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Andy’s ‘Memorable’ Florida Road Trip

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If you have been a friend of mine since the late 1990′s you have heard this story, probably more than you would have liked to have heard it. It’s become ‘Andy’s Big Story’, really because nothing very exciting often happens in my life. The story all began on a Monday night in March of 1997. My best friend, Alan Nickerson Jr. and I were shooting darts at Andy’s Baked Beans in Auburn with the Central Maine Dart League. Then out of the blue, Alan tells me that he’s going to go to Florida for a week.

Alan and his wife had recently gotten divorced and as his best friend, I didn’t want him going to Florida alone. Alright, I confess, I really wanted a fun road trip with my best friend to Florida. Remember he told me this on a Monday night. I asked him to give me until the end of the week to get somebody to dog sit and feed the cat. My Dad was disabled at the time and my sister and her family hired a nurse to take care of him for the week and I took some time off from work.

So we are all set, I had a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Eurosport, Alan, my Dad and I are leaving  Auburn bright and early that Saturday morning. I dropped my Dad off along the way at my sister’s house in Dunstable,Massachusetts. Things I remember about the trip down were that gas prices had gone down and when we got to the south I remember prices around $1.15 a gallon! Alan and I would trade off driving and we were in North Carolina and decided that we were going to stop in Fayetteville for the night. Alan was driving as we were heading down I-95 and we were about 2 miles from the Fayetteville exit, Alan was going from the travel lane to the passing lane and as the car angled towards the passing lane, I saw a huge recliner in the middle of the highway. We hit it and ended up back across the travel lane and onto the grass. The car was still running and I remember another car asking if we were alright. We looked at the car, there was some small damage to the front left fender, but really we were just shocked that we hit a chair on the highway. We got off the exit and stayed overnight at a hotel.

The next morning, we checked everything on the car, the tires looked good, the oil was full, the power steering fluid was low. We were still 500 miles from our destination of Tarpon Springs, Florida and we were around 1,000 miles from home. So we decided to go onto Florida and we got there alright. I lived in Tarpon Springs for a year when I was 10, so it was really fun for me. We just went to the beach alot and a night out partying. Tarpon Springs in known for their sponge docks and Greek cuisine, so we got to eat a bunch of great food.

We actually ended up leaving a day early because there was major snowstorm heading for New England. It was a good thing that we did leave early, because we got walloped be the storm. Another thing I remember about the trip was that we must of heard ‘How Forever Feels’ by Kenny Chesney at least once in every state!  I ended up buying a new car a couple years later and gave Alan that 1990 Lumina, he got maybe a year out of it and he still had to add power steering fluid to it. There, now you’ve heard the ‘Andy story’ that my close friends have heard and heard and heard for 15 years now.

Something could be finer than hitting a recliner on I-95 in Carolina!

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