Trip Start Mar 17, 1996
7Trip End May 23, 1996
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Where I stayed
Wandered the Garden District and went to Lafeyette Cemetary. I wanted to see a plantation so we drove out to Oak Alley Plantation and did a tour. Parts of "Interview with the Vampire" were filmed there. Had ourselves a picnic lunch there. Back to town for pictures and souvenir shopping. I convinced Josh to go out that night. The evening started wandering along Bourbon Street when Josh spotted a bar with a familiar video playing on tv. It was a song popular in Brazil while he'd recently been there so he was intrigued and went in to check it out (turns out the song was the macarena...hadn't quite caught on in the u.s. yet).
Really bad hangover. Josh drove us to a bayou area in Mississippi where we camped. I just laid out in the sun waiting to feel better. I was ok by dinner and had a bit of the seafood dinner. We watched tv at the campground rec center.
Continued east to Jacksonville, Florida, to stay with more distant relatives of Josh's. They were about grandparent age. The guy was a snake expert and was convinced he was going to be famous once his small bit in a National Geographic special got televised. He was one of the original Navy Seals and helped write the manual for them. He did have lots of stories so was entertaining. The wife seemed nice. Their sons Wally and Phillip stopped by...definately white trash. One of them had just gotten out of prison, though I don't remember which. We went to visit their daughter, Naomi, and later their son, Bud
I was glad to be out of there the next day. We drove down to Fort Lauderdale and got a hostel room near the beach. We wandered the beach and mall. That evening we went to a bar we had a free drink coupon for. Then to another bar for some darts. Went back to the hostel to try to sleep but the guys in the room were smoking. It was nasty. My sleeping bag smelled horrible now and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Went out to the car to try to sleep but didn't sleep much.
Drove south through Miami along Hwy 1 to the Florida Keys. That was a very pretty drive but kind of slow going. We found a hostel in Key West and immediately went to the beach. Had to watch the sunset then back to the hostel to chill.
Went to the beach and laid in the sun a bit. I pretty much begged Josh to spend the $18 for a snorkeling trip 'til he gave in and agreed. A boat took us quite a ways out to a coral reef. Swam around staring at the fish and coral. We were a ways from the boat when Josh started heading back. I told him I was going to look around just a little more. I would just lay there doing a dead man float and letting the tide push me along while watching the fish
April 16 we just drove to Orlando. The toll roads were a freakin' rip-off. There was a Thousand Trails campground outside town that we stayed at. You could hear the alligators while sleeping. Nice.
Went to Epcot Center. We checked out Future World, The Living Sea, The Land and the various country pavillions. The inside of the Mexico pavillion was cool. I liked the "Food Rocks" show. Stayed for the end light show and left around 10pm. Epcot didn't seem to have much of a "Disney" feel to it.
Disneyworld! Not quite as many rides as Disneyland but it had some unique stuff that I wanted to see. AlienEncounter was different, but one of those things you only go to once. It was fun to put Josh on the rollercoasters and see him panic. :)
Back up to Jacksonville. We stayed around the house lazy-like, watched "Babe". Later Bud took us out on a boat ride (around dusk). That was kind of fun.
Drove to Savannah, Georgia. It's a cute town with lots of square parks. The part of "Forrest Gump" where he's sitting on the bench was filmed here. The River St area was quite cool. Looked like it would be a good place to go to at night, but again Josh wasn't up for it. Instead we played some foosball and air hockey back at the hostel.
On to Atlanta to check out the city hosting the upcoming Olympics. Got a bit lost trying to find the hostel. Went downtown to the World of Coca-Cola. Josh managed to try a sample of every type of drink they had (there were probably about 30 sodas). We also went to the underground mall, CNN Tower and saw "Seven" at a discount theater.
The south is...interesting. It's hard for me to relate to the people there. Going out in New Orleans was good fun. I really enjoyed Key West and its laid-back lifestyle. Disneyworld was a fun break too.