We’re a little over halfway done with our trip. We really spread it out so that the driving wouldn’t suck and so that we could see people along the way.
We spent our first night on the road in Atlanta. I’m sorry to say it, but we didn’t take the time to be tourists in Atlanta. We considered stopping by the Olympic park Saturday morning but decided not to because we wanted more time in Pensacola, which was our next destination.
In 1998, the Mister was in Pensacola for his MOS training. I moved down there, even though the Marine Corps frowns on family living with you while you’re in school, with the oldest child into a tiny apartment with nothing but what I could fit into two suitcases, my purse, and a diaper bag. Still, it was the best time. We made awesome friends there and despite being broke all the time, it was all fun and we have only good memories. I really wanted the kids to see PCola and where we used to live.
We drove by our old apartment first. Neither the Mister nor I remember it being so rundown, lol. The whole town seemed run down. I don’t know if it’s life experiences that changed our perspective or if the town really has gone downhill over the last 11 years, but if I had the choice of moving there, I wouldn’t.
Anyway, next we took them on base to NAS Pensacola. After driving around looking desperately for the NEX (Navy Exchange) cuz I had to pee baaaad, we drove to a sandy/grassy area so the dogs could stretch their legs. The base didn’t seem like it had changed all that much.
After the base, we drove out to PCola Beach. This has always been my favorite beach. Real, sugar-white sand beaches, warm, blue-green water, and a really nice boardwalk. I’ve always measured other beaches to Pensacola Beach. Not much had changed there either despite the hurricanes that have passed through since we lived there. It was collllld though. Some fool was laying out on the sand in a sleeping bag of all things. It was also really windy. Even so, it was packed with people on Spring Break.
After the beach, we drove to Gulfport, MS which is where I had made us a hotel reservation. FYI, we stayed at the Residence Inn at the airport. We had a king studio and it was NICE. Very nice. If you’re ever in need of a hotel there, I’d recommend that hotel. Anyway, we got in early enough that we had time to go shopping at the outlet mall. SO MUCH FUN!! We all made out pretty good. Lots of good loot.
The next day, we headed out to our next destination which was San Antonio. Somewhere between the Texas border and Houston, we got a flat tire on the I-10. Changing a tire on the side of the Interstate was very much NOT FUN. You hear news stories all the time of people getting hit on the side of the highway. In our family, we have a long line of bad luck when it comes to carjacks and I was pretty scared. Nevertheless, we got the tire changed and we were back on the road in about an hour. Luckily enough, I got the warranty on those tires so we’ll get reimbursed for the cost of a new tire.
We arrived in San Antonio late and exhausted but really glad to be there. Our very good friends that we’ve known since Vermont now live in San Antonio and we were very excited to see them again. We spent all of Monday at their house visiting. Again, we didn’t get to sight see in San Antonio. The only things we saw were a Super Target, Jack in the Box, Discount Tire, and an Italian restaurant that I can’t remember its name. No Alamo, no River Walk. And I could really care less. Catching up with old friends was wonderful. Now if only I could talk them into transferring out to San Diego…
Today, we drove to Van Horn, TX for the night. Um. Scary town. The only reason we decided to stay in this town is because San Antonio is too far from Tucson to drive in one day. This is a hole in the wall town. We’re staying at the Ramada, which is the nicest place in town…unfortunately. The water is cloudy. We bought bottled water to give to the dogs and to brush our teeth with and we’ll have to take showers in Tucson. Yeah.
We went for dinner at the Wendy’s which is inside of a truck stop. Some old, greasy-haired, truck driver was checking out the oldest. I pushed her behind me and he freaking leaned over to see her around me. The Mister had to give the guy the stink-eye so he would knock it off. I was close to making a scene. The pervert was old enough to be her grandfather. Sick. I can’t wait to leave in the morning.
Our next stop is Tucson. We’re going to meet up and have dinner with an old friend there. We’ve known him since PCola but haven’t seen him since our very last day in San Diego when we moved away six years ago. We’re all very excited to see him again.
Despite the hotel room, this part of Texas is very pretty. The view out of our hotel is a mountain. West of San Antonio though, it’s very desolate. At one point, we could only get in one radio station, lol. I bow down to Steve Jobs. If it weren’t for my iPod, we would have gone insane.
Now, since there is nothing better to do in this no horse town, I’m going to catch up on some work and schoolwork and read a book. We're going to bed early so that we can get up and leave early, lol.