Whats Next – Day 149

What’s Next?

Day 149 – August 27, 2003 – Wednesday

Fighting Injustice & More….
 

The trip Round America ended on August 26, 2003 at 7 pm. But we couldn’t “close the book” on the trip quite yet. We had to write the book, and we had to travel to Kingsland, Georgia to fight injustice….

Whats Next

Boz and I will be hard at work for months as we update the website. We have to write information for the days when we only posted brief reports. We still have thousands of photos to review and add…if we feel they are worthy. We have to transcribe our audio tapes, supplement the web site with that information, and organize the material into a first draft / outline for our book. We have awards to announce, news releases to issue, and much more.

 

We are already planning additional trips. In mid-September, we will be going to Kingsland, Georgia to fight our traffic ticket, and we will include a visit to see my Dad in Orlando for his 85th birthday. We will be attending the wedding of the son of a close friend in San Antonio in October, so we plan to see some sights we missed in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas as we drive to and from the wedding. We will also go from the wedding down to one of my favorite spots from the trip, Big Bend, so Bozzie Jane can see what I enjoyed so much. And, we will be going over to Savannah and up the coast to Washington, DC and back so Boz and I can spend more time seeing those sights.

 

We’ll take the camera, recorder, and other essentials on each of these trips…and on the next Round America trip (when we go around backwards). The plan is to update the web site from now on as we make additional trips and see more sights. We’ll just add the information for the states we visit, so the Round America site will continue to have more and more information about the places to go, the sights to see, the people to meet, and the pie to eat.

 

And yes, I will remove the cap and beads from the trophy case as they will now be an integral part of every trip we take.

 

We finally closed the book on the trip Round America on May 17, 2006!

 

The Kingsland, Georgia Convention & Visitors Bureau advertising says: “Kingsland Georgia is located on I-95 at the Georgia / Florida state line. The Kingsland area is a community of pristine coastal beauty where the meandering rivers wind through dense marshlands… where challenging golf quietly exists among tidal creeks and marsh grass… where river shores and lakes are brimming with wildlife.” What they didn’t say is that the Kingsland police love to write traffic tickets, and in our experience, the courts love to side with the police seemingly with little regard to the facts.

 

Round America “visited” Kingsland on April 3, 2003, Day 3 of the First Trip Round America. According to Mr. Rand and Mr. McNally, the distance from Savannah to Saint Augustine is only 180 miles. It took us 12 hours to get there, so we averaged just 15 miles an hour (though we ended up driving over 350 miles, so we actually averaged about 30 mph). I recalled passing just one vehicle all day. I hadn’t had a ticket in 9 years, and I had decided to drive at or under the speed limit throughout this trip. After all, we were driving on two-lane roads to see the sights — not racing to get somewhere. So it was the lowlight of the day when Officer Vincent Passarelli of Kingsland, Georgia claimed I was driving 55 in a 35…in a construction zone. I was just driving along at the same speed as a bunch of other folks. Officer Passarelli admitted he was coming from the opposite direction, so he decided to stop the white convertible instead of any of a variety of pickup trucks and SUV’s. I joked with him that we had driven only 500 miles of 25,000, and at this rate, I would lose my license before we hit Alabama. He didn’t laugh. I tried to get him to let me take his picture, but he refused. We did manage to get a shot of a sign nearby that said “Speed Checked by Radar.” On our Trip Scorecard, I budgeted 0 (zero) traffic tickets, so we were way over budget, and it was only day 3.

 

Officer Vincent Passarelli claimed on the ticket that he timed me on radar. I felt that was impossible, since it was rush hour on a weekday on a multi-lane road, and he was traveling in the opposite direction, flipped on his flashing lights, and then hooked a U-turn to pull up behind me in the curbside lane. His radar would have covered many vehicles, especially those passing us in the lane to our left. The ticket also indicated that we were stopped in a location where we were not stopped! I decided to fight the ticket.

 

I notified the court, and the hearing was set for September 23, 2003. I purchased an online book about fighting traffic tickets, and I became well-versed in radar. Barbara and I drove to Kingsland on the 22nd so we would have time to photograph the area and draw a map. I was well-prepared.

 

We went to the court (behind the police station) early. We sat through many “trials” where it sounded to us like everyone was being sentenced to jail time. Barbara got very sick at the thought that I was going to be sentenced to jail because I fought the traffic ticket.

