New Digs In Two Weeks


The road trip is over, and my friend and I are back in our respective places.  As I reflect on the adventure, I can truly say it was a time of discovery and relaxation, anxiety and disappointment, decisions and promises.   The time flew by in a jiffy and the real reason for the road trip altogether is to relocate which is now here.  Moving is never easy.  Though I do not claim to have lived a nomadic life, 20 years is by far the most time I have spent in one place, and looking back at all the moves I have made in my life, I can say it has not gotten any easier.  I will be leaving friends, neighbors, my church family, and all that’s familiar to me for unknown and uncharted territory.  Let’s face it, the road trip is superficial and does not give me the truest picture of what my life will be like there.

In my time of discovery and relaxation (hopefully the photos will speak volumes of our experiences) I realize, as in the other 49 states, there are a myriad of things to do and interesting sites to see.  The Atlanta skyscape is truly beautiful at night.  The roads are wide and smooth.  But, of the many things I found interesting while visiting the Atlanta Metro Area and other counties in Southern Georgia was the absence of crowds.  I mean crowds and traffic like what I am used to in New York City.  At one point in the middle of the day, in the heart of midtown on Peachtree Street, I asked the question, “where are the people?”  The cheeky reply was, “they are all working.”  I chuckled at the response but realized that this was the norm, whether uptown, downtown or midtown, there just weren’t crowds anywhere.  View the video clip above, it tells the story more succinctly.

Nowhere did I encounter a crowd or have to wait in long lines.  Everything was accessible and our travels via MARTA was easy.   There were times we rode some stages of the trolley route alone.  We took advantage of the free parking in the city where available.  Even though we were in rush hour traffic a few times, I came away with the thought that it’s all relative.  In my opinion, rush hour traffic on the I-75 or I-85 is a breeze to traffic on the Belt Parkway or I-678 where the possibility of road rage is extremely high.  No doubt in the future also, I too will be saying like fellow Georgians, “rush hour traffic is horrific.”

We tried our best to fit sightseeing in between apartment hunting and job search. Our entertainment besides visiting memorials and festivals included, a Cirque Du Soleil show – Volta, attended Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish “Outlander” Festival, Alice’s Wonderland at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, tours of CNN and The World of Coke, respectively, crashed a surprise birthday party and spent a day with a distant relative.

My time of anxiety and disappointment surrounded my job search and housing prospects.  Interviewing can be a daunting task.  Especially, if the work applied for is not your forte.  To make a long story short, that job opportunity I mentioned in a previous post, slipped away, but I managed to purchase a new dress 😊 because of it.  The stress surrounding housing all had to do with appeal, availability and affordability.

Our time of decisions and promises were more about ourselves and how we were going to face life in the future.  My girlfriend and I spent much of our time catching up on all the things that brought us together throughout the years.  Even though we have not always been in contact, we have always remained in each other’s thoughts.  We have similar likes and dislikes, can finish each other’s sentences, laugh at each other’s jokes, and on and on.  We committed to changing our lifestyle, our looks (we ate good food and came back a little heavier 😂),  for her too a new address.  We promised to support and pray for the success of the other, to stay in touch, and to be there when we need each other the most.  We both decided that it was high time to take charge of our lives and step out in faith, following God’s plan wherever it may lead us.

Community Peeps, the hardest thing for me to do now is pack.  Whether going away for leisure or relocating to a new house.  I hate to pack.  I am inundated with boxes, bins and everything is a jumbled mess.  Conversely, I look forward to being in my new digs in two weeks.  So, this is me giving you an early heads up.  My postings may be scarce until I am moved in and settled, unless something interesting or inspiring comes up to write about.  As always, I encourage you to share your comments with me in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Road Trip Precipitates New Life


It is often said that there is more fun and excitement when you do a road trip with someone else.  Well, in my case, that is proving to be true.  My gal pal and I set off on our adventure in the state of Georgia and we already have a few stories to tell to family and friends, as well as, some pictures to show.  So here goes.

The 90 degree weather is great and we are enjoying every bit of the sunshine so far, having left behind cooler temperatures from our respective home states.  We arrived very late in the night, only to awake our sleeping host at the Airbnb location where we are staying.  The next morning, after picking up our vehicle at the rental location in Midtown Atlanta, we proceeded to set out on our journey.  First incident that happened right out of the gate was my plug-in GPS malfunctioned.  Every time I would enter an address in the device, it would revert to a New York location.  It was disconcerting for a while not having clear directions, but to move in traffic aimlessly for a short while until we could correct the problem.  With no map in hand nor a Map-Quest print-out of directions like back in the old days before GPS, we were helpless, but thank God for cell phones and Google Maps.  To cut to the chase, we managed to reboot the gadget and it has been working fine ever since.

 

Our travels have taken us to popular tourist attractions and historical sites in and around the Atlanta Metro Area.  We’ve visited a few parks including Stone Mountain and watched their spectacular laser show.  Fall festivals are in full swing and we’ve enjoyed browsing the stalls at a few of them.  We’ve also been on a couple interesting tours in the downtown area.  My girlfriend and I after walking in Piedmont Park decided to check out a few blocks in Midtown.  As we walked, we talked about many things and caught up on the different direction our lives have taken us over the years.  In the midst of the evening walk, we entered a fancy hotel to ask for information.  On the way out the door, coming towards us was the familiar face of the man who plays the father’s role in the popular TV Show – Greenleaf.  We walked right next to him, and on realizing who we were looking at, we both turned around as we watched his tall lean frame stride into the bar at the end of the lobby.  I tried to run after him, but my friend grabbed my arm immediately and prevented me from following him.  I am not a groupie or even a fan of the TV show, but we both recognized who we had just passed.  We left the hotel laughing and talking about our near encounter and the possibility of what could have happened if I had escaped my friend’s tight grip and been allowed to say hello.

 

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Community Peeps, in my previous post I said this trip would serve a dual purpose – an adventure, as well as, a precursory introduction to a new life in this state.  A job prospect is already on the horizon and the search for a comfortable abode is underway.  We are having a blast and most evenings I am too tired to think or even write a post.  We are dead on our feet at the end of the day and are eager to rest.  So far, we are becoming familiar with the major roads and dealing with the heavy traffic at rush hour.  It has been an exciting two weeks already as we venture further away from our base every day.  Check out the photos of what we have seen to date.  Your comments are always welcome, so go ahead and let me know in the box below if you have visited any of these places too.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Déjà Vu


Last week I promised to update you on my 2019 travel plans but that will have to wait until another time.  After yesterday’s ordeal, risking life and limb to get home, the idea of becoming a snow-bird has become more enchanting to me.  Leaving the cold northeast at the first sight of snow for the tropics is much more appealing than dealing with unforgiving wintry weather conditions.   Therefore my upcoming trip in a few short weeks to Barbados can’t come soon enough, and I’m out of here!

I left Long Island in New York just after 1:00 p.m. to take a two hour ride to my home upstate New York.  The first snow fall had begun.  Traffic flowed with an occasional bottleneck here and there.   Sometimes you make choices and in hindsight you wonder why you did.  Well, last night was one such night.  I could have chosen the wide-lane thoroughfare the I-684.  Instead, I chose the winding, narrow, mountainous road the Taconic Parkway.

I made my decision and there was no turning back.  As I traveled further and further away from the city limits into the suburbs, the snow piles on the road was more evident.  Many times, traffic slowed to a crawl.  Still my chariot was performing without any hindrance.  The first time I saw a car in front of me spinning out of control, wheels turning where the driver didn’t want it to go, was my wake up call.  I started to pray.  Yes, I prayed for that driver, myself and all the spin-outs I would later see along the way.

I immediately slowed down and proceeded cautiously.  This would become the routine for the rest of the night.  The snow was falling fast and furious and it seemed my wipers could not keep up.  Suddenly, the wiper blades stopped swishing back and forth.  I could not see the road.  I cried out to Jesus for help.  I pulled over to the side and removed the frozen snow stuck to the blades and windshield.  This would happen three more times at places on the road where stopping was dangerous.  Several times my car fish-tailed as I crept uphill, sometimes barely missing another vehicle, and blocking the path of others.  The feeling of losing control of the vehicle is terrifying.  I prayed even harder asking God to help me proceed without hurting anyone or myself.  Patience and calmness were the two emotions that came to the fore as I drove.  But for God’s mercy and grace, I made it through the treacherous Taconic Parkway and on to another route traveling westbound.  This highway has much wider lanes, but no sooner than I got on did I realize the travel situation was no better.  This highway is used by many truckers and so big rigs ply their trade up and down the corridors of the I-84.

Sandwich between two truckers, my reasoning being, they will make the tracks I need (a mini-ploughing) to follow in, when history almost repeated itself.  About 11 or 12 years ago, while coming home from work, there was a heavy snowfall, some of the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen.  So much so, they covered my car’s windshield and I often had to stop and clear it to continue.  The snow quickly accumulated grinding traffic to a halt.  The highway became impassable.  Every vehicle came to a standstill.  There we waited with engines running to keep warm.  We waited for the ploughs to come and remove the snow but to no avail.

That night turned into day and by the time the police came along to check on the situation, I had run out of gas, was shivering under blankets, frightened that I would not make it home.  Then I wondered last night if history would repeat itself.

Déjà vu?  It certainly was, at least in part.  Here I was stalled for hours in the same location as many years ago before the trucker in front of me moved a few yards.  I prayed often asking God to allow everyone to reach their final destinations.   Even though there were many scary moments, I quickly realized there are many things you can do to help yourself in the event you run into a tempest.

  1. Pray
  2. Be always prepared. I had my blanket, water, flashlight, scraper and a full tank of gas.
  3. Drive with caution. Whether you have a big ride or small humpty, the humpty often passes the big ride in the ditch.
  4. Occasionally stop to clear accumulated snow from the car’s wiper blades, wheel wells, front and back windshield, and headlights.
  5. Do not panic. If you feel the car sliding gently try to maneuver out of the slide.
  6. Turn hazard lights on immediately if you have difficulty driving or feel as though you are losing control.
  7. Keep your eyes on the road and call for help if needed.
  8. Make sure your smart phone is fully charged.
  9. Pray

Well, I arrived home safely.  Just after midnight I pulled up to my driveway covered in snow.  More than a foot for sure.  It took me all of 11 hours to cover a two hour distance.  Now, do you wonder why I like to jet off to warmer climes at this time of the year?  I have no more tolerance for Old Man Winter, but rather need temps of 75 Fahrenheit or higher just to keep my sanity.  I thanked God for bringing me home safe and sound.

Community Peeps, what has been your experience dealing with weather conditions whilst traveling on a road trip or otherwise?  What tips would you like to add to those above?  Please share.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner