If I remember correctly; I left off when Susie and I had left Jag's place in N. Carolina and headed straight into Hurricane Alberto which was mean enough to rain all over us and hit us with side winds. I drove in this for 3 or 4 hours until I decided to stop for the night and push on in the morning.
By morning, Alberto wisely decided to veer off and we drove off into a cloudy day with scattered rain showers. As we had a flight out of Miami that couldn't be changed and a stop in Boynton Beach that I had no intention of skipping, we pushed on and after being tricked by road signs in S. Carolina and Georgia, not to mention the lying sign in Florida that pointed to a rest stop that tuned out to be strip mall, we stopped at a proper rest stop a mile or so down I 95 with me raging about trickery and other treacherous things.
Poor Susie was just about ready to start eating the car so we stopped at an Olive Garden some place in Florida that was crawling with cop/sherriff cars and went inside for what we thought would be a nice meal. I can't remember what I ordered except that it came with a huge bowl of salad which was fine as I was desperate for weeds by then. The waiter appeared and informed Susie that her order couldn't be filled because they were out of it. She ordered something else and then the manager appeared and told us they were out of both of our entrees and that we could order anything we wanted; on the house. As I was just fine with my weeds, Susie reordered and quite enjoyed her free meal.
After dinner, we pushed on towards Boynton Beach and after 12 hours on the road, found a motel on Rt.1 and checked in. We had trouble with the A/C which I had turned on to heat
For some reason known to no one at all, I decided to check out the airport before finding the motel I wanted to stay in that night.
Of course I managed to get good and lost, but in the end I figured things out and found the motel that gives a whole new meaning to Highway Robbery. We checked in and crashed for the night. It was a nice room, but we could have bought a whole house for the price. We checked out in the morning and headed for Miami to look for a beach, which we found but it was sea shell free so Susie never did get a sea shell for her friend.
We got the car returned ok and made the flight to Reno. I have some pictures of Miami from the air and a few of some cool cloud formations. There was a stop over at Pheonix and I saw my wheely get back on the plane there. When we landed at Reno we discovered that Susie's suitcase had not gotten back on with my wheely. The wheely pusher was a darling and fellow smoker so she and I left Susie to sort the missing luggage issue and went out for a few puffs. After Susie finished with the lost luggage issue we went to the car rental place and a super nice gal got us the car and gave me a lighter because mine was stolen by the airport security people. We headed off in the general direction of Winnemuca but stopped for the night at a nice motel just off the highway. We found Winnemucca in the morning and Jeanie found us and took us to the Motel El Cheapo. Susie's travelling runaway suitcase showed up there the next day
Jeannie is a fellow VAer and a darling, wonderful gal-ex army helo mechanic who can also fix wheelies and has damn good taste in cars. She has a 67 F150 that sounds just like it should-great. She lives way out of town, literally at the end of no where and has a view to kill for. As there is next to no ambient light out there (there is a porch light in need of shooting on her street) we spent a lot of time sitting out in the dark looking at the sky. That woman can cook and her BBQ and gumbo are second to none.
We did some shopping at the local Walmart where Jeannie's mother works and once when I was taking her to work, ran a red light. No cops in the area so that was ok. Over the days we were there, I ran at least 2 stop signs, gave a deputy sherriff the finger and was run into by a kid on bicycle. Talk about lawless. I love driving in Winnemucca.
We discovered a salad (weed) bar at the Winner's Casino/hotel there and ate there lots. As our plans for Reno and Lake Tahoe were trashed by an empoyee Jeannie had to work instead of, we moved out the first motel into Winner's for the last night. It was great, but the cause of a few bad moments for Susie and me. We had to wait for a while for our room to be ready and she asked what we'd do while waiting. I said "we'll just park our butts in the lobby and wait."