 

My case was finally called, and my evidence was overwhelming. My case was even better because Officer Vincent Passarelli gave testimony that was in absolute conflict with what was on the ticket. I believe I proved that he could not have had my car on radar; that my car was nowhere near a construction zone; and that Officer Vincent Passarelli entered erroneous information on the ticket and could not explain why. I rested my case, and I anxiously awaited word that I had won.

 

Much to my horror, I was found guilty and sentenced to 7 days in jail. I have never been arrested, accused of a crime, or been in jail as an inmate. A deputy then took me by the arm to a room where I was allowed to pay $350 in lieu of serving the jail time. I pulled $350 cash out of my pocket really fast!

 

This was a scary experience. In my opinion, Kingsland has what we have heard referred to as a “kangaroo court.” The police are always right, and the accused is always wrong, and it doesn’t matter what evidence you have. I was very, very unhappy with what took place.

 

There was no doubt in my mind that I would appeal the case to the next higher court, and I did. I filed my appeal on a timely basis, and I waited and waited. I never received anything — no written communication, no calls, nothing. I called repeatedly trying to find out who I could call to get things moving along. No one ever responded.

 

I finally emailed the mayor and every member of the Kingsland city council. The Chief of Police called, and he promised to resolve things. Nothing happened. I emailed the Kingsland mayor and city council again. I finally received a call from someone at the police department, and he promised a refund of my $350. I received a check for $350 from the City of Kingsland on May 17, 2006 — over three years after I was stopped and 31 months after I filed my appeal.

 

Something that was very upsetting to us and a real negative during the first part of our trip ended positively. As with so many other things on the trip, we have laughed again and again about the experience. We’d like to think that perhaps the City of Kingsland decided that life should be kinder and gentler in their small town, too.

 

Movie Tour in Seattle – Day 99

Movie Tour in Seattle

Day 99 – July 8, 2003 – Tuesday

We spent the day in Seattle, and we drove to Bellingham, Washington in the evening. Headed for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada first thing on 7/9/2003.

Sleepless in Seattle House in Seattle, Washington
Sleepless in Seattle House in Seattle, Washington – Round America 50-State Trip.

The houseboat where Tom Hanks lived in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle.”

We visited several Seattle movie locations today — the houseboat in “Sleepless in Seattle;” Space Needle — the home of “Austin Power’s” foe Dr. Evil, and used in “Cinderella Liberty,” “Frasier,” “Georgia,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” The Parallax View,” and many more; the DigiCom Building from “Disclosure;” the Alaskan Way Viaduct used for a high-speed chase in “Assassins;” the Elliott Bay/Washington State Ferries used in “Disclosure” and “Tugboat Annie;” the monorail that Elvis rode in “World’s Fair;” the Triangle Pub used in “Get Carter;” the Waiting for Interurban statue used in “Say Anything;” Alki Beach used in “Sleepless in Seattle,” “American Heart,” and “Life or Something Like It;” the Fremont Troll used in “10 Things I Hate About You;” Safeco Field used in “Life or Something Like It;” Seattle Center used in “Cinderella Liberty,” “Scorchy,” the 100th episode of “Frasier” and more; Pike Place Market used in “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Fabulous Baker Boys,” and others. Seattle has certainly been an extremely popular movie location! It’s an incredibly beautiful city with a wide variety of sights.

In addition to our movie “tour,” we also saw the Experience Music Project at Seattle Center.

Dahlia Bakery in Seattle, Washington - Round America 50-State Trip.
Dahlia Bakery in Seattle, Washington – Round America 50-State Trip.

Dahlia Bakery for lunch and three (3) pieces of pie.  Best in Seattle, and certainly among the best of the trip.

For lunch, we visited the Dahlia Lounge and Bakery — home of what is widely regarded as the best pie in Seattle — Triple Coconut Cream Pie. The Triple Coconut Cream Pie was excellent, as was the Bing Cherry Chocolate Pie and the Blueberry Brown Sugar Pie. This was the best pie in Seattle and among the best pie on the trip.

Charlie and Spencer.

One of these guys is a famous photographer of rock stars.  The other one rides in a Radio Flyer wagon with a special infant seat. 

While we were enjoying our three pies, we saw the cutest little guy ride by in his Radio Flyer Wagon with a special child seat. We met one-year-old Spencer and his dad, Charlie. Spencer just enjoyed his first birthday on June 19, so he is exactly a week older than Miss Madison. Spencer enjoyed his Dahlia’s cookies as much as we enjoyed our pie.

