Everyone in Greenville recommends the shrimp and grits. But you have to get this lowcountry cooking staple at Larkin's on the River. They make it with peppers and heavy cream, and top it with a rich cheese sauce. The dish is heavy, but goes down agreeably with dark Dead Man Ale. In between mouthfuls, photographer Mike Shaffer and I plan the journey ahead.

Tomorrow, we're setting off on a 3000-mile road trip back to Los Angeles. Our chariot? The latest addition to the MT long-term garage, an X3 xDrive28i, which I just took ownership of through BMW's Performance Delivery program (see Part One). Shaffer has flown out to document the trip back, mostly because he really likes good BBQ.

Good BBQ, we plan on finding. That, and whatever interesting places are along the way. Like a traditional European delivery program, we get to play tourists. But because we're in our country, we won't have to say goodbye to the BMW at the end and hello to an overnight flight.

Our loose itinerary sends us south, giving us a distinct image of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century, a glimpse of the beginning and end of the Gilded Age and the depressions that followed. Caveat number one: We promised executive editor Edward Loh we'd be back in the office Monday morning, which gives us five days to cover near 3000 miles. Caveat number two: The X3's break-in period is 1200 miles. We'll have to stay under 4500 rpm and 100 mph until that point. According to the map, that's until somewhere in Louisiana -- we highlight the state vigorously.