Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day Eleven: Longer Than Planned

Tennessee is a loooong state.

We knew that we didn't want to push ourselves too much, so we figured we'd stop for the night somewhere just past Jackson. An early stop, a chance to maybe swim in a swimming pool, a leisurely dinner, lots of time to write.


One of the "local" thundershowers appeared, but didn't slow us up. We drove on and on, the roads the best-maintained of any state so far.

We'd had a good breakfast, all of us, so we only needed to stop now and then for breaks. By the time we hit Nashville, we were optimistic about an early stop.

The picture is of Nashville, taken from the road, of course. The tall Batman-like ATT building dominates the scene.

On to Jackson, with time to spare! We began readying ourselves for a Holiday Inn Express -- but there were none to be seen.

Why Holiday Inn Express? Well, many of them are "pet friendly" which is helpful when you're traveling with the Dog. Moreover, the ones we've stayed at have been EXTRAORDINARILY clean and well-appointed and wow -- super-customer-service oriented.

We were sure there had to be one between Jackson and Memphis, but ... no. Still, we were about an hour ahead of where we'd thought we'd be, so we weren't worried. Surely we'd get to the other side of Memphis and find one!

Then the second "local" thunderstorm of the day hit, with a downpour of rain. We came out the other side of the storm congratulating ourselves that it hadn't slowed us much at all, when the traffic ground abominably to a halt. The storm hadn't stopped us, but somewhere up ahead, it had stopped someone else. We sat in traffic, unable to move, for nearly 45 minutes.

The Arkansas border arrived, no Holiday Inn Express. We kept on. And on. Finally, we gave up and thankfully accepted a plain old Holiday Inn. It's air conditioned, the beds are reasonably comfortable, and Howie is with us. Not what we wanted, not really, but it will do. Tomorrow we hope to make Oklahoma City; so optimistic are we that we plan on making a reservation there early in the day, and arriving there at a reasonable hour.

One of these days has got to actually feel like a vacation.

Well, the evening at Cheryl and Terry's did, but it surely wasn't enough.

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