Friday, February 13, 2009

Why you shouldn't follow Mapquest directions and other musings from I-65

I spoke at a conference on Thursday for work down in Orange Beach, AL. I don't know why I decided to drive, since it is 6+ hours away from my home, but somehow it seemed ridiculous to fly to a location in my same state (and I would have most definitely had to fly through Atlanta to get there). But, if I had driven 6 hours north I would have been in Ohio and would have flown without question. I had time to ponder this absurd decision and many other thoughts while I spent 13 precious hours of my life in a rented tin can rattling down the interstate.

Since I was bored, I decided to take some pictures and pretend I was a photojournalist. Please forgive the quality of these pictures. Most were taken at 77 mph.
Here is yours truly while driving. I don't remember any rule in Driver's Ed about photographing yourself while driving- or talking on your bag phone for that matter- so I think it's perfectly fine.

OK. I'm interested to hear your views on this. I am all for a monogram on a bag, jewelry, a key chain or a purse. But a car? Is that acceptable? In hot pink? As if we thought a man had a curly monogram on the back of his minivan?About this time, I decided to follow Mapquest directions. I should have known better, but I was just along for the ride. The ride that took me through people's neighborhoods and FLORIDA to get to Orange Beach, AL. Here are some of the local scenes from my off-interstate adventure.

Just missed the gun show. Danggit. And really the sign below it is about as humorous.

You probably can't read this, but the minivan's bumper sticker says, "Screw it. Let's ride." With a Harley Davidson logo. Yes. I think they are compensating for their car van choice. And maybe trying to scare the other moms in carpool. I hope the driver wears black leather chaps every day to pick up her kids from school.And clearly I was near a race track - or else they advertised with Mapquest to take people to their race track- because I passed approximately 42 of these signs. I'd hate to have clear signage to the beach (without passing through 13 speed traps small towns), but I better well have a way to get to the race track. Thank you, Florida.

One the benefits of getting up super early this morning to come home was getting to see the sunrise. I've always wanted to go to Pine Apple. Has anyone ever been there? Is it as lovely as it sounds? Refreshing and delicious? Or is it spiky around the edges?This is my favorite sign of all on I-65. It's on I-65 North just north of Prattville. It has been recently updated, but the red devil is still there with his sickle to "get you". I pretty sure that you say "Gi- chew" for this. Does anyone know what possessed the town of Clanton to hoist a large peach hiney in the air? Really, can you think of anything else when you pass this? And how could this possibly hold an acceptable amount of water? And my favorite spotting of the whole trip was leaving the rental car place in Huntsville today. This car owner has made his own homage to High Country in Scottsboro, AL. Those are stick on orange letters people. Did I even need to show that the license plate was from Alabama? Ahhh. So good to be home.

18 comments:

Tara said...

Those were great! I feel the same way about monogramming a car. It is the THING to do here in Columbus, but it makes me laugh. Why do such a thing?

BASSakward Tales said...

Hillary - omg i am laughing my butt off...the funny thing is that i know exactly where pineapple, al, is because i lived very close to there when i first got married...we lived in a very small town called forest home, al, to which you got to by turning off 65 at that exit...i will have to blog on my experience living in that neck of the woods....but rest easy because when you enter the town of pineapple you are greeted by large concrete pineapples...what i did not know is that pineapple is the fruit of friends...no joke

Laura said...

these photos are all hilarious! Thank you for showing me some familiar sights..it does make me miss home a bit though! And just say no to car monogramming, but yes to neon orange lettering.

wv - aviaten - half bird/half man

becky said...

i am impressed with those drive by pics!! that's a good job. and you know, i'm torn on the monogram. i have to say...i kinda think it's a little cute. but i'm not sure it's something that could warrant my spending the money on it. hmmm...

Jennifer said...

