The Long Road Home


Whew.  That was a long time away from the interwebs.  There's only so much you can do with a smartphone.  While driving a 17 foot uhaul. Actually, there's nothing you can do with a smartphone while driving a uhaul. The uhaul requires both hands on the wheel, undivided attention. No smartphones. Or dumb phones, for that matter.  

My mom flew up to DC on Thursday night.  And thank goodness she did.  I never would have been able to do the drive without her.  She provided constant, very necessary, moral support.  

The movers came Friday morning, the cleaners came after that, the landlord came after that, and we were on the road at 2:15 in the afternoon heading for Philadelphia.  I drove.  Mom navigated, which was a more intense task than your average passenger navigation job.  Because my eyes had to be glued - glued - to the road, my mom was in charge of looking out for signs, alerting me to when I would need to merge, etc. Once we were on the interstate and not traversing narrow city streets, things were a bit better and my mom could ever so slightly loosen her death grip on the door handle.  And I was able to gently wiggle my fingers, which were in danger of molding into the shape of the steering wheel.  We both started to breathe again.

Driving on the interstate was a bit like riding on the pendulum of an emotional grandfather clock.  I swung from terror to rockstar status back to terror again in a matter of seconds.  Merging onto the interstate, I'd be petrified.  Cars were coming so fast.  It was hard to get my bearings about how much space I needed to merge, and then I DID IT!  I'm a rockstar!  Woo-hoo!!  Look at me!!  And then HOLY GOD, WHAT IS THAT CAR DOING?!  Does that driver not understand that I am COMPLETELY INCOMPETENT AND THEY ARE RISKING THEIR LIFE BY ZIPPING IN FRONT OF ME?!?!  But hey, I didn't hit them!  I'm a rockstar!  Hurrah!  And I just broke 57 mph.  Look at me!  AAAHHHH!  MY LANE IS ENDING!!!  I HAVE TO MERGE AT 57 MPH!!!  And so on...

The original plan had been to stop in Philly to pick up some things we were storing at Navah's parents' house and then spend the night.  But once we started seeing weather reports for the dreaded wintry mix during the night, we knew we'd be staying there on Saturday if we didn't push on.  So, we loaded up the rest of our stuff in the truck, ate a quick dinner, and got Back on the road.  Navah's dad helped us find an easier route to the interstate that would involve fewer narrow streets, and Navah's mom drove in front of us to lead us there.  By 8:20 or so, we were back on the highway, and I hung in there with the driving until 1:30 in the morning, when we got to a pet friendly apartment in Albany, NY. That's right - Jammer was with us, curled up in a ball between my mom and I for the whole trip.  Thank you, anti-motion sickness medication.
Jammer in the snow
We woke up Saturday morning to about 3 inches of snow on the ground and a gentle snowfall still coming down.  We couldn't see the interstate from our hotel, so it was difficult to know exactly what the conditions were.  Driving the truck on a clear road had taken all my faculties, so a snowy or icy road didn't sound exciting - especially for my mom, who didn't have the benefit of experiencing my own growing confidence in my ability to drive the truck  (it was actually growing).  We did some reconnaissance by asking every available hotel employee what their drive in had been like, and at noon - after giving the plows some time to do their thing and other drivers some time to warm up the roads for us - we set out.  Except for one slippery bit (when I maneuvered the truck like the rockstar I was), the roads turned out to be just fine.  In fact, the weather meant that not as many people were out driving, which was 100% fabulous for me.
Big Bertha
Since narrower roads were more stressful for me, we decided on a route that took us a bit north of Burlington to Plattsburgh, NY, where we could take a car ferry across Lake Champlain.  That turned out to be the second best decision of the trip.  (The first was deciding to push on to Albany - we definitely would've gotten stuck in Philly.)  We pulled into Plattsburgh, got some gas, grabbed some lunch, and headed to the ferry. We got our ticket, drove right on, and they were pulling away before I even had time to turn off the engine.  For the next 15 minutes, we ate lunch with the gorgeous view of Lake Champlain in the background and exclaimed over our good fortune.
Ferry 3
When we pulled off on the other side, we were in Vermont!  I might have gotten a little teary-eyed.  But no time for that - we still had about 30 minutes of driving until we got to my new home.  On the way, we drove on a causeway and passed people ice fishing. Ice fishing!  With the little huts and everything.

And then, we were here.  In Burlington, pulling onto my new street, looking at my new home and my Navah.

The rest is for another day.


See you soon!