Friday, December 27, 2013

Tallahassee or Bust! Day 8: At the Finish Line... But Wait! Tallahassee... We Have a Problem!

Up early... one last look at the ocean from my balcony and then it was off from Pensacola to Tallahassee... the final push!

That is until my car broke down, feet from an exit! Where you ask? More on that in a moment.

A very nice guy, who could have been another brother on "Duck Dynasty" came and towed me to a small little Chevy dealer in "DeFuniak Springs Florida."

It's a place that could be a movie set from the early 40s. Yes they have electricity, but the buildings are old time classics. 

When the service manager told me it would take awhile before he could figure out what the problem was with my car, I asked him if there was a Starbucks in town. He said, "A what? Son this isn't California any more, you're in a one horse town!" (Insert your own version of a country accent... OH because he had one!)

After looking at the car, he pulled me over and showed me my timing chain which had snapped! They also have to make sure the pistons and heads are not damaged.  I say they HAVE to, because they couldn't do it today, therefore I have to come back about 160 miles to pick up my car Tuesday.

Now in order for me to still make it to Tallahassee, I had to get a rental car, which of course was 30 miles in the other direction. (Enterprise Rentals did pick me up) After I had the new car, a Chevy Tahoe.

I had to drive back to DeFuniak, load up the new car and finish the two hours left of the drive. When I got into town, I DID see one apartment and drive through 6 others, a couple of which I will see in the morning.  I went and got some sushi and then came back to my hotel room at the "Residence Inn at Marriott"

So while I had hoped this would be the last post for awhile and I would breakdown my final trip... there is a coda to my normal coda since I have to go back on Tuesday to pick up my car!

Crazy things happen some times and this trip has had its share.  I hope Florida gets better... REAL SOON!

Coda: (Lotion Picture Day 9)
Residence Inn at Marriott, Tallahassee

Oh well... at least we have lotion... NOT!  What's up with that?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tallahassee or Bust! Day 7: Four States in One Day? That's Crazy Talk!

The day started early... 6am... Bourbon Street just waking up to start another long day and night. The walk... kind of nice and quiet in the middle of a place that can be so loud.

Now I didn't just get up to wax poetic, I was on a mission.. a walk to the world famous "Café Du Monde" for Beignets and a coffee with milk.
Now these bad boys were good! Underneath the powdered sugar there was a flaky, friend dough, much different than a donut and altogether it's own little treat.

The good thing about where "Café Du Monde" is, compared to where I was staying is that there was about  15 minute walk to and back, which helped justify the Beignets.

On, my way back to the hotel, through a different part of the French Quarter, beautiful architecture everywhere.

My last quick stop out of town, a small cemetery just under the Clairborne Ave. bridge. In New Orleans most folks are buried in crypts, above grown.
This particular cemetery, one of the older ones in town, 1823.

You can just imagine the history of so many folks here. Their stories... their lives... unfortunately like everything else in New Orleans, even the cemeteries need help getting back to normal.
The next couple of hours on the road were easy driving. I Louisiana, went through Mississippi, Alabama and then rolled into Florida!
At the rest stop, just as you cross the border, there was a Navy plane suspended in air above parked cars. Kind of cool... hadn't seen that done before.
Finally I made my way to my stop for the night, Pensacola, the "Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front."  Check out the view from my hotel room!

I did have lunch at a place called, "Sidelines." One of the bellman suggested it and whenever I can get a local recommendation for food I usually try it out.  He said that's a place a lot of the staff eat at when they're off.
I had a grilled shrimp and pasta for lunch. The seasoning on the shrimp was good.

But back to the beach... stunning! I can only imagine what it's like during warmer months.


