Buying Tanks and Other Tales from the Road
In the past month, I had the opportunity to do some cross country road travel. Something I have not done for many years. It was a great trip, and I just wanted to share a few observations about my journey.
If you are wondering, my stops included Nashville, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Bowling Green, Louisville, and Columbia, South Carolina. As an added caveat, I must include a couple of choices prior to my journey that affect my story. In cost cutting measures I cancelled my Sirius radio a few months ago and upgraded (at a lower cost) my iPhone through AT&T’s Next program. So part of the tale is Siri and Sirius(less).
I found that yodeling stations and flea market (a la Home Shopping Network style) radio stations exist. I did need a queen sized mattress. And that was a great price. But, wouldn’t tying it to the roof cut down my MPGs?
Now let’s talk about Siri.
As a prudent tech owner, you are unlikely to find me in line for the latest greatest. Many years ago I discovered 6 month old technology was still an upgrade, and much cheaper once everyone else was bored with it. So this was my first date with Siri (as I was clinging to my iPhone 4 as long as there was life in it). I found her personality a little quirky with replies like ‘no comment’ , and ‘even I am not perfect’. These replies came to my agitated response when Siri failed to direct me to my location accurately on multiple occasions. I also found that Haines City, Tallahassee, and Winston-Salem sound about the same, as Siri gave me directions to all three when asking for Haines City. There were also a variety of ways I had to learn how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. It seems my southern dialect was way too foreign for Siri. (I even met a waiter in Tennessee convinced it is done intentionally to keep the southern population at a disadvantage….no kidding). It reminded me of when I was in India calling down for a bottle of water when the hotel staff replied, “Please speak English sir”.
I don’t remember if it was Tennessee or Kentucky where I saw the sign, ‘Outpost Surplus, Clearance Tank Sale’. This provoked my imagination. I wasn’t planning on buying a tank on this trip. But, how good were the prices? Could I drive it home? Would it make it to Florida? Is there one small enough to fit in my garage? Will the Home Owners Association approve?
No joke. I was looking out my hotel window in Indianapolis when I saw this sign. I had to take a picture before I left. I just imagined how much angst this could create. OK, it was a parking permit based on the initials of the hotel. But, you must admit how funny it must have been for the sign company to take this order.
Props to Tennessee Hospitality:
After 12 hours on the road, I was terrified to find the closest ‘real’ restaurant near my hotel closed in 15 minutes. Staring dejected at the hours on the window, the door opened and a waitress exclaimed with a smile, “Oh don’t worry about that, c’mon in. We’ll be here awhile.” Props to Colorado Grill in White House, Tennessee that rescued me from late night with Taco Bell.
Why do I write these curious notes?
Because it was my little way of enjoying the journey.
Sometimes we are so focused on where we are going, we fail to enjoy the experiences of the trip. It helps if we don’t lose track of the simple things that make the travel worth
Kudos to the Road Warriors out there. Be safe!
Written by James Anderson, founder and director of Expecting More