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cmcgregor Reader
1/1/16 9:47 a.m.

Happy new year!

We're still here. Made it into Fort Lauderdale last night and went to one of the more ridiculous house parties I've ever been to, and we're just hanging out at the beach today until the wedding. Daily update post to come.

Feedyurhed SuperDork
1/1/16 11:13 a.m.

Congrats on your purchase, your wedding, your trip and the new year! I personally like yellow vehicles...... especially yellow miatas with removable hard tops. All is well in the world for you.

cmcgregor Reader
1/2/16 5:43 p.m.

Day 3 starting mileage: 223088 in Daytona Beach, Fl

Ending mileage:223360 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl

We started out the day with a drive down the beach thanks to the excellent suggestion by volvoclearinghouse,

then stopped for lunch and surfer watching at Crabby Joe's, which is directly in the ocean.

We took off for Fort Lauderdale after that, doing a quick drive by of the Kennedy space center on our way

We also made a quick stop at Treasure Coast Miata in Hobe Sound to pick up a shifter insulator, which I haven't had a chance to install yet. Pretty much everyone had already left for the holiday, but it was cool to see their operation, and they were really nice. I realized as we were driving away that I forgot to take a picture, but oh well.

We really should have booked a room earlier than we did, because we ended up paying $150 for the budget inn, but we got ready quickly and headed to the NYE party hosted by the parents of the groom at their ridiculous vacation house directly on the beach

Despite my appearance in the picture, I managed to keep it together enough to not be hung over for the wedding the next day, so that was good.

cmcgregor Reader
1/2/16 5:58 p.m.

Day 4 starting mileage: 223360 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Ending mileage: 223363, still in Fort Lauderdale

We woke up pretty early to check out of the hole we spent too much money for, then made a quick trip to Target for some essentials we forgot (like beach towels, and.....socks.....)

We didn't have to be anywhere until the wedding at 5, so we headed to the beach to relax, where we took advantage of the parking characteristics of the miata

We ate lunch somewhere on the beach, but the restaurant took FOREVER and left us scrambling to get ready in time. Our hotel was about 3 miles from the venue, and we left with plenty of time, but ridiculous traffic meant we showed up precisely 1 minute late, only to find they had started the ceremony already. Oops. At least we caught the end The wedding was at the historic Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale, which is apparently a museum during the day. There was all kinds of odd art all over the place

The wedding was beautiful, and we had a great time.

Vodka was right. We got back to the hotel after 2 and crashed, tired and happy and ready to head north the next day.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
1/2/16 8:22 p.m.

whispering "Come to the Keys. You will not be disappointed...."

cmcgregor Reader
1/3/16 3:27 p.m.

Day 5 starting mileage: 223363 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Day 5 ending mileage: 223840 in Tallahassee, Fl

Though we were tempted, we decided that the keys could wait for another trip and turned our faithful steed North. We deviated from the route I posted earlier to head directly across the state to see my grandmother outside of Sebring There were lots of orange groves And some cool birds

We continued our way out of Florida, stopping for dinner in Gainesville at La Tienda Latina (which was excellent)

This is around the time I realized that if I wanted to visit the publishers of this esteemed publication, I should have done it when we were going through Daytona. It's only the challenge that's in Gainesville...

We ended up making it to the motel 6 outside Tallahassee before we got too tired to keep going. So far the car has been awesome, and gas is so cheap in the south! We're having a great time and looking forward to the northbound leg of the journey.

cmcgregor Reader
1/3/16 9:58 p.m.

Day 6 starting mileage: 223840 in Tallahassee, Fl

Ending mileage: 224034 in Montgomery, Al

Finally made our first stop at Waffle House. Man, we've been missing out.

Made a stop at Florida Caverns State Park, which was really cool even though we missed the tour.

It was a bit flooded The sign next to this said it was a national champion tree, but now I can't find it on the official registry of national champion trees (which is a thing, by the way), so who knows Deirdra wanted a picture too

We got to my wife's aunt and uncle's place in Montgomery, who treated us to some barbeque and put us up for the night. It was really nice to spend the night sitting around and talking.

Nashville tomorrow, probably via Huntsville for the air and space museum since we missed out on Kennedy. Still having fun!

cmcgregor Reader
1/5/16 5:18 p.m.

I know my listeners at home have been sitting, rapt, awaiting my latest update, so here it is.

Day 7 starting mileage: 224034 in Montgomery, Al

Day 7 ending mileage: 224328 in Nashville, Tn

Started the day by getting to some much needed maintenance on the car. I pulled the console and found just what I expected It looks like the missed the hole somehow? Got that sorted And moved on to the finish panel Which went together pretty nicely No more broken keyhole! We then did a quick drive through Montgomery and took some pictures of the Alabama Shakespeare festival (where Deirdra's uncle is the director), MLK's church, and the first white house of the confederacy. Kind of an odd mix there Before heading to Huntsville to check out the space center. We were plenty entertained walking around outside, checking out the blackbird and various rockets We then made our way to Nashville, checked into our hotel, and headed out for dinner at Puckett's, where we had some good food, whiskey, and live music. We stopped by another bar and checked out a blues jam session, which was really great end to the day.

Unfortunately, the Lane museum is closed Tuesday and Wednesday, and we'll be in Nashville...... Tuesday and Wednesday. But we're loving it here so far, so we'll be back for sure.

mk2mer Reader
1/5/16 6:57 p.m.

Looks like a great trip! You two are doing something I've always wanted to do but never took the time or resources to accomplish.

cmcgregor Reader
1/5/16 7:45 p.m.

