The drive from Houston to DC is approximately 22 hours. Tisha and I decided to break the time up between two days, driving 11 hours each day. The first day we had planned to stay in Birmingham, Alabama. However, on the drive there, we stopped in some little town to get gas and water. After I had finished using the restroom, I came out and noticed Tisha talking to the cashier about the drive and they are both looking at a map. The lady asks us where we are staying, we reply, "Birmingham," at which point the lady's face goes completely white as if she had just seen a ghost. She starts telling us how ghetto and unsafe Birmingham is. Another customer in the gas station now pipes in saying, "yeah, people get shot at ATMs all the time in Birmingham. There is no reason two girls, all alone, need to be going to that town." The cashier pipes in again and says, "My cousin got mugged in Birmingham, and they cut her face, she still has a scar all down the side of her face." Tisha and I decide at this point that we are NOT going to be staying there. However, Tisha and I are just trying to leave the gas station, but now there are probably 10 people surrounding us, all giving there opinion about Birmingham. I felt like the cashier was standing on the counter yelling, "blue light special, these two girls are far from home and traveling alone!!!" I honestly bolted to the car. We ended up hitting a super bad storm probably 30 minutes after leaving the gas station. We couldn't see out the windows and everyone was pulling off to the side of the road. We finally get to Tuscaloosa and called it a night.
The next day we continue driving, just talking and trying to get to know one another. Nothing too exciting happened. We decided to stop driving about 2.5 hours out of Alexandria to finish the drive on Tuesday morning. All of the hotels were booked except the Comfort Inn. They had a framed award in the front lobby that read, "Best hotel chain of 1986!" I guess they were really holding onto that glory. Tisha tried to purchase some Advil, but they didn't have any. However, the nice creepy guy behind the desk offered to give her some from him backpack. Tisha politely declined. We went to the nearby gas station where some trashy guy "mmmmmmmm"ed at Tisha. She didn't say anything to him so he got angry and started making comments under his breath. On the way out he called her a "Chicken Head". We just laughed it off and went to bed.
On Tuesday we woke up fairly early to get driving to Alexandria. We pulled off the freeway and looked at all the apartments. I made a comment similar to, "If one of those is our complex, I am NOT living there, that looks like the projects!" Lucky for us, none of those were our complex, but ours was right in the middle of them all! YAY! Tisha and I both freaked out and almost started crying. The town house we had originally planned on getting was super shitty and completely unsafe. We decided to move into a secured entrance apartment (same complex) instead.
I guess we're here, we're really doing it...no going back now!