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Because I know you were all worried about me ... yes, mother, I successfully made it to Savannah, Ga., as planned. Pulled into the Fairfield Inn Savannah-Hilton Head Airport hotel at 9:30 p.m.
Today's exploits took a bit longer than I (or AAA or Google Maps) anticipated -- 11 1/2 hours to drive 589 miles, to be precise -- but the increased time was a direct result of those four traffic jams between NoVa and Richmond, plus a couple of not-so-quick stops along the way to get food, use the facilities, update the blog and respond to emails.
In all honesty, though, it really wasn't as tough as I thought it would be. The way the first leg crawled along, I was starting to panic. But really, from Richmond south it was smooth sailing, no problems whatsoever. Not much traffic. No weather issues. Only a handful of cops along the side of the road.
And yes, I'm kicking myself for not stopping at "South of the Border." From the looks of it as I sped past at 75 mph, it's quite a sight. Looks like it could qualify for its own zip code. Alas, I just didn't have time to pull over. Hopefully I can plan that out better on the way back and spend some quality time with Pedro and Co. (My favorite of the, oh, 127 billboards touting this place over a span of 175 miles: "Pedro's forecast: Chili today, hot tamale." Maybe I could get a job writing cheesy slogans for those guys.)
And with that, it's time to settle in for the night, watch the tail end of tonight's Olympics coverage and get some much-needed shut-eye. Savannah-to-Viera tomorrow, and with any luck I'll be talking to some real, live baseball players sometime in the afternoon.