1. Up at 6:30 to take the dog to the motel parking lot for her morning constitutional;
2. Get the kids up for the hotel breakfast;
3. Start packing up for the next leg of the trip;
4. Force the cat back into the crate. He has become VERY cranky at this prospect, because he knows what comes next- into the truck for hours;
5. Checkout, coffee, and on the road by 10 or so;
6. Lunch somewhere out there, and start looking for the dog-friendly hotel room at our next stop;
7. Check into the next hotel, install the animals in the room, and find someplace to have dinner that night.
What stinks: The resistance factor from everyone including yours truly on getting back in the car for another day of this, the cat meowing loudly every time he wakes up and realizes that he is STILL in the crate, the price of gasoline the further east we go, and roadside "attractions" like the Redmons "Candy Factory (false) and World's Largest Gift Store (true) that lengthen the trip, and four bodies using one bathroom every day.
What is great: Being on an amazing roadtrip with my family that goes to parts of the country I haven't seen before, the great attitude about the trip and what comes next that my kids are showing, and stupid roadside attractions like Redmons that I cannot stand but they take delight in.
One more stop Friday night in southwestern VA and then we get to Falls Church on Saturday. I have driven around the country a lot in my life, but never had a chance to drive down Interstate 64 before. It is easily the most scenic highway I have driven, and I have been up the 101 on the California coast. After the nightly hotel stays, I am becoming worried that our home during A-100 and beyond will be the same size as our hotel rooms.
Now that we have left Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana behind, the whole new life that is opening up in front of us is becoming more real. What will that be like, I wonder? What will the per diem cover? I bet we will look at the amenities and space available on this trip as the "spacious, peaceful time."
I have learned that with your dog, cat, and special blanket, you can be home anywhere. Starbucks and a smartphone also help.