06/20/04: Tyler, TX

Hi yooo!

So, we made it to Tyler, Texas, home of John's mom, warm hospitality and $2.00/dozen roses. :-)

So far the trip is going swimmingly, despite our late departure from Delaware on the 17th. We originally planned on leaving DE around lunchtime but didn't get on the road until (ulp) 8pm. Being 8 hours behind forced us to forego the fun little out-of-the-way stops we had hoped to make as we tried to make up time. We stayed mainly on the interstates --luckily I-81 is a certified scenic route, so we didn't feel like total losers.

We spent a few hours driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway and made our way into Asheville NC (*sigh,* love it sooo much there) where we met up with John's friend Melissa and her fiance Chris. Melissa cooked this amazing dinner and we spent the night there, and got on the road early the next morning. We stopped by the Folk Art Center and did a quick drive through of the downtown area-- it's so damn funky and cool, and I know I have to live there before I'm dead. Who's with me?

Yesterday we again tried to make up for lost time and we got through 5 states: North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and we spent the night just before Jackson, Mississippi. We've been diggin' on the Comfort Inns, and all of this southeast + Comfort Inn action is reminding me totally of the 1993 roadtrip with Pete. :-)

Today we finished out Mississippi and got through Louisiana and made it to Tyler, which is where we are now. I met John's sister Liz and her very cool (and brilliant) son Benjamin. They left a little while ago, and I think we're gonna hang with Mom a little before turning in for an early night. We'll be on the road in the morning tomorrow and heading off to Austin to see John's friends, and at that point we should be relatively back on schedule.

I updated my calendar to reflect where we really were so far, and from here out we'll be sticking pretty true to it, methinks.

Also, cell service has been spotty; before we hit Louisiana I was able to check my email from my phone, but now I'm in some mystery service area, so all I can do is make/receive calls and do SMS messages (quelle horreur).

Oh yeah: Thanks to everyone who donated music to our journey (especially Jason in Austin!)-- we've been totally digging on it. We also discovered the joys of renting books on tape from Cracker Barrel and have listened to some stuff to pass the time, most notably "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac as read by David Carradine, and the very EdwardGoreyesque "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket -- DUDE, this stuff is AMAZING. SO funny, so well written, and just way, way cool. We just listened to Book 3: The Wide Window, which was read by the author. So awesome.

OK, keep the SMS messages coming, and I hope this is finding you all well. It's all smiles over here, yo.

(de smiles! de smiles! de what? de smiles!)