FINALLY left the sunshine state on a drive that felt infinite. that panhandle sure is long! entered the central time zone long before i entered alabama (which has no official nickname, but i would like to call it the heart of dixie from here on out (we could also say the cotton state, but heart of dixie just sounds nicer to me)
florida panhandle is rolling hills out of tallahassee, and then becomes flat outside pensicola and into alabama.
arrived at the hotel i decided i was going to "splurge" on, and got an actually good rate! thank god for male desk clerks! why are all lady desk clerks (save sara at pearl's rainbow) such bitchy losers? this hotel is magnificent and i love it here. i wish i could stay forever. maybe not forever. but longer than one night. AND THERE IS FREE BREAKFAST! the only downer is that the pool (which looks glorious) is closed (guy said its dirty, well CLEAN IT YOU JERKS!). so my dreams of swimming in the enclosed pool area have been dashed. i did, however, get to visit the A+M peanut shop, which was everything i could have wanted and more. then i walked all the way down dauphin street (main drag of sorts), and then turned around at the end and walked back to wintzell's oyster restaurant. i seriously contemplated eating seafood gumbo but then thought only of the parrot fish that appeared to be kissing the coral at looe key reef and couldn't do it. maybe in nola. ended up with fried okra, broccoli and fries and 3 ICE COLD miller lite drafts that totaled 9 dollars. a fine meal indeed.
back in my grand room. thinking about lounging in my king size bed and watching a bit of tv. i am very excited to have gained an hour. it means i will sleep and wake earlier and make it on time to FREE BREAKFAST tomorrow. mobile seems like a city with a lot of possibility, but also a place where there are invisible rules in place that may not move or change ever. i love all these old buildings with their wide plank floors and thick molding and places that just smell like history. i want to live in an old house. terribly. maybe i will buy one in mobile with my ebay money. YEAH RIGHT. HA. okay so here is a video i made a few hours ago and some pictures i took in the very recent past.
hope you are all well. i am eating extra peanut brittle for all of you,
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
i believe today is day 26.
i am in gainesville (and i think i can finally remember to put the e in there, even though i think it is pointless) and it is surely a strange place.
i think it is pretty here, but i am almost positive that most of the town's livelihood comes from UF, and that is no place for me to be.
i am staying in a hostel tonight. it is $20. i am happy about that. i wasn't so happy when i pulled up to this place. for one, i couldn't even find it. there is no sign, no sign of life, and no life. or there wasn't any when i got here. zen hostel. i pushed the creaky screen door open to find a dark living room, and then i heard a door open. oh no. i really envisioned my death. it was a middle aged lady. she said the owner wasn't around, and that she didn't know where the female dorm room was, but she did direct me to the bathroom. thank god, i was about to burst. i did a little exploring and found a house behind the main house, and found a man inside named jim. one of those "i'm too nice i must actually be scary" type of characters. i asked him about food nearby, he said he would show me around a bit. he's been living in an apartment in the back house for 2 months helping the owner with the yard keeping.
the visions of my death slowly dissapeared, especially after i read the house rules posted in the coffee table in my room and the slew of postcards praising the zen hostel tacked to a cork board in the hall. "toby" the owner, still isn't here, so i haven't had a chance to pay for my bed yet. i am tired! i guess toby plays harmonica at clubs and stuff. i thought he might be young, but i guess he is very old? i will find out.
i have today and tomorrow left here in florida. i think i will not return here for a very long time. florida is a place you can explore only for so long before you start to lose it. i cried a lot today when i left my aunt's house. lesson learned: don't stay anywhere long enough to get comfortable. motion is the name of the game and i have to keep moving. tomorrow i will be in tallahassee, which is not as fun to spell as tennessee, but its close. i will stay with my cousin, sara, in her apartment, which, is on....wait for it....TENNESSEE ST. i will send her many a postcard just to spell out those words.
i am exhausted. i can't believe how much work this vacation is. "vacation" ha. i can't wait to see my friend in new orleans. i have been in florida for so long, i sort of forgot there was more to this trip than the sunshine state. i am so happy there is more, and ready to see new things.
oh! also! i heard a fact from serena about florida. apparently it has the most cows of any state. and before today, i wouldn't have believed it, but driving on i-75 today for 100 miles through the middle MIDDLE of florida, i passed so many cows. its actually quite beautiful in the middle, not as swamp disaster as i imagined. but that doesn't make me want to stay here any longer than i am. panhandle tomorrow and then ALABAMA. christ, i am so scared of alabama.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
today is day 23.