Glad you are back home! First off, I love the devil sign too... and the monograms on the cars I have pondered those same questions... i too love monograms but on a car???
and finally the other side of my company (the civil engineers and not like MY company) anyway they do water tanks (way more thought goes into those things than one would think..) I have had to put the verbage/signage on one... takes a lot to make the owner happy and if they can get their "livelihood" up there... they totally love it. I see a big peanut in dothan's future! I got a free calendar this year and it has nothing but water tanks some months there is a feature tank (which looks like all the rest to me) and others like this month has a collage and guess what... Dothan made the list! Enough of that...

Jennifer said...

clarification: I don't actually climb the tank and put the logo/words up there... I do it in photoshop. Then once the owner likes the look then it goes to the tank guy who does all that.... just wanted to clarify because you were totally going to think i was climbing water tanks in my spare time to make a little extra money...

Darby said...

hilary... thanks for the laugh this mornin'... only in alabama!

annieck said...

Hilarious!
Monogramming a car? Um...no.
I have always wanted to take a picture of the devil sign and post it on my blog, but I never have my camera ready when I pass. SO glad you got it! Ha!
That last picture...too funny!

Carrie said...

Ah...the big peach butt. Going to school in Montevallo kept us very close to Clanton. This picture really doesn't do it justice. It really does look like a butt. You don't want to know all the jokes the frat guys made about it.

Hollie and Janie said...

Hill,
Clanton is the peach capital of Alabama (like there was a lot of competition) and that is why they have to huge peach. I still stop at the peach park on many a trip down to luverne! Also, being peach queen is a pretty big deal there, too.. think peanut festival.
Pineapple is a sweet little town, and all of the driveway/entryways do have pineapples on them.
I love your pictures!!! So much fun!! I have travelled 65 so many times, that I can tell you the exit numbers and list the counties you pass through in directional order!!!
Glad you are safely, if slowly, home!

holly edenfield said...

I know people who live in Pine Apple, but I haven't been there! Also, I thought of you when I passed a church marquis this week that said "What did Noah do with the woodpeckers?"!

Gray Matters said...

You forgot to mention that the big butt has a great big hemroid on it - love those pictures. That's the first monogrammed car I've seen - must not have made its way up this far yet.

Sonia Parker said...

Hey Girl! I totally agree with you about the monogrammed car..one step too far for sure! ;-) The devil billboard is my favorite too! Why fly when you can get this much entertainment driving?

Donna said...

Wishing you'd stopped by Mama's house as you flew down 65! I mean, can a sister get a shout out?

Lori said...

I love this little slice of life from the South! What is it about "the South" that makes even ordinary things like signs and car art seem cooler and more fun? Here in the Pacific Northwest, we just don't have those fun little touches here and there. Or maybe I don't take the time to notice them? I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the unexpected... :)

mlb said...

On your next trip make sure to capture the GIGANTIC confederate flag waving over I65 between montgomery and birmingham on the southbound side...

the jewells said...

I live in Andalusia, so I've spent many hours up and down I-65, as well. The monograms on cars drive me nuts! They are becoming quite popular here as well. The devil sign has always cracked me up, along with the giant peach. My seven year old is all about hineys right now and finding the shape in obscure places. I guess it is something we never truly outgrow. As for Pine Apple, I have spent many a weekend there. My BFF's parents both hail from P.A. Her dad still farms there every weekend. We would get up at the peachcrack of dawn and drive north on Saturday mornings. We had the best time playing in the old school and in her grandparents' old general store in downtown. Yes, there is a downtown. So much fun!

Kelli said...

OH MY GOODNESS! serously?

"mlb said...
On your next trip make sure to capture the GIGANTIC confederate flag waving over I65 between montgomery and birmingham on the southbound side..."

I thought there were only people THAT STINKING redneck farther south! Go South of Mobile and before you get to MS there is one on the north bound side... huge flag with spot-lights and everything! Crazy people!

Seriously, I wish you wouldn't write things like this!! It makes us Deep South Girls look bad. :)

Kelli - born and raised about an hour west of Orange Beach (as the crow flies)

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