Monday, April 14, 2014

Outrun the Rain

It's been a few months since we traveled to the beach, and since we want to do road trips whenever we can, we found some great reviews for Highway A1A in Florida. The 70-mile stretch that parallels the ocean and beaches from St. Augustine down the coast towards Daytona sounded like a great Spring drive. Then I checked the Weather Channel, which has a tendency to almost always cause me change my original plans. This time was no different. Not only was there a lot of rain headed towards the coast, there was a ten to twenty degree temperature drop for most of the week. 

Plan B was going to include a Cajun cuisine road trip through Louisiana, but this left me wondering how upset I would be if I gave up on the beach trip, which I desperately need. What if I'm wandering around in the swamp with gators, and Vicki posts on Facebook how pretty it turned out to be in Florida? Thus began the desperate search for sunshine. You know those people who chase tornadoes just for the heck of it, and for the rush it gives them? Yeah, that's not us. We run from the rain and chase the sun. 

You wouldn't believe the hours I've gone over the possibilities of where we could go, what will the weather be like when we drive, and where will we stop along the way? I've learned not to plan ahead because we always regret it when we see something we like better. So, on Monday morning when I got home from working a week of twelve hour night shifts, I must have asked ten times, like a child from the back seat, "Where are we going?" Six hours later, on our way out of town, we decided to hit the gulf coast and just drive until it was warm enough, even if there's a little rain. 

We started our day in Morristown at The Cutting Board, with the best quiche (for me) and chuck wagon sandwich (for him) we've ever had. We made a couple of rest area stops and then a stop at the Georgia Winery for a few tastes of wine. I'm always amazed at wine tastings. I really can't tell from a few drops if I like it or not, I really need to have at least a half gallon, I mean glass. We ended up with a sweet red (I'll get the name for you later) , which is their best seller, and a bottle of piƱa colada wine. That one really surprised me when I tasted it, but it's like a sweet red with just a hint of coconut. Maybe it's not even "real wine," but it sure is "real good" as we say in the South.  From there, we just drove (well, Jay did after I told him my reflexes weren't exactly up to par in the Atlanta rush hour traffic) until we were tuckered out (one hour nap in 24 hours is catching up with me). We ended our day with one of my favorite foods on the planet, Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits. Don't judge me, but I ate the whole basket (minus a half). I think I'll make it a point to find the best biscuits in the South while on this trip. What better way to start and end a day?

Which brings me to the first and only real complaint of the day. I made sure to check TrIpAdvisor for a good hotel in Macon. I based my criteria on how close it was to the interstate, and if they had a pool. After missing the access road twice, we finally found it, checked in, and thought about going to the pool/hot tub (remember it was the reason we chose this one). I went down to get us some coffee (to warm up for morning, still better than using the in-room coffee maker that some drunk guy could have pee'd in), and thought I'd check out the pool area while I was there. Guess what! You got it. The sign said "Pool Closed For Maintenance." I went back to the desk to ask the girl if there was some sort of compensation since that's the reason I chose this property. With a puzzled look on her face (like why in the world would I care about a pool), she said "Well, nooooo (insert sweet southern sounds here) but our other property across the street will let you use theirs; of course you'd have to wear a robe across the parking lot I guess."

This is where I say to myself "it's a good thing she's cute, and I'm tired...bless her heart."


Vineyard at Georgia Winery (and I assume a wedding gazebo).

Georgia Winery - Try the Concord Sweet Red 

Beautiful Entrance at the Georgia Winery

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