Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Road trip? You mean grueling descent into hell? Oh sure, I'm in!

Okay...first "whew", *wipes sweat off brow*, No one unfollowed me!! Or unsubscribed from Kindle! I gotta tell you I was sweating it with taking a week off. I meant to blog. I sat down to blog. I wrote blogs in my head. I just didn't get them blogged. We had a super time in Myrtle Beach. And stayed busy. And busy for me = super tired. Plus, my parents really don't get the whole "blogging" thing. So they talked to me while I was online. And they're my parents, so it's not like I can ignore them like I do my children or hubby. So without further ado...

Road trip has always equaled fun in my book. Until now. The trip to Myrtle Beach, SC from Mendon, Il a week ago Monday was pretty much like a glimpse into hell. It's a long trip to begin with...17.5 hours straight through. 17.5 hours in a Grand Am (Lu's car. Better gas mileage). 17.5 hours with my kids. 17.5 hours of rest stop/gas station bathrooms. 17.5 hours of junk food. 17.5 hours of sharing the road with semi-trucks. What the hell was I thinking??! I've made the trip 3 times before, but always with another adult present. This time? Me and two quasi-adult teens. Probably, someone should've slapped some sense into me. But, well, no one did.

I was dreading the drive all weekend before we left. Mostly because it's incredibly long. But also because the weather has been so bad this winter and they were predicting a snow storm for our night of departure. So I plotted a southerly route to hopefully avoid alot of snow. Because, while I love snow, I don't like driving in it. And we're talking tiny Grand Am, not a four wheel drive anything. So our route takes us across the bridge to Hannibal, Mo. Then down to St. Louis, and back into Illinois. We cross through southern Illinois into Kentucky, down into Tennessee. Through Nashville and Chattanooga, into Georgia. Through Atlanta and Augusta and into South Carolina. Then across SC through Columbia to Myrtle. We've been this way before. Sometimes we go through Tennessee to NC and down, but there was a rock slide at Asheville and the interstate is still closed. Plus I was worried about snow in the mountains between Knoxville and Asheville.

Figuring that at some point in time, on the drive, my children will begin to make me crazy, I plan a little revenge. And by revenge, I totally mean torture. Torture in the form of two 80's CDs. Filled with songs that I love. Therefore, insuring they won't. Or so I thought. Damn them. Turns out they liked a lot of the songs. Sean more than Lu, but then that figures. Neither one of them was really down with the Tears for Fears or Pet Shop Boys. But the Police? REO Speedwagon? Madonna? Right up their alleys. And of course I'd thrown in some Simple Minds and Cutting Crew.

So we start out on our journey (read: descent into hell) at ten pm on Monday night. Sean and I had loaded down the vehicle and picked Lu up from work. We got milkshakes and gas and we were on our way. I started the driving, with Lu as a backup driver and Sean firmly ensconced in the navigational seat, armed with MapQuest directions and a trusty Atlas. Into the snow filled night we went. And went and went and kept going. It snowed all the way to Nashville. And not just snowed, but blizzarded at times. I literally drove 30 mph for part of the way. When the semis slow down, you know you better slow down too, because nothing scares those guy. At one point, a red car went blazing past me and the semi I was following (at a safe distance of course). We saw him later in a ditch on the side of the road. I saw lots of people in ditches on the side of the road. I was white knuckling it, let me tell you. At 4:30, I finally drove out of the snow, or so I thought. I whipped into a gas station in Kentucky and after filling up, and hitting the restrooms, Lu took over driving. Both kids had been asleep, Lu for the nearly the entire time, and Sean off and on. I hit the backseat and was out like a light. For 40 minutes. That's when Lu woke me up and said she couldn't see. Yeah, it was snowing again. Alot! So at the next gas station, we switched again. I may or may not have been extremely cranky by this point. I drove on til 8:30 and an hour north of Chattanooga. The snow had finally turned to rain about the time we hit Nashville. We stopped for McD's, gas and restrooms. Then Lu drove and I got some much needed sleep.

We didn't see the sun until we hit the SC border. I'm pretty sure angels sang. I hope Booshy heard me yell "hi Booshy!!" when we passed through Atlanta. Lu drove all the way to Columbia and I took over for the last three hours of the trip. It was dark by the time we got close to Myrtle, and the directions took us on some curvy foggy roads. But finally we arrived at 7 pm SC time. Which means the trip actually took 20 hours. Un-freakin-believable.

