It was nearly eleven this morning when Liesl and I were able to check out and meet Gene down in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Richmond, Kentucky. And we still did not have nearly enough sleep, but it would have to do. Because we got in so late last night that means that our day today is that much shorter and we are going to be that much more tired tonight. This is going to be tough, for sure.
We went to the Golden Corral with Gene, which was right next door to the hotel. This was perfect for Liesl. She found lots of stuff on the buffet that she liked including corn, rice and pancakes. And there was a ton of stuff that she never managed to see at all because she was full before she ever made it to those parts of the buffet. She also got corn on the cob which was partly funny and partly tragic as she tried to eat it without having any teeth. Poor little toothless girl.
Gene and I had a good time. This is the first time that we have met in person even though we have talked to each other for a few years. We know each other originally from Spiceworks and then more recently from MangoLassi and even more recently because Gene joined NTG.
It was probably one thirty when Liesl and I were back on the highway, Interstate 75, and headed towards Knoxville, Tennessee.
The drive was pretty bad today. We were in traffic the moment that we got onto the highway in Richmond and we were in traffic for the entire day, it never stopped. We went down I75 down across Georgia and got the highway to Birmingham and down through Hattiesburg, Mississippi. By the time that we were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama we were getting hungry and tired so we stopped for a bit and hit the Taco Bell there. The food and bathroom situation there was good, just like yesterday, but the food took fifteen or twenty minutes to even order which made what we hoped would be a quick stop into something pretty slow. This was actually our second pit stop of the day as Liesl had had a lot of water with breakfast and needed a bathroom stop at a Pilot Truck Stop pretty early on in the day which was a bit of an adventure as it was not nearly as well set up as the Taco Bells are.
By this point at Taco Bell, still in Alabama, I was pretty sure that we were going to be stopping relatively soon. I looked for options in Mississippi but was not able to find anything that looked good. We ended up having to go well into Louisiana before we were able to find something.
Eventually we ended up at the Hampton Inn in Covington, Louisiana but when we got there, even though they had rooms, they were having “technical difficulties” – which I am pretty sure just meant that the overnight auditor was not on the ball and had no idea what he was doing – so we got sent across the street to the Hilton Garden Inn which is an even more upscale Hilton property. It cost us about ten dollars more, which was mostly a waste considering how little we were going to use the room, but whatever. The room was excellent and it was not too expensive and we get extra points for extra cost anyway (with this stay we move up from a Blue to a Silver Hilton member too.)
It was two, I think, when we got into the HGI and, again, straight off to sleep. I was really tired at this point. There was just no way that I was going to be able to drive on further than we went. Even getting to Covington was really pushing it.