Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trip finally over and Hope is here!!

A quick "highlights only" version of my road trip across the country.

The plan

Fly out 2:30p, arrive 12:30a, sleep, get up early am and leave.

Quickly stop by to see my new niece and then be on road by 10am or so.

Then drive back to Seattle with only standard bathroom/food/sleep breaks.

Her two cats came with us. They would be kenneled all day in car and kept in bathroom in hotel each night.

Arrive Monday early afternoon, take Tuesday off as rest day, go back to work refreshed enough to function on Wednesday.

The reality

Flight out of Seattle delayed due to smoke on plane. Ended up sitting in Seattle airport for 12 hours before going which also delayed the stat of our drive. Instead of jetting by to see my new niece around 8am and being on road by 10am or so - I didn't get to airport until almost 12p. Went straight from airport to see niece and did not get on road for drive until 4pm or so.


Drive out of FL was very slow because we were going through very heavy rain courtesy of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Fay. Only made it about 60-70 miles in to Georgia 1st day. I started trip DEAD with NO ENERGY thanks to Air Tran's fun experience from hell.

Drive was slower going than when I did it alone last year, mostly because Hope's car does not have cruise control and struggles in the mountains.

On third night she let one of her cats out because she couldn't bear hearing her cry a bit in bathroom. It turned out not to be a big deal, Maggie (the cat) enjoyed exploring the room and did not fight in the morning to go back in to kennel. The other cat, Miles, was so freaked out he barely ate or drank the entire trip and even when locked in bathroom would hide in the back of the kennel.

That third night we stopped at a beautiful place (Canistota, South Dakota). It was a tiny little town with a great friendly "small town" feel and atmosphere. We almost turned around as it was further off the expressway than we thought and were afraid we may end up side tracking or getting lost, but it was fine. It was this beautiful old hotel built in like 1929 or so and still had the original working Otis elevator. It was only about $45 for the deluxe room which had a huge bathroom and even a recliner in the room. The lady that ran the desk was dressed like a Quaker but was real nice. In the morning we ate at the small restaurant in the hotel and they asked "are you the strangers that stayed on the 2nd floor last night?". about a small town.

Stopped and side tracked to Mt. Rushmore as it was only about 25 miles off expressway. No big problem travel-wise, I did the same thing when I did this trip myself last year. We also stopped for lunch and did a little shopping in Wall which is kind of an old town that tried to keep it looking like it was 100 years ago or so.

Last night was in Missoula, Montana. Hope (my g/f) thought the skiddish cat, Miles, was too afraid to run, so left the bathroom door open while doing food/water dishes. Miles darted out of bathroom and ended up being a free cat that night in room too. He was a bit difficult to catch in morning and Hope got some nice cat claw shaped memories on her arms and stomach because of it.

All was fine until Idaho (last state before home). It was raining and some older guy was passing me on the left (I was going slow due to rain on roads). He wasn't speeding, but was going the full speed limit (75 mph) on the wet, curvy, mountain-sloped road. He hydroplaned and lost control, spun around once or twice and ended up in ditch between eastbound and westbound lanes. I stopped to help. He was OK and car looked like it was probably OK too except for a flat tire. I left as help was coming.

Finally rolled into the driveway around 4:00pm on 6th day. Thankfully, the house/dog sitter was great and took good care of the dogs (Ammo & Solomon) while I was gone. The boys and the house were fine.

Hope and I chilled with pizza and TV for a few hours and I hit the sack about 8:30 or 9:00pm.

So much for the day of rest. I didn't want to take another day off, so I came in to work today. I won't be getting much done though - too tired.

No comments: