"looks like we made it"

we made it home... in a record 15 hours. 

 the longest record time ever. 

my mother, i swear will be a traffic cop in heaven. she will spend her days rerouting chariots to avoid construction, discovering shortcuts between the pearly gates and banishing all 5:00 traffic straight to hell. but i do appreciate her! she called at 7am to inform us that the daytona 500 was today. the traffic will be brutal. oh and the fourth of july traffic. oh and the road construction everywhere! joy~joy! obviously a million people love watching cars go in circles, because it was brutally long.

a few highlights from our mini-vacation in the car; 

we always drive two cars on long trips. always ~ marriage rule number 4. my husband stresses over pulling a trailer, drives under the speed limit, and just like my sister, he loves a public restroom. they need a reality show highlighting every gas station restroom along the east coast. it could be called jeff and crystal's raunchy restroom roadshow. you too can initial every sanitary restroom clipboard.   

so two cars keeps our marital universe in balance ;) 

  • my goal was to leave by 6am, you know traffic and all ;)  at 5:50 i was morphing into a mad woman. threatening to leave everyone and meet them in camden. (plus i needed coffee and wanted to see the sunrise over the ocean) we left at 6:04.

  • jeff 'bumped' a curb with the trailer tire while stopping (one mile after leaving the house) to ask me if i packed his work computer. i told him five times before we left i had his work computer. but i can be forgetful, so i can't much blame him. 

  • a hour after 'bumping' the curb, just as we get into miami and all of it's traffic glory, the boat tire shreds. tire pieces were flying everywhere.  my husband pulls over on the 3 foot shoulder and i said a prayer. i made all of my riders say a prayer, this could be a daddy meltdown! 
jeff hops out, i swear with a smile on his face, thrilled to use the 300lbs of emergency tools (the ones i said he didn't need) to good use.  ten minutes later, in daytona 500 fashion, my two man pit crew was done and we were back on track, racing down i-95 at 50mph! only 12 more hours of laps!

  • this was typical traffic for 15 hours.
  • at a rest area i mentioned a trailer brake light had just gone out. when i returned (5 minutes later) the light was fixed! he had extra bulbs. jeff packed extra tiny light bulbs! i am so thankful for that man. even if that is major ocd, he takes care of his family.

  • all i could think about was being sleepy. man was i ever sleepy. i think it was my leather sun-fried skin that is drained of life. my hair, my skin, it all needs a hot oil treatment. all mary claire could think about was her cats and church camp. all bennett could think about was getting home in time to visit his friend. anna katherine was hyper-focused on back to school fashion. jeff was stoked about using a fraction of the 300lbs of emergency tools. (if we just could have used the road flare! there's always next year.

  • we stopped half way through florida and rearranged the riders. mary claire (my rider) was in the backseat swearing she was dying of boredom. "there's real people dying so stop saying you're dying! now!" the dog (jeff's rider) was jumping all over everything.  i traded mary claire for the dog. (charlie is just enough scared of me) an hour later mary claire is with jeff, sound asleep. the dog is with me and car sick ~ throwing up in his bed. not a fair trade.

  • anna katherine and i listened to 4 hours of murder mysteries on xm. jeff's car listened to laugh usa. again, two cars = happy family.

  • we did the math. the car pulling the boat (30gallon tank) took a total of eight tanks ~ round trip! cha-ching! 

  • i must brag for a minute on my trailer driving skills.  last year at pack up time, i choose to drive the boat to the ramp. that's when i drove onto high ground and bradley cooper swam out and rescued me. right about here. 

  • this year i chose jeff decided i would drive the trailer instead. a whopping one mile. let me say, i drove it like i owned it... until i turned in and blocked a couple few cars... in the rain.  but no worry, i had the situation under control. ten minutes, my new off road tires and a skilled 26 point turn.  i was parked like a pro when jeff drove up ;)

 the best part of unpacking this year... is not having to unpack. 7am monday morning, mary claire is off to camp and the big kids and me are off to world changers. bring on the gas pump and caffeine!

praise God we made it home safely. and just like childbirth, all the painful travel memories will soon fade and we will be counting our days until next year! because man i love that place!
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