After 14 days "on the road", for the first time ever I felt "jet lag" when we got home last night. Actually, before we got home; yesterday we spent trading drivers every couple of hours and napping when we weren't driving.
I-70 to Maryland was a run...until Dayton, one we're used to; from there it was unfamiliar territory. Tunnels in West Virginia, some short and some much longer; construction back-ups that went on for 10 miles in one instance, thankfully for the westbound lanes instead of ours. It's the first time I ever saw people actually out of their cars talking to each other, they were backed up for so long! We decided then we were going home a different route!
We unloaded Mr. Penske's truck on Friday and returned it, very grateful to him for it's use, it's V-8, it's CD player along with the AAA discount he gave us. Bill actually paid for the truck, giving us cash in return for renting it which funded the rest of our trip.
Originally we had hoped he and Laura would get to ride to Vermont with us, but he had a meeting to attend on Tuesday and Laura wasn't sure she could get away from work. We drove up on Saturday, about a 12 hour run at the pace we do things, about 20% over the MapQuest time, with our bellies full and our legs stretched. We got into Shelburne about when we had figured and found things just as our brother-in-law said they'd be, grateful to be there and for the loan of his house while he and Dottie's sister Jane were at their cabin on Lake Champlain.
Sunday we arrived at the lake at the designated time; Ed had wanted us to come and surprise Jane and we pulled it off. It was supposed to be "family day" and he hollered into the cabin that one of her sisters was here and was even on time and she was saying something about which one she thought it would be when she came through the door and saw us...
Jane has always been very active, sports, skiing, etc.. Several years ago she had to have an ACL reconstructed; now the cartilage in one knee is gone and she's in a brace part of the time. The surgeons keep telling her to fix it; she keeps stalling until it's worse...it's starting to "get to her" and that's part of why Ed wanted to arrange something to cheer her up.
Dottie's other sisters, Verne and Deb arrived a bit later with families in tow and a great afternoon was had by all.
Monday we spent at the lake as well, though it was a bit of a dreary day; much like most of the year has been in the Northeast from what I gathered.
Tuesday started that way, but cleared by noon; the temps rose and Ed wanted to take his Sea Ray out for the 2nd day all year (he and Jane love the water and boating). We got out for about an hour and a half that afternoon, stopping part way through so I could tighten a pump bracket that was "buzzing" that his mechanic hadn't found in a year of looking.
Ed's daughter took the boat out for a bit after that and came back with it sounding like an unmuffled stock car; what we thought was a blown exhaust manifold gasket turned out to be a head gasket when he took it to the shop the next morning. The boat was "done" for the week...
Bill and Laura flew up on Wednesday; we picked them up at Burlington and though Laura had to do a couple of teleconferences while we were there we still found time to get she and Bill together with all the families and do some of the "touristy" things as well. (More about those later, along with pictures...)Shelburne Museum, Smuggler's Notch...lots of fun for all!
Saturday we made the rounds on our way out of Vermont, saying goodbye to Jane and Ed when they got home from the lake at 9AM, then Verne and her family; driving to Northfield to say goodbye to Deb and so Laura could see where Dottie grew up. From there, out through the "gulf" where I've asked for my ashes to be spread when my time comes, then back onto the interstate to Springfield to meet up with Dottie's sister-in-law Irene and her family. We left there at 4 heading over the mountains through Bennington to Albany then retraced the route we took going up, going back through Scranton and Harrisburg to avoid Philadelphia and New York City. We were back to Bill's at 3AM on Sunday so they could get up and get their pets out of the kennels early. We spent that day a bit lazy, sorting circuit breakers in his house (labelling them) and wiring a doorbell, then went to bed "early" so we could start our journey home on Monday.
Deb had called to remind us we should take the Blue Ridge Parkway south as we left; taking it then coming across on I-64 only added 70 some miles to the route and actually knocked several hours off because there was so little construction. I never thought I'd hear my wife say the mountains were making her claustrophobic, but the passes in West Virginia did...
We spent the night in Kentucky, then drove the rest of the way in yesterday. Our cat spent the hour we used unpacking the car to tell us exactly what he thought of us; we went and picked up Angel at John's and though a bit gimpy, she seems OK. Today neither of them particularly wants me out of sight.
Off to move laundry and figure out what's for dinner...glad to be home!
I missed each of you...
May the week be kind!