With drops of jupiter in our hair, sassy new bikinis strewn in the backseat, and McFlurries clutched in our sweaty palms, we set off from the Emerald City that is Miami in a Chevy HHR. We were destined for Savannah. Savannah! Enclave of ole’ Southern hospitality, Paula Deen, and, uh, St. Patricks Day. But wait! We aren’t there yet. Instead, we found ourselves at the Miami International Airport. No! Not to fly to Venezuela; we went to a Hertz. Yes, that car rental agency that excels at answering phones and doling out sexy little vehicles.
The following occurred prior to our sojourn to the Miami airport, when we were having car troubles with our smarmy old Pontiac and switched to a Toyota Corrolla. As we were presented with the tiny blood red sedan, someone whispered, “I think this car got recalled.” iPhones out! After some preliminary Google searches, article after article popped forth relaying the horror story of the disturbingly defective 2010 Corrolla. “It’s not like it’s defective in that mirrors fall off or something,” Adrian told us, iPhone reflecting off his glasses, “It’s more that the accelorator sticks and does not stop.”
We were not about to let Spring Break 2010 turn into ‘Speed.' We were here to research megachurches, not engage in some Keanu Reeves hoopenanny! So we went to the airport. After Kim sweet-talked the woman at the front desk, we were presented with what must have been the only non-Toyota in the lot.
Have any of you ever seen a Chevy HHR? It is shaped like the American dream, and it is a car-truck. We shoved everything in the less than spacious trunk, rolled out to the open road, and breathed deeply. Our car is definitely a smoker. The pungent smell of menthol cigarettes and a slight tinge of body odor filled our nostrils. We quickly opened our beef jerky and iced animal cookies to mask the smell, and the sweet scent of Aisle 7 replaced everything (sort of).
With Kim and Hannah at the helm, we drove and drove and drove, all wide-eyed and goosebumped, in the rain and the sleet and the snow until we made it to Savannah, where it is St. Patricks Day. This was curious, because there is a limited population of Irish people in Georgia, and this holiday is not for another week. Instead of trying to figure out this problem on our phones, we just opted for dinner on the water front. No sense in fighting it. Our exuberant waiter Brian M. (possible relation to Brian McDonnell?) served us delicious oyster poboys and crabcakes and burgers. Frightened by the possibility of us Yankees contracting e. coli, he urged us to get everything cooked fully. “Medium,” he commanded. “We hand pat everything here.”
Stomachs under control, save Kim’s, it was off to the Savannah Garden Inn for the night, where we booked two full beds for four people. Imagine our surprise when we walked in to find one bed and a pull out couch! A pull out couch sans sheets. After much hemming and hawing with the front desk, we were given two space blankets and no pillows. Oh, dear. This was going to be an issue that would have to be resolved in the morning.
Unfortunately, the best resolution we could reach was an 18% discount, but the prospect of a relaxing morning wandering Savannah cooled our nerves, and a long drive to Richmond brought us back down to earth. The drive was punctuated by a visit to Pedro's South of the Border and a low-fuel scare, but we finally arrived at our last roadside hotel in the midst of an enormous thunderstorm.