i am back in satellite beach in the comfort of an actual home, it is a welcome change from all the musty hotel rooms and bug bites and car with no air-conditioning. my dress was soaked by the time we arrived here today, and it was only a 2.5 hour drive. loretta has an appointment in palm bay tomorrow at 9:30am. i called and the lady in the service shop was like "oh what time do you want to come in?" i said "first thing" she said "okay be here at 7:30" i said "oh, not that first thing, i guess" she says "ha, how about 9:30, then?"
st. pete was a very nice little place, and treasure island, where we stayed the night, was beautiful and had a huge sandy beach that was filled with shells. AMERICAN IDOL OH MY GOD DAVID COOK YOU LITTLE COMBOVER FAT BABY FACE JERK YOU. but really, i'm happy for him. really, i am. archie will be famous in his own right, he doesn't need to be the winner of american idol! you show them archie, i'm routing for you!
woke up this morning and drove to the largest book store in florida where i purchased 3 books, all of which i have forgotten the titles of. oops. then walked next door to a little shrimp shack and ordered the only vegetarian thing on the menu, grit cakes. i never knew such a thing existed. i was expecting something flat and pancake like, but NO they were like giant tots! oh the glory!
WAIT I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT THE PIE. oh god the pie. pie and grit cakes forever. fill a big empty swimming pool with those two things and put me at the bottom. i will gladly eat my way out like the fat little piggy i am. also put that amazing key limey milky drink i got at the lesbian bar in key west. pearl's rainbow! did i ever tell the story of how we got the code? i think i did. it was such the highlight of the whole trip.
have i also said i am ready to get the hell out of florida? if i can't go to epcot then just vaporize the entire state. did you know disney costs $75 dollars for one day at one park?! how is that legal? did you also know floridians don't pay income tax because they have disney and so much tourism? how is it that i pay so much city tax to those jerks in new york city when they have all the tourists in the world packed like sardines into midtown manhattan? if florida wasn't such a pit of despair i would open a little vintage gem somewhere on the shores and be rich!
what else....few more days here and only SIX DAYS until best friends are reunited! i am very excited to see my pea-brained friend again. we haven't seen each other since the middle of march, and now i am so tan i will probably be unrecognizable!
a few pictures and then i need to retire for the night. i am exhausted in every sense of the word, and tomorrow i need to get cracking on the piles and piles of shoes that are inside my car. what a task! also i am still SO ITCHY! camping on the beach is a novel idea IN THEORY. but those bugsssssss you have no idea what vile creatures they are. just look below at my inflicted cousin's arm. you will know our pain.
much love from the dining room,
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
well hello from sarasota!
florrrrriddaaaaahhhhh whhyyyyyyyy arrreeeee youuuuuuu soooooo hoooottttttt.
loretta decided to pee out all her freon again so we are without a/c. mind you, highs are around 95 and the humidity is holding strong at 92%. ever since i found out the car is broken again i have had a headache. i hate the thought that i just spend $300 to fix something and two weeks later it is broken again. when we got out of the car tonight in sarasota our seats were soaked. MY SHINS WERE SWEATING. is that even possible? i swear sweat was dripping from my thighs. what the hell! add that to the itching all over our bodies (noseeums fuck off) and it was a very unpleasant trip)
thrifting has been great. and the only good thing in a string of bad things recently. for instance, tonight, we didnt have a pre-arranged place to stay in sarasota, so we were driving down us-41 past motel after motel trying to read the signs with the prices and pulled into one that smelled bad and was too dark. then we stopped by the "Cadillac motel" looked fine enough, super 50's and you needed to be buzzed into the office. asked for the best rate and if we could check out the room. okay cool. room was horribly dark and wood paneled and painted yellow and looked haunted, there was a desk that appeared to be dirty, i touched a red spot on the desk to find it was WET. smelled my finger, smelled like blood, i died inside and RAN out the door "no thank you" sped away. florida is the land of u-turns. "make a u-turn" thanks brenda. we now reside at the sundial inn. it was cheaper than cadillac and the room has no signs of blood or ghosts. AND THERE IS WIFI. thank you lord. our god is an awesome god. please fix my a/c.
i am delirious and laugh til i cry. american idol. what the hell. serena is covered in bug bites and appears to have small pox. i made her wipe off my computer after she used it. sorry cuz.
i need to attempt sleep again. today i ate 4 bananas, half a thing of checkers fries, yogurt, lara bar, 10 pistachio nuts. is that enough?
TOMORROW WE FEAST ON PIE!!!!!! i am dying with delight at the thought of the hotcakes, grits, eggs, cheese, potatoes, toast, butter, and PIE. sweet PIE. god how i love PIE. peanut butter cream, sweet peach, chocolate cream, strawberry cream, CREAM. FEED MEEEEEEEEEE.
