Friday, February 26th

First, a few of my thoughts on driving. (BACK THEN. Before we actually did it, and before it sucked worse than I could have ever imagined). I had sort of tackled this idea of driving instead of flying from two angles as I prepared myself. If I dreaded it immensely, then my expectations would be SO bad that it should (key word: should) be a pleasant surprise. At the same time, if I could cling to a few positive outcomes from driving perhaps it would just make it a worthwhile decision.
Theoretically, despite the actual car drive making me a sick and bored Jennifer, it could be a much more relaxed journey. We don’t have to rush out the door immediately after an early alarm. In fact, we can leave early if we so choose! We can stash “luggage” (or whatever we want) virtually anywhere in the car with no regards to weight limits or checked bag fees. AND, I can watch the temperature in the car rise from 30 degrees to 75 degress as we drive. It’s the little things. (And, again, that was before we began. We would, in fact, NEVER see 75 degrees while on vacation).

When I found myself awake at 4:30am for the third day in a row, I just decided to get up in hopes to nap later (ha!). And then I found the opposite side of “we don’t have to rush”. We have to wait. While Kyle works, while we go about our normal business. While we had counted down to vacation starting on Friday, that was sort of a lie. Friday was pretty much just Friday.
When Kyle came home, he caught up on a few work things (since I wasn’t sleeping and therefore he didn’t need to handle the girls), and finally got started loading up the roof bag. Ah, yes, the roof bag. Roofbag.com is THE only place that sells a cartop carrier for a vehicle without roof racks. It was surprisingly cheap and ended up being spectacular, but I have to admit we thought it was pretty ghetto and – for at least the first third of the drive – envisioned ourselves with giant suitcases flying off our roof and destroying someone’s car (and the beginning of our hard-earned vacation).
We were on the road at 4:30 and headed over to Mason to drop Thea off at my parents’ and nab some free Chick-Fil-A for dinner. We were officially on the road and Florida-bound at 5:45pm. The girls did really well “coloring” and playing for quite a while, and slept surprisingly well, too! They would wake up at each stop but only briefly, and ended up sleeping probably 8 hours (on and off), even in carseats. We were pleased with that and they remained very content!
Our drive down, as you read, was fairly uneventful. We stopped only a few times (just when we needed gas) including once at a Circle K that had no Gazzu (what?!). I drove to Valdosta and Kyle took over at about 3am for a few hours. As much as I hate driving, I hate riding worse, so we switched back at the next gas stop. Anyway, as you also may have read, we made excellent time (15 hours, 40 minutes) – until the Windermere disaster – and still ended up at the Contemporary Resort in plenty of time for lunch, just as planned.