There is nothing more glorious as getting the hell out of Chicago and going to Florida. The way the sun feels on your skin when you first get out of the car. They way the sand feels between your toes on the beach. The way you can sleep with the windows open and hear the ocean. There is nothing like it.
We’ve been doing this for about 5 years now and we’ve really nailed the art of the road trip. The way there, we drive straight through the night. We leave at 4:00 pm, stop for a quick bite around 8:00, and then the kids fall asleep and Beau and I talk all night about how amazing our lives are and how blessed we are. While holding hands.
When we get there in the morning the sun is just coming up. We all jump out of the car and embrace one another and tell each other how much we love each other as tears well up in our eyes. It’s the greatest feeling ever.
We get a hotel room and sleep til noon and then the vacay really begins. We wake up and go to the insane house we have rented for the week with all of our friends. This year we really did it up. I had all of my groceries and booze delivered to the house. It was like Christmas. But warmer.
Our entire week went like this. Basking in the sun, with a cold drink in hand, as the children frolicked in the ocean. Day after glorious day.
When I woke up on Tuesday, my anxiety level was already high. We only had four more days of this. I drank my anxiety away until I woke up on Wednesday. Oh my God, only three more days. And so on. It’s inevitable. The end is near.
Before we know it, it’s Saturday morning and we’re throwing all of our crap in the car. Half of it isn’t even ours. Everyone is so depressed. The kids, who just one week ago I loved so much my heart actually almost burst, are already working my nerves. And we’re still in the driveway.
We’re all hungry. So I suggest to dear Beau that we stop before we get on the road and eat so that we can just get on the road and go. Beau looks at me, his eyes are devil red. He’s got that damn possessed look in his eyes. I hardly recognize him.
Beau turns into a maniac when we’re driving home. We gotta make good time. We gotta go. I want to beat my personal record.
A personal record that I personally don’t care about.
Two hours later he lets us stop at McDonald’s. Thankfully it’s 2018 and I can get breakfast all day. It’s the first rest stop we see. Along with every other American leaving Florida that morning. The bathrooms were less than desirable. But probably still cleaner than mine at home.
So we carried on. Traffic was horrible. Waze was taking us through all of these terribly scenic towns. The kids were literally not quiet for two seconds in a row. And if one of them asked me to charge a device one more damn time.
At about five hours in, the texts start rolling in. Traffic sucks. Who wants to stop in Nashville for the night and extend vacay? In my head all I’m hearing is “one more night, one more night!” I’m all in.
I start looking up hotels and checking out the nightlife. Texting back and forth with everyone. Things were looking up. Until I casually mention to Beau that we’re all going to stay in Nashville for one more night.
Turns out no. No, we were not stopping in Nashville for one more night with all of our friends. We were not even going to stop for dinner that night. At all.
Because we were making “good time”. This is when I start to question whether or not Beau actually understands what making “good time” means. I know Beau knows how to have a good time. But when we’re sitting in standstill traffic in Alabama and it’s been five hours, that’s not making “good time” or having a good time.
So we wave to everyone as they exit. A few hours later the pics start. Oh look what fun we’re having in Nashville. Wish you were here. This place is great.
You want to know what else is great? This Loves Travel Stop right outside Indy that Beau is buying me beef jerky in right now. But I’m not in the mood for sending a pic.
Oh and you know what else is great? This freaking rain storm that we’re driving through in the dark of night. Beau uses this as an opportunity to go even faster when everyone is slowing down in an attempt to have us all dead by Easter morning. And to “make gooder time”.
You know what else they should have at the Loves Travel Stops? Divorce lawyers. They could make a fortune. I would have gotten a divorce in a heartbeat.
But when we finally make it home, all was well. Except the freaking weather. It was 30 degrees. And still is. I can’t live like this.
I went to leave for work Monday morning and my car door was frozen shut. And it had snowed. I was wearing Ugg boots and dressed like a ninja. All back from head to toe. Because I was in mourning.
The ride to work was amazing. Turns out someone was peeing in the backseat on the trip. It was like driving a litter box on wheels. But I forgave the culprit since he was the one we accidentally left at the rest stop, briefly, somewhere in Tennessee. Clearly he was traumatized. It happens.
Beau had to catch a flight for work on Monday morning. When he called, he said the pilot made “good time”. I hung up.
But now our tans are fading along with all hope of it ever being warm in Chicago. I just got a winter weather advisory on my phone. Snow tonight. I hope Beau makes “good time” on his commute home.