Day 19 – Meridian (Mississippi) to Lake City (Florida)

by tailored on December 8, 2011

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Now We started Planning

We’d finally started planning what we were doing beyond the next few hours and identified that Harry wanted to visit Universal Studio’s Harry Potter Theme Park in Florida.

Our plan, this being day 19 with the bike and having to hand it back on day 23, was to scoot across Alabama as much as we could and get down to Orlando, Florida (home of Universal Studios) as quickly as possible.

It was a cold start to the day.

A cold start in Meridian

A cold start in Meridian

We Got Lost……Again

We headed out and knocked the first 20 miles over fairly quickly, it was through farmland with no real excitement but we both had the gut feeling we were heading North instead of East so we stopped and had a look at our map.

Our gut feelings was right so we headed back to Meridian and reassessed the situation.

We then found the fastest way out of Meridian and decided to make up time by taking a freeway all the way to Montgomery in the centre of Alabama.

We jumped on the Interstate 20 which took us via a few small towns – it was a very busy highway with tall tress on the side which meant there was no scenery or any real excitement.

We ended up on Route 8 which we were going to follow for just over 100 miles to Montgomery.

After around 45 miles we reached Uniontown and decided to have a stop for some petrol and to thaw out a little.

Into Montgomery

The road from Selma to Montgomery was a 30 miles stretch of road that had clearly been bypassed as there was hardly any traffic and it wasn’t anywhere near as well maintained as the previous section of road. The final stretch into Montgomery was cold and we stopped quickly for breakfast to warm up and grab a bite to eat.

We jumped back on the bike and went down the 53 as it took the most direct Route to Florida (we would have headed that way from the start of the day but we wanted to see Montgomery).

This road was the busiest we had been on all day, which meant that it wasn’t that enjoyable.

We reached Dotham and swapped to the 84 which took us through some very wide open highway with beautiful bushlands around on either side.

We then crossed the border out of Alabama which meant we had now gone 180 miles without a stop so we were keen for a break, it wasn’t as cold by then so we weren’t desperate but we still wanted to get to a nice café by 3:00pm so that we would be able to push a little into the night and make tomorrow a nice easy day into Orlando.

Georgia On My Mind

We enjoyed the new scenery but were thankful to reach Bainbridge and have a much needed food break.

Outside the coffee shop in Bainbridge, Georgia

Outside the coffee shop in Bainbridge, Georgia

We found a nice little café so we went in and found that they had a large selection of freshly made sandwiches which was perfect so we went up to the counter and ordered.

After a few minutes a different waitress brought over our sandwiches, hot chocolates and packets of potato chips (American’s are weird like that).

I quickly ate my Southern Italian Sandwich (constantly wondering how a Northern Italian Sandwich would differ).

“Say Something…”

As we talked I noticed a group of school kids coming in and having a coffee while studying, they were all joking around and after a few minutes one of them came up to us and asked us to say something in our Australian accents.

Every time we said something the whole group would laugh hysterically and then get us to say something else.

The girl that had come up to us then talked to us about Australia and told us that she had gone to Sydney the year before and she thought it was amazing, she was one of the first people we met that had been to Australia.

As we were walking out of the café one of them asked another ‘Do you think people in Australia laugh at our accents?’ I said ‘yeah, we do’ and they all cracked up laughing.  Wasn’t that funny!

After that it was just a matter of getting onto the quickest highway and heading south – which is waht we did.

Down into Tallahassee in Florida and then east towards Lake City.

Right at the start of the strip in Lake City was a Ramada Hotel which we went into and spent the night.

The usual hotel room in Lake City, Florida

The usual hotel room in Lake City, Florida

We went into a nearby Applebee’s for dinner.

From Harry’s Journal:

“Due to dad’s fascination, we sat in a booth  but I think it might have been because the booth’s had the best view of the very attractive waitress who showed us to our seats) we then ordered our meals and talked a lot in an attempt to avoid falling asleep.

We went over the plan for tomorrow while I received a lot of cokes even though I wasn’t drinking the ones they had just given me.

Our meals then arrived which was a rather nice beef burger with a mountain of chips. I ate about half before surrendering due to the knowledge that if I ate anymore I would throw up….but after about a minute I ordered a triple chocolate cake for dessert . I then ate the cake with ease and finished my 6th coke.”

Tomorrow we we heading to Harry Potter.


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