Monday, May 19, 2008
today is day 20. TWENTY DAYS. i am currently in east naples, florida (with serena in tow) staying the night at la quinta rooms and suites. woo! we have a microwave and mini fridge and after a night of camping on the beach, and a good 4 hours of driving the car which still isn't functioning properly (a/c wise), i am thrilled to be here with a quaint view of i-75.
last night we camped at bahia honda state park which is on bahia honda key. it was incredible until the sun went down and the noseeums came out. damn those bugs. they came through the screens in the tent! we sprayed deet on every surface of the tent and us, but we still got eaten in our hottest sleep ever. sunset and sunrise were incredible and the moon was huge. i cried several times out of joy. is that embarrassing? i don't even care. oh yes we went snorkeling at looe key coral reef! it was crazy! when we got back in the boat the captain was like "who saw barracudas?" "who saw sea turtles?" "and who saw a shark?" and like 3 people raised their hands, then he said "well you were all swimming with them! there were tons of them out there!" then i shit my pants and thanked god that i didn't see any damn sharks. it was very smart that he didn't tell us about sharks before we went out or i wouldn't have gone. i'm sure that was the point of saving that juicy bit of information until the activity was over. we saw tons of crazy fish and coral and sea plants. i loved it and only felt a tiny bit sick on the way back. i blame it on swallowing all that salty water.
left the park today at 9am because it was SO HOT i was dripping sweat. drove to florida city to visit "robert is here" a fruit stand that doubles as a petting zoo and smoothie shack. got a few treats and said "hey" to some goats and emus.
drove another 2 hours to naples where we now rest. and when i say rest, i mean REST. we are exhausted and i have so much ebay work to do. i hope to finish in the next 3 hours and then take a dip in the pool here. i have been swimming every day and it is the only thing keeping me from obesity. great.
tomorrow we resume thrifting, after a 3 day break, i am ready for more junk. naples (i believe) will be thrift heaven. more on this later.
a few pictures for good measure. if you click these you will go to my flickr page and you can find the rest.
thank you for your time and speak soon,
Bianca (and little cousin)
Saturday, May 17, 2008
the sunshine state is still shining on, and will be until (and this is only if my calculations are correct) two mondays from now (may 26th).
i am currently in miami beach, and was in fort lauderdale yesterday, and will be in islamorada tomorrow. what a life!
the water has turned turquoise and i suspect it will only intensify as we head south south south.
i am truthfully exhausted, and would love to say a great and many things here, but i think you will have to deal with this until i find the strength again. the thrifting is really incredible, and also very exhausting, plus we are walking a lot (which is a welcome change -- 5 miles last night alone), and i swam laps in the pool this evening (a beautiful pool and a terribly ugly room with bugs on the wall, a fair trade i say). anyways, all this activity equals being very tired.
tomorrow we have 4 shops on our list to visit and then potentially we will go to the venetian pool in coral gables which is fed by a spring and sounds incredible!
pictures and more when i can.
much love from miami,
b (and cousin s)
day 17 + 18:
islamorada and now key west.
last night we stayed in the sunset inn motel and it smelled like air freshener death, but the bed was huge and comfortable enough, and the tv got tbs which happened to be showing the sex and the city finale. woo!
this morning we went to ann's beach and waded in the water which was excellent and so clear and warm. then serena told me to shuffle my feet to ward off stingrays and i lost my motivation for wading. oh well. layed in the scorching sun for a few minutes and then ate some cold pizza in the hot car. drove 90 miles to key west where i now sit in the library on fleming street until it closes at 6pm.
we are staying in a lovely gem called the spindrift motel and our room is cute and the pool is cuter and has a few elderly sitting around it laughing amongst themselves. i was told on the phone when i booked that there would be internet access, but the only signal i can pick up is from "pearls" which appeared from the homepage to be a "womans only resort" well! anyways they were nearby so we went over to see if we could get a coffee posing as dykes and use their internet. well the restaurant wasnt open but the bar and grill was, so we buzzed a buzzer and went back to find topless sunbathers by the pool and various other overweight lesbian characters. i wanted to gawk but had to keep up my front, serena has short hair so i figured we'd be okay back there for a while. couldn't convince the bartender to give me the code so i had to go to the front desk to pretend to inquire about rates. had a long chat with sara, the clerk, and she gave us a complimentary pen and also a map of all the glbt spots in key west! score! apparently we fit right in, and i chalk it up to the short hair on my cousin and the fact that i was sans brassier.
well then, tomorrow night we are camping at bahia honda state park. scary! thrilling! noseeums! yikes! and then off to naples for thrifting heaven. old rich people galore!
internet is running out soon. need to eat a sandwich. so hot here. so so so hot. and the clearest blue water, birds, beautiful flowers, incredible things happening.
