Day 4 consisted mostly of driving, however the time we were out of the car was well spent, if you ask us.
No White Flags!
We woke up in New Orleans and were quickly off to every diabetic’s worst nightmare, the World Famous Café Du Monde. Unfortunately our diabetic left his insulin at the hotel, so he was forced to just sit and watch the rest of us enjoy our piles of powdered sugar, which we did.
By far, the highlight of our day was a girl. Now you might imagine that four guys stuck together in a car for four days would be thrilled to hang out with any girl, but our new friend Lauren Bowman is truly special. We love her and it has nothing to do with her looks. Well, I mean, she is really pretty, but we quickly realized that her heart is twice the size of all of ours combined.
Anyways, Lauren is part of Team Gleason and she brought us some Team Gleason shirts, took us to the Steve Gleason Rebirth Statue at the Superdome, and took pictures of The PanAmerica to share with Steve. If you’re not familiar with him already, Steve Gleason played safety for the Saints and was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. His charity, Team Gleason is doing amazing things and thanks to Steve’s celebrity status, they are bringing a bakery full of awareness to this disease. Lauren also has a business called Lolly Cake and Cookie Company, by the way.
She left us with a story and a hug. The story was about Steve’s wife Michel and how, in front of some very important people, she added a little flourish to one of Steve’s sayings, “Awesome Ain’t Easy.” We quickly adopted it as our own, and repeated it many times throughout the next portion of our journey.
Rob is the man in charge of finding the perfect spot for our sunset stops. And in Florida, he did not let us down. He may have lead us down a long road, into a neighborhood, then out of that same neighborhood looking for a secluded place with a view, and it may have tacked quite a bit of time onto our eventual Key West arrival, but it sure was good. We parked the car under a huge tree covered in Spanish moss and looked out over a small lake. Matt opened the bottle, Gary poured, and Rob passed our plastic cups around. And Trent, Trent was on high alert and did a fine job of keeping the crew safe from unseen alligators.
We continued south with wine inflated spirits which brought on an inspired bit of in-car karaoke. But as the hours ticked by, our late (but worthwhile) exit from NOLA made for a very, very long run down to Key West. We all took turns driving, but the sheer number of miles began to get the best of us. A quick moral boost came when we received a Facebook message from someone who looked us up after we passed her on the highway a few hours back. We did the math and determined that Gary was driving at the time. Then we reread the message and realized it was actually complimentary and didn’t mention the fact that we blew by at break neck speeds, flashing high beams and/or inappropriate hand gestures. Now we’re not really sure who was behind the wheel.
Earlier in the day, we discussed the driving rotation and how, when we got down to the wee hours, we would shorten up the shifts and stop more often. That’s exactly what we did. . . until Rob took over. Fueled by Sugar Free Red Bull and Adderol (yes, he has a prescription) he became a driving machine. Rob is constantly jovial, Adderob is on a mission. Adderob is the asphalt assassin. Without joking, without singing, without blinking, he defeats mile after mile. Six hours of perfectly restrained fury brought us into the awesome hotel procured for us by Las Vegas Suites somewhere around 6 am.