The original plan, made by Husband who's job is 20 years secure and who has plenty of vacation time, was to load up a carful or two and make a two week vacation of it. He has always wanted to go all the way down the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each and every freakin' mile of it. It's almost 500 miles.
Now I love scenery as well as the next person. Here's a shot of the relevant area:
But after 10 minutes, I've seen it, y'know? I don't need three frickin' days of it!
But then there was the slight matter of Mary and Cor not getting time off work, Geri being recently out of the hospital, Michael needing to minimize his time off school ...
So I arranged to borrow a friend's van (she owed me big time) (she doesn't any more) for Cor to drive down on Friday, attend the wedding on Saturday, and drive back on Sunday. Getting me out of three days of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the plan became - Dale go early, I drive down with Cor, Raederle and Michael on Friday; Cor, Raederle and Michael come home on Sunday getting the van back to it's owner; Dale and I stay at 'afterparty' at other son's house (about 3 hours away) for a couple days then go over to Dale's brother's (maybe 6 to 8 hours from there) for the rest of the week. Dale immediately co-opted the van so that he would have a more comfortable place to sleep.
It was a good plan.
Right up until Raederle came down with mono. Almost exactly simultaneously with someone Cor works with quitting, so he really shouldn't take the weekend off anyway. Then I found out that Michael had been told (all year) that he wasn't going if he didn't get his grades up. And he hadn't.
At this point, Dale has already gone; I'm taking Friend back and forth to work because she doesn't have a vehicle all week; and my mother-of-the-groom dress isn't finished.
Neither is the plumbing.
So I finished the plumbing, carted people around, and finally started my dress late Wednesday night. Worked on the dress all day Thursday. Of course it wasn't simple. Took the car to be inspected Thursday night and hemmed the dress while I waited the hour-and-a-half. Failed the inspection. Tried to get some kind of extension, started on the jacket and left at 11:00 Friday morning, with the jacket pieces and my sewing machine. And no inspection sticker.
For what turned out to be a 13 hour drive. Without a cell phone. Dale felt *he* had to have it. Well, I don't know how he'd have found the place without one. I was seriously worried that he'd just skip the wedding and go on over to his brother's. They thought I should take Raederle's phone. Right. Leave her alone all day for five days in her attic apartment, sick. (Cor works 10 hours a day.)
So. Here I am out on the road. I'm too tired of course, so it's a good thing it's daylight. And it was a gorgeous day. (Reference picture above.) I thoroughly enjoyed the red and gold highlights on the trees. I enjoyed the freedom of the road. Haven't had bloody *time* to enjoy that in years!
I remembered that Son#1 had mentioned that I might try 5-Hour Energy. The first gas station had them right out there to remind me, so I bought one. I assumed at first that of course you should drink the whole bottle at once, and probably ingested 3/4 of it before I questioned that.
I felt good!
Not high, not buzzed, just energetic, and more positive than I can remember. Thirteen hours. No phone, no one bugging me or asking something, no dishes, no rides, no getting somewhere, no plumbing, no deadlines. Just me. And the more miles that ticked away, the more hours that went by, the better I felt. By the time I got there, I was downright cheerful! I stayed up until 3 am playing poker with Husband and Sons. That was undoubtedly the best day of the weekend.
The best day of many, many years.
I guess I'll continue this tomorrow. Suffice to say for the mo' that coming home wasn't so pleasant and I have now spent most of three days in bed with fever, headache and runny nose. And I think I shall return there now.