The things that I did not miss about my husband being gone for five weeks this summer?
Well let’s see… Top of the list is snoring. As I sit in our hotel room tonight writing this accompanied by that very sound, I’m reminded of how nice it has been to have a quiet night’s sleep these last several weeks. Ron told me that he roomed with a co-worked a couple of nights ago and the poor guy only got about 2 hours of sleep – and those were out in his truck, no less. Nope, definitely didn’t miss the snoring.
It actually is a short list – we did miss Daddy greatly. All day, the girls were excited – knowing that at the end of the second long day on the road there was Daddy waiting for them. They had a little impromptu ‘party’ (accompanied by loud cheers) in the van as we crossed the border from Virginia into North Carolina tonight. And ran right into Ron’s arms when we arrived here at the hotel he’s called home.
Day two began early since breakfast at last night’s hotel ended at 9:30 am, plus I wanted the girls to have time in the pool before we left. We’d gotten there too late to swim the night before and they were needing the exercise and fun before facing more time in the van. The hotel had an awesome pool, plus from 9-10am, there was nobody else in it, so the girls had it to themselves.
Afterward, we packed up, checked out, filled up the gas tank and hit the road. We’d stayed only a mile inside Ohio, so the first thing we did was to cross the Ohio River into West Virginia. The river was quite impressive and the girls loved seeing that we were suddenly in the mountains – it had been dark when we got really into them the day before. West Virginia is absolutely gorgeous to drive through, but a bit nerve-wracking in parts, especially as it rained all afternoon.
I’d promised Becca that we’d stop at McDonald’s for lunch so we made good on that. I’d never seen a Mickey D’s with an outdoor play place before – Becca thought it was so very cool, and I let her run around and play for some time (she even made a friend). We weren’t in any hurry today – we had about 4-1/2 total hours of driving time so there was ample room to take our time since we’d pushed it and driven late the night before.
Our McDonald’s stop was in Ripley, WV (believe it, or not!). From there we continued on, narrowly missing some storms that were about to roll through. All we got was rain. We stopped later on in the afternoon, this time at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, something I’d seen advertised all day. It’s a wonderful spot where you can see and buy different art and crafts from the local area. The girls and I each got a glass marble necklace (Abbi got earrings instead) as a souvenir of our first major road trip. And we bought a bag of cherry-flavored rock candy to munch on for the ride.
Our only other stop was a quick one at the Virginia Welcome Center – we made very good time and arrived in Hickory, NC at just about 7pm. Yes, we were in four different states today – something that totally amazed the girls! We waited for dinner so that we could eat together as a family for the first time in weeks. And we did a quintessential southern spot for dinner – Waffle House. Yes, we had waffles for dinner. Well, three of us did. Ron had an omelet and Becca had grilled cheese. Trust her to march to her own beat but that’s something I love about her.
After two single nights in different hotels, it’ll be nice tomorrow to get to Wilmington, NC where we’ll stay for almost a week. We’ll be at an extended stay hotel so will have a kitchenette and a good amount of space. The girls are doing a good job of hauling their suitcases to and from the van but it’ll be good to settle in somewhere for a bit.
More driving tomorrow – but then we’ll be at the ocean and the vacation truly begins. At least for the girls and me – Ron will still be working most of the time. Hopefully he’ll be able to join us for some things, but the girls and I are pretty used to being on our own now, so we’ll be ok.
That is, if I can get enough respite from the snoring to get some actual sleep.