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Annual Atlanta to Minnesota Trip

Author: magnets
Date of Trip: December 2010

Interesting! Yesterday we finished our annual trip from Atlanta, GA to the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area for the Christmas holiday. We stopped at a couple airports to use my new iPhone. I saw a few aircraft I like and pulled up the website on my iPhone. (I think you have to become a free member on the PC website first.) Now I know the owners of the aircraft I like.

On our way north, we used Hotwire to book a room in Tuscola, IL and on the return trip a week later we used Travelocity to book a room in Mattoon, IL. It’s the first time we paid going both directions in advance. I think we paid too much for Hotwire services. I think I got a grat deal using Travelocity services. I do not like the fact that neither service will tell me in advance the name of the hotel. The worst part is the travel websites will not give you a specific list of hotels included or excluded in their Star ratings. Is Econo-lodge a Star 1 or Star 2 rating? No one knows. (It is a Star 0 if you ask me.)

In either direction the trip is about 1,180 miles. So, we change the oil before and after the trip. I-75, I-24, I-57, I-74, I-39, I-94, I-494 is the trip north. Just reverse it for the trip south. We used to go through Chicago but over the years the traffic got slower and slower.

The worst part of the trip is around Nashville. There is a mess where I-24 must share the road with I-40 and I-65. On the way back it was even worse in that area since they were having some kind of football game I suppose. That connection is just the kind of place that a few billion should be spent on Interstate Commerce. Our Interstate highway system was never intended to be an exit lane for city business. At Nashville, it is often a parking lot for city business. Good thing our trip does not go through downtown Atlanta. Downtown Atlanta is worse than Nashville concerning the Interstate Highway System.

Until we arrived in Minneapolis, snow never visited our windshield. The last five minutes of the trip we finally saw snow fall from the sky. On our way south we did get some rainy weather between 33 and 57 degrees on the two days of the trip. Never really any bad roads.

What did we see on our trip? Not much! I was looking at the road ahead since I was running at 72-MPH for much of the trip. My wife sleeps most of the trip (she knits the rest of the time) so she did not report much interesting. Since this is our 20th or so trip between the two locations even I could probably sleep and the car would find the way. (Except in the Nashville traffic where even I get confused occasionally.)

In previous years we took some short-cuts in Illinois and once stopped at Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin. Now, it is usually 4, 6 or 8 lanes of concrete. We good thing to report is the number of Mexican Restaurants along the road has increased. They have the best food. Buy a Speedy at lunch and you get a good meal at a great price. Use the fast-food restaurants for dinner to save money and time. My wife and I can eat dinner cheap at our home-town restaurants since we have, coupons, cards and know where to split a dinner and still be full. But on the road we just do not have that information.

That’s about all I have to report. Have a safe trip.

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