We found ourselves staying in a motel somewhere in central Georgia, near a small town that neither one of us had ever heard of. With a good night’s sleep behind us, we hit the eating establishment that was owned by the same foreign family that operated the motel. We should have known that this was not going to be a five-star dining experience when we saw a cat sitting on the counter next to the cash register. The food was much worse than the atmosphere. The only thing about it that I can recall is the hash browns resembled shredded metal more than potatoes.
Our second day on the road found us very near our final destination. Jim wanted to stop at one of his relatives’ in St. Petersburg to spend the night before heading to Bradenton. Unfortunately, we arrived past their supper time. I would soon find out that supper was usually consumed in the late afternoon, sometime prior to five in the evening. Well, we jumped back into our car, which was beginning to harbor an unpleasant stench.
Driving past many fast food joints, we finally decided on McDonald’s. I had never been to Florida, and the atmosphere was intoxicating. I talked Jim into eating on the patio; he agreed grudgingly. I believe he knew what was in store for us since he had been coming to Florida every year for vacation. As we carried our trays of Big Macs, French fries and sodas toward our selected table, we suddenly heard a screeching that sounded like the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds.” It was a swarm of seagulls circling overhead waiting for an opportunity to attack our meal. It wasn’t long before they swooped down toward our table, scooping up anything that smelled of grease. One ingenious bird grabbed my entire tray of fries, leaving nothing more than a bewildered look on my face. I then knew why Jim didn’t really want to dine outside.
The next day would be a much brighter day, but it too, had its own unique happenings to amaze, shock and bewilder two innocent teenage boys from small town U.S.A.
To be continued...
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