Sunday, May 1, 2011

85 and Sunny to 49 and Rainy in 24 Hours

3am til 1am = Drive time from Home to Florida with 3 breaks to eat and 3 other stops for overpriced gas and under-cleaned restrooms. EXCEPT for the rest stop right inside West Virginia - #1 rest stop I have ever been to with a view of the Blue RidgeMountains to die for.
(I just might open a chain of BATHROOMS for travelers only….)
Normally Cracker Barrel provides a good place to eat, walk around and utilize a cleaner restroom than most. Unfortunately our first try was marred by a very car sick girl from a tour bus who seemed to be competing in the puking Olympics. We tried a Chik-fil-A in North Carolina along with the rest of the state and three surrounding states. I have never seen so much traffic in one small area in my life. Not sure what was going on there but we had poor timing and more than one of us was crossing our legs for an hour of the dead stop traffic.

The dollar game was a success, the alphabet game beat one child who refused to go past the letter V, ( why don't farmers put random letters out in their fields - like Q and Z)and when we stopped at the Savannah National forest to see alligators in piles, I thought I might leave without an intact husband who insisted on getting out of the car to point out the obvious.

On the very last mile of our trip while both the hubby and I held our eyelids open we saw a small (person?) dart across the road dressed all in black with some kind cape or with wings. We still haven’t figured that one out. Yes we were tired and we might have been listening to Coast to Coast on the radio for lack of anything else, but still – it was definitely some kind of caped THING.

The weather was amazing, the company just as good, we left with sunburns, a newly learned card game (Wizard), sunburns and a bag of sea shells like any good lily white northerner would.

We saw Dolphins, visited Boca Grande, and Venice, went out to “the gulf” (I mistakenly was calling it the ocean) saw sea turtles, crab traps, pelicans, storks and funny little birds.

Lessons learned: A family of five sharing a bathroom goes through a roll of toilet paper a day (three girls – go figure). “I ready” in South Carolina is the equivalent of saying “How may I help you?” We weren’t the only tourists; apparently the Love Bug National Convention was taking place the same week we were in town. They don’t bite but they are annoying.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY – Check your car insurance coverage and make sure it includes a rental car plan, and if you have AllState Insurance you are NOT in good hands.

On the same day we arrived at 2am- a mere 5 hours later, the hubby was diligently going to wash and vacuum the car when a car pulled out in front of him causing $3100 in damages. Despite not being cited, it clearly not being our fault, we were left with NO car for the ENTIRE vacation. We picked up the car hours before we had to head home and it was five times daily phone calls that even got us that close. We drove home with a wheel in the trunk and a missing mud flap that they forgot to put on because of the hurry. The only reason the dealership had to hurry is because AllState refused to accept responsibility, return phone calls or help us in any way. Needless to say, the vacation was marred by this but trust me, in the grand scheme of things (tornado’s, & deadly weather) I’m not complaining. Just be prepared and ASK your insurance company how they would handle your claim if you were in an accident while on vacation that was not your fault. Would they do everything they could to help you?

Although coming back from vacation to dust, angry kitty’s, lots of junk mail, mounds of laundry, sand in your suitcase, and an empty fridge can be a pain, I am glad to be home safe with wonderful memories. – Even if it’s remembering your hubby and father ranting about politics, and insurance companies. Even if remembering the waitress who hit on your son, then realizing he was too young moved on to your hubby. Even if your Mom beat you at every single hand of cards with that cute innocent smile on her face. Even if you spent every night sleeping on an air mattress between your two girls who wiggle so much it felt like a water bed and you got sea sick.

We even watched the Royal Wedding in our finery

Vacation is over.  Back to reality, see you soon Blog world, - I even missed you.

Thank you Dad!

Thank you Mom!!


Oilfield Trash said...

That really sucks about the car wreck. At least the rest of your vacation was good though.

Kate said...

Oh, no! That story makes my flat tire sound like nothing! Sooo glad you guys were all ok! The trip sounds wonderful. Isn't it amazing the difference nice bathroom facilities can make?

Kelley Simpson said...

Yay! You made it, at least in one piece. I'm nervous now because we have Allstate. They have been good so far and I think you should complain to the higher ups...

I laughed out loud at your comments, and felt tired just listening. I'm very interested in the black caped figure...

Have a great week of getting settled back in.

Doria said...

Awe lovely vacation *jealous* Sad to hear about the "car trouble" Welcome back can't wait to hear more from you :)

The Schweitzers said...

Sorry to hear about the car! Wow. But was lovely how it seemed so incidental in the whole scheme of things in your blog writing. Nice to see you focus on the wonderful things. PS - Great pictures!!

Cheeseboy said...

Looks like a great trip and just the perfect thing to get you out of the cold.

Last week, here in Utah, it went from 73 degrees and sunny one day to 42 and snowy the next. I wish I was joking.

Diplo_Daddy said...

Cracker Barrel is an amazing place. Whenever our family travels, we only stop at Cracker Barrel. We'll travel an extra 20-30 miles just to eat at one.

Sorry about your car.

Julie said...

That picture of your dad looks so much like my dad it's scary! = )