Jul 12, 2010

The looooooooooong road home

Ohhhhhh, Internet. If you follow me on Twitter or if you ever glance at my Twitter feed in my sidebar, you know that Saturday was the longest drive home from the beach in the history of history.

We decided to try a route for the first couple of hours that we'd never tried before, and it was about 50 percent successful. Meaning that we made really good time for the first half of it, but then we lost time during the second half of it -- and ultimately came out about an hour behind schedule. It didn't help that we were using a map that was printed in 1992. THINGS HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THEN.

But the boys were ensconced in the back with a multitude of DVDs and bedding, so they were pretty good for the bulk of that first five hours of our "shortcut."

It rained on us a few times along the way, but overall it was a perfectly gorgeous day.

Just outside of Lake Oconee in Georgia, we stopped to get gas. Traffic was thick around that point in the drive, and I assumed it was from a military convoy that was toodling along at 45 mph in the right-hand lane. But inside the gas station, the attendant told me that the traffic was due to the fact that Carrie Underwood was getting married around there that day. Riiiiiight.

While the big boys were inside pottying, I let Jakey "drive."

He's always so happy to drive, and when I get back in the seat to forge ahead, my cruise control, hazard lights, windshield wipers and seat warmers are always on. Good times.

We pulled out of the gas station and had made it about 20 miles when we came upon this:

It was backed up for miles. We couldn't come close to seeing the end of it.

Same view behind us. I cannot TELL you how many cuss words I wanted to utter at that moment (and in the following thousand moments).

We'd been on the road for about eight hours at that point, and we were SO hoping to just clear this mess and move on. After about 30 minutes and forward movement of a quarter of a mile, we saw this sign:

The highway was only three lanes wide at that point, so closing two of them was clearly going to cause the major delay were experiencing. Two lanes of an INTERSTATE. Closed. On the Saturday after the 4th of July. Good Lord.

Luckily Jakey was sufficiently entertained by taking his Crocs on and off for 10 minutes of that time.

It was only the OTHER 80 MINUTES of the slow-down during which he fussed and whined. After a little over an hour, we finally reached a sign for the next exit. That really didn't do us a lot of good, though, since we still weren't anywhere near the exit itself. Not going 1 mph, we weren't.

And not with idiots driving willy-nilly along the shoulder and then cutting in front of us. OH, I WANTED TO MAIM SOME PEOPLE.

After a little more than an hour and a half, we finally came upon the culprit: paving.

SERIOUSLY, GEORGIA D.O.T.? At least at that point they officially opened the shoulder to traffic, so we had two "lanes" moving.

Why they can't pave between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. is beyond me. 5:00 on Saturday -- especially during the height of vacation travel -- is RIDICULOUS with all caps.

Ultimately we made it through with all of our body parts intact -- but my nerves were frayed. We decided to stop for supper, and I said, "I want to go in and sit down somewhere. I want to be SERVED. I want my drink refilled for me." So we went here:

I had a delicious salad and two Diet Cokes. We chatted with an older couple at an adjacent table who found our boys utterly charming. They had four kids, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. It was pleasant, a nice antithesis to the previous couple of hours.

We finally arrived home from our "nine-hour" drive after 13 and a half hours, and I'm busy trying to forget it ever happened. Today's Vacation Recovery Day (VRD) should help with that. I have lots of TiVo'd shows to catch up on and laundry to fold while watching it.

Oh, and apparently Carrie Underwood DID get married on Saturday evening within a few miles of that gas station. That'll teach ME to judge gas station attendants' gossip.

1 comment:

Wade's World said...

We went to Mississippi on Friday and our 4 1/2 hour trip was closer to 6 hours. Good times, I tell ya!

Gotta love road construction, especially on weekends!

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