That night we unpacked, ate, showered and fell into our beds exhausted. The trip was grueling. But of course, we had some fun too. And that, my friends, is tomorrow's blog...



  1. I've never understood the appeal of driving all night. I would fall asleep at the end of the driveway. But good for you for braving the blizzard and getting there in one piece!

  2. I, for one, totally get the all-nighter thing. The roads are, generally speaking, infinitely better then. I'm glad you made it to SC safely.

  3. One thing that Truck Drivers do get afraid of..Cars in their blind spots!

    Funny, everytime I mention the word blog to my dad, he says..What is a blog? He cracks me up!

    That was a long ways to go, but glad you didn't try your luck with those mountians.

    Love the music you made them listen to. How can they not like Tears for Fears?!

    So glad to have ya back!

  4. Glad you're back and safe...missed you. REO Speedwagon...woo hoo!I hate riding (I can't drive in it) in snow...too many crzies out there! Sorry your drive was hellish at times, but hopefully, we'll here tomorrow that the actual vacation was awesome.

  5. Glad your back Spot dear...and safe and sound. I used to do the 17 hour marathon drive from the middle of Alberta to Vancouver Island; the best ones were always the snowstorms at the top of the pass in July :)

  6. How can they not love Tears for Fears and Petr Shop Boys??? Ingrates!

    I'd travel with ya Spot ... any day o the week :)

    Glad you are safe at home.


  7. Yay! (Insert various celebration noises here.) You're back! I am glad that you survived the weather. I hate driving in the snow, too!

  8. I used to enjoy long trips -- pulling off along the way to observe something different out there. These days though...I can't handle it. I'm not sure if it is just maturity...or age.

  9. Your kids liked REO Speedwagon BUT not Tears for Fear? I don't get that.

    Glad you made it safely there. I would have turned off and stayed at some hotel/motel. Oh wait, then you have to wonder if Norman Bates would be the hotel manager. Scratch that thought.

  10. Welcome back Spot! We missed you. Road trips are fun. I have one planned for April to Virginia. Mapquest says 18 hours...hmm unless theres something cool to see like a giant ball of string or big concrete dinosaurs like 200 miles out of the way. I always try to make the trip part of the vacation. Once we drove around for 30 days and put a whopping 9000 miles on our car....way too fun! Alaska to Florida and a bunch of places in between.

  11. Carolyn~ The roads are so much quieter at night. Even alot of the truckers pull off to sleep. And the cities are less hectic and beautiful because they are lit up. I don't really mind when I'm not battling the snow!

    C~ Thank you! Me too!

    Heather~ My sister and I grew up in the backseat of the car it seems and Dad taught us early to treat trucks with respect. I have no idea how they can not like Tears for Fears. No taste!

    Suzicate~ I would rather be driving then riding. Riding makes me nervous. I feel like if I'm driving at least I have some control!! Thanks!

    Brite~ Thankfully we didn't go through any mountains that high! Snow in July, sheesh.

    Dani~ wouldn't that be a blast?! A blogville road trip with my bleeps. On second thought...we might get ourselves into a spot of

    UnA~ Thanks chica! Me too!

    Jerry~ My Dad is 62 and they drove 16 hours from their home to Myrtle. Then they had to detour around the rock slide, so it added time and he drove the whole way (because my mother is a crazy driver). I know it took it's toll on him! I think they spent most of the next day resting!

    LMS~ I totally thought about stopping. But yeah, you never know!! And the kids? Who can explain that? They must get it from their father...

    Mark~ I'm soooo glad to see you back to commenting!! You were missed sooo much! You can't really trust those Mapquest estimates. And when we drive during the day I like to make those goofy pitstops too. A thirty day trip sounds awesome!! I was so tempted just to head to parts unknown instead of coming home. But my kids are much more


  12. The Police are THE BEST BAND OF ALL TIME. Oh the horrid and seedy things I would let Gordon do to me. Right so, I'm going to think about that some more and stop playing on the computer. Mmmm.

  13. Can't believe you drove in that STUFF!!! Ahhhh!

  14. Wow....that's a whole TON of driving! But it was worth it...right?

    I'm exhausted just thinking about it...I'm glad you had 2 drivers in the car that could *share* at least some of the load...