I had some vacations left from a trip that was planning to make and never did, so the last week of August, I took a couple of days off, which united the holiday on Monday, September 1st. (Labor Day in the USA), gave me 5 days off.
So on Thursday August 28 I left work at 5 thirty in the afternoon and pointed the truck south to visit my sister and her family.
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When I began to ruminate the idea of the trip, I took the opportunity as a good excuse to buy a GPS, a GARMIN C580, which was a very magnificent purchase!
The truth is that driving in the USA is a pleasure, the whole journey by highways, this motorways are wonderful and free (on the trip to Alabama from NJ pass just one toll for a total of $ 0.75 (seventy-five cents) in the return trip i did not pay anything, that's because I did pass through this place (there was a detour due to an accident in transit).
Every so many miles, there are rest area with restrooms, coffee machines, soft drink, candy, natural walking area, tables for eating outdoors, and even grills for cooking, and area for animals.
These areas are designed for both family and commercial vehicles can stop and so they have sectors so that large trucks can stop and move without hindering traffic and movement of others.
Did I mentioned that they are free?
Since a journey of 985 miles (about 1580 km.) is not done in one day (my GPS estimated a 14 hours trip), and driving alone one it can not be done continuously, i decided to stop just after midnight in a MOTEL along the way (yes, a hotel like the one of of Norman Bates in the movie Psicosys).
The next day I woke up early and got on my way ... as the previous day, I took it calmly, driving at the maximum speed (*almost* all the time), and stopping to stretch my legs every couple of hours ... I arrived to the hotel in Alabama at 5:20 pm (4:20 local time) almost 24 hours after leaving NJ.
My family did not knew I was coming, so upon arrival I went to the hotel, took a shower and changed my clothes and showed up at the restaurant.
They were all there, so it was much easier and fun. Saying that they were surprised is and understatement, they could not understand anything, much less when I mentioned that I had driven all the way from NJ.
The hotel was near their house, so it was really easy and comfortable to come and go every morning and every night and I was comfortable knowing that I was not imposing myself among them, specially my nice that it's no longer a girl but a young woman
These days we chatted, ate and enjoy ... :-)
We went to Vulcan Park, an old steel plant that was converted into a park and recreation area (one of government plans that pushed the U.S. out the crisis of the '30s)
and we also visited the falls Noccabula
On Sunday, around 4:30 I started my return trip, following the same route used to come, and just like before, stopping every couple of hours to rest, drink, buy gasoline, etc., at night i stopped in a motel along the route to sleep.
As I mentioned before, on my return return (when I was a little over 100 miles away from home) the route was closed by an accident and police are diverting all traffic by alternative routes, once more, the GPS justify the investment by showing an alternative route (one that police did not suggest to the general traffic because it passes thru the heart of 2 towns and they could not divert the highway traffic trough them), so I saved a lot of time and gas by taking the road again much earlier and with almost no traffic for a long time.
Miles driven: 2180
Fuel: $ 250
Motels: $ 110
Coffee, mineral water, sandwiches, etc.: $ 25
Tolls: $ 0.75
My family's face when I showed up: PRICELESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are things that money can't buy, those are the ones you enjoy more!
Well, that's it for today ...