Pennsylvania: Five minutes into our two-day, 20+ hour trip we decide it’s probably a good idea to have something to do while driving. We bet the over/under on how many license plates we’ll see on the way down. G goes with over 25; I take the under. I immediately sense my mistake, not in my bet, per se, but in competing with George, who quickly downloaded a license plate tallying app, and laughed in my face when we saw Connecticut before hitting the Delaware border. This is going to be a loooong 20 hours.
Maryland: George is already up to like 13 state license plates, clearly on his way to victory, much to my chagrin. NOT to my chagrin, however, is the fact that he’s agreed that DC totally doesn’t count towards the tally. I think I have a chance until he spots Minnesota. WHAT ARE YO UDOING HERE, MINNESOTA? GET BACK TO YOUR HALF OF THE COUNTRY. Maryland serves up a great diversion in the form of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, and before I know it, we’re in…
Georgia: Civilization begins to rear its head again, in the form of peanut museums, peach museums, and the occasional Old Navy. The landscape suddenly shifts from tree-lined to marshy, and I’m aware that we’re far, far away from where we started.
Florida, Day One: We’ve made it to the sunshine state! And I’ve officially lost the license plate bet. Why is Jacksonville 97 degrees at 8:00 p.m.?? Better question: Why is the La Quinta inn we’ve paid a generous $53 dollars to stay in covered with weird…..flies? I don’t even know what these things are. The last thing I see before I fall fast, fast asleep is George killing our unwelcome guests with a wash cloth. My wash cloth. The one I need to use in the morning…ZZZZzzzzzz.
Florida, Day Two: I wake up revived, with memories of the sweet, sweet Krystal Burger I ate last night in my mind. Unfortunately I can find no Krystal Burgers open and willing to serve me like 8 sliders at 6:00 a.m. I fall asleep in protest and force George to drive the first significant leg of the Florida trip before taking over the wheel several hours later and declaring I hate all drivers, ever, except for myself. By the time we make it to the Keys I’m delirious and seeing mirages of Rum Runners, iguanas, and palm trees. Oh wait, those aren’t mirages. We’re heeeere! And, ludicrously, George spots a Vermont license plate at about mile marker 6 on Route 1, officially tallying up the 36 license plates he initially vowed he’d see, a handful of minutes before we reach our destination. I realize, dumbly, that we need to do this whole thing in reverse, soon. Very, very soon.