By the time Paul got up, Ryan and Lacey had already gone to work. Yep, that's right, they left strangers at their house to wake and leave as they pleased. Lacey had started a new book for the couchsurfers that they hosted to sign and write a little note, and we were the first. How exciting, but a lot of pressure. I felt like we did a good job with it, and were ready to leave. Paul also left them a package to ship home for him with a bunch of stuff he found he didn't need (mine's coming soon Meghan).
We rode to the east side of Pensacola to get some breakfast and found an IHOP, we were pumped. We had a lovely server Debby there who hooked us up with all the potential side options that you just don't get with a rookie server. She was a master of her craft.
After leaving IHOP stuffed, and water bottles filled, we headed towards the Mobile Bay Ferry, or so we thought. After about 20 miles of riding Paul and I found it funny how residential of an area it was to have a ferry connection to Alabama. You would think there would be signs too, right? The dead end was a tipoff that something was awry , and a fellow biker notified us that we had missed our turn 6 miles back. Damn…, but considering that was the worst we had done in our travels thus far, we were okay with it. Did we have an option? The other road was just across the bay, and we considered trying to flag down some motor boats, but no, we'd be fine.
Once we corrected our path, we made the ferry that ran every hour and a half by 5 minutes. Man our timing has been good. Things just seem to work out, even when they don't (stay with me). Saying our goodbyes to Florida, we celebrated after finally making it out of our first state. Some of the folks noticed out exhaustion, and offered us some of their gatorade they had in a small room on the boat. Nice.
After leaving the ferry, onto Dauphin Island, Alabama we stopped at a restaurant and polished off a nice large pizza to ourselves. After just talking to a few waitresses, we had people printing out maps for us and offering us a ride into town from outside of the city. That southern hospitality, man it's something.
We decided to ride a bit more, starting with a nice challenging bridge into the mainland. We were going to take it easy, and stay in Forest Gump's shrimping business town of Bayou La Batre. We figured we owed him that after being part of the inspiration for the trip. Using my savvy business skills I learned at Uconn, I was able to bargain down the price of the motel a bit. Nice. After settling in, we stopped at a grocery store and bought some nice fruit, bread, and milk for that night and also to eat breakfast at the motel in the morning to save a little time and money.
A good rest was most important tonight, as we would need to cover nearly 130 miles to get into New Orleans! Yikes. We could do it. The Stanley cup finals were on; what a great way to fall asleep and mentally prepare for the task at hand.
Life was good.