Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Great Adventure: Day 5: Michigan to Georgia (and a less friendly state that shall remain nameless...)

Okay, I'm going to try really, really hard not to say anything offensive in this post or delve too deep into the details of our bizarre experience yesterday (although I don't think I have a ton of readers {or any?} in this area anyways to offend).  However, I'll begin by saying that, having seen much of the country now (I think I'm up to 30 states!) I have stumbled across a place that stood out, at every. single. stop. as the least friendly state I have ever been in.

Maybe we just hit it on a very, very, bad day.  Maybe I had "Yankee" written in sharpie across my forehead and just didn't know it.  Maybe it was just coincidence after coincidence.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt... but when even the wait staff at Cracker Barrel seems as though they'd like to shoo you and your kids (who were being really, really good) out of the restaurant rather than deal with your type of Northern Filth... well... it's hard to stay optimistic (and I'd like to add, before anyone suggests it, that I looked totally normal.  Knee length skirt.  No headcovering.  Gigantically pregnant, but I can't really help that...).

However, after spending the first hour and a half thinking that this particular state was incredibly beautiful, I spent the second half and most of the next state, thinking that we would absolutely not be slowing down, or even filling up for gas within the confines of those particular borders, if I could help it (which changed my travel plans for the return trip, since that area was exactly where I was planning on having us stop for the night).

Which lead to a somewhat interesting conversation (to me at least).  You see, I grew up thinking of myself as a "northerner" since California entered the Union as a northern state, while Paul, being from Massachusetts, has never really seemed to think that that counts (although he seemed to agree that it certainly counted in this particular area where we were all persona non grata... from our oldest to our youngest family members,,,).

And of course I pointed out that we've been to Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and everyone had been perfectly lovely... and that's what I would have pictured when I thought of the south before this trip.

I'm also wondering if maybe just the particular, mountainous, part of the state we were in is just... hostile... to outsiders.  Anyways, I digress.... I started this post in the middle instead of at the beginning because I've been so distracted by the way people behaved each time we got out of the car!

We left at 8 am on the fifth day of our trip, heading east to meet up with the 75 and then south towards Florida.  Lunch was fast food in the car, with minimal stops for gas along the way.  We finally got out of the car after a solid 10 hours to eat dinner.... and the above occurred (okay, I'd waddled into a gas station in the state earlier too, and was beginning to have my doubts...), and then we were only too eager to cross the border into a friendlier state that I've visited in the past and never had a problem with.

A little after 11, after 15 hours on the road, 14 of which were spent driving, we pulled into a motel and collapsed into our room...  Day 6, however, was designed to make up for the first five days... because we were entering back in Florida, and we just couldn't leave the state without one more fun visit to one of my favorite places...


  1. I think I have travelled through that same state, and I think it's more the hills than the latitude, if that makes sense. Though I live in the same hills, just further north and we are very friendly (with some tendency to being insular...I count as an outsider after living here for four years but that just means the occasional good-natured joke.)

  2. I have a couple of different cousins from both sides of the family who have moved to the south from NJ and PA and they have the same impression, even after living there for years. Their kids have been picked on in school "Go home Yankee!" and beaten up. So much for Southern hospitality.

  3. Tennessee or Arkansas? If it's TN, you must have run into the wrong sorts of people because they are usually very friendly. But then again it's been a while for me.

    Arkansas, I've never met a person from there that I've liked. Not to say that all people from AR are mean.

    KY? Don't know anyone from there and haven't ever been so can't tell ya.

  4. "Tennessee or Arkansas? If it's TN, you must have run into the wrong sorts of people because they are usually very friendly. But then again it's been a while for me."

    Right on. I'm from East Tennessee.

    You MUST have been in Kentucky.


  5. One of the good things about going to a Cracker Barrel before or during a long road trip is that they sell CD's of books. (You can buy and return them at any Cracker Barrell, and the net cost is about $3) You can listen to a novel being read, and an interesting story makes the miles pass by quickly. ('course, I'm not sure how well your little ones would pay attention to a story.)


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