Just to let you know, we got rain every single day of this trip except the day we went to the beach. Once we reached Pennsylvania, the traffic really started to pick up. We crossed into New Jersey and pulled over to get gas. We didn’t know that they are required to pump your gas for you in Jersey. They also have boro and townships. Both of them are forms of municipal government.
Next we crossed into New York. My granddaughter wanted to go to New York City but the closest we could do on this trip was to be about 20 miles from the Statue of Liberty. The traffic in New York was awful. It was almost bumper to bumper the entire way.
A little before 1 pm we, we drove into Connecticut. The traffic was still horrible. We noticed that there were no city limits, but they did have town lines. The terrain is still rocky and hilly.
Around 4pm we arrived in Rhode Island. We pulled over at the Welcome Center to use the facilities. I’m not sure if they were doing construction on the sight or not, but they only had port-a-potties.
Just after 5 pm, we got to Attelboro, Massachusetts. We found a Motel 6 in Seekonk, R.I. because we were not able to deliver Lincoln until the next morning. By this time you can tell that we are starting to get tired. We have driven for days seeing only things from a moving car in the rain.
This was a very long day of driving. We were on the road by 7:25 am. We drove through much of Georgia, South Carolina and even crossed into North Carolina where we crossed the Eastern Continental Divide. We were meeting the couple that Bia went to most of the way up Roan Mountain. We didn’t realize that you could go up to the mountain from the North Carolina side or from the Tennessee side. We went up the North Carolina side, which was long and winding, although very beautiful scenery. When we met the couple, we got out of the car in shorts and t-shirts. Surprise!! It was 54 degrees! The couple had on jackets and long pants. We hadn’t planned for weather this cold on this trip. Walmart here we come!
We went down the mountain on the Tennessee side. It was much shorter, and still had beautiful scenery. A stream ran along side of the road. We pulled over to take pictures and someone was flyfishing. I know so many guys back home that would have loved to have been doing that.
We drove through Elizabethton, Tennessee, the home of Jason Whitton, one of our Dallas Cowboys!! We stopped in Chilhowie, Virginia. All of us crashed, and we had no trouble sleeping.
The next day, we drove through W. Virginia for about 32 miles and crossed into Maryland for about eleven miles. Then we drove through Pennsylvania for what seemed like forever. We saw the exit for Hershey, Pa. but we didn’t stop until we reached Shartlesville which is north of Reading, Pa. We slept well.
All of the owners of the dogs we thought we were bringing back to Texas cancelled on us. The person that we brought Xander, our precious Doberman to, called and asked if we could take a six month old Doberman to Massachusetts. This was where things got interesting, and the trip became much longer. We left Naples that morning with Lincoln, the Doberman,whose ears had been clipped and taped and drove through the Everglades to Davie, Florida which is right outside of Ft. Lauderdale. This was where we picked up Dutch, a poodle, who was only with us for several hours. We dropped him off near Frostproof, Florida. Along the way we passed Lake Okeechobee from the song “Seminole Wind.” There was more heavy rain and some really scary clouds. We had to stop for about 30 minutes because of a wreck with a jack-knifed 18 wheeler. We also had been seeing lots of orange trees, although very few had oranges on them.
We stopped at a gas station to take a short break and get some gas. When my daughter did this, she opened the back hatch to let the dogs see out and to get some fresh air. A car pulled up to the pump next to us and a gentleman got out of the car. He said: “Hello, Ladies” to me and my granddaughter. We responded to him with a friendly hello. He proceeded to explain to us that he and his wife were having a disagreement, and he would like us to solve it for them. I said if I could I’d be happy to do so. Then he told us that his wife insisted that we had a goat in the car. All three of us, started laughing hysterically. When I finally regained my composure enough to talk, I explained that it was a Doberman with his ears taped up. So he went back to the window of his car and told his wife that it was a dog with its ears taped up. As he walked by us, I told him that if it was alright with him, I was going to have to put this on my blog. He said it was ok, and we both started laughing again.
My daughter came back, who had missed all the fun, and we started driving to Ocala to pick up Bia, a bulldog. The poor thing was terrified. We got all the way to Valdosta, Georgia and she still was shaking. We picked her up and carried her into the hotel, where she just stood there shaking. While my daughter took Lincoln out for a walk, I patted her and tried to give her food and water. Eventually, she drank a little water and ate a little food but not for quite a while. Then we put Lincoln into the crate for the night, and Bia slept with my daughter. She was only comfortable under the covers and with her head on my daughter’s arm.
The Inn of Naples, what can I say about this place except at this particular time of my life, it is absolutely heaven! Although not directly on the beach, it is centrally located to many of the places someone would want to go in Naples, Florida. We crashed when we finally arrived at the hotel about 11:30 pm. We didn’t have anything scheduled for the next day so we planned to take a break and visit the beach. At 3:30 am I awoke to the sound of thunder and saw flashes of lightning. I don’t think it even rained, but it definitely was loud. I even heard it over the TV that had been left on when we all had fallen asleep.
