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Old 05-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #1
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Feelin’ Groovy: A Cam and Luke TR Completed 7/31

Day #1 -- Sunday, May 8, 2016

How did she come up with that title might be what’s going through your head right now? As you know from my pre-trip report, Luke had an appendectomy a week and a half before our scheduled trip. You also know we planned on taking it easier. Several times during our nine days touring Walt Disney World, I found the lyrics to this oldie, but goodie running through my mind. Back when I was in high school, I was a member of a small choral ensemble called Madrigals. Our choir director was a huge fan of Simon & Garfunkel, so every year we did at least two or three of their hits. I’m pretty sure we sang “The 59th Street Bridge Song” all three years I participated. Back in the 70s, our group was certain that we ourselves quite groovy. So why would this song be haunting me while on vacation, you may say? Well, Luke and I kept realizing that we simply weren’t moving slow enough for him so close on the heels of surgery. So I kept singing (in my head only) “Slow down, you move too fast/You got to make the morning last. . .” The more I sang the song the more I realized how other parts of the lyrics (which I’ve included here so the song will be running through everyone’s heads )worked for this trip, e.g. see the second and third stanzas below. Just imagine Luke and me as two groovy dudes, kicking down the cobblestones of Main Street, World Showcase, Hollywood Boulevard, and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

The 59th Street Bridge Song

By Simon and Garfunkel
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

Hello lamppost, what'cha knowing
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy

To some extent, the trip began on Saturday night when we gassed up the Edge at Kroger with 12.65 gallons for an even $22 while still in Owensboro. At least that is the first entry in my journal. By the way, speaking of the journal, I kept a few, very few, notes in it. I also tried making audio notes on my iPhone for several days. That whole process was incredibly hilarious as Siri tried her hardest to figure out what I had said in my sweet, little Southern accent. I wish I had kept some of the odd word choices she made just so you all could laugh, too, but I was afraid I’d have no idea what I had been trying to say if I didn’t correct everything. This method lasted all of two days when I abandoned it for more traditional 21st Century note-taking, using Word on my laptop. Each night since we were feeling groovy and returning earlier than normal, I found I had time to type up brief notes and reminders to help me when I finally got around to writing this trip report back at home. I also have my faithful memory joggers, i.e. photos, receipts, maps, and Luke.

So let’s get this trip, literally, on the road. Luke wanted us on the road heading south no later than 8:00 AM CDT. That meant I needed to get up two hours prior in order to manage that to-go time. I also was factoring in some time between home and the interstate to pick up two glazed donuts for me from Dunkin’ Donuts for no other reason than it was Mother’s Day. Glazed donuts, heck donuts in general, are a dietary weakness for me. When I taught, I probably had them a dozen or so times a year as teachers may be second to cops in their love for donuts. Since I’ve retired, I’ve really cut back and only have them two or three times a year. Mother’s Day is a donut-must-do day for me. We were all pretty, the Edge was all packed, and the house was secured by 7:39 AM CDT.

Luke started out as the driver for this first portion of the trek as I have difficulty eating and driving. Understand donuts, especially two of them can be quite distracting. At Dunkin’ Donuts, I got my two glazed donuts while Luke got two jelly filled donuts (he deserved a treat, too), and we both got Cokes, fully loaded with sugar because that is a trip tradition. We headed out of the drive thru at 7:55 AM CDT. We’re going to Disney!!!

At the Hartford, Kentucky, exit we switched drivers. This was only about 30 minutes into our adventure and both donuts were now residing in my tummy. My hands were free to steer, so I took over the driving. Now travel days by car can be a bit on the boring side, but I hope to provide some entertaining details along the road. I drove through the remainder of Kentucky, into Tennessee, which like Kentucky is a beautiful state, lots of lush green, and then right up to the mountains. I love mountains, but I do NOT love driving through them, especially with a billion or so big wheelers. Going up the big rigs are slow as molasses; going down they squeal, smoke, and the interstate here actual has runaway truck ramps. SCARY! At approximately 10:45 AM CDT (that is what it says in my notes), we stopped at a McDonald’s for a restroom break and to purchase a large drink for Luke (he’d already finished the one from Dunkin’ Donuts) and some ice for me to refresh my Coke from breakfast.

