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So, I am not known for my punctuality, I know. You know. We all know. Because of this, we changed our original departure time from 4am. We decided that we would try our best to leave at a more reasonable target time of 11am.

After a quick Walmart run, a McDonald’s drive through breakfast and me summoning every Jamaican ancestor I have to participate in the most complex game of real life Tetris I have ever played to get all of my items into my not-as-big-as-I-thought Jeep, we were ready to head out.... at 11:45.

Bye Bye Pembroke Pines!

The car was so full, I could not see out the back window, I had a very “f*ck it I’ll reorganize it when we get to Tallahassee” attitude about it, like I wasn’t about to drive 8 hours and be tired when I got to the hotel.

The funny thing about road trips is that the they seem fun in movie and television montages. In quick bursts of dancing to music, screaming along to Backstreet Boys, shoveling fries in your face and a quick shot of a long empty road, every journey seems manageable. So when we set out on our first 4 hour leg to Tampa, we were confident in our ability to thug out any road boredom that may arise.

But we didn’t take into account how f*cking boring Florida is. Just flat, nothing to see here. It was so boring that I started looking for eighteen wheelers to pass just so I could feel some kind of emotion other than “oh look some more grass”.

Thankfully we saw a smoke cloud at one point, we then spent the 20 mins approaching the smoke cloud wondering what kind of fire it was, we couldn’t rule out nuclear attack until we got closer and saw it was just some sort of controlled burning of the bush.

So far the best investment that I have made is this sunshade, It saved my left arm from being friend the whole way on our drive.

We made it to Brandon, just outside Tampa to meet Lauren at a nice shopping center. With Lauren running late, we were able to wander through the mall for a while. Me armed with Torrid gift cards and Megan burdened with the need to find warmer clothes for our journey. This is also the place I learned that seeing my favorite clothing store literally raised my heart rate. According to my heart rate monitor, it went from 84 to 131 when I walked into the store.

Dinner with Lauren at P.F. Chang’s provides us with the first vegetables that we had seen in 2 days. Turns out beef patties at the airport are not exactly filled with vital nutrients - who knew?

After a quick stop at Starbucks and a stroll through a bookstore in which we encountered a toothless book salesman who seemed compelled to tell us about The Rock’s new TV show, we headed back to the car to continue on our way to Tallahassee (which was still 4 hours away).

We left Tampa, bellies full, caffeine ingested ready to go.

I'm not going to bother to bore you with the Tampa - Tallahassee route because it was boring AF. Just a dark two lane highway where I got to play highway leap frog with a white Ford Focus for 200+ miles.

When we finally got to our hotel in Tallahassee I really didn’t feel like making good on my promise to reorganize the car, but I pulled all my suitcases out and onto the luggage cart only to find out there is no ramp from the parking lot to the hotel and having to play “let’s lift 500 lbs of luggage with my bare hands after being on the road for 12 hours” - guess who lost that game?

Me googling ways to "army pack"

So after 2 hours of negotiating with my suitcases, unpacking and repacking and talking to myself (Megan had long gone to bed). I found myself repacked and ready for sleep at 2:00am.

In Summary:

Florida is fucking boring state to drive through

Pf Chang’s is a fancy chain restaurant with bomb ass food

We are still in Florida after 12 hours of traveling

Miles driven: 400+

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