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Home, tired

Home.

Tired.

But before I tuck myself in with a book and pass out, a summary of our car ride:

We left at 7:45 a.m., a mere 15 minutes later than anticipated. Go us.

At approximately 8:25 a.m., M realized that she left her book at my brother's house. And by "her book", I mean the copy of The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan that belongs to the LIBRARY.

At approximately 8:26 a.m., she texted my brother to 'splain the problem. When he got out of his class this morning, he went home and stuck it in the mail. All will (eventually) be right with the world, although I believe late fees may apply.

At approximately 9:40 a.m., we stopped at an International House of Pancakes in Florence, S.C. Nobody there seemed to speak anything other than English. I do not believe that serving crepes filled with Nutella is enough to qualify for "international" status. I'm just putting that out there. The hostess said something remarkably close to "Y'all come back now, ya here?" as we left.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., having left the IHOP armed with a to-go cup full of sweet tea, I finished filling the car with gasoline and we returned to the highway.

We did not stop in North Carolina. At all. We were thankful not to be stuck in traffic around mile marker 75 or so, where the tornado crossed the interstate last Saturday, resulting in us being stuck in a 20-mile traffic jam when we went down on Sunday.

We did not stop, in fact, until we were north of Richmond. Thankfully, I took the bypass around Richmond, so that our time in traffic was not as horrifying as it might have been had we been on I-95 proper. There was a Major Accident at mile marker 86, which is only a couple miles after the bypass merges back into 95. One lane was closed down. We crawled along for a bit, realizing we were all pretty hungry, it being somewhere between 2 & 3 p.m. at the time. We cleared the accident only to find ourselves in Road Construction traffic and got off to enjoy a meal at an Applebees, where M & S were vastly entertained by a 50-something couple who left together holding hands, only to go to separate cars and move some baskets from one to another, then get into one together and totally make out for a good 10 minutes. They couldn't decide whether to be impressed or repulsed. It made the wait for the food fly right by.

We got back on the highway by 3:20. This meant, however, that we'd be hitting northern Virginia and the Beltway at rush hour.

And it came to pass that we did not have to slow down to under 65 until we reached the on-ramp to the Beltway around Washington, D.C., whereupon we came to an almost-screeching halt. It stayed ugly until just before the bridge to Maryland. As in, we spent about an hour in that stretch. And then it was fine until the merge off the Beltway to I-95 North, where things were slow until we got past Laurel, Maryland.

We stopped for gas in Baltimore (always an interesting prospect), then came the rest of the way home, arriving at about 8:20 tonight. That's a total door-to-door time of 12 hours, 35 minutes. Factoring in our stopped time at about an hour and 35 minutes, we end up with travel time of 11 hours, traffic jams included. Mapquest tells me it should take me 11 hours and 28 minutes without traffic. Um, clearly Mapquest's projection is erroneous. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Between Baltimore and the bridge over the Susquehanna River, we saw a beat-to-crap car that amused the girls and I no end. It's axles were bent, so the tires were at improbable angles. It is possible that the frame was bent as well, since it appeared to be going down the road at an angle at all times. And it had been spray-painted. On the passenger side, it said "Australian Made" and on the driver's side, it said "Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi". The rear bumper had three surnames, the trunk read "Sexus not Lexus" and there was an Australian flag painted on the hood of the car, which contained three gorgeous, semi-naked young men in it. (I have to take the girls' word on the gorgeous part, since I was driving and therefore not free to ogle them. although a quick glance revealed shirtless men.) It's amazing how quickly the miles speed by when you have something interesting to watch and/or speculate about.

Kiva - loans that change lives
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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
bogwitch64
Apr. 21st, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
I love the being there part, but I hate the getting there. :(
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
S was wishing she had the superpower of tremendous speed (coupled with strength), so she could run us there in an hour or so.
bogwitch64
Apr. 21st, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
I'm still waiting it out for Scotty to beam me up.
dampscribbler
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
Sounds like an adventurous trip! Welcome home!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
LOVE that icon!

And thanks - it is good to be back!
(Anonymous)
Apr. 21st, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
tanita says:
Would we ever value being home, if we'd never been away?
I don't think so.
What a full trip - dresses, schools, future relatives, geriatric makeout artists, half naked Aussie's, and all. The half-naked, of course, were just the frosting and sugar sprinkles. Sounds wonderful.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says:
The frosting and sugar sprinkles made the girls inordinately happy.

It is good to be home!
christinenorris
Apr. 21st, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
I hate the Beltway. Would rather spork my eyes out than drive it. Or crawl along it, rather, because it never moves faster than that.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
We flew around that bad boy on the way south. But rush hour sucks the big one.
slatts
Apr. 21st, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
From Granny Clampett to the Chippendale Demo Derby—quite some trip, I'd say!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
It was that!
tessagratton
Apr. 21st, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
Ha ha ha. Ahhhh roadtrips.

Glad this one was entertaining despite slow-downs, and everyone arrived intact. :D
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Love your new icon.

And yes, arriving intact was much appreciated. Only today I am tiiiiiired. *whines*
midnightblooms
Apr. 21st, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Any IHOP in the South (really any restaurant that serves "diner cuisine" in the South) is technically a different country from the rest of the US. Totally counts as "international". The Nutella just makes it fancy. ;)

Glad to hear ya'll had a good trip and got home safe!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
It was a short trip, but a most productive one. And it's good to be home!
tracyworld
Apr. 21st, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
Did you notice me in the back seat? Your descriptions made me feel as if I was right there with you. For the record, the Aussies were gorgeous.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
I wish you'd spoken up while you were there.

The one that I saw momentarily (topless driver) was indeed smokin' hot and completely ripped.
tracyworld
Apr. 21st, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Didn't you hear me saying I had to pee?
robinellen
Apr. 21st, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, that drive sounds exhausting! (I love the Aussie car, though :D)
kellyrfineman
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
heatherbird
Apr. 21st, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
Just wait till S comes home from school with a Southern accent... because I can almost guarantee that it will happen :)
kellyrfineman
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Quite possibly. Although our tour guide was born in Charleston & raised in Columbia, SC, and had almost no detectable Southern accent.

Still, S (like her mother) picks up accents quite easily, so she'll certainly be able to turn it on and off as she likes.
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Mayhap you're right.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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