A quick weekend road trip to visit my parents. Just the Punkster and me. Work a half day on Friday, hit the road at naptime, seemed like the perfect plan. It was a relatively uneventful drive up, aside from the CD player eating one of the audiobook discs I borrowed from the library.
The return trip was a little more, umm, exciting. We set off on our journey shortly before naptime. And 20 minutes into our journey, something just wasn't right. A slight pull to the right and a whomp whomp noise. The nice guys at O'Reilly's Auto Parts had a free promotional tire gauge so I didn't have to spend a dime to confirm the tire needed some attention. Crossed the street to the gas station, after a call to Dad's Coin Delivery Service. Yep, my dad (henceforth known as Pop) met me at the gas station with change to feed the air machine, then sent me down the road with some spare just-in-case quarters.
"In 0.7 miles, turn left onto..." Hmm, that's weird, wonder why the GPS wants me to turn here, if I go this way.. But I turn. And what do you know, I very soon regretted following the GPS lady's instructions. I found myself on a little country road in (pardon my language) BFE (if you don't know what that means, let's just say the middle of nowhere). So here I was, 10 month old finally asleep in the backseat, driving in silence, because let's face it, I wasn't about to lose another CD to the CD player since it had so kindly decided it spit out the one it ate. And I was opting not to turn on the radio so I could listen for the "whomp whomp" sound of the tire going flat again. I had no idea where I was, no gas stations in sight. All I could think was, "Great, I have no idea what to tell AAA when they ask where I am. Not that I'll have cell service anyway! Why didn't I trust myself and my sense of direction?!" Thankfully the tire held out and I returned to civilization and a familiar highway. I made a silent deal with the sleeping Punky. When she wakes up, I'll stop at the first gas station I see, feed her, let her out of the carseat for a little bit, check the tires, and then we'll finish up the drive.
Then the rain started. Goodbye cruise control, hello achy knees. I remember my first road trip after we bought the civic, the huz told me not to use cruise control in the rain- he knew this was my first car fancy enough to have cruise control! (Funny how when I upgraded from my first car to my second my wishlist included: a cup holder and a radio with programmable buttons. Now, thinking about trading in my third car for something else I'll be crushed if it doesn't have heated seats! I tell you, I don't know how I survived so many Ohio winters without the seat warming my tushy...) . Since it was raining, I turned on my headlights. But it was still squinty enough out, I needed my sunglasses. That presented another problem. See my lovely polarized Maui Jim's are the most amazing (and expensive) sunglasses I've ever owned, however, the polarization makes it difficult to read the digital displays in the civic when they are in "headlights on" mode. When the headlights are off, no problem with the display. Weird. So I kept flipping my sunglasses on and off, looking over the top of them to check my speed. And how many times did I say to myself, "I wonder what the speed limit is on this road...." I'll tell you, it was a lot. Never seemed to be posted.
I started arguing with the GPS lady again. She didn't like that I turned off the highway before she told me to do so. And then I ignored her when she told me to make a U-turn, three times. When her fourth "recalculating" popped up with yet another request for a U-turn, I just switched her off. I would trust myself from here on out. It was odd though, driving in silence. I'm so used to the radio or to the GPS lady shouting out when to turn. But I really did NOT like the way she was trying to take me. Would have added an extra 15 minutes to my drive! And my tushy was starting to hurt from being in the seat so long. I don't remember that from prior road trips. Maybe I just have less cush on my tush?
About 15 miles from home the Punkster wakes up. I break my deal- we're so close to home, I hate to stop now. So we press on. We take our exit off the highway and sit at a red light. No traffic whatsoever. Punky restless and starting to fuss in the backseat. I think "I'm sorry officer, for turning left on red. I know it's wrong, but my daughter here, well, she's been in the car for 4 hours and she really needs to eat and we're just 5 minutes from home..."
Roughly 330 miles this weekend and what did I learn? Always keep quarters in your car in case you need air for a tire. And figure out what happened to the Ohio map that used to be in there in case the GPS doesn't work- or tries to take you on a route you really don't want to take.
But to end on a more positive note: Aside from the craziness on the road, it was a great weekend. Punky and I got to spend a little time with her Great Grandma, in addition to Gramma and Granpop. AND we got to have lunch with Ray-Ray (not Auntie Rae Rae, my childhood friend Ray-Ray), her daughter and her momma. It's been way too long since we've been able to connect in person! Can't wait to do it again after the twins are here!!