I woke up at 6 am, went down for breakfast and coffee. I brought coffee back with me and sat on the small balcony of our room just relaxing and taking pictures. After my family finally woke up and got stirring, we went to the beach at Lowdermilk Park. This was the most beautiful beach. It was clean and not very crowded at all. Most of the other people who were there were from a daycare that had brought children out to play at the beach. We were only able to stay for two hours, but I enjoyed every second of the stay.
We ran some errands and ate lunch. Then we went back to the hotel in the heat of the day, although my granddaughter had to go swimming in the pool. Later, we went to Horizon Beach to try to get sunset pictures. It was still pretty cloudy so even though I did get some pictures, they weren’t really what I was hoping for.
Following the sunset, we went to Fernandez the Bull for Cuban food. We tried Yucca Rellena, Fish Tacos and the Shrimp Plate with a cilantro sauce. I had never had Cuban food before and although it was different, I enjoyed it.
Following supper, we went back to the hotel, cleaned up and my daughter scheduled the next leg of our trip.
We got up and left the hotel by 6:30 am. We drove across Mississippi, Alabama and into Florida. We stopped for church at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Tallahassee. Then we cut down on I 75 heading to Naples, Florida. When we left Tallahassee, it was drizzling. As we drove it would pour down raining for about ten minutes and then quit. The road would be totally dry for a while and then the next thing you’d know, it would pour so hard we couldn’t see out of the windshield. It was like this all the way to Tampa.
We saw over five wrecks, but one of them must have been really bad because we sat in totally stopped traffic for about an hour. We finally got our sweet passenger to his new home about 10 pm. We stopped by Mc Donald’s and picked up something lite to eat and then went to the Inn of Naples, where we stayed for two nights.
My daughter arrived about 12:30 pm to pick me up for the trip. She opened the back hatch of her car and let a two year old Doberman out. Ok, I know I agreed to go with her on this trip, but I am terrified of Dobermans. He was such a beautiful dog; so I walked up to him, and he started licking me. That helped me to feel much more comfortable about the situation. He was nervous, but quiet and sweet. We made several stops for him to have breaks and drove until about 11 pm. We hoped to get to Mobile, but since she picked me up so late, we only made it to Lucedale, Mississippi.
I held the leash with the dog on it in the motel room, and my daughter brought in this giant dog crate that holds dogs up to 100 pounds. Thank goodness we were on the first floor. Also, we didn’t know it until the next day, but he was used to sleeping with his owner. So after putting some food in the crate to get him in, we closed the door, and he started scratching the floor of the crate. Well, the poor dog had been stuck in that crate for nine hours, and he wanted nothing to do with it. So we finally decided that we had to let him out. He immediately went between the beds that we were sleeping in, laid on the floor and went to sleep.
About 2:30 am, the dog jumped up and began pacing to and from the door. He startled me, so I woke up and was watching him. I would have taken him out, but I was afraid he was too strong for me; so I woke my daughter up. She was still half asleep and said to give her five minutes. I know my daughter and this is going to be the first of five minutes again and again. She always hits the snooze button on her alarm at least three times. The dog waited a few minutes and must have been getting desperate so he put his front paws on her back and gently pushed her. My daughter’s eyes popped open, and she asked me what had just happened. I was laughing so hard, I could hardly talk, but got out enough information for her to know that she better take the dog out right now. Where was this wonderful creature when she was going to school and refusing to get up in the morning!! I just wish I could have gotten a video of this event. It truly was priceless! —To be continued.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog while I was gone. I just thought that I would check in with you all, and let you know that I am still alive and well. I have so much to tell you, but right now I just have to get caught up around my house.
My daughter started a small animal transport business about two months ago. It has really taken off. https://www.facebook.com/RCHTransport/ She had a last minute transport from Ft. Worth, Tx. to Naples, Florida. She asked if I wanted to go with her, and I said yes. So my daughter, granddaughter and I headed off to Florida. As we go along, she tries to pick up other animals, but on the way, she only had one. A beautiful Doberman named Xander. I had always been terrified of Doberman’s but the owner of this dog had treated him right. He was the smartest and sweetest dog I had ever met. I will tell you all about the trip in the coming days, but for now I need to explain the delay in our return. We got to Naples, and she had five people interested in her transporting animals back to Texas. All five of them eventually decided not to do so or to delay the transports. Well, we only thought we were coming back to Texas which would have been the trip I was expecting. Instead, the person who we dropped Xander off to asked if she could transport another Doberman to Massachusetts. So off we went to Massachusetts. To make a very long story short, counting Texas, we went to twenty-one states in 10 days, picking up and dropping off eight animals along the way. Whirlwind trip doesn’t even apply. I think Cyclone trip would be more like it.
Thankfully, we had a great time and a safe trip. In the coming days, I will tell you about it in installments. But for now, have a wonderful day and be safe!