So, after several road delays, James and I succeeded in getting moved in, (and finally have the internet), and now I can post up this journal I've been sitting on, and tell the tale of our protracted road trip.
So, bright and squirrel-y on a chilly Tuesday morning, Adam, James and I set out,in search of adventure, and the great unknown! Maybe not so bright and squirrel-y....in fact, it might have been around 11....or 12.....(I do believe I married in to a very lovable family who are incapable of leaving for ANYWHERE on time, although there was a delay involving a frozen water pipe, and a stupid trailer hitch, but that is just BORING). But we set off with the hope and expectation of arriving in NC in 2 days, so we would have plenty of time to unpack before Adam's train back home left at 1:00am on Saturday morning.
When we finally got out on the road, as we were driving across country, I had the amusing idea of jotting down the things we saw the most of in each state...here goes!
As we left Kansas (huzzah! Goodbye grass! And More grass!) and passed in to Missouri, I eagerly looked around to see what would be different.....and I saw....a casino....a porn barn.....and antique mall.....a few more porn barns....more casinos.....extra antique malls....apparently, that makes up 90% of the business in MI. Puts a whole new spin on the "Show me" state...
Now, by a pure, lucky, one-in-a-million chance, it just happened that my wonderful grandparents happened to leave on a road trip in the same direction we were going about 2 hours before we did...(my grandma swears up and down this was a coincidence, but I have my suspicions) and they call us to warn us that there was really bad snow and ice up ahead, and we should stop in St. Louis for the night.
SO after arriving in St.Louis at about 6:00 or so, we were all pretty hungry. Right across the street from the hotel, there were 2 restaurants...one was a Red Lobster, the other was an Italian place called Augustino 's. We had a short debate about wither to go with the know quantity, or experiment...in the end, adventure won out, and we went Italian!
It was an absolutely LOVELY place (we felt under-dressed, but the whole staff was really nice), and as we were chatting up the waiter while we waited for our pasta, we found out that it was local and family owned (His grandparents had moved over to this country back in the 1940's, started a business, and had been in St. Louis ever since). After he brought out our food, we talked a little more, and we mentioned how good it was. With great pride, he told us that, as a special treat, his grandmother had decided to come in that evening, and had cooked our dinner. WOW. Let me tell you, you have NEVER had Italian pasta, until you have had it cooked by an 87-year old Italian Lady. What an experience!
Incidentally, would you believe there is NO good way to get a picture of the St. Louis Arch from the road? Too many overpasses....
We got up at about 6:30, and were on the road by 7:00....we were driving for about 2 hours, and had just crossed the border into Kentucky, when things started to go downhill. Traffic slowed to a stop. and it took us about 2 hours to get to a town called Paduka, where the highway was blocked off. It was COMPLETELY snow-logged. As we asked around, it turns out that (supposedly) about 100 cars went off the road the previous night, and they had called in the National Guard to help get people out. Supposedly. I have my doubts, since my grandparents apparently passed a group of them having a snowball fight. Doesn't seem that serious. And we saw no marks in the snow where cars had gone off the road either. Whatever they were really doing, it threw a monkey wrench in things.
After a 3 HOUR LAYOVER, they started letting people back on to the highway. Great! We were on it in no time. Unfortunately, traffic was moving slow. Really slow. As in, moving forward about a car length every 10-15 minutes. So we saw trees. Frozen swamp with poo colored water. Over and over again. All averaging about 4 miles an hour. It was like a statewide funeral procession. And all the while I was stressing, worrying about getting to NC in time for Adams train.
8 1/2 HOURS LATER....
It was 11:30 at night, and we finally made it to a hotel, about 50 miles from where we started. Worst. Time. Ever. Seriously. Its like enforced tourism. And you know what? 15 1/2 hours in the state, driving 5 miles an hour, and we didn't even see one KFC. NOT ONE. Ridiculous, right? We rested for the night, and took off at 7:00 in the morning.
AT LAST, we reached Tennessee....honestly, I don't remember much of that, because I slept thru most of the state. I do remember hills though (we were starting to get to the mountains), and rocks, and some of the coolest frozen rockcicles (ya know, when the ice is water-falling down the side of rock, and freezes? Looks awesome!). We made pretty good time though, crossed into North Carolina at about 2 in the afternoon.
We had a bit of a winding trip thru the mountains (it was absolutely stunning), and arrived at out new apartment in Charlotte at about 5:30 (my Dad was waiting there for us), and started unloading the truck. Dad, bless his heart, ordered us a couple pizzas, which was fortunate, since we really hadn't eaten anything since we left in the morning. We got everything unloaded, and he took Adam to the train station...we spent the weekend on unpacking (still working on that in fact), I started my new job within 4 days, and have been working hard for the two weeks since then....At&T finally installed the internet yesterday, so here I am telling you guys all about how things went!