Monday, June 14, 2010
Welcome to Florida...why are you crying?
Our road trip continued for a second day. The girls were both surprised when they woke up, having forgotten (or not realizing) we were in the "Super Duper 8". They ran around while Grandma and I packed up and readied ourselves for a another long haul.
Driving the second day was a bit harder. I was bored, since Grandma napped a lot more and I didn't have anyone to talk to, and the kids were still occupied with the TV. It was uneventful for the most part...hey kids look Georgia. Yes kids, we're still in Georgia. All I wanted was to get our free orange juice at the first rest stop in Florida.
We made it to the state line at 4:50 EST. HOORAY!!! Well, I was happy. Nora and Emily were not feeling the same way. The boredom hit them hard at that point. They wanted to run and jump. They did not want to use the bathroom in an orderly fashion, and Emily threw a big tantrum as I tried to snap a picture. Actually, its my favorite picture from the whole trip because it sums up a lot of the emotions I was feeling nicely! Poor Grandma had never witnessed an Emily meltdown before, as they're few and far in-between. Welcome to Florida!
The excitement of reaching Florida faded quickly for Grandma Esther and I about an hour over the border. We saw a line of storms ahead, but not understanding the nature of a Florida storm in the summer, I drove along. And then we hit a wall of rain. The only words I can use to describe it is "car wash". I have never ever in my life seen or attempted to drive through rain like that. It was worse than any snow storm. It got to the point where I couldn't see the lines on the road, I couldn't see the car in front of me, and couldn't see the car behind me either. It was like being in a thick cloud of fog but the rain was pounding the windshield. It was loud and scary and I ended up pulling off to the side of the road. Grandma protested, thinking it was safer to stay in traffic, but my nerves were shot and I didn't want to risk plowing into the guy in front of us. We waited until I could see the lines on the road again, and proceeded to the next rest stop. I called Ryan, got a weather report, and decided to try to keep going. (It's really a small storm on the radar, he said. Small? Ok...)
Dinner was a disaster. The kids did not want to cooperate, and I looked and felt like a wreck. I decided that we were not driving for a third day. I filled up the van somewhere south of Gainesville and filled up my cup with the 5 hour energy shot, a product I swore I would never try because I believe in something called sleep. Nonetheless I chugged the syrupy, Tang-flavored beverage and hit the road. Everyone else slept, and it was just me and Delilah, this cheesy love DJ that plays Richard Marx songs and gives relationship advice to those in need. It was so bad, I loved it! And we made it to the house at 11:45 pm, keeping our trip to two days as I hoped.
In all of my life, there has always been someone to greet me at that front door. Letting myself in, and turning on the lights for myself and the girls, was a bit depressing. Emily was asleep again, and I felt bad that she'd never made it down there to meet her great-grandpa. But we were safe, and I hoped maybe they'd check in at least for a minute to see their beautiful sleeping granddaughters. The three of us slept in the water bed Renee and I shared as kids. It was biter sweet.