Tier Point Run to Sofia in Jan 2024

This is another installment of my series of TP runs to Sofia. In June, July and Dec of 2023, I did a number of trips out to Sofia, just to collect TPs. There was another opportunity in Jan 2024 to collect more cheap TPs, so here I am!

Continue reading...

Starbucks in Tuscaloosa
Starbucks in Tuscaloosa
Starbucks in Tuscaloosa
Starbucks in Tuscaloosa

Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024: Day 3 – Tuscaloosa to Clinton

By Nige on Mon 25 Mar 2024 at 21:10
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024
Tags: Alabama | Clinton | Hertz | Hilton | Holidays | Mississippi | Tuscaloosa | USA

It was windy overnight with the air con singing to us as we slept. We weren’t sure whether it really was the wind or the air con was playing up!

I didn’t sleep that well, so was up a few times. Vick did pretty well.

A limited breakfast offering at the Hampton Inn, Tuscaloosa East
A limited breakfast offering at the Hampton Inn, Tuscaloosa East
A limited breakfast offering at the Hampton Inn, Tuscaloosa East
A limited breakfast offering at the Hampton Inn, Tuscaloosa East

I woke up to find that stage one of our Global Entry renewal had been completed overnight – the UK Government had provided UK access codes.

Stage two: we had to pay the US Government $100 for each of our renewals. That might lead to interviews etc.

We were hoping we might be able to sort any requirement for interviews before we headed back to the UK on this trip.

The earliest opening Starbucks was 5:30am and was about 5 miles away in the center of Tuscaloosa, not that it appeared to be anything much to write home about.

Disappointingly, the Starbucks staff were not that friendly and weren’t focused on what they were doing. I had to stop the barister adding three lots of caramel syrup to my drink.

We had breakfast in the hotel. It would be rude not to, considering it was free.

The route for today heading from Tuscaloosa to Clinton/Jackson
The route for today heading from Tuscaloosa to Clinton/Jackson
The route for today heading from Tuscaloosa to Clinton/Jackson
The route for today heading from Tuscaloosa to Clinton/Jackson

Vick managed with oatmeal, and I enjoyed toast and jam. We also took a couple of bananas just in case we had an urge for some fruit later in the day.

Our first stop was Meridian, 90 miles down the I20, about halfway to Clinton/Jackson, the location of our next hotel stopover.

Everything we were planning to do today was in and around Meridian. We started off with a Starbucks, where the staff seemed a bit more switched on than at the store this morning.

The sad state of Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian
The sad state of Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian
The sad state of Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian
The sad state of Bonita Lakes Mall in Meridian

Forgot to mention the beautifully varied greens of the trees alongside the roads yesterday. We got more of the same today.

The Tesla has started whinging about me leaving my lane when I am indicating to change lanes. Bizarre behaviour!

The next point of call was a Tesla supercharger across the road in the Bonita Lakes Mall, which was another one of these massive out-of-town shopping malls that was as dead as a dodo. How on earth these places make money I’ve no idea.

The Vickster at Bonita Lakes
The Vickster at Bonita Lakes
The Vickster at Bonita Lakes
The Vickster at Bonita Lakes

Whilst the car charged to 100%, we wandered around the empty shopping mall. It was a very sad sight.

There was a colourful Mexican restaurant in the food court, which made us both laugh.

Vick chose to drive the mile or so to Bonita Lakes so that we could walk around the lake.

That naturally turned into a 5 mile series of detours because of missed turns and the like.

The rules at Bonita Lakes were really strict!
The rules at Bonita Lakes were really strict!
The rules at Bonita Lakes were really strict!
The rules at Bonita Lakes were really strict!

Bonita Lakes was very attractive but very blustery.

We had seen two very minor showers on our travels today, but it was certainly threatening to throw it down at some point.

From Bonita Lakes, I drove us to Jimmy John’s to grab a sandwich.

Jimmy John’s is a great place for Vick since she can order an Unwich, which is a sandwich made with lettuce leaves.

Our lunch courtesy of Jimmy John's in Meridian
Our lunch courtesy of Jimmy John’s in Meridian
Our lunch courtesy of Jimmy John's in Meridian
Our lunch courtesy of Jimmy John’s in Meridian

When we arrived at Jimmy John’s, we found the parking lot was full of the deepest pot holes we had ever seen.

Some of them were competing with the Grand Canyon based on depth. There were so many of them, we did well to avoid becoming the headline on local news!

I had a small JJBLT, Jimmy’d Up. Vick had a Beach Club Unwich.

I thought Jimmy’d Up meant it came with spicy sauce, but apparently it means it comes with additional veggies. However, there was little evidence of additional veggies in the baguette that I received.

Celebrating being in Mississippee for the first time!
Celebrating being in Mississippee for the first time!
Celebrating being in Mississippee for the first time!
Celebrating being in Mississippee for the first time!

After filling up our bellies, we set the sat nav to the next Tesla supercharger near Jackson. That was located on the site of another massive shopping mall.

This time, it appeared it was a little busier than the last one.

Clinton is a small suburb of Jackson, so there’s not a lot going on.

The one thing we both wanted to go and see was the Mississippee Civil Rights Museum, which (of course) was closed on a Monday.

Perhaps we might fit it into our tight Tuesday schedule!

Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson

I had upgraded us into a one bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson.

Amazingly, my digital key was available not long after 1pm, so next, we headed to the hotel to get settled in.

For a relatively cheap Hilton Garden Inn, it was a very well appointed suite.

Although, the view wasn’t much to write home about.

Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson
Our one-bed suite at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clinton/Jackson

We planned dinner for the evening: after some debate, we decided on Applebee’s, primarily because it was close to the hotel.

We have always found the food to be pretty good, although we have only ever enjoyed breakfast at Applebee’s, so it was going to be good to see how they fared on serving up dinner.

Whilst in the restaurant, it started to throw it down. It had been threatening to do so all day, and the rain finally arrived.

A fab rib-eye steak with garlic mash and broccoli
A fab rib-eye steak with garlic mash and broccoli
A fab rib-eye steak with garlic mash and broccoli
A fab rib-eye steak with garlic mash and broccoli

We ordered a glass of wine and a Sam Adams, together with a steak each. The steaks came with garlic mash and broccoli. Wow – the steaks were wonderful.

So good, that I’d consider it to be the best steak meal I have had for a long time. One reason was that I wasn’t full when I finished eating. I need to take that as a lesson.

On the way back to the hotel, we may have diverted to Walmart, where we invested in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake and some Cadbury Crunch.

We enjoyed our new assets when we got back to our room, watching classic episodes of SVU.


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024


Leave A Comment

Just fill in the details below and click the button to have your say!

Captcha - Making Sure You Are Human!
captcha image

Author Bio: About Nige

Avatar photo

Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

View all posts by Nige>

up scroll arrow
down scroll arrow