Just got back from Nana and Pops’… had a great time. You know you had a good time when you’re driving home thinking, "I can’t wait to get back home and rest." This was one of those times.
We drove down last Tuesday, most of the way. I probably shouldn’t be making decisions like ‘how far to drive’ and ‘where to stop’ when I’m delirious at midnight. My judgement can be questionable when completely alert and sober, but at midnight after driving for 8 hours… I should know better.
My plan was, "Drive until we see a cheap motel." What could go wrong with a plan like that?
Nothing really went wrong… I just completely forgot how long it takes to get from Tampa to Ft. Myers. I’m thinking 3 hours… it’s midnight and I’m driving through Zephyrhills (just north of Tampa). I’m keep thinking, ‘Geez, I need to get up and get there at a decent time, I need to get past Tampa… but to get past Tampa it will be late, and the ‘rested and refreshed’ I expected to be Wednesday morning was in doubt’. Oh well, Teresa and the kids are sleeping… this will really only affect me.
We restroom stop and I see my salvation… a book of hotel/motel discounts/prices all up and down the Interstate. I grab one on my way out (well, the one I grabbed on my way IN to the toilet was the Georgia edition) get in the van and start looking for a good place to stop.
Teresa’s words came out like Jane talking to Tarzan (or was that the other way around)… "You drive… me look." I actually think she said something more coherent, like, "Don’t you think I should look at that while you drive?" But I heard what I heard.
She found one… I asked her to call to make sure there were rooms… and I heard / felt what she experiences so often when she tells me to call somewhere that I don’t really want to call. She called, asked about the coupon, asked if rooms were available. Yes, and yes. I immediately thought of 5 more questions I "would have asked." I say "would have asked" in quotes because I wasn’t the one on the phone. I think this is a common communication issue between spouses (this is a contrived example, so makes no sense, but generally it doesn’t make sense anyway)…
Husband, "I called the store for you, they said they have it in stock" as he crosses his arms and expects his wife to immediately disrobe and drag him to the bedroom or something equally as fantastic.
Wife, "At that store? Is it on sale? Is it on clearance? Do they have it in red, too?"
Blank stupid husband look. "Duh.."
Anyway, I knew the questions weren’t that important. She told me it was a Days Inn.. I got off at the right exit and drove to the Days Inn I saw while I was exiting. But it was the wrong Days Inn. We went past a Budget Motel or some such, so on the way out we stopped there (her suggestion) to see what the prices were and if they had a room… it was maybe $5 difference and we were already there… sold.
Next morning we got up fairly early, and finished the drive arriving at Nana and Pops around 10am (I still mispredicted our arrival when I call and woke up Pops at 7:30am when we left the motel saying we’ll hit their house around 11am).
It was so good seeing everyone. Caleb made the grandest entrance with his sunglasses and a pimp strut. Jared’s the same cuddly teddy bear, albeit a bit bigger, and Max is a young man. The boys found a lot in common with their cousins as Tyler spent the first afternoon hovering around Max and Max’s laptop, and Cameron was showing Caleb ClubPenguin. And they all got involved in the Super Smash Brothers on the Wii. My dad got a notice from his ISP saying they noticed his Internet traffic spiking and for him to make sure his access point is secure.
I had to work, but the kids went to the pool that afternoon, and had a good time. Thursday everyone (but me, I worked) went to the beach, but there were no waves and everyone had fun even if they didn’t want to go in the water when Tyler wanted to go into the water. Not a hint of sunburn. Friday they went to the hotel pool where Rick and Debbie were staying… I had my demo for work that went fairly well despite some technological hiccups.
We had planned on hitting the beach Saturday so I could go, but the boys weren’t really into that idea… after a little research we decided on the Sun Splash Water Park. Daddy’s not as good as Mommy at reminding the boys to apply sunblock periodically so despite the awesome time, everyone came home in pain just a little bit. I had stayed with them the whole day, but they still got the worst of the sun. Proactive first aid with aloe and a quick run to the store for Solarcaine and we actually escaped it with a minimum of torture!
I was a slightly different story… between all the activity of the minigolf, pool Friday night and water park Saturday I was feeling a bit sore all over, and a bit exhausted. But we did get the van loaded and on our way before our 10am target. Once on the road I asked Teresa for a couple aspirin, and she handed me a couple pills from her first-aid kit. I had taken two ibuprofen at Nana and Pops’ that were orange, so the color/shape didn’t bother me. I started feeling tired again so I stopped and got an energy drink, drove, and drank that down. About lunch-time I could feel it fading, and felt what I thought was hunger, and getting tired again. I tried a few Tampa exits looking for an easy access McDonald’s but they were all miles away … Teresa was talking to me, and I was responding but it all really came out like "blahblahblahblahblah" Finally I gave up, knew Teresa had to go to the bathroom so when I saw a rest area I pulled in and parked. Teresa got out. I leaned my chair back .. if I could just close my eyes for a second……
I jumped a mile when Teresa opened my door. I had completely fallen asleep… over to the passenger seat I went… and passed out for hours. The working hypothesis is that those were actually Teresa’s emergency muscle relaxants for her back, not aspirin/ibuprofen/Tylenol. They wore off around dinner, though, and I was able to drive the last bit home, pick up the dogs, and get us safe and sound once again at home.
Took a day for Teresa to find the boiled eggs that had been left in the lunch-bag she keeps prepared (it doesn’t usually have eggs in it). The smell should be gone soon.