Whew, one day on the road, and already it’s surreal.

Carlota and I rolled into Alabama last night to her parents’ place, and man, they are Southern Gentry.  In the nicest and most gracious possible way.

By which I mean somebody handed me a Mimosa in the shower.

Showered, cheerful, slightly drunk, I staggered out to dinner, which was delicious, and very Southern, and my appetite, while still not back to its usual self, was notably better.  Over dinner we were informed that they’d scheduled massages for us the next day. Good lord.

We got up in the morning and went…shoe shopping.  I am not used to shoe-shopping being a primary function of a cross-country road-trip, and god only knows where the shoes are going to go, since the back of the Nissan is packed in my usual Tetris-style 3-d jigsaw puzzle fashion, and consists of art, dishes, suitcases and a vaccuum cleaner wedged in and around a giant concrete fish. (The fish fills most of the back seat. My stepfather made it, and bugger if I was leaving it behind.)  Still, now I have more shoes. (I owned four pairs. Total. Now I own six. Carlota’s an instigator.)

The massage was…well, agonizing, frankly, since it was delivered by a ruthless Asian matriarch who came up to my collarbone and could have strangled lampreys with her bare hands. She spoke two words of English–“Ok?” and “Harder?”–thereby eliminating many conversational niceties, and since I had acquired quite a few minor bruises in the course of packing and moving and…other things…and was looking rather like a liver-spotted Dalmation at the time,* I spent most of it yelping. And I couldn’t focus my eyes for ten minutes afterwards. Oh, well.

Tomorrow, back to the open road! Can Ursula and Carlota make it a full day without more shoe shopping? Will Carlota’s habit of carrying a stuffed animal in her cleavage eliminate speeding tickets? Will we abandon our mapquested route entirely, seduced by the lure of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine?

Tune in sporadically to find out!

*I’m not complaining. Sex, I am coming to believe, is much like cheddar…there’s no point if there’s not a little bite. **

** Wow, that was way more information than you needed, huh?

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