We had a nice chat with Charlie, and we came to learn that he is a photographer. Charlie has taken photos of a wide variety of rock groups and performers over the years, and his photos have appeared many times “on the cover of a Rolling Stone” magazine. We probably drove Charlie crazy with all the questions we asked. He really enjoys his art, and he told us that he has enjoyed too many of his clients to name one favorite. He almost always enjoys his projects, but he did indicate that Kenny G was his least favorite client. His next big project was with Garrison Keeler’s Prairie Home Companion.

Charlie is a really talented big-time photographer! And Spencer is the cutest — big smile and wonderful laugh! What a treat it was to meet Charlie and Spencer! Here’s a link to one of Charlie’s photos — http://www.rollingstone.com/photos/bigphoto.asp?gid=7313&s=11&e=15&seq=11&cf=&bc=&afl=frnd

Pioneer Square Building in Seattle, Washington where my company had an office.
Pioneer Square Building in Seattle, Washington where my company had an office. Round America 50-State Trip.

Pioneer Square building where I used to have a company office.

After lunch, pie, Spencer and Charlie, we saw the sights in Pioneer Square — the old part of Seattle. It’s a beautiful area with great old buildings. I was CEO of a company with a division in Seattle a few years back, and our office was in one of the great Pioneer Square buildings on Yesler Way.

We saw the most unusual national park we have seen — a storefront in the Pioneer Square area — Klondike Gold Rush National Park. We drove by Smith Tower. It was the fourth tallest building in the world in 1914. We visited Waterfall Park in Pioneer Square.

Soon after leaving Seattle, near the town of Arlington, we saw a herd of wooden cows out in a field. I stopped to take a photo. We have no idea what the story was with this, and we have not been able to get any information on it.

We met a lot of nice people today. Tom (not Hanks) came to our aid as we searched for the houseboat that Tom Hanks called home in “Sleepless in Seattle.” Heidi helped us at Dahlia’s. Nathan took care of us at Comfort Inn.

Then we had a ball tonight at dinner when we met just about everyone working at and eating in the Olive Garden restaurant in Bellingham. Hostesses — Summer, Katy, Emily; our excellent waiter — Deran; Culinary Assistant — Mr. Josh; Manager Kevin; waitress Alisa; customers Mary Ann, Guy, Suzanne, and Glen (the Canadians), Candy, Laura Lynn, and Jamie. Deran has given us some great spots in Nevada to visit when we take our next trip Round America, and the Canadians suggested several pie places between here and Vancouver. Then when we returned to the hotel after dinner, Nathan had two Bellingham area suggestions for great pie.

If the people we’ve met so far are any indication, Bellingham must be a special town!

The thought for the day is how special it is to be able to bring a smile to the faces of others. We’ve seen it throughout the trip, but it was especially enjoyable tonight in Bellingham.

Random Comments:

Today marked the start of Week 15! Hard to believe. 20,500 miles in the rearview mirror. I’m estimating another 7,000 to go — but it could be as many as 10,000 ahead of us. We’ve burned almost 1,200 gallons of gas. 26 states down and 24 to go. We’ve taken almost 10,000 photos. We’ve probably met 1,500 people.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.

 

More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Seattle Washington — Space Needle — Experience Music Project — Pioneer Square — Dahlia’s Bakery
 

Taco Loco ‚Äď Day 21

Day 21 — April 21, 2003 — Monday

Taco Loco

On the edge of the town of Lordsburg, New Mexico I spotted an old bus that had been turned into a roadside café.  Taco Loco.  Looked like just the spot for a guy who drove 600 miles to eat two pieces of pie.

 

A trucker of 22 years named Kenny who had pulled over for a two-hour nap and had just awakened after 12 hours was waiting for his food.  He said he reckons he must have been more tired than he thought.  He was doing take-out…eating as he drives.  His dog was doing a lot of barking.  Mercedes was her name.  Kenny said an old lady (trucker and biker talk for wife) and several girlfriends had come and gone, but Mercedes had stuck with him.  Mercedes learned to honk the horn on the steering wheel of the truck, so Kenny had to tape it off so she couldn’t honk and wake him up.  But she’s a smart little dog as Kenny said she had now figured out how to blow the air horn.  No wonder he slept for 12 hours.