All of this seems to have taken only ten minutes because my notes state we are back on the road by 10:55 AM CDT. For some reason Luke asked that I note the time we made it to Chattanooga, Tennessee. That would be 11:45 AM CDT (though it is on EDT, our car’s clock had not converted yet). Now you know our Chattanooga arrival time, too. Makes you feel better, doesn’t it? Finally, our clock made it successfully into Eastern Daylight Savings Time when we stopped at 1:35 PM EDT at an Arby’s in Calhoun, Georgia, for some lunch.



I was not overly hungry for two reasons: one, I had had two glazed donuts for breakfast, and two, Luke was taking me to Outback for Mother’s Day dinner. Since I didn’t want to be stuffed until dinner was over, I opted for a Jr. Roast Beef and mozzarella sticks. Luke got only a Beef ‘n Cheddar sandwich. Since we were already stopped and a girls’ sports team of some kind was occupying both Arby’s restrooms in a steady stream, we headed next door to a Kwik Serve gas station. The price here was higher, but it would keep us from stopping only a little ways down the road. We got 12.54 gallons for $28.22. As Luke cleaned the windshield of bug guts and smear, we realized that somewhere between Nashville and Chattanooga something had hit the windshield, cracking it in what became an 18 inch gash. Don’t worry! We were feelin’ groovy (you all are going to get tired of that expression I’m afraid). Luke contacted our insurance on the Friday after we got home, and Safelite came last Saturday to replace it. Only took a little over an hour, too.



Again I recorded for Luke when we arrived in Atlanta—2:39 (EDT). Now we had expected travel to be lower on a Sunday afternoon, but it was still very congested. Luke glanced over at a billboard at one point, and told me he thought he knew the reason for all the traffic, the Hawks and Cavs basketball game was set to start in less than an hour. Dumb luck! Before leaving home, we had checked to see if the Braves were playing, but never thought to check for a basketball game. A little over an hour later at 3:49 PM EDT, we drove off I-75 onto the bypass around Macon (I-475). In spite of the traffic in Chattanooga and Atlanta, we were making very decent time. Since we were well passed the mountains, I took over driving after we stopped for a bathroom break at a McDonald’s somewhere shortly after returning to 1-75. I finished up this day’s adventures, arriving at the Hampton Inn at Valdosta at precisely 6:04 PM EDT. Wouldn’t want to be off by a minute or two! Overall, our driving adventure had been uneventful in best sort of way. We had noticed several very bad wrecks but all were on the opposite of the interstate. Two had cars crumpled and resting on their roofs. One side note: I love the safety message blazoned on signs on all the interstates in Tennessee – “Get the CELL off your phone and drive.” Tennessee! Your cleverness and wit got my attention, and hopefully, of those folks who think they can drive while on the phone.

While I sat out in the car, Luke went inside to get our room keys. We’d already done online check in with Hilton on Saturday, which allowed us to select our room. To get to the parking near our room, I inadvertently drove the wrong way down the street, but thank goodness, I did not cause us or anyone else any distress.



Hidden Mickeys at the Hampton Inn

When Luke had gotten our keys, he had also asked for directions to the Outback, and discovered that it was very close. So once the bags we’d need for our overnight stay had been carted to the room, we were off for dinner. Because of an e-mail, I knew that Outback was serving a 3-Course Mother’s Day dinner. There was some choice with each course, and I chose a house salad with balsamic vinaigrette for my appetizer, my entrée was the Victoria’s Falls filet mignon with broccoli, and for dessert Salted Caramel Cookie Skillet perfect for two. The filet mignon came with chunk crab and béarnaise sauce, but I was iffy as to whether I would like either with my steak. Our server told me they could do any substitutions, but that she could have both these served on the side. I’m so glad she did that for me as neither was to my taste tonight. Luke enjoyed all the chunk crab. I also had the house-made lemonade. Totally delicious meal!