In reply to mk2mer:

You know, we never really thought we had the time or resources to do it either. Eventually we just decided to go for it. The timing worked out well, with my wife finishing grad school and not having started a job yet, but the rest of it we're just figuring out as we go. And it's awesome.

cmcgregor Reader
1/5/16 10:45 p.m.

Tomorrow we'll be headed fom nashville towards Lexington ky, stopping at the corvette museum then looking to visit some distilleries. Shoot me a pm if you'd like to meet up

cmcgregor Reader
1/7/16 10:50 p.m.

Day 8 starting mileage: 224328 in Nashville, Tn

Ending mileage: Well, we didn't go anywhere, so....

We dragged ourselves out of bed and walked over to the country music hall of fame and museum, which was awesome! Nashville was cooooollllldddd though, so walking around was not the greatest. Webb Pierce's custom Pontiac Bonneville

Elvis's gold Cadillac limo

The bandit! (Version 2)

There was a Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash exhibit, which was really cool

Walked through a few small art galleries, I liked this piece in particular

Then we went back to the hotel and hung out until our super fancy dinner at Husk Which was pretty great. We walked downtown after that and went to some bars, after which the pictures get sparse and blurry...

Great night in Nashville

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
1/8/16 5:03 a.m.

Nashville's a fun town. Glad you had some time to stop and enjoy your visit there.

cmcgregor Reader
1/8/16 7:40 a.m.

Day 9 starting mileage: 224328 in Nashville, TN

Ending mileage: 224554 in Lexington, KY

We rather reluctantly left Nashville and headed north, aiming first for the national Corvette museum in Bowling Green. Took lots of good pictures there It's always funny to see stuff from home when you're somewhere else Sinkhole was pretty crazy

Snapped a picture by the track on our way out

Then we headed over to Corsair distillery and did a tour and tasting. This restaurant next door was remodeling

Funnily enough, we liked their barrel aged gin best, so that's what we bought instead of any whiskey. We ended the day staying with Deirdra's uncle in Lexington, for free night number 2. He had picked up some excellent fresh tamales for dinner and bourbon. We slept better on an air mattress there than we have in most of the hotels on this trip haha.

Brian MegaDork
1/8/16 8:09 a.m.

Nice. When you get back north, definitely do 9W in a Miata. I got to do it twice a day for 3 days my last time down state. 2x wishbone Honda good. Auto and snow tires bad. Super fun drive.

cmcgregor Reader
1/9/16 12:17 a.m.

Day 10 start: 224554 in Lexington KY

End: 224770 in Charleston, WV

We started out with a quick tour of the lab that Deirdra's uncle works in (we're both science nerds...) then headed over to West 6th Brewing for lunch (and beer)

Then we went up to Alltech Brewing, which is where Town Branch bourbon and Kentucky Bourbon ale is made. We were the only ones there for the tour, so we got a pretty great one, capped off by this bourbon/coffee/cream concoction that was pretty great

Found some fun roads in Kentucky

We then headed towards my sister's place in Alexandria, stopping for dinner at red lobster (thanks for the gift card grandma!) Before we decided to spend the night in Charleston, WV. The miata didn't exactly fit into the parking lot...

I've been forgetting to record the mileage each day on my phone before I make these posts at night (or the next day, or whenever) but I have it all written down in the car, so I'll update all the missing mileages later.


cmcgregor Reader
1/9/16 12:48 a.m.

Day 11 start: 224770 in Charleston, WV

End: 225105 in Alexandria, Va

Today was another day for booking it toward a destination. We underestimated how long it would take to get to Alexandria, so we got on the road pretty early. Volvoclearinghouse had crossed his fingers for good weather early in this thread, and he must have finally remembered to uncross them, because we actually got some rain.

On our way, we realized how close we were to Shenandoah national park and therefore Skyline Drive, and decided to make a detour. We were driving through a cloud for most of it, but this was well worth it.

We were about 30 minutes from my sister's house, on 495, when a damn COCKROACH scuttled out of somewhere. Deirdra freaked out, and her first reaction was to snap a picture?

Soooooooo we will have to deal with that tomorrow before she's willing to get back in the car. We finally made it to my sister's and hung out with her hilarious pet rabbits

before going out for dinner and drinks then crashing. We're on the home stretch now!

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
1/9/16 10:51 a.m.

Skyline Drive is great, glad you were able to take it. I did not uncross my fingers, the weather gods simply stopped paying attention to me. Into every convertible's life a little rain must fall.

If you pass through or near Westminster, MD this weekend feel free to PM me and stop by. I may even have a small box of some leftover Miata parts to trade you for beer. :-)

92dxman SuperDork
1/14/16 3:29 p.m.

Great looking photos and awesome roadtrip!

cmcgregor Reader
1/19/16 11:34 p.m.

I really need to finish this trip report for posterity (and my own terrible memory)


Day 12 Start: 225105 in Alexandria, VA

End: 225245 in Springfield, PA

We woke up, had a nice breakfast, and went into Alexandria to check out the Torpedo Factory. We've been there once before, when we visited after my sister had just moved to the D.C. area and loved it. No room in the trunk for souvenirs this time though.

Somehow this is the only picture we took....

We had a pretty short drive to where our friends live outside Philadelphia, and they wouldn't be home until 5 anyway so we had time to do some laundry, go out for lunch and generally laze around some.

We were in Maryland, briefly! Sorry I couldn't take you up on your offer VCH. Next time.

Again, we were not good with pictures, but we met up with our friends, got the tour of their new house, and went out for dinner and drinks at Brick and Brew Pub in Havertown, which was excellent. We got a good night's sleep and prepared for the final push home the next day.

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