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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pulaski to Hattiesburg --Day 4

Awoke to the first really “ weathery” day, which is to say rainy and gray but warm 58. Our motel last night was pricey—used points—but really nice and I slept like a log. The room wasn’t any more elegant or roomy but somehow just restful. The breakfast room WAS roomy and bright and the fellow manning the kitchen was so jovial and fun. No one could be glum or unhappy after spending time with him! Having studied the Tn,Al and Ms maps last night and thinking about the weather news we decided to head Southwest to Hattiesburg. I wanted to stay more Southeast but Bill felt closer to the Gulf and still going in our designated direction would be fine. Well, it is 5:50 pm and the local Hattiesburg station is just talking about thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow, some of which may be severe. The Weather Channel, on the other hand has us right in the middle of the red area where the probability of tornadoes is 6/10. I’m not happy since if we’d gone where I wanted to go our odds would be 4/10. In either case it isn’t really nice but I’m banking on The Weather Channel being their usual act of spouting hyperbole. If we’d listened to them at Barb’s we would not have headed for Buffalo last Friday and we had no snow in areas they said was going to be blizzard conditions. I like the fact they always say IF—yeah! At any rate, we are going to stay here again tomorrow night—who wants to drive in heavy rain with winds if not necessary? As for today, the sun came out pretty quickly as we moved southward into Alabama. We went through the Huntsville area where I’ve wanted to go to the Space Center for three years now and crossed the Tennessee River in the vicinity of the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. It is here I wanted to go last year to stay in a cabin for a three day weekend and spend the mornings observing Bald Eagles and taking courses on raptors. I didn’t bother with the information for this year since I didn’t know we would be here and also we needed to make a reservation. Considering the weather pattern and the need to get to Eunice by next Sunday, this year would not be the right time. Coming home is too late for the weekends. It is still in the folder for another year. Wanting to avoid driving through the middle of Birmingham we left I 65 on which we’ve been traveling for a day and a half and cut across on 69 to Jasper, where Bill made his first nickel run of the trip. From there we continued toward Tuscalousa where there was a cutoff or circle route to I59/20. We paid our $1.50 toll for the bridge-----what bridge? I didn’t see any water on the map! Well, there are several meanings for the word bridge—and it doesn’t always involve a span—when a space is covered between two points and that’s what this was—the road that bridged the area between 69 and the Interstate. HMMMMMM But, now we headed into Mississippi and magnolias in bloom! The air was redolent with their scent. I’ve always wanted to use that word! As we continued to our night’s rest, it was impossible to believe that this beautiful blue sky with its congested clouds and air that was 78 degrees would give way to severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes by nightfall. By 3:30 we pulled into Hburg, as the signs are now saying it is being called—ah, the age of abbreviations—how it saves on spelling lessons. Unfortunately, the only restaurants in the area are fast food so we ordered a Pizza Hut pizza for room delivery and called it a day. As we checked in the desk clerk was on speaker phone with some woman who apparently had a reservation and whose credit card was used fraudulently ( that just happened to me four days before we left on the trip!!!). Her account ( which she used for the reservation ) was closed and she hadn’t received her new card yet. She was asking what to do—she didn’t want to lose the reservation but the card the hotel had was not going to be available. Could she change the reservation to her husband’s name and change the card to his. Yes,says the clerk and THEN she proceed to ask for the new card number and the woman, I’m sure totally unaware she was on speaker, started to give it. I YELPED STOP,STOP you can’t do that—turn off the speaker. The clerk was very put out—and I said—we three can hear her—the number, the security code—everything!!!! She wasn’t at all happy but my God—I said to Bill and the other guy—geez, I’ll take the info and charge my next room to her! What an idiot. When it was out turn to check in, she was a bit cold but I was courteous, though I DID NOT ask for an upgrade and figured we might get the coal room as it was. No acknowledgement of our Elite status, either, which the company requires. But, since I was courteous she warmed up, commented on my rings and I clued her in to Grandmother’s Buttons. As we left for our room, she was on the computer perusing jewelry in St Francisville. Ah, here’s our pizza, so friends I shall pour the last of my bottle of wine that has lasted for three nights—imagine that, Jane and Joyce, LOL—and dig in. If there is power and all has gone well, we shall be in touch tomorrow. Until then, Bon Appetit and Bon Soir The Two Vagabonds KandB

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