Jekyll Island, Georgia, December 29, 2004 - The drive from New York City to Jacksonville, not including stops, takes about 18-21 hours, depending on traffic, and Orlando is about two or three hours farther. I-95 may be an objectively boring drive, but I still have fond memories of my parents driving my brother and I to Disney World when we were kids. These days, when Sue and I visit our parents (who all have moved to Florida, as the law requires of citizens their age) for more than a weekend, I usually prefer to drive. It sort of makes me feel like a kid again, only now I can control the radio (well, the iPod, as it were).
But as an adult, I can no longer fall asleep on a pile of pillows in the back seat while my parents drive. (Actually, can kids do that anymore? Or do they have to be strapped into a car seat until they're 18? If so, it's a shame that a new generation is growing up without knowing the joy of building pillow forts in the back seat of their parents' Chrysler while Juice Newton's "Queen Of Hearts" plays continuously on the radio...)
If we feel like it, we also get to stop in DC or Virginia Beach or Savannah or Charleston or Myrtle Beach. Or Jekyll Island, as we did on the spur of the moment while driving home from my parents' house after Christmas in 2004. Unlike on Long Island, where the sand is extremely soft and deep, the sand on Jekyll Island is rather hard-packed. Which seems like it would be uncomfortable to lie out on, but as we discovered, it makes for a great bicycling surface.
So we biked around for a couple of hours on that beautifully warm December day, then headed back on the road. I think we had dinner at Hardee's in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Hey, it's better than Shoneys. There's not much else better to eat in Fayetteville. Or along most of I-95 for that matter. It's a flaw in the road's design.
Then again, it's better than airline food. Not that airlines serve food anymore. Or give you pillows to make forts with...