Good Morning! Motel 6 has, in their infinite generosity, provided free wireless internet access. Thus, I am spending that thirty minutes it takes Paul to get motivated to get in the shower (and which I usually spend grinding my teeth, sighing obviously, and checking my cell phone for the time) checking my e-mail and starting the chronicling of our getaway weekend. We didn't get a nice, early start yesterday afternoon. Then again, we always have good intentions of getting away early and never do. We hit the road last night at 6:41, which actually worked well for avoiding rush hour traffic in St. Louis. We didn't quite make it through STL unscathed, though -- the exit to get to Illinois on I-70 is closed and a lovely flashing sign instructed us to "use alternate exit." Of course, the happy sign did NOT tell us WHICH alternate exit we should use. The next several exits were closed, and it appeared that we were well on our way to Memphis by the time I told Paul to chill out (he was cussing up a veritable hurricane and trying to read our ancient atlas in the dark), and pulled off, made a left, and got back on the interstate going north (west?). He yelled, "What are you doing that for?" I replied calmly, "The exit was closed, not the road. I figure eventually we'll come back to I-70 and the northbound exit won't be closed.." About 5 minutes later, we were crossing the Mississippi.
We drove until 10:30 (well, I drove until 9:30 and started making some strong hints about stopping for the night. Paul took over and decieded that we'd just call it at 10:30). We could have made Terre Haute in another hour, but we also knew that the time zone switch occurs in Terre Haute, so getting in at midnight would mean it would automatically have been 1:00, and that just wouldn't have set us up for a good day today. We are in Effingham, Illinois -- seems like a pretty big burg for the middle of Illinois, but it looks like we're just in the middle of Interstate land, since there are tons of chain motels, restaurants, and truck stops/gas stations.
The Motel 6 chain are not the most luxurious of hotel chains; however, I flat refused to go to the Hilton Garden Inn or some other pricey place when all we were planning to do was fall into bed and get up to shower the next day.
So, soon we'll be on our way to Washington, DC! We have to go through Indiana and Ohio -- I think we'll be able to hit Columbus by lunch. I packed a cooler full of lunch-y type food, so we'll find a nice park somewhere and try to save some pennies by picnicking. After that, the Yahoo Map I downloaded gets a bit more complicated. I'm a little nervous about driving in Virginia, but I know I'd better be the one at the wheel. If Paul tries to do it, we'll see the advent of several brand-new cuss words.
And tonight, we meet our Braden for the first time! We are so excited to spend the weekend with family (and to be gawky tourists in DC). Paul is a bit disappointed that he won't be able to go to Congress and tell them how he really feels about them, but so far, he's been accepting of my telling him it just doesn't work that way. I think he'll be satisfied to see the monuments.
We're on our way!