July 4, 2015: Holiday in Waverly

This morning we all hung out in the hotel, the Hampton Inn in Sayre, Pennsylvania, until around lunch time as we were not sure when we were supposed to head over to the farm for the day.  I think that everyone appreciated getting the extra rest, too.

We hung out on the farm for several hours.  At three I went out to get the car fueled up, bought some drinks and snacks for it, got everything packed up and stopped by the hotel to wash up and relax a little before going back to the farm.  Once back, I got Liesl loaded up and just after five we were on the road.  We are driving together down to Texas tonight while everyone else that is going down to Texas is spending another night in Waverly and Sayre, going back to Frankfort in the morning and then leaving the morning after that to drive down to Texas.  So Liesl and I are doing six hours less total driving than the rest of the family.  But we are doing it with just one driver and no cruise control.  And we have to get down there by Monday morning, which is going to be a challenge but this is the window with which we have to work.

The drive went well.  We started by going down PA 220 to the Interstate 99 corridor which took us all of the way down to the Maryland border area where it switched back to PA 220 again.  It was a bit of a slow drive but very pretty and no traffic.  Liesl was playing with her iPad for the first hour or so.  I noticed in Troy, Pennsylvania that she was asleep in the back seat and was asleep for an hour.

I know that Liesl woke up around the time that we crossed into Maryland.  I remarked to her that we were in Maryland and she said that she thought that it was a very pretty place.  And it was, very pretty in that area for sure.

We turned west and drove into Cumberland, Maryland as it was getting dark.  It was about time for food and a bathroom break and when I saw a Taco Bell I decided that this was a good place to stop as they would have clean, manageable bathrooms as well as good food options before we head into the empty spaces in eastern West Virginia which could make stopping for anything rather difficult for a while.  It was probably a little after eight when we stopped at Taco Bell.

The stop at Taco Bell was perfect.  The bathrooms were clean and private, which was perfect. This is Liesl and my first time dealing with us traveling without Dominica to deal with the bathroom situation and that makes things a little complex.  This made it simple.  That alone made us very happy that we stopped.

Getting food was perfect too.  I got my regular dollar menu items and Liesl got a bowl of rice.  She loves rice.  In fact, she loves it so much that she made me go back and get her a second bowl of rice.  And she loved that so much that she decided to have me get her a third bowl of rice!  She ate all three and was very happy.  She has decided that she loves Taco Bell and can’t wait to eat at the one near Uncle Joe’s house in Houston.

Unfortunately, because Liesl ate so many bowls of rice, when we went outside to get back into the car we discovered that the streets and the parking lot were packed with people who had all been watching the Cumberland fireworks display that had ended no more than thirty seconds before we went outside!  Talk about bad timing.  Liesl did not get to see fireworks because we had to leave Waverly early and now she missed these too.  And on top of that, we were now caught in so much traffic that we lost at least twenty minutes trying to get out of Cumberland is what was now extremely busy traffic.

At least Liesl got to see about a half dozen rockets go up as we drove east towards West Virginia.  It must have been some of the suburbs of Cumberland still doing their own fireworks shows or something that we just caught the tail end of.  It was not very much but Liesl has seen so few fireworks shows that hopefully she does not know what she was missing.  She really enjoyed the few that she managed to see.

It was a very, very long drive after Cumberland.  Liesl was asleep pretty soon after that and I was able to listen to my books via Audible.  I had started reading “The Imperial Cruise” that was about Theodore Roosevelt but the atrocities that he oversaw were so grusesome that even in book form I could not read it around Liesl so had to choose something else to read.  I found Simon Winchester’s book “The Men Who United the States” and started reading that.  Winchester’s books are always excellent.  It kept me away but it was a really long night and really exhausting.

We had originally been hoping to make it to Richmond, Kentucky by two in the morning.  That did not happen at all.  First because we needed to leave at four and actually left just after five.  Also because we had a nearly hour long stop at Taco Bell.  Plus we were just not making great time, it seemed.  The traffic around Cumberland adding to that.

So instead of two in the morning, at which point I was tired but not horrible, it was five in the morning when we finally arrived at the Hampton Inn in Richmond, Kentucky.  I was in really rough shape.

We checked into the hotel and it was straight to bed.  Tomorrow is going to be really rough as even if I slept until noon it would not be a full night’s sleep!  We are supposed to be meeting Gene for breakfast so I dropped him a note to let him know that it would not be an early breakfast and off to sleep I went.

I have the Hilton Honors app on my iPhone now and I am loving it.  It really helps with me being able to look up hotel information like address, getting a map, contact information, making a booking or whatever.