(For geo tagged info on the photos click them and you can browse the geotag in flickr)
I left Nashville on Monday for a nice road trip. I was in the "new" company truck this time its not an extended cab, and also doesn't have a tool box for extra storage. So things were tight. I had "Mr. Garlic" seated in the front seat - something I promised my daughter I would do, is to take him with me.
The ride down was very long but a nice ride. Here are the snaps of the ride down:
Once there I checked in and dipped in the pool as it was nice and hot. The view from my room:
Dothan, AL is a strange place. I came in on the Montgomery Highway on Monday - a perfect example of the Amerification of cities all over. That is - a main street with multiple stop lights and lined with the customary Best Buy, Circuit City, Dicks Sporting goods, Wal Mart, Every Fast food joint under the sun.
I check in to the Holiday Inn Express - which also contributes to the recent Amerification.
Brand new hotel - and even with the state of modern pest control I found a dead roach on the floor near the courtesy PC's - next to the Breakfast room. You just can't escape these bastards. The hotel is nice though. Great for business trips.
Which brings me to the point of the whole trip. Without actually disclosing who I work for and what it is exactly that I do, (I am a CEI - figure that out) I am in town to take a cert course. Being that I have no experience in Traffic signals, I was pretty overwhelmed. The instructor was good, however he was pushing for us to take the exam on the Tuesday. After 4 hours of instruction. I told him I was pretty unfamiliar with the subject matter, and felt more comfortable taking the exam the Wednesday morning. (I really wished I could have taken it this afternoon [WED]) but I had to take it this morning. I spent 3 hours in the TGI's after dinner sipping on a few beers and studying my ass off. The TGI's were dead anyway. The exam, was ok. 100 questions, but I admit I was stuck on a few questions and am really nervous about the result. I came to a point sometime this morning during the last minute studying, that these people really mean business and - it was a shame I didnt have more time to study.
So I am sure I passed (>70%) but its kind of nerve racking. And when done - I handed the guy the exam and he said ok well let you know within 8 weeks. I am thinking to myself WTF!? So that was it. They told me I could leave. Saying everything except "Get the fuck outta here" In a nice way. This seemed odd to me. I really would have liked to have heard my results today. Oh well.
Back to Dothan. The weather is beautiful. The trees are wonderful - the same can be said of the state of Alabama, which - before this visit - I was not generally impressed with.
It was so nice to see Palm Trees again. Though being 87 miles away from the coast was a bit teasing, -especially because I couldn't go down there. But Anyway, yes the environment was nice. The town itself has loads of big peanut sculptures. I tried to take as many pictures as I could of them (there are lots of them scattered throughout town) but only managed to get 3:
This was cool, and added a unique flavor to Dothan - thereby downgrading its Amerification ranking.
There was no observable middle class. I saw either rich white people or very very (emphasis on the word "very") poor black people. I saw rich white people driving around in their Air conditioned SUV's and BMW sport cars, and I saw black people sitting on the porches of their run down dilapidated houses - this was truly the poorest of the poor. I have never been to Louisiana but I am told it is a similar situation there. There really are 2 Americas.
What isn't run down and standing on one wobbly leg is either shut down, or razed.
I would have loved to have eaten in some cool independent restaurants for a real feel of the local cuisine but I just couldn't find any that weren't shut down. Maybe I was ill informed. So I had to go with the tried and tested restaurant chains. Monday night it was Olive Garden.
And the next night it was TGI's Which happen to be right next door to the Olive Garden.
For lunch on both days I ate at Atlanta Bread. Didnt even bring my Laptop in. Wishing I had my N810 - which is another blog post altogether.
And tonight I am probably going to go back to olive garden. I know I suck.
After the exam, I decided to hang by the pool again, fucked around and got sunburnt on my legs and face. -Owwwww. It burns it burrrrrrns! I fell asleep listening to the iPod - which doesn't charge unless its hooked up to a PC. (suck) so I have 1/2 a battery left after 3 days lets hope it holds out for the road trip tomorrow.
In the Morning I am going to hit the road back to Nashville. Its been an interesting week. Thanks for reading.