Two Women in a Car: California to Alabama Day Six

… not to mention the cat. This is the sixth day on a road trip I took 30 July to 05 August 2016. Dear friend and fellow writer Debra found a new home in Alabama. Traveling in her Toyota Yaris with her and her cat Loki across the United States was an experience I’ll never forget.

Andalusia, AL to Pensacola, FL
04 August 2016
87 miles

No longer facing long miles to Debra’s new home, today would begin a two-day journey to return me to my home.

Excited about drinking in this Alabama town, I woke at 3:30am raring to go. At that hour, only Loki shared my enthusiasm. I hurried Debra through her coffee and we headed to the Walmart Superstore, open 24×7, where Debra picked up cleaning supplies and items to tide her over till the moving truck arrives.

imageWe dropped off the packages at the house. We checked out the green pecans and ripe figs in the backyard. Also the great job Debra’s realtor’s husband did on installing a mailbox.

We then headed back to the Econolodge where we packed the car and checked out. Checkout took awhile as the desk clerk and another worker removed leeches from a planter in the driveway. We then dumped Loki and most of Debra’s road trip burdens at the house. Loki hid in a closet.

For lunch, we headed up 29 North to Hilltop Meat and Seafood Company where we enjoyed shrimp meals with Debra’s realtor Shirley Tew. Wow, really good! The owner brought out sausage samples that Debra declared were the best she’d had in a long time. The place had character and fabulous food at a reasonable price.

Returned to the house where Loki would not be consoled. Then to Alabama Soap Lady where we received steep discounts, great products, and lovely conversation. At Barista Joes, we met the barista himself who supplied us with iced coffee and launched a conversation about Prohibition and whisky making in Andalusia. The shops sit across the street from the Andalusia Public Library. Debra and I were much heartened by the friendliness and generosity we received.

The trip to Pensacola took almost two hours. Most of the 87 miles entailed country roads through wooded areas. Crossing into Florida was only noted by a Dalmatian from the sidewalk who scarcely lifted his head and never opened his eyes.

imageThe trip ended with less calm. The last half hour went lickety-split on the 10 West and we fought mid afternoon traffic while looking for motels that no longer existed. We landed at the historic district Days Inn. I had Jaco’s mahi tacos at the waterfront and contemplated a boat in the marina called PainKiller.

The trip winds down, but friendship and adventure never ends.

Trip report respectfully submitted by Michelle K

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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