Monday night was fretful and short. A noise woke me and i wasn't able to get back to sleep, and i was afraid i was disturbing Grace, who needed her rest, too. So i lugged my stuff, most of which i had prepacked the night before, onto the stair landing outside of our bedroom door, and closed it so she wouldn't have to hear me get it all down the stairs, a bit at a time.
Once downstairs, i worked on packing everything but the items i would carry with me in my pockets or tucked under my seat in the car, and the bit of travel food that would go in the cooler at the last minute. Then i lay down on the couch in the living room to try to catch what rest i could, as Eagle worked on her computer and Westie went through her purse and packed some things, until it was time for me to get up.
Ninja and i wanted to be out of the house very early, by as close to 4am as possible. It was a few minutes after 4 when we started hauling our luggage up the stairs, and we crammed it all in and got going by 4:45. Not too bad, really, i thought as i sipped the coffee i had saved in the fridge.
For those who wonder, no, we didn't forget Cince. She had been offered a ride by FiveCat, who also has to drive through Cincinnati to get to her home in Kentucky, and who not only offered but wasn't going to make her get up at the crack of 3 ack emma, as i've heard the early morning called.
As we drove through the early morning, it was foggy and drizzly for the first time, and i actually got chilled a bit, which i hadn't been for most of the trip. The gray of the skies and the fog matched my mood, as i didn't want the time with my friends to end. The good-byes had been said, though, and there is stuff to get back to. It's just that i wish we could live closer to each other, or that transporters were real.
Then again, times like this wouldn't be so special if they happened all of the time, would they?
Ninja and i fell back into our travel pattern of stopping when we needed to, switching off buying gas, switching off driving, and cleaning the perpetually bug encrusted windshield at every opportunity. Funny how you can so quickly get into such a groove when you are with a compatible friend, even if you only see her once a year.
We stopped for more coffee, and i had gotten so little sleep the night before that i even broke down at one rest area and bought the nasty coffee from a vending machine. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
A restaurant i had never been to called Panera provided us with what could either be termed a late breakfast or an early lunch, between ten and eleven am. Oh, yes, that's why they call it brunch, isn't it. They have salad, and hummus, and avocado, and that will do for me.
After that we stopped only for gas, restrooms, and sanity. It's a mess trying to make tracks when it seems that so much of the interstate system is under construction all of the time. Then again, road repair season is quickly coming to a close up north, they are doing the best they can. It must be that you are either driving on snow/ice/slush, or you are dodging orange barrels continually, in the parts of the country that have a real winter.
The only place where we didn't totally miss rush hour that day was Louisville, Kentucky. Because we were going south, though, and not toward the suburbs of the city but toward the countryside, we got through it faster than i would have believed possible for a "real" city (i live in a cow town grown to big for its britches).
Ninja has one of those smart phones that i resist, on the grounds that with teens in the house, i don't need anything else in the house disturbing my sanity that is smarter than i am. It was handy, though, for directions, music (her whole playlist is on it), and finding us a nice restaurant for dinner in Bowling Green. Yes, you can get sushi (vegetable sushi for me) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and good sushi, too.
Around dinnertime i called the hotel where i had made a reservation for the night and told them we might be as late as midnight getting there, to please hold our room, we would need the sleep by then and we would be there. The nice gentleman reassured me that guests check in at 3am (ugh, don't remind me of 3am!), and that it was no problem.
Yes, i realize, unseasoned traveler though i am, that if you reserve with a credit card and don't cancel before 6pm, they guarantee to keep your room and charge you even if you don't show up. And yes, i realize that the chances of some very weary traveler with no reservation showing up at that hotel and begging for any room and ours being the only one available and they give it to that desperate person are indeed extremely minimal in Decatur, Alabama. Yet, as i told Ninja, i also know the Good Lord has a sense of humor, and i have seen some strange things happen.
One thing that stands out for me was driving after dark through Nashville. It was so much fun to me! Yes, i actually enjoyed it, crazy lady that i am, even though we didn't have time to stop. From the interstate, at night, it looks like a fun place to come back and visit. When there's no traffic, zipping along the interstate there was a hoot.
Speaking of coming back, there has been rumbling talk of next year's S-fest gathering. We don't yet know where, but we are dreaming. Many want us to gather in a more westerly location next year, and i hope we do, yet i'm keeping Nashville in mind.
