Today, from the halls of my new university in Zurich, I will continue recounting the adventures of the Treehugger Tour, my amazing summer roadtrip. The story continues where I left off at the beginning of July. Thanks for being patient to hear the rest of the adventure!
July 5th, 2010
Upon returning to Delray Beach after my amazing bicycle ride through the Florida Keys, I was greeted by the Goodwill furniture pickup truck. I promptly surrendered all of my modest furnishings, hoping that someone in need will get my totally awesome, super comfortable $800 king-sized bed (of the little furniture I have, my bed was certainly my most important and favorite). After cleansing myself of the bulky furniture I have accumulated over the years, I went about cleaning the rest of the apartment. I was living on NE 9th Avenue, just off George Bush Boulevard in Delray Beach. The area is lovely, within 1/4 mile of the beach, 1/2 mile from Atlantic Ave (the shopping/nightlife/artistic area of Delray Beach), and within crawling distance of my favorite dive - the Sail Inn. I have always tried to clear my life of clutter and chaos, but yet, my material possessions are far from simple. Deciding which items are sentimental and which will fit into my tiny Toyota Corolla was difficult and exhausting. At one especially draining point, while sitting on the cold floor of my semi-empty apartment, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was indeed leaving this place I can come to love and the people who mean so much to me here. I was on the verge of breaking down into a warm puddle of sobs. Just in the nick of time, my friend Georgie (or Delray George as I like to call him), pounded on the door, waltzed in, gave me a much appreciated big hug, and dragged me out for some food. No one has ever had better timing, thank you Georgie! The encouraging company and good food lifted my spirits and gave me a second wind to finish the last details of packing and leaving.
On the morning of July 6, 2010, around 9am, I met with my landlord to return my keys and show him the beautifully empty and clean apartment (I'm still fighting with him to get my security deposit back...grrr...landlords!). After loading my bike on the bike rack and waving goodbye to the area, I hit the gas and tried not to look back. I was heading north!
My first stop, Jacksonville, was 5 hours up the road, then on to Savannah, Georgia. I had heard many lovely things about Savannah, but never had the pleasure of seeing it myself. I was originally planning to stop for the evening to see my friend Will who works at a gourmet restaurant adjacent to the Savannah River. I called him as I was getting closer to town, and sadly found out that he had work and sudden family obligations that would prevent us from catching up. I needed a break anyway at this point in the day, so I told him I would swing into town for a stretch, say hello for a few minutes when he could get away from work, and head on my way. It was lovely to see him, even if it was just briefly. I checked out the menu at the restaurant where he works as a chef, the Chart House, and quickly realized that he is much more talented than I ever knew and that I would need to return in about 10 years when I could afford an appetizer on the menu. Well, hopefully it's sooner than 10 years, but wow, that menu is extensive! The wines alone made my mouth water. But I didn't have much time to linger. Before leaving, on Will's much appreciated suggestion, I took a short jaunt along the shores of the graceful Savannah River, saw the riverboats, watched a huge freighter leaving the port, and took pleasure in the old town feeling of the historic downtown and the cobblestone streets (on River Street). I took a mental picture of the area and I know that Savannah is certainly a place I wish to return to sooner than later. It seems like the type of place that would be great to enjoy with a special partner. There is a distinct romantic ambiance about it.
With a renewed motivation to make it north, I called my super supportive friend Jackie in Charlotte, NC and made plans to stay with her. According to my GPS, I only had another 5 hours of driving ahead of me. Little did I know that just before entering Charlotte, NC from the south there would be a terrible RV accident on I-77. As I sat in 4 short miles of traffic for over 2 hours, my thoughts went out to the family and friends of the people who had died in the RV that police were now investigating on the highway on a hazy Tuesday evening. Although, I didn't arrive at Jackie's house until about 1:30am (sorry Jackie!) after a 14.5 hour day of almost non-stop driving, I was happy to make it safely. Thanks Jackie and Mark for having me stay with you! Your home is beautiful, your dog is the best, and your company is always enjoyable!