I write to you now from a Starbucks in somewheresville, North Georgia. I left Tampa yesterday in the late morning and am slowly but surely making my way North. My final days in Tampa were bustling, what with packing, saying way too many good byes, and getting a little bit of work done somewhere in the mix.
My last full day in Tampa was spent mostly at the Thai temple; much love to all of my beautiful friends (who feel like family) who came out for this unofficial farewell party. Leah, don’t forget to send us the pictures taken with your awesome camera! All I have is this somewhat candid shot:
Farewells aside, this trip had a couple of hiccups before it even got started:
1. Ant invasion. Last Friday I made a rather unpleasant discovery: ants had moved into Stella. It started with me noticing a handful of ants crawling around the backseat, which was gross but not horrible. The horror started when I opened the passenger side door and saw rice — or what I thought was rice — scattered in the doorwell, with hundreds of ants scurrying around. At first I thought that somehow I had spilled rice in my car, but then I realized that I was actually looking at ant eggs.
Needless to say, this lead to a mild panic attack. Not as bad as the fleas I had earlier this year, but still quite unpleasant. I have wanted an ant farm, but not like this! Thank goodness for science for bringing us Raid. The ants were gone by the end of the day.
2. Lost tent. I was working on packing Sunday afternoon when I realized that my tent, which I used at a small music festival last weekend, was neither in my room nor was it in the car. I had a few frantic moments as I tried to make calls to see if any friends had picked up my tent after last weekend, though I was resigned to buying another tent from Dick’s Sporting Goods, which closed in 30 minutes.
I was grabbing my keys and flying out the door when Uncle Dave made a suggestion. Had I looked in the storage unit? I hadn’t, so I took a peek and lo and behold, it was there! Huge sigh of relief because a) a new tent was not planned in the budget, b) a tent is an investment that I did not want to hastily make, and c) I really like the tent I have!
Thus far, these are the only hiccups on my journey. Not too bad, right? The best thing is that everything thus far has been easily resolved.
So on to my road trip: smooth sailing! I stop now and then for bathroom breaks. I have my Camelbak filled with water and citrus, which was a great idea so that I stay hydrated on the road. Hands-free drinking on the highway, there’s nothing better! I also stopped at a pecan stand at the Georgia border yesterday:
The ultimate goal of this trip is to move from Tampa, Florida back to my parents’ house in northern Illinois. However, I am taking a significant detour to Manchester, Tennessee for the fabled Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival. I am flying solo and look forward to meeting some awesome people in the crowd of 85,000 that will begin descending on a 700 acre farm tomorrow. At this very moment I am only an hour and a half away…. So exciting!
But first I am spending the night with the Diehls, who are one of my best friend’s family. They live a little bit south of Nashville, and I staying with them for the night before heading to the hallowed grounds of music tomorrow afternoon. At this point I have just two and a half hours of driving left for this leg, which started in Alpharetta, Georgia with the Atlanta branch of the Fitzgerald family. Thank you thank you to Uncle Peter and Aunt Erin for opening your home to me!
Time to hit the road for this next leg, then tomorrow it’s Bonnaroo or bust!