. Afterwards we decide to go for a short walk to stretch the legs before the long car journey and it gives us an opportunity to explore the resort.
Arrived at airport right on time, but was told “No free upgrades now, even for birthdays.”, seems like everyone wants to make a few more pennies.
Flight was quite rough – swear we dropped several meters in the plane at one point – and it took longer than expected as there were numerous storms we had to avoid. And then during the landing an unexpected shower storm meant the pilot lost visuals with the runway and had to abort the landing attempt – which was fun! Still, Sheila had pre-purchased some champagne and had a few birthday cards, so that really was good.
They say the difference between a holiday and an expedition is that you record an expedition. And that’s exactly what I’ll be attempting to do on our “expedition” around south East America; visiting Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and maybe a little Tennessee.
You can see how the route plans out in the following high resolution satellite detailed route mapping overly: it’s a photo of a map with some pins in. The green pins point the direction and the other whiteish “things” show the stops:
Having planned to do the work to combine my two previous blogs together, I thought I’d take the opportunity to upgrade to the very latest WordPress 3.0 version, which includes the all new default theme TwentyTen.
This is already a very nice theme – a much improvement over the last default. It’s also very easy to customise to your own preference, for instance you can change the background colour and add a picture to the background and change the header image all with a few clicks of the mouse. It also makes a very nice base theme.
Just put my hydroponics windowsill kit back to work after I cleaned it up months ago – hopefully we’ll get a nice harvest this time. Last time my mountain strawberries grow very well… they just didn’t produce any fruit. I’m hoping that was just a consequence of the plant dying off before it had a chance, and that I’ve now removed the reason for it’s death too. I think I also made the mistake of letting them grow as tall as they could, when a better idea would have been too cut them back going for more outward than upward growth.
On Saturday the girlfriend and I got up early to attend thr Royal International Air Tattoo. It’s an air show located in the massive grounds of RAF Fairford.
It’s always popular so we got up early to attempt to miss the long traffic queues. We arrived pretty early near Fairford, about 15 minutes after the gates had just opened, but still joined a queue of traffic two miles long. It took more than another hour to get to the carpark. (Then another half hour of standing to walk through the gates). Interestingly though, we had avoided the worst of the traffic. While we sat in the queues the radio station – the show broadcasts its own – said the queue was getting longer and longer, the last estimation we heard was 7 miles long.
The first thing we did was claim a good spot between the two grandstands which I think is the best position – without paying any additional chargers – to see the ariel acrobats, it’s where the pilots usually try to position themselves. It fills up quickly though.
Last years road trip was on the south west coast of the US – California, Arizona, et cetera. These states consist mostly of large stretches of desert and consequently some of the tips stem directly from this, most though are of a more general nature and should be useful in all road trip climates.