Atlanta to Miami in 12 hours
Road trips have always fascinated me. As a kid we used to go on really long drives across the country in India and hence it is no wonder that after flights, the road is my preferred mode of travel. Surprisingly, trains have never featured high on my list. Fast cars, long drives and a splendid companion (read: my husband) is all that it takes to make a journey memorable. And that is exactly what we decided to do when Desh and I planned our Miami trip to celebrate our anniversary. There was no way we were going to take a flight as we both love driving long distances. So, we were all set to hit the road and drive from one state to another. Ofcourse, the fact that we were going to spend our anniversary in a place where I always wanted to be with Desh made the journey that much more spellbinding.Atlanta to Miami in 12 hours #USRoadTrip #Miami Click To Tweet
We set out pretty late on a Friday morning (am being nice to myself by saying morning when actually we finally bade goodbye to our home at 12 p.m. – which I guess qualifies for afternoon). While Desh is a complete morning person, I can barely open my eyes early morning, so that was the root cause; but never mind… all is well that starts well too and so we were fine! Considering that we weren’t really in a hurry to reach also made us feel relaxed about the late start. It was a nice, bright and sunny day when we set out for the 694 mile-long drive. I must admit that it was the most beautiful drive I ever went on, from the word go. The vistas around Atlanta are mesmerising. It is a city within a forest. The place is unbelievably green and the trees here look extra special and wonderfully nourished to me for some reason. Please don’t ask me why, maybe I am just being biased because I am totally charmed by the beauty of this place. But one has to see it to believe it, and honestly I am not exaggerating at all. I’ve been on a lot of long drives but the country roads and international ways that form the path from Atlanta to Miami are breathtakingly beautiful. The kinds one has seen in Yash Chopra and Karan Johar movies where every five minutes you spot something that takes your breath away – like you are driving on the highway and suddenly you find yourself driving through a forest and you see streams of water running on both sides of the road amidst a thicket of trees, which are a sight in itself.
It’s a pity that one can’t really stop the car and take pictures – something that I have been so used to during my India road trips. We all have been there, done that, isn’t it? On seeing a picturesque spot, stop your car, take the entire family out with the SLR and start clicking in all the possible poses one can think of, to ensure that the backdrop is seen from every angle. Sigh! Now that’s one thing that I couldn’t do, yet I tried my best to click as many pictures as possible on the way. Though it is very difficult to click in a moving car and I am quite a novice in photography, yet I did not stop clicking. But there’s one big lesson I have learnt during my myriad travels across the globe – never waste too much time in clicking that you forget to absorb the beauty of the place, for the beauty that is captured in your eyes will remain in your heart for time immemorial. Pictures may fade, but a click through the eyes is for keeps!
Desh was driving the whole while because I don’t have a license here as yet (just being lazy!!), so there were times when I felt sleepy, but as a rule the co-passenger never sleeps. The only bummer was that I was feeling pretty unwell and the dear husband insisted that I sleep for some time. Reluctantly, I pushed my seat back and decided to get some shut eye. I have no clue how long I slept, but when I opened my eyes, I was confused about my whereabouts. I was sleeping on my back in a relaxed position (almost like lying on the bed) and saw the beautiful blue skies with fluffy white clouds floating around. It felt like I was flying amidst the clouds, and I was still confused how I could see the sky directly over my head even if I was in a plane. It took me a while to figure out that I was in the car because I heard Desh singing aloud. That’s when I realised that he had opened the sunroof because the climate was pleasant and he was singing aloud to ensure that he didn’t fall asleep on the wheel while I was asleep. OMG! That was such a cherished moment, one to die for. Its one thing to do what you like to do, but another to do it with the person you love!
Since the sun is out till almost 8.30 p.m. here these days and starts setting only post that, most of the drive was in bright daylight. It was closer to the evening when a sudden change happened. The sky started changing colours. And what a change that was. Whatever I write will be inadequate to describe the beauty of what I saw that day. The way the colours changed from blue to orange to a redish hue which then turned into purple. And where the sun was still out it was bright yellow… almost golden and the whole sky there looked heavenly with god’s fingers spread everywhere in straight lines stemming out of the sun into the vast skies that covered the whole area. I am a naturalist from ever since I can remember, the natural beauty around me has enthralled me for the longest, but it was this trip that made me a diehard fan of the skies. I have been to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in my lifetime where the skies have looked divine, Mont Blanc being one of them; but I have never been so riveted by the skies ever before. It was almost like a new lease of life. I think I now know what Columbus must have felt upon his discovery of America, or Newton when he discovered the theory of gravity. The fascination, thrill and excitement that I felt were nearly the same. The skies have become my new muse – a love affair that will last a lifetime because I have started clicking pictures of the sky every day now.
Enough said about my fascination! But coming back to the drive and the skies, while the colours were still changing, it started drizzling suddenly. By then Desh must have surely felt that I was possessed by the spirit of some photographer, because I hit upon the seven colours that I have loved since childhood days. I remember stopping in the middle of the road each time someone even uttered the word ‘rainbow!’ Yep, it was drizzling, the night was nearly upon us, and twilight was about to say hello when I yelled with glee… “Desh, look honey, there’s a rainbow!” And like they say, the rest is history! I went nuts, for I had never ever seen such an enormous rainbow. It was huge. A circular row of colours that covered the mammoth sky to such a great extent! At first, it was very light and I had to strain my eyes to get a complete glimpse. A picture was impossible. But slowly and steadily as we kept driving, it kept getting bigger and darker; and then suddenly Desh asked me to look to my right! That’s when I saw something for the first time – a complete semi-circle. I had never witnessed a complete rainbow from one end to the other. The skies are hardly visible in Mumbai and the one time I spotted a really clear rainbow at Niagara, it wasn’t a full semi-circle back then too. It got cut somewhere in the middle. I remember I went on and on for so long telling Desh how beautiful it was, how fascinated I was, how I had never seen such an amazing sight earlier and how that was the most beautiful day of my life, and lastly how grateful I was that he was by my side. I was indeed an ecstatic camper. The husband was happy to see me in such high spirits and was sure that the effects of the crazy migraine had also given way!
By the time I got over the rainbow and kept yapping about it, our tummies started growling. We had to take a break to stop the burning fire within, and the grey clouds also decided to take over. No pictures except selfies were possible. After we got back into the car, we decided to keep singing and focus on the drive so as to reach the Ritz Carlton (our home for the next two days) atleast by 12 p.m., so we could bring in the anniversary in some other motion rather than a moving car! J And we did manage that feat thanks to the super driving skills of my dear husband, who ensured we reached before time. Though it was a tiring day, it was memorable – one that Desh and I will remember for life! The only regret being that I missed my siblings sorely.
Here are some pictures of the rainbow that I promised in my previous post – 6 States and 2753 Miles In 7 Days – A Road Trip In The United States
The skies that I clicked during all the drives deserve another post to ensure I do justice to them; and I’ll post them soon. Till then, enjoy the rainbow!
Featured Image Source: Flickr