Saturday, March 14
We were on the road by 8:30 after a quick breakfast of toast and juice. It was a sunny morning as we crossed the causeway and left the islands. Al sang his pelican song as is our tradition when we cross the causeway and see a pelican. There were many fish boats under the bridge as we left. We made a stop at Sun Harvest to buy oranges and grapefruit. Al drove the first leg of the trip headed north to our first layover in Carterville, GA at the Best Western at 5663 Highway 20 NE room #318. We arrived there about 8 o'clock shortly after sunset. There was rain on the last 3 hours of our trip at which time Al was driving again. We were slowed down by about 3 accidents. The drive through Atlanta seemed easier than the drive through there on the way down even with some fender benders slowing the city traffic. Al was quickly checked into our room. It has cooled down to the mid 40's...missing the warm temps already.
We went to a nearby Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. The food was great...started with Asian Dumplings filled with a blend of chicken and seasonings, then steamed and served with peanut sauce. I had Jumbo Lump Crab Cake made from fresh, premium crab meat and seared to a golden brown with sweet and spicy chile sauce. Al had Shrimp Scampi & Steak served with fresh, steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. But the service was as bad as the food was great! Our waitress took our appetizer and drink order and served them to us. We ate the appetizer, waited forever and finally flagged her to come over. She asked if we needed anything and we said..."Yes, we'd like to order dinner and wine." A kitchen person served our food and we asked that she check on our wine orders. Again our waitress came over and asked what we needed...she had forgot what wine we ordered. When we again told her, she got Al's wine wrong and then she said that they did not have the Red Zinfandel that he had ordered from the menu. How many minutes ago was that? Why is she just now telling us that, not when he ordered the first time? DUH? Furthermore she had not removed the dirty dishes and empty glasses or even the menus from the table until we asked her to do. Of course we had to call her back for the check after another long wait. A Good dinner ruined by really bad service!