Kentucky Vacation, Day 1: The Journey

May 27, 2008

We left home at 6:30 AM on May 21 to begin the journey to Bowling Green, KY. Google Maps said that it would take 12.5 hours, which seemed perfectly doable. I figured we would be there with at least an hour or two to catch up with Noodle and her family before going to bed.

Unfortunately, a series of mishaps extended our trip by several hours. The night before we left my cell phone wouldn’t charge and then it died altogether. So we had to stop at a Verizon store to get a new one. That was bad. The swapped my phone for an identical model and didn’t even charge us. That was good. They didn’t recover my contact list, however, and that was bad. We probably lost an hour there altogether, between waiting for the new phone and Dan getting a tech support call from his office.

Somehow, I got turned around and started heading toward home instead of toward Kentucky. Had it happened anyplace else, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to figure out what was happening. But it happened in the Washington DC suburbs where I used to live, and I realized that the surroundings were becoming more familiar instead of less familiar. I got myself heading the right way again, but I figure we probably lost another half hour or so. My 12.5 hour trip is now up to 14 hours.

Just before we headed into West Virginia, we came to a spot where the middle of a mountain had been cut out for the highway. Traffic came to a complete stop and my “Low Fuel Level” indicator was beeping at me. I cut off the engine and waited. While we sat there, we saw a Medevac helicopter, ambulance, police and tow truck. When traffic finally got moving again, we saw a little bit of the wreckage. It was a motorcycle accident, which made me smack Dan’s leg and say, “That’s why I don’t like you riding one of those things!” Then I added a hasty, “Because I love you.” Another 45 minutes or so lost. 15 hours!

I drove through most of West Virginia and it was a hoot. The speed limit is 70 my per hour!  The roads are all twisty and curvy, which is fun when you’re driving but apparently not so much so if you’re a passenger. Dan said he felt like he was on a roller coaster. Just before we entered Kentucky, we headed into Huntington WV, home of “We Are Marshall” Marshall University.

We stopped for dinner at Hillbilly Hot Dogs and it was hysterical. The place is decorated as you would expect, given its name, with signs like “If you hit it on the run, we’ll put it on a bun.” There was an outhoose booth in the restaurant, as well as a booth made from a bathtub, and a table made from a tire. The wait staff was very friendly, and there were plenty of kitschy decorations to look at while we waited for our food. Dan was crazy brave enough to order The Home Wrecker, a 3.5 pound hot dog loaded with all sorts of toppings. If he ate it all, they said, within 12 minutes, he would get a free tee shirt.

12 minutes semeed like a generous amount of time until they brought it out. It was HUGE!

Dan ate and ate but alas, did not finish his meal. Hhere’s what he looked like when they said “Time’s Up!”

And here’s all that was left:

At the checkout they had pictures of someone who had finished the Home Wrecker in a record time of 1 minute 56 seconds. He was a German Shepherd.

Back on the road, we left WV and entered Kentucky, finally arriving at our hotel in Bowling Green around 11:30 our time (10:30 local time)… 17 hours or so after we’d left home. I have never been so happy to see a bed in my life.

Oh, and let me just say that I have the best kids in the world when it comes to traveling. They were real troopers — kept themselves entertained and hardly complained about being stuck in the car all day.


One comment

  1. […] taken many road trips — our most recent being a 17 hour trip to Bowling Green, KY.  I’m pleased to say that not once have any of us wished for a DVD player in the car.  My […]

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