Back to the hotel for a second.  I did have one issue and I'm just keeping it real. After my workout this afternoon I came back to shower and the water wasn't getting hot.
I had to call up the maintenance guy who looked at it and then told me, some times it takes awhile. This after me running the water for 15 minutes and the HIM running the water for 15.  On my way out to dinner I complained about the issue to the front desk and to their credit they offered me the chance to move rooms... too tired for that or discount my bill... the option I took.  Because of the way they handled it, I WILL come back to a Hilton again.
OK for dinner.... I'm at the beach, it's all about seafood, how could I NOT try a place called, "Crabs: We Got'Em"
No really... that's the name!
The meal was good, but I've also determined that the reason crab is always so good is because you have to work to dig it out and afterwards you feel like a "Hunter Warrior" when you eat it.

So one more day on the drive... Tomorrow is Tallahassee and my temporary home, until I find an apartment and the place I'll start my new job from. 
One more regularly scheduled post tomorrow and then you'll be done with me and my blog across country... maybe by then my parent, who is not my mother will read all of the days in the past and get a sense of the journey.

Coda: (Lotion Picture Day 8)
Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front

Now one could argue... THIS is how you're suppose to do a lotion tray!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tallahassee or Bust! Day 6: Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's from the Big Easy!

Wow! A second night in one location??? It almost feels like I have a home again! lol  It's going to be awhile until that happens, but at least two nights in one city is interesting.

In honor of Christmas, I thought it would be special to head down to the first structure built after Hurricane Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward... a memorial that my parent who is not my mother designed and that I am very proud of.
If you want to see more of the design elements involved with the project and the way it originally looked, <CLICK HERE> for more information, it's pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Now I purposely decided not to show the destruction that is still plaguing the city out of respect for the people who live here. But folks, there are places that feel like it's more than a third world country. The city still needs help and millions of dollars. I'm not sure if it will EVER be the same, but slowly but surely SOME things are turning around.

Just a block away from the Katrina Memorial, there is a new eco/green friendly neighborhood cropping up.

Some of these homes are really cool in their design. My daughter, who's studying this kind of stuff at the "University of Redlands" would probably dig a lot of what they're doing down here.

Back at the hotel, I parked the car and walked around the city.
No work out needed today because I walked about 4 miles. :) It was about 60-70 percent closed, but still a lot of people in the area and it's just a beautiful city.

I did manage to find a funky little "joint" to eat at for a late breakfast, "Daisy Dukes."

And for said breakfast, I opted for the Cajun Omelet, which wasn't that bad, although the hash browns needed to be cooked through better, they were a little raw for me.

Tonight is more proof that the world isn't as big as we think.  I decided to head to this oyster bar for dinner called, "Desire."
There was about a 40 minute wait to get inside, but it was my last night in New Orleans and this place always looked interesting.  Once I got to the front of the line I had the choice to take a table or go sit at the oyster bar or the bar.  I opted to go to the bar and sit between two couples; Lisa and Rollie to my left and Norm and his wife to the right.

Just as I sat down, both Lisa and Norm started chatting and teasing me right away, being the new guy.  Lisa had some oysters she couldn't finish and before I even got my menu, I was finishing off hers.  Norm was telling me about the oysters he got, baked with Parmesan cheese on them and we started talking again. I was the perfect storm... I told both of the about my travels across country for a new job and it turns out Norm is a pretty big wig in the Florida State University system among other things.
When I told Lisa, it turns out she and her husband and lived in Santa Cruz for a long time and not only recognized me from when I was on air in San Jose but when I worked on air on Friday night's in Salinas.
I didn't know what to expect tonight for dinner, but not only did I get an amazing meal, I met two great people who I will be in contact with for years to come.  What started out as a little bit of a lonely Christmas, turned into a joyful one, thanks to two people I may never had met if I wanted anything else besides oysters tonight!

Coda: (Lotion Picture Day 7)
Crowne Plaza Hotel New Orleans

Not really a photo today, because they didn't provide ANY lotion again???

Now looking at the picture again from yesterday and I don't have a lot of hair so I can't even tell if the shampoo and conditioner are SO good it makes up for not having any lotion???