Monday, November 22, 2010

A journey of 1000 miles

begins with a dead battery in the driveway.

Much better than a head on collision in Darien GA (2002), a broken timing & alternator belt in Orangeburg SC (1993), a flat tire in Lumberton NC (1999) and a failed transmission in Wheeling, WV (2007).

It’s all a matter of perspective.

We opted for the ‘wandering through VA, NC & SC’ route and as usual got lost around Lynchburg VA. US29 and SR460 run together there for a bit & then apparently, there is a hidden portal that US29 goes through & then continues on down through the state. We never find this hidden portal.

We don’t know the correct magical words I guess.

Though lots of other words do get said when 20 miles (and no signs) later we realize we are still on 460 and 5 miles from Bedford, which is WEST of Lynchburg & we are supposed to be near Danville, which is SOUTH.

Last year we relied on DinoDino for our navigation & he did fairly well. We did find our mistake a mere 10 miles out that time.


But OMG the amount of caffeine he drank! And the bathroom breaks he needed!

This year we decided to upgrade and let the Force be our guide.


Help us Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re our only hope!

“This is not the exit you are looking for. Move along.”

But no.

Apparently Han Solo had it right all along:

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for Google Maps by your side.”

Meanwhile evil Darth VDOT is all “I’ve altered the traffic patterns. Pray I don’t alter them further.”


We made decent time, getting dinner to go at Wendy’s rather than sitting down for it to make up for the 45 minutes we added with our little side trip to Bedford.

We were in Walterboro, SC by 11pm & stopped at the same Holiday Inn Express that we stopped at last year. Last year we got one of the last rooms, the one by the elevator.

Walterboro Holiday Inn Express has the slowest & loudest elevator I have ever encountered. People were still using it a 2am & at 3am & at 4am and I have insomnia & am sleeping in a strange bed & this damn elevator is creaking & groaning all freaking night long. Not a good night for me last  year.

So this year when the clerk says “We only have one room left” I said “Is it next to the elevator?” because I am NOT taking that room. She said “oh no” & then paused in a way that made me think it must be across from a ice machine that was constantly refilling or other noisy terror and then she added “it’s smoking” in a tone of both horror and apology.

We are not those people. Unless someone is actually smoking in the room while I am there I really don’t care. I am sensitive to the stale cigarette smell but my experience the past decade is the vast majority of smoking rooms are inhabited by non smokers or smokers who travel with non-smokers & therefor still smoke outside. They hardly ever smell of cigs.

I said “Does it have two beds? We’ll take it”

And I got a $10 discount for taking the smoking room.

As soon as I finished this conversation two other people came in & were told there were no rooms & the other clerk started calling other hotels for them. I check in, we park, unload sleepy kids & the overnight bag, come back through the lobby & the clerk is saying to the other people “Sorry, nothing at the next exit either”

So WooHoo for timing!

We were at Waffle House at 7am, which is actually late for us, normally we are there before dawn.

We rolled through GA & into FL fairly easily. Decent traffic, lots of cops but everyone was moving. We made an error in assumption around lunch time. DH thought that the intersection of I95 & I4 would be just brimming over with restaurants & said ‘lets wait until we’re on I4”. Well… I95 was certainly full of places to eat but there is nothing on I4 until practically Orlando. So we were very hungry when we pulled into Perkins, along with everyone else who had the same thought. But once again we beat them there by mere minutes & were given the last seating before a wait time was established.

WooHoo again!

Amazingly traffic was really moving around Orlando. DH was in a pack doing 90MPH at one point. We made our way on US17 with no problems, though according to Google we were wrong.

Who are you going to believe Google maps or your own lying eyes?

My annual craving for soft serve ice cream hit at the state line as usual. There is plenty of soft serve within 20 miles of my house but I only ever really want it while in FL for some reason. But as usual it was like 9am then, so we decided to wait until a little while after lunch.

Here is the problem with that – while there are Dairy Queens & other soft serve places on practically every exit in northern Florida, somewhere around Tampa/Orlando, they vanish. There is no soft serve anywhere in southern Florida until Fort Meyers and that is 10 minutes from my folks house & we can never bring ourselves to stop then.

Next year we are having soft serve ice cream FOR lunch damn it!

We made such good time we arrived at my folks house two hours earlier than planned.

The boys were good travellers. They watched movies, played their DSes, did math games & mostly kept the whining down. Mayhem was whinier than Havoc but he had very little sleep Thurs or Fri night.

I finished crocheting a glove, but it’s too small. I discovered that about halfway in & decided to finish it anyway so I could see where to adjust the overall pattern. A larger hook & a couple more rows at various points should correct it.

So now we are here. Hanging by the pool, drinking cold ciders & chilling out.

How was your weekend?


SciFi Dad said...

Pool?!? Ice cream?!?

Uh, let's see: I put the snow tires on the van and got frostbite. It's late November in Canada here.

Helena said...

I'm definately using Hans Solo when i next need naviagation.

Having only lived in small island countries - UK and NZ am amzed at the length of journey that is possible in USA

Cheri said...

I remember as a kid driving places with my family in one broken-down station wagon after another... a tow truck and a several hour wait at a garage for repairs was pretty much an expected event. One trip the engine caught on fire. Another trip a peeling retread slapped a hole in the gas tank. Oh, the good old days!

Thank heavens the force was with you in finding a hotel room and getting seating for your meal! As for that magical portal... better luck next time!

LosingBrownies said...

I'm glad you got a room! Gadget Guy is super sensitive to smells and we would have been those people driving and driving some more to find a place to stay, or sleeping in the car.

Rinda1961 said...

Rainy, ,rainy weekend here.I taught a mini album class on Saturday, which was really fun.

Carrie said...

lol - Quite the adventure so far! Kind of quiet weekend here & a Holiday Parade.

Jean said...

Yay! You made it! I had concerns when you couldn't find the hidden portal.
Holiday Inn Express was our choice too on our last vacation. Did your shampoo smell like cinnamon too?
Enjoy your time @ your parents'.