Two Women in a Car: California to Alabama Day Seven

… not to mention the cat. This is the seventh and last day on a road trip I took 30 July to 05 August 2016. FEllie 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. Now was the time to say good-bye and head home.

Pensacola, FL to Orange County, CA
05 August 2016
2020 (est) miles

We squeezed every moment we could into our departures, Debra to her new home in Andalusia and me to California. Debra has 87 miles. Me over 2000.

imageWe checked out of the motel at 11:00AM, and God was good. A Starbucks appeared on the 15 minute trip to the airport. One last cold brew for us.

Navy planes were much in evidence in Pensacola: in the souvenirs, billboards, and signs. Something to explore on my next visit.

Pensacola airport is the best ever. No traffic in. Debra parked in front of AA departure so there was time and space for our goodbyes. Only me at the check in counter. Only me and a flight attendant in the security queue. Only me getting a bagel at Einstein’s for lunch. Clean, pacific, no hassles, friendly and free WiFi. I picture heaven this way.

Dallas was more frenetic but rife with Starbucks, high-end shops, and mobbed eateries. I had three hours. One gate change to wile away the time. Noted lots of places to charge devices but most in constant, frenetic use.

Arrived at John Wayne Airport before 10PM PDT. Surprised that and illegally so, the shuttle driver was waiting for me. On the negative side, he was new, his navigation system failed, and he’d never been to Orange County. Sigh. After he wandered around UCI for awhile, I became his Garmin and directed him home. He worked on his cell the entire trip, nearly causing four accidents, punctuating the night with swerving cars, screeching brakes, and horns blasting.

Now safely home. I said hello to Marino, the Icelandic sponge, and slept for ten hours. Garden, cats, family, and house thrived.

imageI chose this photo for my final one. Took it at the Pensacola marina Thursday night. A beautiful end of the day, a hint of wide vistas in our futures. A lovely farewell till we meet again …

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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