| We got a nice early start to our journey, heading out the door and hitting the road at 7:45am. I tried catching up on some sleep while Dad drove. Although my sleeping schedule is a little better (just a few weeks ago I was still going to bed at 6am and sleeping in until early afternoon) but it will still take some time getting used to this new schedule.
We reached New Brunswick just before 9am, grabbed a breakfast at Smitty's in Fredericton, and then finally made it to the US Border around 1:30pm. I was a little paranoid about the border. The last time I crossed over by myself the fellow there gave me a hard time, getting me to park the car and go inside. He didn't seem to believe my claim that I ran a website and asked me all sorts of questions about it and checked out the site online and asked how much money I had access to while in the States. After apparently finding nothing wrong he grudgingly let me continue on my trip. But this time it was smooth sailing. They didn't even ask us for any identification. (Though he did ask us to pop the trunk so that he could look for dead bodies and such...) We put our watches back one hour and then set off across Maine.
We set up camp for the night at a Quality Inn in Brunswick, Maine. Nothing too special, but it did have wireless internet so I was able to catch up on a few emails. For supper we reaffirmed why we never like eating Chinese food in the US, especially the egg rolls. Nothing but cabbage inside. Yuck! We rushed back to the motel room to watch the latest installment of "The Amazing Race", only to discover that it was replaced by some hour long infomercial for the University of Maine! Just our luck to be passing through this particular state on this particular night.
Snow started falling heavily around suppertime and by the time we went to bed Mom was wondering whether we might get snowed in for a day or two at this place. I was more worried that it might interfere with our first planned stop in Vermont to check out the bird sanctuary. No fun watching wild birds in a snowstorm. Come morning the snow had stopped but it was still pretty cold so we decided to check out the sanctuary on the way back. A full day of driving south would take us near the northern start of the Blue Ridge Parkway so off we went.
On day two we got stuck in serious traffic as we passed through New York City, wasting a good hour or two. We braved the New Jersey Turnpike for a while and then finally made it to Newark, Delaware for the night. I immediately set to work downloading the Amazing Race episode that we missed the previous night. Checking the weather forecast for the Virginia and North Carolina areas, the next few days called for nothing but rain. So, once again we put our adventures on hold and decided to just beat a fast trail to the warmth of Florida and then enjoy all the adventuring on the way back.
Day three was pretty uneventful. Now that we had decided to head south we just drove and drove until we made it to Fayetteville, North Carolina. At the motel I went and checked out the outdoor pool. It wasn't heated but I managed to take a very quick (and cold) dip. Dad had his heart set on an all you can eat buffet so we found mention of the Super King Buffet and decided to seek it out, despite not having a clue what would be offered there. Following a rather unreliable tourist map of Fayetteville (which did not appear to be to scale and was missing about 75% of the streets) we drove around and around until we finally found the place. No surprise that it was actually nowhere near where the map said it was.
And what a place it was. A gigantic buffet of Chinese, Japanese, and American food. For $12 you could pig out on just about anything you wanted. Looking around at the typical size of the patrons, it was obvious that they must come here on a regular basis. Some of the families that were there when we arrived were still coming back with fresh plates filled with food when we left. We felt like we could barely move by the time we left. You could easily have fed an army with the amount of food that was thrown away each day from that place. Pretty frightening!
On day four we completed out journey to Florida. We stopped briefly at the extremely tacky South of the Border shops in South Carolina, raced through Georgia, and finally made it to the Sunshine State at 3:30pm. Just 3 1/2 days of driving. Not too bad at all. Unfortunately, nothing really worthy of making a travel diary yet. And the only worthwhile pictures I took were of a pretty tree in bloom in Delaware and a big ape statue at South of the Border. Real classy!