North Carolina to South Dakota and Back 2012
(Day #1 - Saturday, June 30)
We are on vacation. Marshall, Mattie (our beagle), Dakota (our golden retriever), and me. After an hour in the 103-degree airport parking lot Friday after work trying to decide which car was going to suit our needs the best for 52+ hours in the car together (all I wanted was a port that would let me plug my iPod into and air conditioning, but Marshall had more specifications), we were the proud renters of a 2012 Toyota Corolla for the next 16 days.
We loaded the car Friday night, and though the dogs were fairly certain that we were going to leave right afterwards and fairly worried that we might go without them, we got up at 4:45 a.m. Saturday and were out of the house by 6:00. Considering the goal was to be on the road by 6:00, the day was off to an on-schedule start.
I took the first leg of driving, which consisted of Marshall attempting to get the iPod to work, which I bought for this trip and while I did get it all loaded up with 16 MB of songs, I never actually tested it out or checked the settings. While I tried to drive and talk him through fixing it, we finally gave up after an hour and a half, pulled into the rest stop and switched drivers. After another hour of me in the passenger seat Googling why in the heck my brand new iPod wasn't working through the car speakers, I'm not quite sure what finally made it work but we got it. I just hope it keeps whatever settings we ended up with so it keeps working.
For the next several hours, Marshall drove us through the rest of North Carolina, up I-77 North through Virginia and West Virginia, while quite possibly everyone else who lives in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia was driving on I-77 with us.
At the West Virginia/Ohio border, we pulled into a rest stop so I could drive the rest of the way to Marshall's parents' house. Turns out that some bad storms from Friday night had knocked out the power to almost 1 million Ohio residents, and the rest area had a row of port-a-johns there for the day. While having some flashbacks to concert- and festival-going days of the past, I hesitated at the sight of them, but I survived and we got back on the road.
We arrived safely at Ray and Nancy's house at 5:30 p.m. to a steak dinner, fresh sweet corn on the cob and an evening of visiting with family and friends. Sure beats being in the car for 11 hours!