|Are we there yet?|
Max likes to prop the end of his muzzle on the back edge of my seat and then snort in my ear. Must be his idea of a joke.
Max has been totem-poling since he came to live with us as a little guy of five months. Back then we traveled in the Sedona van. The girls were in middle school and they'd sit in the middle seats. Max (and dear departed Babe) would sit in the back. Babe would wiggle up to the middle between the girls, while Max would prop his head on top of either one of the girls. The girls thought that was funny and would laugh at Max and his antics.
Those days have long since passed. When we travel these days it's with a smaller group in the Prius. Ruby has replaced Babe, and Max is now a grand old man of 11. But Max still likes to play his little tricks. And I make a bit of a fuss over him in place of the girls.
The trip to Tallahassee started later than usual. I spent the morning mowing and cleaning up around the house and then getting the car packed. I tried to cram all the important weekend chores into this morning before we hit the road. I got it all done, including a trip to the bank, but it meant we didn't get on the road until after noon.
Normally it takes me 4 1/2 hours to drive from Orlando to Tallahassee. Today it took an extra two hours because of three major wrecks on I-75. The first one took place right as we pulled off into a rest area on the north bound side just south of the Ocala/200 interchange. As we were resting the traffic on I-75 slowed to a stop. We sat at the rest stop for 45 minutes. During that time I grabbed my E-3 with the 50-200 and strolled up to I-75 to see if I could spot the accident. I couldn't.
When I see the long lines of tractor-trailers just sitting and idling, I have to wonder how much fuel is burned up and wasted not just on I-75 but around the state and the country. We waited another 15 minutes at the rest stop, then drove up to I-75 and into the traffic to sit 15 minutes more until it finally cleared and traffic started moving again. The nice thing about the Prius is that it will shut the engine down when it's not moving, conserving gas.
On the way north we passed to more major wrecks between Ocala and Gainesville. One of the wrecks involved an overturned SUV on the south-bound side. The section of I-75 between Ocala and Gainesville seems to have more than its share of major accidents. In all the years I've driven up and down I-75, I've never seen any other major accidents, and I've been living in Orlando since 1985. My reaction when I see one is always the same; concern for the victims and a twinge of fear that the girls might one day get caught in something similar.
We finally arrived at a local Tallahassee hotel about 8pm, checked in, watered the Labs and left them in the room to head over to meet our daughter for a very late supper. Tonight we headed over to Mr. Roboto's Tokyo Grill.
It's a local restaurant, and out daughter strongly believes in eating local whenever possible. She and the wife have been there before, but I hadn't. My wife orderd hibachi mahi-mahi over fried rice and I order hibachi chicken over fried rice. I was introduced to the sauce bar by my wife, which added a nice touch to a very good meal.
It's a typical college restaurant. It was a little strange to see all the college-aged kids sitting around. And it was fairly full, even at 10:30pm. At certain times and places like this I really am beginning to "notice" my age I guess.
I've got my work cut out for me this weekend. So much for a 'holiday'.
Max taken with the Olympus E-1 and Zuiko Digital 12-60mm.
Traffic jam photos taken with Olympus E-3 and Zuiko Digital 50-200mm.
Mr. Roboto photo taken with Olympus E-P2 and OM 28mm 1:2.8 w/MF-1 and DMW-MA1 adapters.