Microadventure #34: Road Trip Home with JJ

I’m back in Colorado, thanks to my friend, JJ. I actually call him “Jim” but since everyone else calls him JJ, I’m trying to get used to it. I actually called him “James” during this trip since that’s such a “chauffeur” name.

I met him first over 20 years ago because he worked for me at Sun Microsystems. We have a long history and I count on him as one of my best friends. How many other people would agree to make the long road trip back to Colorado with me?

JJ got into Tampa on Tuesday and the first thing we did was check the Flamingo Art that’s in the works. I’d been hoping to see this before heading back to Colorado and knew it was scheduled to be finished in the Spring. Not quite complete, but it’s getting there!

JJ grew up in the Ft. Lauderdale area and loves the beach. Even though he had to work (via computer) during the days, we got out in the evenings to the nearby beaches to eat, drink margaritas, and see the magnificent sunsets.

While we were picnicking on the beach Tuesday evening, JJ was admiring the 6-pack abs of a couple of guys playing frisbee. (I once read in “Men’s Health” that the first thing women notice about men are their abs. I totally disagree with that, but I guess men notice each others’ abs.. or at least JJ does, probably because he’s always working on his own.) Anyway, it turns out one of those guys with the good abs was Bill Brodie, son of former 49’er quarterback, John Brodie.

Bill chatted with us a bit and then went back to his frisbee playing. I don’t follow sports, but even I was excited to meet the son of a football star.

On Friday, JJ wrapped up work early and we hit the road. Google Maps estimates the route as 28 hours, going through Atlanta and Kansas City into Colorado.

JJ drove the whole way. (That tends to happen when I go on road trips with people who have experienced my driving.) Admittedly, I’m a nervous driver, especially with a passenger, so I don’t argue with people who want to drive.

It only would have been a couple of hour detour to stop by Quincy, Illinois to visit Aunt Nancy, and if I ever drive this route myself (or with someone who can afford to take it slowly) I’d love to stop for a visit. As it was, though, JJ wanted to get back home. In fact, if it was up to him, we would have driven straight through, but, wimp that I am about getting sleep, I took advantage of my Marriott points and reserved hotels in Atlanta and Topeka.

We made it home by about noon on Sunday, May 1, with absolutely no problems with the car or weather. There were a few slowdowns when going through Atlanta and Kansas City, but overall, it was incredibly smooth and absolutely the fastest of the 4 times I’ve made the journey by car.

I’m super grateful to JJ for his friendship and for getting us home safely!

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