Dec 302010

Yesterday we felt like we were going in two directions at once. We had to drive into Orlando to pick up the pre-printed envelopes from the mail service, and even though it was only 27 miles, it took us well over an hour to get there.

We left the Thousand Trails campground about 11:15 and ran into a lot of traffic on State Route 192 through Kissimmee, which is no surprise, since that road is always busy. When we got onto Intestate 4, it was a parking lot, with long lines of cars in each eastbound lane sitting still.

For the next eight miles, it was stop and go traffic, with a lot more stopping than going. We were close to Disney World and Universal Studios, which are both very busy with holiday travelers, and several roads merge onto the highway there, creating a bottleneck. Which meant that all of the traffic coming onto the highway was trying to push their way in, passing on the shoulder, and doing whatever they could do to get one or two cars ahead of the next guy. And once they got there, they crept along just like the rest of us. It took us over a 45 minutes to go those eight miles, and when we finally reached our exit, there was road construction for several miles, making progress slow on the surface streets too! 🙁

We finally got to the mail service, picked up the envelopes, and then had to get right back on Interstate 4 to drive to the UPS freight dock in Tampa to pick up the new issue of the Gypsy Journal. Fortunately, the interstate was only backed up in the eastbound lanes, so even though  traffic was still heavy, we made good time.

It was 77 miles to the UPS facility, and once we were out of the traffic around the Orlando area, we zipped right along. Traffic started to get busy again when we got to Tampa, but it wasn’t close to being as bad as in Orlando.

I have to say that I’m impressed with the UPS freight service. They picked up our load of newspapers from the printer in Allegan, Michigan at 12:36 Monday afternoon, and it arrived in Tampa at 6:35 a.m. Wednesday morning! I couldn’t have driven that far that quickly!

Of course, when we were picking up the load of papers, we discovered that UPS has a freight dock in Ocoee, just 17 miles from the mail service, and 22 miles from the Thousand Trails campground! When we were scheduling the shipment, I was told that the closest facility where we could pick it up was in Tampa. Hey, gasoline is cheap right? And what else do I have to do with my time but drive 140 miles round trip? 

We hadn’t eaten all day, and by the time we got back from Tampa, we were famished. We met Dave and Jean Damon at a Chinese restaurant a few miles from the campground, and when I hit that buffet line, it wasn’t a pretty sight!

We had a nice dinner with our friends, and the more time we spend with Dave and Jean, the more we like them. In fact, we’ve gotten so close that I may even take our hard kayaks off the roof of the Explorer and let Dave work them over with some of his 303 products! Yeah, I’m that kind of friend. 🙂

Thought For The Day –Time flies when you don’t know what you’re doing.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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