Northeast Trip August 2023 Day 1

Looking forward out of a car, freeway ahead, green grass, blue sky.

I need a better name for this trip!

Thursday morning we packed up to leave. Our goal was to make it to Memphis without overdoing anything, with some rest time in the evening and an early start the next day. This meant interstate highways for nearly the entire trip – I35 to I30 to I40 (briefly on I440 to get there), then a few blocks in the city to reach the hotel.  We at least got to start on hill country roads! But soon we were on I35. We passed a Del Sol on our way north, not a car we see everyday anymore! The car looked to be in good shape, and quite nice for a car of its age. The driver seemed to just be on his commute, but I hope the car brings him joy. We gave him a smile and a wave as we carried on.

A white Del Sol, rolling along. The driver looks focused, despite a drink in his hand.

And then... Austin. I35 through Austin is always awful, but routing said there wasn't a faster path, and fast was the goal today, so we slogged through the traffic. In south Austin, construction meant things were worse than usual. Then there was the typical slow down at Riverside Dr and the normal shenanigans through the city. Once we were past Round Rock things cleared up.

Stop and go traffic on a busy highway, with some construction work visible.

Traffic was smooth through the various medium-sized towns on the way. These can be problem spots, but I guess "a random Thursday" is a good travel day. Dallas was, well, Dallas. There a turn signal is a warning the driver intents to shove you out of their way and it's used if there is a car in the path. And even then it's optional.

As we headed east out of Dallas we started to see green grass again. Green grass, not yellow/brown. It's so weird to me, and so nice, to see green grass in the summer!

A photo in the passenger side mirror of the car. Trees slip by in the background, while the mirror shows the rear fender of the car and the road behind. There’s a mild hill and curve in the road, the grass is green, and trees line both sides of the freeway.

And now, a rant: If there's only two lanes going in a particular direction, heavy trucks should not be subjected to a different speed limit from cars. Being stuck behind a truck going 70, trying to pass a truck going 68, when the speed limit for the line of cars stuck behind them is 75, sucks. Thanks, Arkansas.

As we fueled up just outside of Benton, Arkansas, rain threatened. I figured I'd snap a photo of the car before it got dirty (again):

The Portofino sits, getting fuel. Dramatic reflections show the curves and angles of the vehicle.

Back on the road, we sailed through the rest of our time in Arkansas. As we crossed the Mississippi River into Tennessee I forgot to look at the view – we were staying in a hotel on the river and our exit was right off the bridge.

The hotel is "River Inn of Harbor Town". As we walked in I pondered. The building didn't seem particularly old, but it seemed meant to evoke an older style. Being me, I immediately looked it up! The area "Harbor Town" was developed in 1989, and the island it's on is "Mud Island", a sandbar in the Mississippi. Mud... Island. Yeah, I can see why they called the community "Harbor Town" instead!

The hotel has three restaurants, and we ate in the most casual of the three. The food was pretty good. We followed it with a brief walk by the river, and then some time relaxing in the hotel. All goals for the day were met: Arrived in Memphis, had some time to relax.

In not as good news, the Ferrari keeps throwing a parking sensor error. We finally have a sensor error appearing consistently! Maybe the sensor's just dirty, maybe something's wrong. Maybe we'll try cleaning the sensors at some point. Maybe we'll just tell the dealer when we take it back to let them complete/perfect the repair. Speaking of: can y'all spot the imperfect repair in the photo? That's the damaged door. I'm not confident I can spot it in that photo, even when I carefully examine the unmodified RAW image. The imperfection is only visible from some angles, and I'm quite happy Ferrari is unsatisfied with the repair, as fighting a vendor about it would not be fun.