Laura, an old college friend, asked me to help her drive her girls down her sister-in-law’s wedding in Atlanta, Georgia. Laura would pay for may expenses and I would be paid for my time. I know these girls well through babysitting and have become quite fond of them. I had never been to Atlanta so I thought of this road trip could be a fun summer adventure. So why not? I agreed to do it. We left on the 17th of July and intended to start our way back on the 24th after the post wedding brunch.
The trip down was relatively easy and the girls did a great job. Laura and I rewarded ourselves at the end of each driving day with wine she brought for us. (That woman is nothing if not prepared!) We got to Laura’s in-law’s house in good stead on Tuesday and were rewarded with wine and a delicious dinner.
The next day we went boating and swimming on Lake Lucerne; it was a great day despite the 3-year-old getting motion sickness on the boat and puking into the wind at the boat’s bow. (Poor pumpkin–the little one kept apologizing for having been sick.) Luckily, the food hadn’t been in her system that long so there was little smell…
Friday, day at the spa with the bridal party then rehearsal dinner that night.
Saturday I woke up not feeling so well and trudged over to a CVS for some cold medicine. By the afternoon I had a full-blown fever and was completely congested. There was no way I was going to make the wedding. I hoped that by sleeping most of Saturday I would feel better Sunday and be ready for the drive home. Sunday came, still sick-had to stay in the hotel one more night. Monday, still sick-had to stay in the hotel one more night. Tuesday-same story, different day. When Wednesday rolled around Laura and I agreed that it was time to go. Beyond time to go, really. Off we went for the three-day journey back to Massachusetts, everyone tired, a little cranky and more than ready to be home.
This was my trip by the numbers:
1 van with 1 other adult and 3 girls aged 6, 4 and 3 years
6 days on the road
2228 miles roundtrip
38 hours in the car, half of it driving.
1 dvd player with 2 screens
20 children’s dvds
2 songs from kids’ dvds that were stuck in my head for two weeks
12 days in various hotels
2 mini-bottles of wine after each leg of the drive down.
1 of the worst/saddest room-service experiences I’ve experienced. After the food was ordered,”How many people are there, all together?” they asked. “Five, and please don’t forget the straws” Laura said. So the food arrived late, cold, with 2 plates, 3 forks, 4 knives, 2 spoons, not enough milk for the girls and 0 straws, of course. “We’re really busy tonight.” So being busy makes counting difficult? Interesting.
3 visits to Chick-fil-A
1 plan to go to Savannah, ditched
1 beautiful day on Lake Lucerne
1 good manicure/pedicure
2 visits to CVS
4 boxes of over-the-counter meds for sinus/allergy/mucus
2 bottles of NyQuil
3 boxes of tissues
1 missed wedding
1 missed brunch
2 days with high fever
6 days with low fever
20 minutes to figure out how the ice machine at the hotel worked. Helpful Hint: Push the lever. To be fair to myself, I had been taking A LOT of cold medicine at that point and I just wanted a glass of water with ice in it. Even after I figured it out I had forgotten to bring the ice bucket and didn’t even have a glass to put the ice in. Again, I had been taking A LOT of cold medicine.
1 case of bacterial bronchitis with 10 days of hacking cough
1 case of pink-eye–crust included
1 business man who flirted with me at the breakfast buffet after I had two hours of sleep and just developed pink-eye. Really, buddy? Is the crusty, weeping eye that is doing it for you?
1 shout out to Homewood Suites in Harrisburg, PA! About an hour away from the hotel, during the drive home, I asked Laura (the other adult) to call ahead to the hotel to see if they had a humidifier that I could use in my room to quell my dry cough so I could sleep. I would have called but I was driving, exhausted and realized that my fever had returned. (The previous night had been miserable; I could not sleep due to the cough. At 1:00AM I called the front desk of the hotel to see if they had a humidifier–I was not hopeful. The front desk person muffled a snort after I croaked out my request,”Um, no. We don’t”) If the Homewood Suites in Harrisburg did not have a humidifier, I would have dropped Laura and the girls off there to check-in then driven to a pharmacy to buy one. Laura called, they did not have a humidifier at the hotel–so they purchased one for me. When I brought my bags to my room the humidifier was already filled with water and waiting on my hotel room table next to two bottles of Poland Spring water, a box of Milano cookies and a note saying that they hoped this would help me feel better. I almost wept I was so thankful and relieved. (I am forever grateful–Thank you Homewood Suites)
1 two-hour stint spend driving a total of FIVE miles. Butterflies were literally flying by us on the highway.
2 exhausted, giddy adults who pulled into Arlington, MA at 8:30 PM Friday night, a few days and hours after we were scheduled to arrive.
0 arguments/fights between the 2 adults. (People were placing bets on which day of the trip we’d kill each other…)
3 exhausted, giddy little girls who had a tough last day on the road but made it just the same.
1 twenty-two year old car that started on the first try after having been stored in a garage for two weeks.
1 doctors appointment scheduled for Saturday.
2 prescriptions for bronchitis.
1 librarian deliriously happy to be home.
Image from www.billburmaster.com