 

Phyllis stuck her head out the little window, and I ordered a breakfast burrito.¬† Man was it good ‚Äď a big soft flour tortilla filled with eggs, bacon, hash brown potatoes and topped with salsa.¬† What a bargain at $2.65.¬† I gave her $5.00 and told her to keep the change, and you would have thought I had given her the $100 I won in Biloxi!¬† I asked Phyllis how long she had been open, and she said: ‚ÄúNot long enough.¬† I‚Äôll be out of business next week.¬† They‚Äôve sold the land, and I am being evicted.‚Ä̬† She was so nice.¬† This was so sad.¬† First Roger and now Phyllis.¬† She went on to tell me that she had never made any money.¬† ‚ÄúJust covering expenses.‚Ä̬† She was a one-person operation, and the hours’ sign said 7 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week.¬† That’s 98 hours a week “just covering expenses.”¬† I told Phyllis things would get better, and I told her I would keep my eye out for a new location as I drove around town.¬† She of course knew what I was about to find out; Lordsburg is one of those once neat old western towns that has all but dried up.¬† There was no place to go around there.

Lost in Atlanta – Day 1

Lost in Atlanta

Day 1 – April 1, 2003 – Tuesday

The time: 9:15 am.

The date: April 1, 2003.

The place: Atlanta, Georgia.

Our trip Round America begins.

After years of thinking about this trip and several months of intense planning and research, we charged out of our home at 9:15 a.m. filled with excitement and anticipation. 28,036 on the odometer – will be over 56,000 after we visit all 50 states.¬† “Baby You Can Drive My Car” by The Beatles was cued up on the CD player and provided great dancin’ music as we hit the road.¬† We were pumped!

We ran right straight into Atlanta’s biggest de-ttraction: nasty bumper-to-bumper traffic.¬† Thirty minutes later, we managed to escape, top off the gas tank, grab a couple of Cokes, and put the car in high gear headed east to Athens, Georgia.¬† Enthusiasm filled the air.

I almost immediately learned the hard way that our 29-cent clip-in-the-window-sill cup holders should not be asked to hold nearly full open cans of Coca-Cola.  Our second stop was in a church parking lot a few blocks from our home to clean up all the Coke.  But nothing could dampen our enthusiasm, so we cranked her into high gear once again, and we were off Рvowing that we would let nothing bring us down Рthis was to be a happy, fun, experience-of-a-lifetime!

We then became hopelessly Lost in Atlanta trying to find the little two-lane road I had chosen off a map.¬† An hour into the trip, we came upon the golden dome of the Georgia State Capitol Building.¬† It glistened beautifully in the late morning sun.¬† One problem: the Georgia State Capitol Building is in downtown Atlanta – due south from our home and NOWHERE near Athens, Georgia.¬† Lost in Atlanta.¬† All we could do was laugh!¬† A fitting start to the trip.¬† I could have probably driven straight to the world’s largest ball of twine in Cawker City, Kansas (where I’d not yet been), but I couldn’t even find my way out of the town we live in!¬† Sometimes we can’t see the trees for the forest.¬† I had the big picture, but I couldn’t put together one of the most important little pieces.¬† Lost in Atlanta.¬† With the help of a cell phone and our daughter, Brittany, we managed to get headed in the right direction, and we ultimately made it to Athens – just two hours later than planned.

Behind schedule, we didn’t stop to see any sights in Athens.¬† Not the way we had planned to begin the trip.¬† Lost in Atlanta.

From Athens, we took the Antebellum Trail – a highway that goes through an area of Georgia with beautiful antebellum homes.¬† We fell in love with Madison, Georgia.¬† Madison is described as the “#1 Small Town in America.”¬† Gorgeous streets with stately homes, a wonderful town square, great shops, nice people, and just a warm feeling.

We took a lot of photos, and we had an excellent lunch at The Madison Gift Mart and Cafe. Our waitress, Ginger, was delightful, and we thoroughly enjoyed hearing about life in her very small town.¬† Ginger reported in her DEEP southern accent that everyone in Madison was really excited about the new skating rink (roller, no doubt).¬† Unfortunately, the place will only hold 250 people, and it’s almost impossible to get in because the young kids have made it their hangout.¬† She bemoaned the fact that WalMart is about the only place in town to shop.¬† But she loves living in Madison and commented about how special it is that since the town has only one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school; her children will attend all 12 years of school with the same friends. (That’s an interesting concept for someone like me who had lived in 15 cities and 31 homes in 54 years). Clearly Ginger and the folks in Madison do have a kinder and gentler life than we know in the big cities where we have lived.

We also met Savannah and April at the cafe, and we took their photo.¬† The Blackberry Cobbler was recommended by the nice lady at the Madison Chamber of Commerce, and it was excellent – just like Grandma used to make!¬† Even better was the Gentleman Jim’s Tea – 1/2 sweet tea and 1/2 lemonade.¬† Try it; it’s really good.¬† We planned to eat in Juliette at the Fried Green Tomatoes Cafe, but it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so we will visit it at another time.

