of travel & the treasure of friendship…

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone for their encouragement and prayers, as I made the long trip home. The Lord answered those prayers, as I had no problems, aside from some road construction in the mountains. Wouldn’t you think that if they warn you for over a hundred miles that you need to get in the left lane, people would have time to do it? Sure, those of us that were GOOD were in the left lane at the right time, and all the miscreants were in the right lane, zipping by. Guess whose fault it is that traffic was crawling? I’ll let you figure it out.

I already knew this, but just this week, I’ve become aware of what wonderful friends I have. Even the ones, here on this blog, that I have never met! Everyone’s kindness and encouragement was like receiving a huge comforting hug, just when it was needed. And for that, I thank you.

There was beautiful weather for my entire trip, so I was able, once more, to appreciate the beauty of this great country of ours. The windmills of Indiana were less alarming, this time, but the seemingly endless farmlands were glorious to look at. Into Kentucky, I saw great stretches of wooden fences for the horse farms, and thought how much the horses must like having so much room to run around in. The mountains, as I approached Asheville, North Carolina were a wonder, with the sun beginning to set, and magnificent colors reflecting off the hills. Of course, that part of the trip was tainted by waiting too long for a bathroom stop, and then having to hold it for miles and miles, and two tunnels. A rest stop has never looked so beautiful, as the one on the other side of the mountains.

But before I could see the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee, or the mountains of North Carolina, I had to stop for one night in Indiana. Oh, I had high hopes of making the trip in one day, having left at 4am, and having a lot of adrenaline in my system. Surely I could save myself some money, and not stop? But around 4pm, I felt the energy just drain away, and I wanted to rest. No, I wasn’t sleepy, but I was just plain TIRED.

So, I pulled off at a likely exit, in Lafayette, Indiana, and picked a place called the Baymont Inn & Suites. They had a nice room for me, and a decent price, though I did make sure they didn’t accidentally give me one with two beds. I felt like I was depriving someone, last time.

As before, I still haven’t gotten over the childish delight that accompanies staying in a hotel room. Once you’ve gotten past the “ouchie” that comes with paying for it, you can enjoy it to your heart’s delight. The nice, clean bathroom, the made-up bed, and all the accoutrements that go with it. Since my last hotel didn’t have a fridge, I felt like I’d received a bonus that this one did, plus a microwave. Unfortunately, I had nothing to put into the fridge except for a water bottle. Oh well.

I was debating this new style of bedding that didn’t put a comforter on it, but left it in a bag, in case you wanted one… and then finally discovered that the comforter was white, and looked like sheets. How crisp and clean looking! The bathroom was quite stylish, with the sink in the dresser/armoire looking piece of furniture, though I think it was a little too close to the toilet for comfort’s sake. Who wants the feeling that they’re sitting UNDER the sink, when you’re using the facilities?

The folded up washcloths and facial tissue were shades of our towel creations on the cruise, I thought. Ok, not quite as fancy, but it made me think they were really trying. And when you’re staying somewhere away from home, don’t we all want to think they’re making a might effort, just for us?

I sampled the television channels for a few minutes, turning it on to find Luke getting electrocuted by the Emperor, and then perusing until I found that both Dog Whisperer and Hoodwinked were on. But that still wasn’t enough to keep it on, because my computer is where the fun is.

After a shower and dinner at Bob Evans (don’t get the omelets there), I was cheerfully making a pot of coffee with my little coffee maker, and thinking how cute my little baby coffee cups with their travel lids were. Until I was chatting on the computer, and found that the lids don’t fit properly, and I shrieked loud and long when I spilled hot coffee all down my front.

The quaint little breakfast nook, on the main floor, with the street lamp, was nice to sit down in, and eat something before leaving in the morning. Though I will say, it is a little difficult to avoid carbs when you’re eating a “continental breakfast”, where millions of bread products are available. So, I had those little egg patties with sausage gravy, so that I wouldn’t have to stop for breakfast. But if I had been staying in that hotel for longer, I really would have enjoyed their nice sitting areas, where if you’re traveling with your family, you can curl up with a book and avoid whoever you want to avoid.  : )

I knew I was finally in the south, when I found a Zaxby’s, outside of Louisville, and stopped to enjoy one of their Zalads, with grilled chicken and ranch sauce. It was wonderful, though I knew their salads were good, from previous diets. If I could own a fast food franchise restaurant, I would want to own a Zaxby’s. Not only do they have great food, but they have the best wall decorations. Usually, there are plenty of local items for local sports teams or historical sites of interest. But I’ve always wanted one of their clocks, and the “Obey This Sign” sign is what I’ve always wanted for my house.

Well, I have probably rambled enough for one night. My trip took a little longer than expected, but then again, I was stopping to eat in for all my meals (even those that were at Zaxby’s or Subway), when I was eating my own food, in my car, on the way north. It makes a difference in the trip’s timing.

Clear weather, good roads, and the prayers of friends carried me through, and arrived home when my parents weren’t looking. But I’m here to stay, for some time, and will be looking for work nearby. Thank goodness the University and everyone will be hiring shortly, just in time for the Clemson students to arrive back in town. Good night!

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