This is the twelfth and final installment of our travelogue, starring Artificially Sweetened (AS), Cupcake, and me, the Nittany Turkey.
We would have to get to my house before 5 PM on this, the final Tuesday of our journey, so we had to get up pretty doggone early in Rocky Mount. Coupled with the late night and the usual issues with trying to get to sleep when I know I have to do something early, I did not feel very refreshed when awakened by my cell phone’s alarm. Alas, there was no choice but to hit the road.
Checking out of the hotel, we clumsily threw “all our crap” into the weary Sienna for the homeward bound leg. Allowing an hour or so for lunch and assorted pit stops, I calculated that we should easily arrive home on schedule. We sleepily assumed our positions for takeoff.
Our routing was unfortunate, but necessary. We would be on Interstate 95 all the way to Daytona. I-95 is a boring, non-scenic highway, just what a sleepy driver doesn’t need.
After driving for roughly an hour, I began to feel as if I were too sleepy to drive. I pulled off at the next exit, parked in a sleazy motel parking lot, and told the girls to hang on while I took a walk in some fresh air. I did two laps around the motel and returned.
I figured that they would question me as to just what in the hell I was doing briskly walking around the Motel 6 a couple of times, but I think they were too tired to bother with the interrogation. That concerned me, because it meant that my co-pilot, AS, who I had kept in reserve for the entire trip to date, might also be too sleepy to drive. I felt better, so I thought I would wait a while before assessing the need for and viability of a driver swap.
Back on the road, I was thinking back to all the fun times we had enjoyed on this trip. There were so many of them: the whirlwind tour of the mountains of North Carolina; the three-city western and central Pennsylvania blitz; the fun times with the Tams; AS and I obsessively singing “Runaround Sue”; the Amish; the sarcasm from Cupcake; the fact that we all had bladders; and, last but not least, the famous Skynard’s of St. George, South Carolina. I smiled as I drifted through the happy reveries.
My mind turned to my 89 year-old mom, who had fallen while we were away. She lives in South Florida, and she had broken a couple of bones. I talked to her while we were at Tam Manor, and she insisted that she was all right. I had seen pictures of her that my brother had taken when she was in the emergency room, and she didn’t look good at all. I resolved to go to see her when I got back to Florida. I would wait until the weekend, so I could take AS along. Then, I realized that I was daydreaming while paying scant attention to driving. It was time to switch drivers. [Read more…]