Susie heard the word "park" and short circuited to 'wait in the parking lot' We had a good laugh after we got the misunderstanding sorted and waited in the lobby. It was so sad for me to say goodbye to Jeannie and Winnemucca, but we had to get back to Reno for our flight to Seattle. The speed limit on the Interstate in Nevada is 75 but as Susie needed a bathroom, I pushed the car to well over 90-that's miles per hour, not kilometers per hour. Would someone please explain how I got out of that state without so much as one single traffic citation? I was nervous until the plane took off for Seattle. The whole Washington State part of the trip was too nuts to even start to explain. The flight landed in the wee morning hours [they lost my new purple suitcase(the one with my new LL Bean boots)] and I had to drive from SEATAC to Roy without a ball on the steering wheel because I forgot mine in Reno. After breakfast we found a store that had one that wasn't very good. We finally made it to Ginger's house and followed her to their camp on Lake Mayfield-without the ball. After a really great visit with the rest of her family and some friends, I crashed for a nap then, we went for a boat ride on the lake. That was something I thought I'd never do again-get into a boat. It was so fantastic I can't even begin to find the words to describe it. I cried tears of joy. What I did not do was drink enough water which played a major part in the next part of the trip. Washington State was a 36 or so hour stop over and I spent most of it driving. When we got back to SEATAC we tried to find my bag, but no luck. Alaska Airlines is not one I'd recommend. Susie and I were originally seated in the first row and our hand luggage stowed. Suddenly a guy appeared and told us to move to the back of the plane because our seats were "out of commision" whatever that means. As soon as we had moved, he reaseated a lady from the back in our original seats. The attendants refused to move our stuff to our new seats and was downright rude. I ended up crying and she ignored me while being ever so sweet to the teenaged hooligans in the row ahead of us. I know I cry when I'm tired, but this was something else. The hooligans were noisy and kept bothering us and refused to pipe down. We finally landed at Burbank and called Kathleen who thought we were due the next day. She arose to the challenge and recruited her brother to drive to the rescue. First order of business was lunch which we had at a very posh restaurant in some idiot part of LA where it's illegal to smoke. I had a lobster and it was great. I also fell in love with her brother, which didn't stop me from kicking him in a most sensitive place quite by accident the next day. When we got to her house, I suddenly felt sick and barfed up all the lovely lobster and we diagnosed me as suffering from heat stroke. I stretched out on the sofa and started dosing myself with water and salt. I slept a lot too. Feeling better the next morning, we went to a deli for breakfast, did some shopping in a pharmacy and I think we took it easy the rest of the day. Thanks to heat stroke most of LA is pretty fuzzy, but I loved Kathleen's house and and her extended family and spent as much time as I could on her patio. My meds were in the bag with my LL Bean boots so I was a bit shaky until we took me to a doctor at an emergency clinic where the doc sorted the meds and gave me a quick check up. At some stage we found a store that sells knee pillows so I could replace the one that went missing in Winnemucca. I bought 3 and am still on the lookout for another like the missing one. We drove around LA a bit and Susie went to Universal Studios while I rested. We went to Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Wax Museum where I took tons of pictures. First time in my life I enjoyed playing tourist. We also went to Disney World where my credit card decided not to work. In addition to my brother, I now owe Kathleen a small fortune, which will be paid very soon. On the way out of Disney World, I tried to take out a gate post with my knee. Post 1-knee 0. Susie and I rode around on electric scooters. I had a few bad minutes with a minor recurrance of the heat stroke, but a short rest with a large water bottle sorted that.
We had an absolutely wonderful visit with Vicky and Don Ecker from UFO Magazine and good friends of Dwight Schultz the guy who played Murdock on A Team.
Other than waiting for what seemed like forever, I got my flight back to Israel just fine. Even with a stop over in Toronto that flight seemed like it would never end, but it did and we landed on time, and minus one suitcase, and plus a ton of debt, I got home safe and sound only to have two vehicles that wouldn't go. The missing suitcase eventually showed up and the Land Rover is doing just fine, but Harey Too is under the weather yet again and I have to get his fixer guy up here PDQ.
OK, that's pretty much the whole story. Of course there's a lot more in the fond memory storage area of my brain.