Friday, December 16, 2011

Road Trip 2011 Days 1-5

The trip began after Stephanie and David were done with classes on Friday.  We drove up to the University of Michigan to visit the local AXE chapter for initiation, as well as some other friends we had in town.  I met Kristin and her boyfriend for dinner at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. for dinner.  The Reuben was pretty tasty and went well with the beer.

On Saturday we helped our brothers with their initiation after getting some burritos at Big Ten Burrito (BTB). The food was reminiscent of QDoba, but a little cheaper and lower quality.  Either way, it was satisfying and helped me get through the long day.  I met up with an old friend of mine out at the bars later that evening for a few beers and to catch up.  After that I headed to the after-party...

The partying went on into the morning and we got a late start out of Ann Arbor, but it was worth it to see old friends and make some new ones.  We grabbed lunch at an Indian restaurant, the name of which I cannot recall.  I grabbed some paneer, which helped ease the hangover a little.  Around noon Dave began the trip home, as I was feeling a little under the weather (it was one of those nights).

Sunday was a pretty brutal travel day, but I managed to pull through the poor weather conditions and the nearly 18 hours in a car.  The trip almost never got started, and I learned an important lesson.  There aren't many gas stations between Lafayette and Terre Haute.  I almost ran out of fuel and would have been stranded, in Indiana, thousands of miles away from my destination.

I decided to forgo staying in Memphis and just head to Tuscaloosa.  I don't remember the name of the town, but I quickly remembered something my older brother had told me about the South.  Services don't stay open as late as they do up here.  I found my self staring at a gas station that had closed while sitting in its parking lot.  I fired up the GPS and looked for the next nearest station and decided to risk it.  Luckily, fortune favored the bold and I was able to fill up and get on my way.  At one point, I decided that I needed to change out of the clothes that I had sweating in for the better part of a day.  I was somewhere in the woods of Alabama, so I did a quick survey to make sure no one was watching.  I quickly changed clothes under the cover of darkness and continued on.  I rolled into T-Town around 6am local time.  Since my phone had died a number of hours earlier I needed to track down a mobile charger.  Luckily there was a Walmart that was open and nearby Chelsea's apartment.

I slept for the first part of Monday (Day 4) because I was exhausted for the overnight drive and Chelsea had to go to class anyway.  I woke up when one of my headhunters called about a phone interview for my next contract.  When Chelsea got home from class we went to dinner at the Cypress Inn.  I really enjoyed the seafood pasta that I ordered, even if it was a bit pricey.  We went back to her place and started thinking of things to do that night while watching movies and drinking whiskey and Coke.  We eventually went to Wilhagan's, a local pub.  I don't recall the exact beer that I tried, but everything was good and cheap.  It was good to finally get to hang out with my old friend for a while.

Tuesday was my last day in T-Town.  I decided to wander around Tuscaloosa for a while.  I took some pictures of the government center, then grabbed a beer at Mugshots since it was a little chilly outside.  After that I went a little further down the road to take pictures of the university.

On Wednesday morning I woke up to see frost on my car.  After clearing the window frost, it was time to say goodbye and head to New Orleans.

Here are a few of my favorites from Tuscaloosa (the more complete set is on Facebook)

Approximations from Google Maps:

Total Mileage:  1280
Total Driving Time: 22.5 hours

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