Monday, April 4, 2016

The Drive Home

We made the long drive home over the past two days.

We had some rain in Florida, but otherwise the weather was nice and sunny the whole way back.

In Georgia, we stopped to get some local foods. We found a big store that had pecans, peach preserves, and vidalia onion dressing and got some of each. Kai spotted colorful bon bons and wanted to try them.

During much of the first day, Kai was happy watching movies in the car and going on Mom's iPhone. But as we kept running into bad traffic - I'm looking at you, Tennessee! - he started to get more and more agitated. We had reservations for the night in Nashville and the estimated time of arrival per our GPS kept getting pushed back. If we got there too late, we would not be able to use the swimming pool.

Between Chattanooga and Nashville, traffic stopped to a crawl. When we weren't stopped completely, I don't think we traveled faster than 5 mph. The lighted status signs indicated that the tie-up could extend for nearly 20 miles.

We decided to exit the road and go get some dinner. We would make productive use of the time and maybe the accident (or whatever was causing the big backup) could be cleared while we ate.

We found a Chinese buffet. It was about what you'd expect of a Chinese buffet in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee, but we all enjoyed it.

Once back in the car, though, we found that the traffic was still crawling.

Kai was extremely upset.

And of course, it was all my fault.

I tried to stay calm, which wasn't easy as I was almost as frustrated by the traffic as Kai was, and I was the one who had to drive through it while he could watch his movies.

I told Kai that we had such a nice vacation and that we shouldn't let one thing like not getting to use this last swimming pool affect us so much.

But once he gets this upset, there is no reasoning with him. He was mad and we would all have to suffer through it.

In my mind, I was calculating how much longer we could be in this mess - 5 mph for 20 miles could mean 4 hours in this nightmare. But about a half hour after we had gotten back on the road, we came to a construction zone. Three lanes merged down into one. Was this what caused the delay? Late on a Saturday night, there was no construction going on, and it didn't even look like the lanes needed to be closed.

But once we cleared that area, traffic started to move again.

We reached our hotel at 9:30PM. Perhaps we could still get in a swim.

The hotel was huge and we had trouble finding a parking spot. Then it was a long walk in to the front desk. We found out that the pool closed at 10:00PM.

We rushed up to our room, changed into our swimsuits, and went as quickly as we could to the pool. We had 3 minutes left before it closed. We jumped in, swam a lap or two, and that was it. But Kai was happy. I was relieved that we had made it in time. Now we could rest in peace.

"Hey Dad, the pool opens at 6:00 AM. We should come back in the morning so we can have more time to swim."

I really did not want to do that. If we were going to get up early, I wanted it so we could get on the road sooner, not to go to the pool again.

But it was our last day of vacation. And Kai would be really happy to go to the pool again.

So the next morning we got up before 6:00 and went to the pool for one last swim. Funny, no one else was there on an early Sunday morning.

It was actually refreshing to start the day that way, and the hot tub felt good.

It set us up for another day in the car.

The second day wasn't as bad as the first. The highway was congested near Indianapolis and through Chicago, but nothing like we saw in Tennessee.

We made it home around 5PM, exhausted but happy to be back home.

It was a good vacation. Certainly it wasn't always easy, but we did a lot of fun things and Kai really enjoyed it for the most part. Let's put this one in the win column.


  1. Welcome home! Glad you had a fun trip and the bumps were few and far between! Bet it's colder at home than in Florida! haha...

    1. Thanks, Betsy. This morning it is more than 60 degrees colder than what we experienced on our last day in Orlando! Brrr!


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