Thursday, December 03, 2009

Still recovering from the vacation

Not the vacation so much as the 2 day drive home. 2 long long days, including the first day when it seemed we would never get out of Florida.

It always seems like we will never get out of Florida, we have taken every known route from interstate to highway to back roads to get from Naples to Jacksonville and ALWAYS it takes 2.5 hours more to get to Jacksonville from Naples than it did to get to Naples from Jacksonville.

ALWAYS.

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None of these cars are moving and the stand still continues all the way up the road vanishing into the distance

That is the problem with travelling on a Saturday on a holiday weekend during football season around a popular vacation spot. Orlando or Tampa, one or the other will bring all forward progress to a grinding halt. We averaged about 40 MPH through the whole state. It was a mix of going 55-60MPH in spots and going 5MPH in spots.

I must admit for all my problems with directions from Google Maps, their ‘show traffic’ options on the map app, was very handy. We could see where traffic was sitting still & where it was flowing. The app let us down on the getting from one to the other by not showing exit numbers until you were zoomed in at street level or by giving route numbers that don’t appear on exit signs.

This guy helped navigate

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He went through an amazing amount of caffine. You would not believe the number of restroom breaks he needed.

I had called ahead Friday & made reservations at a place in Santee, SC. I had calculated we would arrive there between 9-10pm based on our drive time down.  Sitting in traffic in Stark on 301 I debated seeing about moving the reservation to Walterboro or some other city farther south because it looked like it would be midnight before we arrived and the boys would be wired.

We made up for lost time by eating lunch in the car rather than stopping for fast food and then we had Burger King for supper rather than stopping at sit down dining place. While we were there I found a wifi signal & downloaded a new audiobook – Making Money by Terry Pratchett because we were almost done listening to his Going Postal.

We made it to Santee at 9:30pm in spite of traffic, but with unhappy bellies from eating so much junk. Everyone went to sleep  fairly quickly which was just as well because Mayhem was awake at 5:18.

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Santee, SC Waffle House in the pre-dawn light

We made good time on I95 the rest of the way home. We stopped for fireworks before we left SC and DH once again expressed his love for the roominess of the mini van because now he didn’t have to pack the explosives in around the children as in previous years.

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The boys were so zoned out on movies they never noticed we drove by South of the Border without stopping. Around 2pm we realized we would be home at the inconvenient hour of 4pm. It was inconvenient from a supper standpoint. There wasn’t much at home except frozen meat and macaroni & cheese and neither of us wanted to get home, unload the car and then get back in it in search of a meal. So we Googled up a nearby park & stopped to let the kids play for an hour or so. DSC_6537

Then we wandered around a shopping strip for a bit. Eventually we drove to the Chinese buffet place an hour from our house & had a large early supper. We were home before 6 & unpacked by 6:30. Mayhem was playing Wii at 6:40.

I had hoped to run some errands Monday & then have Tuesday to not go anywhere, just sit, maybe dust & vacuum. But the lice changed my plans. Then I thought I might get Thursday to stay in the house. But Wednesday Havoc knocked his glasses off when the school bus came to a sudden stop & then someone stepped on them, snapping the frames in half. The eye shop seems to have lost their records of his frames & couldn’t tell me if they were in stock so I have to take them in today so they can look them up.  Friday I have got to get back to the gym.  Saturday is the parade & a bunch of winter carnival events at school.

Maybe Sunday we can all just stay in one place.

7 comments:

Too Many Hats said...

Wow, Florida must seem endless when coming home. I had to laugh at the packing explosives around the kids line - LOL. Hope you get a day at home soon.

April P. said...

Looks like that photo was on I75 . . . avoid 75 on the saturday of Florida/Florida State - ALWAYS . . . of course, avoid 95 and 301 too. Sorry you were stuck in traffic. Everyone loves to come to Florida for long weekends! :-)

SciFi Dad said...

We don't do overnights, but we do take the 400km drive to my parents often, and it ALWAYS seems to take more time getting home than getting there.

Rebekah said...

Holiday travel, got to love it. We always drive 8 hours to my husband's family. We tend to go through the night so that our kids just sleep most of it away, but this year with our baby....hmmm.....last year was really bad. The 8 hours turned in to 12 due to horrible snow and ice. The Gorge was only open for a short window of time, so we and everyone else in the NW headed that way. It took us 5 hours just to drive what would normally take 20 mins. I'm hoping to avoid it this x-mas and travel on the 22nd vs. the 23rd. Think it will help?

Meghann said...

Florida does take a long time, and that isn't even in traffic. I remember being in the back of our family sedan for what seemed like days. And that was before handheld Nintendos & DVD players!

Creative Junkie said...

Vacations are the best but man, sometimes we pay such a high price for them.

We've driven down to North Carolina from upstate NY more times than I care to remember. I age about five years every trip.

SciFi Dad said...

We don't do overnights, but we do take the 400km drive to my parents often, and it ALWAYS seems to take more time getting home than getting there.