By the time we neared Decatur, Alabama, Ninja and i were both running on fumes, as was the car. We stopped and put gas in, and followed Siri's directions, and got within a stone's throw of the place, but she was off by a few blocks. When i called the hotel, the nice clerk not only knew who i was, he directed me in, saying "You're running around the barn, you'll get to the entrance soon!" The next morning i found that Siri could have sent us a better way, more direct if just a bit longer, that would have been easier to navigate. Then again, we might have been out of gas if we had done that, it all works out for the best.
The hotel, when we finally found it, was just what i wanted. Clean, comfortable, not so fancy that they charge you extra to breath the air, and they have coffee available 24 hours a day. Helping myself to decaf on the way up, we got to our room and settled in. We both would have collapsed, but she had to do an online birthday greeting, and i had to do a couple of things, too. Even so, we didn't stay up until the wee sma's (as i've also heard the early morning hours calls), and i know i slept soundly.
Bonn Pchum Ben -- Cambodia (Ancestors' Days, through the 5th)
Buttering-Up Semi-Finals -- Fairy Calendar
Cowboy Hall of Fame Ceremony and Banquet and Rex Allen Days -- Willcox, AZ, US (the kickoff for Rex Allen Days, includes the Cowboy Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and celebrates Willcox's own silver screen cowboy; through Sunday)
Dalton Defenders Days -- Coffeyville, KS, US (honoring those who defended Coffeyville's banks against the Dalton Gang in 1892; through Sunday)
Festival of Bacchus/Dionysus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (tasting the old and new wine and celebrating the harvest)
Ig Noble Prize Ceremony -- Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US
Independence Day -- Iraq
Kae Chun Jul -- Korea (National Foundation Day, BC 2333)
Morazan Day -- Honduras (Soldier's Day, trad.; will be observed on Monday)
National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day -- internet generated; celebrate these beauties today, no matter where you are
National Carmel Custard Day
National Student Day -- US (a day for college students to celebrate and promote social responsibility by volunteering)
Oschophoria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (in honor of the return of Theseus after killing the Minotaur; deities celebrated were Dionysius and either Athena or Ariadne, depending on the source cited; date approximate)
Relief of Leiden Day -- Netherlands
Reunification Day -- Germany
Sts. Ewald the Black and Ewald the Fair's Day (Patrons of Westphalia)
Techies' Day -- give your techies some well deserved appreciation
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1954
Lindsey Buckingham, 1949
Roy Horn, 1944
Chubby Checker, 1941
Erik Bruhn, 1928
Gore Vidal, 1925
James Herriot (James Alfred Wight), 1916
L.A. Law, 1986
Scarecrow and Mrs. King, 1983
The Dick Van Dyke Show, 1961
The Andy Griffith Show, 1960
The Pat Boone Show, 1957
The Real McCoys, 1957
Captain Kangaroo, 1955
Mickey Mouse Club, 1955
Our Miss Brooks, 1952
Ozzie and Harriet, 1952
Today in History:
The state of Gojoseon (modern-day Korea) is founded by Dangun Wanggeom during the reign of the Chinese emperor Yao, BC2333
The siege and battle of Alesia is ended by the surrender of Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, to Julius Caesar, BC52
Julius Caesar's assassins suffer a decisive defeat at the First Battle of Phillipi, BC42
Jews are expelled from Eger, Bohemia, 1430
The Duke of Montrose issues a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor, 1712
British Captain James Cook anchors in Alaska, 1778
General Napoleon Bonaparte first rises to national prominence being named to defend the French National Convention against armed counter-revolutionary rioters, 1795
George Washington proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day will be held on Nov. 26, 1789
American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it is the last time he is seen in public before his death, 1849
J.S. Thurman patents a motor-driven vacuum cleaner, 1899
The first conference on wireless telegraphy agrees to adopt SOS as the warning signal and sign of distress, 1906
Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna, Austria, found the Pravda newspaper, 1908
Mrs. W.H. Felton, of Georgia, becomes the first woman seated in the US Senate, 1922
A V-2 /A4-rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany is the first man-made object to reach space, 1942
The United Kingdom successfully tests a nuclear weapon, 1952
Germany is reunified, 1990
Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is attacked by one of the show's tigers, 2003
Gratitude Monday --Wondering Editon
20 minutes ago