January 2, 2011: A Nap and a Trip

We slept in some this morning and then went to the Omega Grill for lunch.  We tried to get up there before the church crowd let out and filled the place up but we were running late and we were well into the church crowds by the time that we got there.

After lunch we came home and visited for a while.  Around four in the evening, after doing some work on a computer for dad for several hours, I went down and attempted to take a nap in the basement.  While I worked on the computer and napped, Dominica did what she could to get the car loaded up.  We aren’t sure exactly when we are hitting the road but we want to be as ready to go as possible.  At the latest we are going to leave first thing in the morning.  For just one night at dad’s we need very little stuff.  The Acadia is already packed pretty full.  We are continuing to be very thankful for that huge vehicle.

I got up from my nap around seven having not actually slept at all but having gotten a chance to calm down and relax a bit which was almost as good as a nap.  It was at least two hours that I spent in the basement wearing my CPAP and listening to a book on my iPod.

When I came upstairs I decided that I was rested enough, even if I hadn’t fallen asleep, that we should just hit the road tonight.  I will be a restless sleeper if we try to go to bed and getting some road beneath our tires now would be highly beneficial over not sleeping well and then trying to do the trip tomorrow.  This was we have a lot more buffer time in case we end up too exhausted to keep going.

The other consideration was the snow.  Today is supposed to be a lot better than tomorrow and the snow has already started so waiting until morning might be a very bad decision.  We want to beat the bad weather and get to central Ohio before the Great Lakes start to get buried.

It took about an hour to get the final stuff into the car, everyone ready to go and Liesl and Oreo all strapped in.  We said goodbye to dad and got ourselves onto the road.

The snow was coming down as we put the final items into the Acadia and the snow continued to come down as we drove up to Batavia and onto Interstate 90 heading west to Buffalo.  We were really hoping that we would only see the lightest of snow but this is actually a decent amount – enough to make driving very fatiguing.  Not fun.  At least the roads were not yet slippery, at least not noticeably.

We made good time, even with the snow.  The snow continued throughout every inch of the New York portion of the drive, which is several hours long from Peoria to the border at Erie going through downtown Buffalo.  The snow stayed with us through the short Pennsylvania portion of the drive as well.  Once into Ohio it mostly stopped but we still saw flakes on and off again until we turned south in Cleveland to head down to Columbus.

We made our first stop for fuel and restrooms just west of Akron around Medina.  I commented to Dominica how bizarre it is that I can remember so vividly my childhood when a drive from Peoria, New York to East Canton, Ohio was a burdensome trip requiring much planning, a full day to be scheduled and set aside for its purpose, toys and diversions to be purchased for me and an hour-long stop at Millcreek Mall in Erie, Pennsylvania taken during which time we would eat and shop to give us a break from the car and today that same trip is something that I do, without any forethought, without a single bit of prep or break and stop only after it would be over in order to jump out of the car, refuel, grab a bottled water and hit the road again all within a matter of minutes to do another leg of equal or greater length immediately thereafter.

What used to be a long, arduous trip is now nothing more than a minor warmup, a prelude to a real trip.  It is hard to believe that I was that child who was so bad at riding in the car so many years ago.  I often wonder what precipitated such a change in my personality.

We made good time through the first leg of the trip.  Lots of progress.  We listened to our satellite radio for the first eight hours or so.  Our first long listed was to the “80s on 8” station which was doing a Top 40 countdown for this same week in 1980.  While the music was almost entirely awful (so bad that even the Rolling Stones managed to appear on the charts for this week!) it was, at least, incredibly interesting to hear what the pop stations were playing exactly thirty years ago.  Much of it was quite surprising and between Dominica and I, both children of and fans of 1980s pop music, we were lucky to know much more than fifty percent of it.

Midnight rolled around while we were driving through northeastern Ohio.  There is a lot of road left in front of us but getting the jump on the trip already seems very much like the right decision.  Liesl was kept up so that she would not nap today and she immediately fell asleep in the car and did very well.  She hardly notices the drive at all.

At midnight I was feeling very good and did not feel like I was going to get sleepy for a very long time.  That “fake nap” seems to have done the trick well.  We are hoping to arrive in Carrollton in the very late afternoon.

New York and Pennsylvania down.  Ohio less than halfway through.  Most of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and North Texas left to go.  Dominica has never been in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri or Oklahoma so this is her chance to get to see some of them for the first time.

Leave a comment