Day #7 – Heading Back Home

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Since it had started to sprinkle, we headed back to the hotel and sat on the covered balcony, talked, and watched the different excursion boats come and go.

We decided to eat pizza for dinner. We called one that was close to the hotel and advertised that they delivered – Roundabout Pizza which was on the first floor of the same building that housed the Marina Cantina.

However, when we called in our order, they said they were too understaffed to do any delivering. So, Brian and I walked over there to pick it up. We got there just as it was being placed into the brick oven. When we got it back to the hotel, we seemed to inhale it. Excellent pizza. Very nice staff. Hope they get some more staff as I am sure they lose business when someone really wants a delivery.

We continued sitting outside until it started to get dark. Lisa and Brian had two more days of sun and surf, but we were looking at a 9 – 10-hour day on the road so we soon called it a night.

We got up at 6:00, ate the hotel breakfast, zipped up the suitcases, and left at 8:15. Traffic was terrible in Tampa – bumper to bumper and horns blaring – trying to get to I-275. Finally reached I-75. Made me want to consider checking flights to Tampa for our next trip here.

We stopped for gas in Ocala at 10:30 and to change drivers. Traffic was heavy but manageable. We had finished the Craig Johnston audio book and were listening to John Sandford’s Righteous Prey. Definitely helps to pass the time.

We stopped for gas and lunch at McDonalds in Vienna, GA at 1:45. We changed drivers. Our next stop was at an exit near Griffin, GA. We changed drivers again.

Traffic slowed to crawl at exit 212 in Locust Grove and continued like that until past the Eagle Landing’s exit 224. Never saw the problem that may have caused the slowdown but that is not unusual. We were able to enter the HOV lane before getting into Atlanta and traffic was flowing fine until we reached the downtown area. Then, all lanes slowed to a stop and go tempo.

A surprise to me was that the end of the HOV lane used to go for a mile or so until it merged to the right but now it abruptly ended not long after the HOV was no longer in effect. You had to merge right quickly into the fast lane. It was hard today even when the traffic was going so slowly. I bet it is very difficult to merge if you are going quickly, especially if you are not expecting the abrupt ending.

We stayed at a crawl until we finally got past exit 285 – Lake Altoona. Exhausting.

I was glad when we were able to get off on our exit. I was glad that it wasn’t yet dark, but we were looking into the setting sun. Annoying. We finally made it home around 7:15 – 11 hours on the road. Definitely going to look into flying.

Pumpkin must have recognized the slamming of our car doors as he met us at the kitchen door fussing at the top of his lungs. Sure sign that the trip was officially over.

Good times. Great memories.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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