Friday, July 15, 2011


We're back!

Wait, you didn't know we were gone? Well.

There was a lot of driving this past week. After the crazy 4:30 a.m. wake-up to set up the pool for last Saturday's swim meet, then accomplishing said swim-meet, we packed the car for our trip west. Not west as in West, but our Chicago destination with an overnight in Columbus there and an overnight in Wheeling back.

As all good trips are wont to do, ours was blocked out by the establishments we patronized and the foods we ate.

The meet didn't end until nearly 1 p.m. so even with quick showers and changes and a complete crap-in-trunk exchange, we didn't hit the road until after 2 p.m. Our Embassy Suites destination in Columbus was a mere 8 hours away and we crashed hard upon arrival at 10:45. Honestly, there's nothing much to say about 8 hours in the car. Historic Cumberland Maryland needs an overhaul even for being historic, it just looked run-down, but the Wendy's there was just fine. Roads in West Virginia are good and fun to drive with all the ups/downs and banks. It's far more fun to drive in West Virginia than it is in, say, Ohio. And you can drive 75 mph in West Virginia which gets two thumbs up from me. On our return we did stay the night in Wheeling, WV which is a nicer tiny town than Historic Cumberland, but that could have been because mostly what we saw out the Springhill Suites window were trees and a some deer.

I digress. Simply stated, 8 hours in the car is dull. It's dull for the driver and it's dull for the passengers. A couple months ago we replaced the DVD player in the car (the first wouldn't recognize any disc but a cleaner) so the kids had the daunting task of watching all 7 Harry Potter movies before the final installment released last night. Oh the difficulties my children face.

Yeah, eight hours in day one was plenty. We passed a severely jack-knifed tractor trailer that seemed to have toppled and spun and crunched and blocked both lanes. There were a few cars and buses attempting to turn and drive backwards to the new detour though one bus laden with Indian tourists bottomed out on the median and effectively created a bus-bridge with floating tires. Those folks had a long night ahead of them. We were very blessed with our trip. Aside from heavy traffic going into Chicago... there is no good time to enter Chicago, it didn't matter if it was morning, afternoon or night the traffic into the city was slow and congested... we didn't hit any accidents or serious slow downs or even any poor weather. There's a ton of construction along I70 and the other roads we took, but they were very manageable. Traffic cops were out in droves and we saw plenty pull over other cars in our rear-view mirror. For the 24 hours total we spent driving so many things could have gone wrong and nothing did.

We made it to Columbus fine. We slept blissfully and Sunday finished the last 5 hours as we started the actual vacation.

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