The Neverending Journey

or Edited Highlights of Our Drive to Florida

They are Edited Highlights because it’s too painful to remember the whole thing.

We left the house at the “Holy Crap!” hour of 5am

2013-12-21 05.05.24

(pics or it didn’t happen)

and we got in at 1am.

(no pics because it was 1am and I had been up since 4:30am but I assure you IT DID HAPPEN)

The early part of the journey lulled us into a false sense of optimism.

We drove for over 6 hours and encountered little to no traffic the whole time. It was glorious! We travelled at a good speed on uncrowded roads & made good time.

But this was because we were on ‘side roads’, usually divided 4 lane highways – state routes and US routes and even the occasional 2 lane county route.

And then we came to Florence, SC and I95 and it all went to hell.

I95 sucks at the best of times but the Saturday of Christmas week is a special sort of hell, especially if the other 364 days of the year a divided 4 lane road full of stop lights is what you are used to.

If waiting behind 3 cars to make a left turn on Main St makes you think “good grief where is all this traffic coming from?” you will be woefully unprepared for I95 even on a good day. You will be overwhelmed if it is the Saturday before Christmas.

No exaggeration, we took the on ramp, merged into I95 traffic and all forward progress came to a halt.

It took us over an hour to travel 20 miles. From there it was stop and start, maybe get up to the speed limit for a couple miles, just long enough to get your hopes up, and then those hopes would be dashed as you once again were lucky to manage 10MPH.

Fortunately google maps traffic overlay let us know it was coming so we could find roads to divert to sometimes.

Twice, actually.

And once we pulled over at a rest stop and spent some time hunting for a geocache while watching the traffic not at all move on the interstate.

2013-12-21 09.47.12

I95 became a parking lot at least 6 times in the 300 or so miles we were on it.

Then we thought we were safely on I75, which only causes us grief on Football Sundays around Tampa, but no. They were doing ‘road work’ around Tampa and it took us 30 minutes to go 4 miles. 

There was no road work, there were just signs about it and a gazillion traffic cones blocking off two lanes for no good reason. No work, no evidence of work, nothing, just the DOT messing with people.

And since we elected to make this trip on the shortest day of the year most of the trip was in the dark.

The kids watched some cartoons, plus The Lightening Thief and Despicable Me and played their 3DSes while Brad and I listened to Peter Mayles’ The Vintage Caper and The Marseilles Caper and part of Kerry Greenwood’s new book Murder & Mendelsohn.

We stopped briefly for lunch but got drive through for supper as we were hoping to make up time.

Yeah, that didn’t work.

The drive usually takes us about 17 hours. We had expected to get in around 10 or so but it was 1am exactly when we pulled into my folks driveway.

20 hours door to door.

Every muscle in my body hurt from all the sitting. Same with DH.

Havoc’s feet were swollen and his neck hurt from sleeping a couple hours in his seat.

Mayhem was fine. He passed out around 9pm, woke up long enough to stumble in the house and say hi to his grandparents while on his way to the bedroom where he immediately crawled into bed fully dressed and pulled the duvet over himself.

As the only one of us who had a normal amount of sleep, he was naturally up at 6am.

I dragged myself out of bed at 8 and shortly thereafter DH and I headed out to get groceries for the week.

And promptly got stuck in traffic on the way there.

But for once we did NOT get lost in Virginia, nor did we have to stab a demon possessed DVD through the heart or replace leaking car fluids at every state line.

So there is that at least.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments Closed

1 comment to The Neverending Journey