Day 1 of my cross-country trip has already been eventful.
It began with a quick stop at my grandparents' - Hi Grandma and Grandpa! - during which I expressed that a few tea bags might not hurt for the trip and they give me a bag with enough provisions to cover the entire trip. Really should have seen that one coming.
The drive itself was mostly boring. Nine hours, give or take, of road without much to see. Until I crossed the border into Arkansas.
I don't know where I was when I saw it - the scenery had blended together, all I knew was that Tina Fey was talking about how uncomfortable it was knowing that Sarah Palin was going to sneak up on her. Describing it won't do it justice, but it's the best I've got: Picture Jesus looking at white text that reads "Are you going in the wrong direction? I specialize in U-Turns." Took me a second to read that fully, and in doing so I was no prepared for the follow-up text: "IsHeInYou?.com"
I almost pulled over to get a picture, but it occurred to me that the type of place that puts up a billboard like that is probably the type of place where the locals would beat up visitors that took pictures of their billboards. I switched to the slow lane and started tapping my phone so that I could call out when I had to get back in the fast lane very suddenly. See, a dining room table had flown off someone's car and he'd stopped to salvage it. Not a truck, not a van, a car no bigger than mine. Lost a dining room table.
When I do get into the slow lane and do find a working number, I find myself behind a flatbed truck (no tables) with a huge "God Bless America" sticker on it and what appeared to be a machine gun mounted on top. It turned out to be a heavy-duty winch, but it was enough to complete the trifecta - I had entered the South.
Later on, in one ten-mile stretch, I saw one billboard for an "adult superstore" and two billboards with Bible quotes against extramarital relations. I honestly don't know if these two concepts are contradictory or not.
To say I'm travel-lagged at this point is an understatement. But I made it this far at least.
Had a calzone and a few beers at a place a short walk from my hotel called Vino's. Hipster pizza joint, but they do good pizza and beer. We'll see how the hotel works out, I guess.
Tune in tomorrow when I regale you with the Tale of the Incomplete Speeding Ticket and (hopefully) arrive in Houston!