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Hitting the road: Bound for New Orleans

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the road, headed for New Orleans. Actually, that’s not true. I’m not an early riser. But soon, any minute now, I’ll be on the road. It’s a leisure trip, and I’ll take most of a week to get there, exploring diversions off the highways and blogging daily.

I’m driving a rental car from Alamo. I got a great deal — $163 for a week, unlimited mileage, no dropoff fee, even though I’ll be leaving the car in New Orleans. In late spring, some rental car companies, notably Hertz and Alamo, offer good deals and no dropoff fees for one-way rentals out of South Florida as they try to disperse the big fleets that accumulate here at the peak of the season.

I expect gas will cost about as much as the rental car, a Toyota Corolla. It’s about 900 miles from Miami to New Orleans if you follow a straight line, and I intend to do a fair amount of zigzagging. I’ve got a list of parks, beaches, museums and other sights that friends, colleagues and travel guides recommended.

I don’t have any hotel reservations yet. I plan to stay flexible, see how late I feel like driving each night before I decide what town to stop in. I’ll almost certainly make reservations for New Orleans a few days out, though.

I’m traveling solo, something I enjoy. It gives me the opportunity to shake the cobwebs out of my brain, and not worry about an argument over whether I want to walk a nature trail or play blackjack (a lot of casinos along this route). I’ve got four audiobooks to listen to, plus 3,800 songs on my iPod. I won’t get bored.

My itinerary isn’t set in stone, so if you know a good restaurant, museum, park or any other site you think I ought to see on this trip, just leave a comment on this blog.