US Road Trip Epilog: 9th August 2005

Last night it occurred to me that I've now owned the Riviera for 6 months. And I insured the car the day after I bought it, which means the insurance will expire tomorrow. Oops. The mailbox address I've used for car registration, insurance, AAA etc. was also only for 6 months so I need to renew that as well.

I think I'll stay here another night then and get these things sorted today. This Quality Inn is a nice one, even if it is in the middle of nowhere, so that's no real hardship. Alex and I had a long talk about all the criteria that make for the perfect place to stay - the Holy Grail Motel - and this one comes fairly close on most counts. The manager of the place is also ok about me getting my new insurance paperwork faxed through, and they won't charge me for it (unlike some places).

The Riviera in yet another Florida thunderstorm
Yet another Florida thunderstorm, and it's not the only one of the day.

I'd wanted to see Florida mainly due to the Carl Hiaasen books set here. What's obvious, though, is that this the wrong time of year to visit the place. The 'snowbirds' have it right - come here any other time of year other than summer and retreat back north when the thunderstorm season starts.
[ Incidentally, if you like Carl Hiaasen he writes weekly pieces for the Miami Herald - you have to register, but it's free - about Florida's climate of corruption and anything else that takes his fancy. ]

After a few hours the insurance is sorted ($400 for another month, but that's better than having to pay for another 6 months then having to claim the rest back when I cancel) and I've talked to the mailbox people. Now it's time for some sport. Champions League football, to be precise. There's no chance of watching it on TV here in the US - one of the ESPN channels has a lacrosse game on and the other has poker - but the internet connection at this motel is fast enough that I can listen to the BBC over the internet.

Unfortunately they're not broadcasting the Manchester United game outside the UK, but the Everton vs. Villareal commentary includes updates from Old Trafford so that'll have to do. It's odd listening to football so far from home - especially as I'd be there watching it in person if I was back in the UK - and it does make me feel a little bit homesick. That's a first for the road trip.

US Road Trip Epilog: 10th August 2005 >