B + S
Sunday, May 11, 2008
today is day 12.
since i last wrote i went from the palmetto state, into the peach state, and friday i arrived in the sunshine state.
florida has been living up to its name. highs have been around 95. it isn't painful at all (yet, at least), savannah, however, was a little bit painful. it was really sticky there. and although the high was probably only around 85, it felt so much hotter, just because of the moisture.
wednesday i was in charleston, which is a place i probably would not return to. hung out that night in the hostel, and met a bunch of good characters. one german, one dane, two brits, and a couple from north carolina on a little getaway. talked a bunch with the brits and offered them a ride to savannah if they wanted one the next day. they said they'd think about it, and in the meantime, would i mind buying them some beer because they were still 20 for the next 3 weeks. i laughed, and complied, but inside i died a tiny bit with the thought of being "old." polished off 30 beers among the 4 of us and then hobbled up the creaky stairs to my little room where i found a sleeping frat boy. oh well. he was silent enough.
woke up to a noise that could have been a crying baby or a parrot. when i finally went down to breakfast and it was actually a parrot. what the fuck. it was so loud and awful. ate my free breakfast and found out the boys wanted to come with. joe and kieran. the went off to king street to buy guitars and i worked on packing up the car which was quite a task.
shoved off around 11 in the near stifling heat towards savannah. made a few stops along the way, one for gas, and another for boiled peanuts and peach tea. kieran liked the goober peas, but joe hated them. i think they are lovely. and saved half the container to give to lashawn, a friend of megan senior's, who was going to host me for the night in savannah.
arrived in savannah around two (thursday may 8th) and went off in search of some nice southern food. lashawn suggested we try sweet leaf on abercorn street. finally made it there drenched in sweat and hungry enough to eat almost anything. i got the bbq tofu wrap with a side of corn pudding (suggested by lashawn) and the boys both got bacon cheeseburgers. the food was incredible and the iced tea and lemonade were ever-flowing. finished and walked back to the city center to have a look around. what a place! moss hanging from every tree, so many incredible squares and parks, and each building is a picture. a truly spectacular place and one i wouldn't hesitate to visit again. dropped the boys off at skiddaway state park to camp the night (another truly spectacular looking place, huge trees with moss draping down forming a canopy over all the roads), drove back to savannah to meet lashawn (finally) at her work vinnie van go-go's, a pizza place in the touristy city market. tried to go to a film screening but there was a pay bar, so we decided to go back to vinnies to get a slice and a beer. i wasn't expecting much from the pizza, since i had had such a terrible experience in wilmington, but it was actually good! and you got to pick toppings to go on it, and they used fresh spinach! the slices were also the size of 2 slices in new york. beer was cold and the waitresses kept it coming.
went back to lashawn's little apartment to get ready to go out. i was told thursday night was a bad night to go out, because its a big college night, but we went anyways. bars: circa, lulus, the jinx, hang fire, and one other dive bar where there were peanuts to snack on and you throw the shells on the floor. went back to vinnie's after it closed to pick up lashawns friend erin and have some more beer. a genius thing about savannah: the to-go cup. say you're at a bar and decide you want to go but OH NO you have half your drink left. do not fret! go to the bar and ask for a to-go cup, they hand you a plastic cup and you pour your half drink into it and go out to the street! why oh why do we not have this rule in new york...oh wait....its a terrible idea! anyways i got good and drunk and we headed back to lashawn's at 3:30 to go to bed.
woke up at 9 and had to go pick up the brits at the park. they looked defeated as they hobbled towards my car. i found out that joe had a close call with an alligator the night before. WHAT THE FUCK. so glad they didn't die. so glad! got in the car and began the longest journey yet, to satellite beach, florida. it poured rain for a while on i-95 in georgia, but by the time we crossed state lines, it was clear and the temperature was on the rise. we stopped for lunch in st. augustine, oldest city in the usa, and the temp had peaked at 94. it was unyielding. there was very little cover in that small town, but the food we had was great, and it enabled us to do a bit of exploring before we said "we get the point" and drove off again, for another 2 hours down 95 past huge trucks doing 90 in the right lane, until we reached my family's house in satellite beach. it was hot but really breezy and felt great compared to st augustine. they cooked us a lovely dinner of fondue and hot dogs and then we sat out on the dock while the brits played blues on their red and blue guitars.
saturday we woke up around noon and i had a nice long hot shower that felt so good after being in the car for six hours the day before. the boys decided to take a 2:30 bus to miami so serena and i loaded up the van and took them to the greyhound station in melbourne. we said our goodbyes (i may see them again in new orleans) and then went thrifting for 4 hours. came home and was so exhausted i could barely move.
slept for about 11 hours and i feel good today. need to get a lot of ebay work done so the money can be flowing.
this was the longest one yet! sorry. i will try to be more frequent in the future.
if you made it to the end i will send you a postcard. addresses please!