We managed to get lost two additional times today.¬† It appears that one of the great challenges of driving around the country on two-lane roads will be FINDING the darned roads.¬† Highway 8 to Dacula (that’s Dracula without the R) just isn’t marked clearly.¬† We may need that fanccy new GPS system that Uncle Ward told us to take.

We took a number of photos along the way.  We saw some expressions of patriotism, but nowhere near what we all saw after 9/11.  Dacula and Madison showed the greatest patriotism.

We rolled into Savannah a little after 8.  Amanda got us checked in at The River Street Inn, and she recommended a place for pie.  We met John and Linda Michelin from Montreal in the parking lot; they saw the sign on the car and wanted to know about the trip.  Delightful people.  They invited us to stay at their home in Canada.

We had a nice dinner at The Shrimp Factory (recommended by Karen, our dental hygienist in Atlanta).¬† vOur waiter, Michael, took great care of us and even showed us how to get to Forrest Gump’s bus bench tomorrow.¬† We topped off dinner with the pie recommended by Amanda from the hotel — White Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie.¬† Barbara said it was the best pie she had ever eaten in her life!¬† It was tasty.¬† But we had about 175 pieces of pie to go.¬† LOL.

We took a stroll down the lovely waterfront area before calling it a night.  Savannah is truly a uniquely beautiful American city, and we look forward to tomorrow.

The biggest lesson we learned today, or most important observation, is that there is a kinder and gentler life in the smaller towns in America.  Small towns seem somewhat insulated from the negative aspects of life in big cities.

Lost in Atlanta  LOL.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this.¬† We drop in some of the photos from the day.¬† Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat.¬† We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website.¬† Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat.¬† If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.

Random Comments:

Some folks think we are nuts to take off driving around the country for several months.¬† In honor of those people, we chose April Fool’s Day to begin our adventure.¬† Maybe we are crazy, but we are very excited to see so many wonderful sights in this great country that most of us never see.¬† There aren’t a lot of people who could or would take off and drive around the country for four months, so we’ve created and will build this website to provide a virtual tour for those of you who wish you could do something like this… or those of you who are just curious.

Photo Gallery:

These are all the worthwhile photos from Day 1.  When you click on a thumbnail photo of interest, it will open the photo in a larger size.  When you hover your cursor over a thumbnail, it displays a caption that identifies the photo.

More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta —¬†Apalachee School House — Madison, Georgia — How to get Lost in Atlanta.
 

Atlanta to Savannah GA Hwy Day 1 — April 1
Atlanta GA
Atlanta to Tucker GA 8
Tucker to Lawrenceville GA 8
Lawrenceville to Dacula GA 8
Dacula to Auburn GA 29
Auburn to Carl GA 29
Carl to Russell GA 29
Russell to Stratham GA
Stratham to Bogart GA
Bogart to Athens GA University of Georgia; Stonehenge replica; world’s only double-barreled cannon; Tree That Owns Itself
Athens to Watkinsville GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Watkinsville to Bishop GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Bishop to Farmington GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Farmington to Apalachee GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Apalachee to Madison GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Madison to Eatonton GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Eatonton to Warfield GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Warfield to Milledgeville GA 441 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Milledgeville to Haddock GA 22 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Haddock to Gray GA 22 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Gray to Clinton GA 129 Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Scenic Route
Clnton to Juliette GA 18 & 87 Fried Green Tomatoes Café
Juliette to Clinton GA 18 & 87
Clinton to Macon GA 129 Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Macon to Dry Branch GA 80
Dry Branch to Fitzpatrick GA 80
Fitzpatrick to Jeffersonville GA 80
Jeffersonville to Danville GA 80
Danville to Allentown GA 80
Allentown to Montrose GA 80
Montrose to Dudley GA 80
Dudley to Dublin GA 80
Dublin to East Dublin GA 80
East Dublin to Scott GA 80
Scott to Adrian GA 80
Adrian to Swainsboro GA 80
Swainsboro to Twin City GA 80
Twin City to Portal GA 80
Portal to Statesboro GA 80 Georgia Southern University
Statesboro to Brooklet GA 80
Brooklet to Stilson GA 80
Stilson to Blichton GA 80
Blichton to Eden GA 80
Eden to Bloomingdale GA 80
Bloomingdale to Pooler GA 80
Pooler to Garden City GA 80
Garden City to Savannah GA 80 World Globe Storage Tank