After yesterday’s traffic hell I knew I wanted to get an early start on today’s 500 miles. Luckily staying at Wal-Mart is perfect for early starts! I woke up at 4:40 and my alarm was set for 4:51 – this is what time I get up for school so my body was ready to be awake then. I quickly got ready to and was on the road by 6am! I was almost to Florida by the time the sun came up!
Thankfully today’s traffic was NOTHING like yesterdays! All the people who were stuck in South Carolina have dispersed into Florida and the roads were wide open! Florida is HUGE and flat and rather boring.
I stopped for fuel, lunch and a Wal-Mart run around Melbourne and continued to the Florida Turnpike. I was heading to Homestead and the road needed was right off the FL Turnpike! Google Maps made it look so easy. I got off 95 at exit 86 and switched the turnpike, which runs parellel.
The State of Florida however, has made as many exits as possible be “no cash, SunPass only”. My exit was one of them. I don’t have a SunPass. Nor could I obtain one on short notice (in the travel plaza 50 miles before I wanted to use it!). I weighed my options – A) blow through the exit and pay up when FL sends me the paperwork or B) re-route myself to avoid the turnpike. I opted to re-route. The website seemed unclear on the difference between “failure to pay toll” and “oops, I don’t have a SunPass” and I decided not to risk it. So I got off the turnpike and got back over to 95. I should never have left 95 in the 1st place! (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write! LOL!)
I got back on 95 at Ft. Lauderdale. Mile 20. 95 in this area resembles a Nascar race. 5 lanes in each direction. And no one was ever in the lane they wanted to or needed to be in so there was lots of criss crossing and zooming across 5 lanes of traffic. Speed limit is 55, but that’s merely a minimum suggested speed. And the road builders were kind enough to install some curves. I don’t think there had been any curves since sometime in Georgia. It was a wild and crazy 20 miles.
It was also never ending. I knew that after mile marker 1, there was nothing, the land ran out and there was only ocean. Yet even as the mile markers got into the single digits there were still" “what’s ahead” signs! It was just before exit 5 I think that the city of Miami itself appeared! I was headed right into downtown Miami! I knew I was getting onto Rt 1, but I was a bit worried…I was picturing RT 1 in New Jersey and how scary that is! Even at exit 1 there was a sign that said “95 S to Key Biscayne”. I was really thinking we’d land in the ocean – or at least see it! Soon though the speed limit slowed and signs for Rt 1 appeared – I-95 ends at Route 1 (yes, the same Route 1 that runs through DC and Woodbridge! Rt 1 goes from Key West to the Canadian Border in Maine!). Rt 1 was very narrow with low hanging trees – I’m glad I wasn’t in something bigger! There was a lot of traffic but soon I was at my turn and pulled into the campground right after Mom and Dad did!
I didn’t really explore the campground yet, we ate dinner and I’d planned on heading to bed early but did some chores and tried to fix the sink and now it’s getting late.
It’s quite weird being here in December, it’s nothing like home. It was 90* today, the sun was still shinning close to 6pm (at home it’s dark before 5 these days) and I’m in the RV, therefore it must be July right? But no, there’s football on TV, and at the football game, it’s snowing!