Kathy and I have been on the road the last three weekends. It's nice to be at home for a change. But traveling on our own (no company credit card, etc.), we got a new appreciation of how expensive traveling can be.
In Atlanta, we paid the most ever for a 20 ounce bottle of diet coke: $3.19 including tax. Wow, are you kidding, in the birthplace of Coke no less? Breakfast was $16 each at the hotel buffet. Alcohol was $12 regardless of your pleasure. Waffle House was very busy the next morning ... four cooks and four "wait people." Loved the prices. So did lots of others there.
Gas, too, was all over the map. Not long ago, Georgia had cheaper gas, but not now. Thank goodness we only needed gas once there.
Three of us visited the Coke Museum and the Aquarium. Total admission for both places $150 ... $50 each. Oh my.
We ate out at a chain steakhouse and had a 20 minute wait at 9 p.m. Prices were more reasonable there, only a dollar more than in Prattville for main meals. I guess that's OK.
All this reminded me of my friends still in this business who are consultants, or in plainer terms, on their own. Getting somewhere, anywhere, isn't cheap. I can easily see where $300+ a day expenses would be needed. Also I understand why good consultants cost what they do. Without high fees, they'd be working for nothing!
Summer is here (duh!) and we were kinda complaining about the heat when I called to activate a credit card. The respondent was in Arizona, where yesterday it was 120 degrees. A reporter on TV fried an egg on their sidewalk! Think I'll stop complaining.
Drive safely and remember to check your tire pressures before hitting the road, including your spare. Use only the factory recommended pressures, usually listed on a decal on the driver's door jam. Careful, they can be all over the place. On our SUV, the pressures are 33 psi all around. On the car, it's 36 front, 44 rear. Honest.
Two of my friends have had flats in the last month. Both changed to their spares only to find that the spares had dry rotted to the point of being unusable. Hmm, think I'll check my spares today!
Gene Canavan is a retired West Point Graduate and Paper Mill Utilities Manager and lives in Prattville, Alabama, USA.