Back in the room, we just relaxed, watching American Pickers on the History Channel. By 10:15 PM EDT, we were ready for bed. Around 1:00 AM EDT, the room got very hot, waking us both up. Luke adjusted the thermostat and we both fell right back to sleep.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:09 PM   #2
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Groovy! I'm first!
Welcome back! I think doughnuts are a road trip tradition I could get used to. Sorry about the windshield and traffic. Your Mother's Day dinner sounded delicious. Looking forward to reading about your vacation. I wish I had the determination to keep up with note taking while away. It's so nice to read all the details you provide. I hope Luke was able to enjoy himself while away from home.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:10 PM   #3
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Some of you have asked about the Greenbelt trails where Luke and I often walk. Since I felt better today, we headed to a section fairly close by. The Greenbelt here overlaps with a city park designated for softball/baseball. We covered 4.11 miles today. I still have a ways to go before I'd say I was well. I'm still hoarse/raspy and the cough still lingers. But I'm feeling better. :woot;










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Old 05-26-2016, 09:12 PM   #4
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Groovy! I'm first!
Welcome back! I think doughnuts are a road trip tradition I could get used to. Sorry about the windshield and traffic. Your Mother's Day dinner sounded delicious. Looking forward to reading about your vacation. I wish I had the determination to keep up with note taking while away. It's so nice to read all the details you provide. I hope Luke was able to enjoy himself while away from home.
I've always loved taking notes, but since I now have carpal tunnel in my right hand, writing out extensive notes doesn't work well. So I'm still experimenting with what method is going to be best to replace handwriting everything.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:23 PM   #5
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Sounds great so far, sorry about the windshield, I'm surprised you didn't hear something hit it. We got a chuckle out of the signs in Tenn. We are in ny and everyone thinks they can drive while on their cells, drives me crazy, nothing is so important it can wait. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:26 PM   #6
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Sounds great so far, sorry about the windshield, I'm surprised you didn't hear something hit it. We got a chuckle out of the signs in Tenn. We are in ny and everyone thinks they can drive while on their cells, drives me crazy, nothing is so important it can wait. Can't wait to read more.
We actually heard a couple of pings on the glass, but didn't see anything until the crack had spread all across the passenger side. Kentucky has its share of folks who stay on their phones while driving, too.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:48 PM   #7
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Love your title! When I was in grade school we sang some Simon & Garfunkel songs at our concerts as well!
Great travel day! Except for the windshield. Glad it's all fixed!
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:40 PM   #8
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Great start already and we haven't even made it to the true Disney portion yet

Love the trails you get to walk - so very jealous. What are your winters like? I really need to move somewhere that has little to no winter .... hate the cold.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:47 AM   #9
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Love the title of the report - very appropriate, given what had happened just before this trip.

Great start, well apart from the windshield that is.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:27 AM   #10
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Great start to your trip, and I love the green belt what a nice place to walk.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:06 AM   #11
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Fantastic start! I always love your entertaining TRs that make me feel like I am right there with you.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:22 AM   #12
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A lovely start!!! So funny about Siri. She can definitely get confused sometimes!!

Such a bummer about your wind shield, but at least it was fixed quickly!

Dinner sounded delicious...I wish every Mother's Day I'd be headed to Disney World ��.

I'm so excited to hear more about your "feelin groovy' trip!!
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:44 AM   #13
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So excited for another Cam and Luke TR!! Sorry about your windshield
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:27 AM   #14
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Fantastic start!! (Except for the windshield part)
You know of course, I "sang" the song as I read it!!
Terry and I love Outback. He's more of the steak eater, I'm the chicken fan. (Not crazy about steaks...) Anyway....
Can't wait to read more of this groovy trip report!!!
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:31 AM   #15
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Love your reports so much. Can't wait for more.
they always get me in the mood for my next trip, which is in only 52 days!
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