We were recently booked to go on a week-long London/Wales tour in the UK. What with the mostly peaceful 100,000-plus Palestinian/Hamas terrorist-supporting protesters filling the streets of London and Manchester, (two places we would be spending time), shouting death to Israel and the West, we felt it would be prudent to remain in our own country at this time. However, if the world quiets down and people start drinking Coca Cola again, singing What the world needs now, is love sweet love hand-in-hand across the lands and seas, we might revisit our decision and try it again. (I know, I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company, is the actual song and a catchy little tune, but it makes no sense for world peace or anything else really.)
I do feel that if we are going to be attacked by terrorists, it’s best to have a home ground advantage. Over there we’d be fish in a barrel up on one of those massive red double-decker buses with our silly, wide-eyed, tourist expressions on our faces.
So… we decided to do what we always do. Take a road trip.
Personally, I think I’ve seen about all of the country I really want to see. I’ve been to 35 states and lived in 8 of them. There are only two states left that I would like to visit. Alaska and Maine. Both are much too far for a simple week-long road trip. Maybe someday. If the world hasn’t completely imploded by then.
Instead, we took off with a few “maybe” destinations along the way. The first stop was Springfield, Illinois where we spent a few hours at the Lincoln Museum Library. It was actually quite interesting, and I learned a few things that I didn’t already know. Not that I’m a Lincoln historian, but a lot has been written about him and I tend to do a lot of reading. The Civil War era history is both fascinating and horrifying. The Lincoln family dealt with a lot of pushback, snubbing, and outright hatred during his presidency. They also dealt with a tremendous amount of personal grief, losing two young sons to death while the war raged on across the country. One hundred and seventy some years later, his presidency is celebrated, and he is pretty much the most popular of all presidents, but back then… a different story.
Our second stop was just south of Cincinnati. I’d heard that Noah’s Ark may have landed on Mount Ararat in Turkey, but apparently the experts are once again wrong. It’s actually sitting in Williamstown, Kentucky. Okay, it’s basically a theme park with a humongous boat full of fake caged animals, but I think children would love it. I was just glad we had somewhere to hang out while our car was being worked on. Yes, it was in the shop. New rotors. Don’t ask.
Next stop, and my personal favorite. (Sorry, we forgot to take a photo) I got to reconnect and visit with my college roommate from so many years ago that I won’t reveal the number. If I do, I might be considered old. She lives in Wales, Michigan. So technically, we still went to Wales.
Dru and I bonded over a mutual horrified realization that when we got to Pensacola College, we had just landed in an extreme private school version of a gulag or prison camp. Reading the rule book on entering, (they refused to send it to me beforehand), I quickly realized I was a prisoner with no rights until I went home at Christmas break. For a girl who attended a Christian high school for two years, I was accustomed to rules, but poor Dru was a novice. The flexible, loose ideas of the public school had not prepared her properly. When she realized the powers that be could make up new rules willy-nilly as they went, she was shocked and appalled. She actually thought we could go to the dean, and he would straighten it all out, perhaps clarify that it was all a big mistake. But no. Even so, she stayed and was kind enough to share her care packages from home. Granted, I had to perform like a pet seal, catching M&Ms in my mouth from the bunkbed on the other side of the room. It was still worth it. After all, we needed some form of entertainment as we couldn’t have a televison. Ah, the good old days.
After our visit in Michigan, Leon and I drove into Canada for the first time and headed for Niagara Falls. (pretty much the most boring four hours of my life). We had a few lovely minutes looking at the falls from a long distance away, ($11 dollars to park the car for 15 minutes), bought a commemorative mug, and was on our way. I’m not saying they weren’t nice falls but after you’ve seen the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Falls, the Royal Gorge, The Red Wood Forest, and all the amazing things that the wide-open West has to offer, I guess my expectations were higher. A reenactment of Superman flying in to rescue Lois from the pounding water might have raised the bar a bit, but after all, we were on the Canadian side.
Once across the bridge back to the USA, the engine in our vehicle decided to shut down. It was dusk and right around rush hour, but thankfully we managed to pull off the road into a little city park to wait for the tow truck. Two hours later, we were on our way to Nissan, which of course, had already closed. We got a Lyft to a hotel and spent the next day until sometime in the afternoon eating pizza, microwave popcorn, and whining. Well, mostly I was doing the whining.
The trip back went much faster as we jumped on the freeway toll road most of the way and flew toward home before another unforeseen event overtook us. Sort of like fleeing from that dark cloud of pestilence in the Mummy movie.
On the bright side, once we were safely home, I ended up with a migraine that felt as though it would kill me (worse than childbirth by a 100%) and had to go into urgent care for testing. Thankfully, the brain scan was clear. I’m not sure if that means they didn’t find a brain. Hopefully, it just meant they didn’t find anything that shouldn’t be there. I got an IV of fluids and pain killers, anti-nausea med, and when it finally abated a bit, was sent home. Later, I found out the underlying culprit was COVID. So, now I’m miserable and quarantined.
Will this gift from China ever end???
I know this sounds like a long and horrible two weeks (after all, I do excel at sarcasm), but that’s just because I’m a pessimist. I’m sure if I was an optimist, I would have written about the positive side of things… whatever that was.
Seriously, I truly thank God for His continued protection and care along the way and for allowing me this alone time with my husband even though it wasn’t all smooth sailing. He was a prince among men, taking off work to take me to the Doctors and staying by my side the whole time. God is good even when circumstances aren’t perfect. Reminding myself of that through the stormier days doesn’t come naturally. I will keep looking up. God is faithful. His mercies are new every morning.
And hopefully the dizziness will soon lift, and I will be in my right mind again. With or without a brain. ~~
Thanks for stopping! Please leave a comment. Let me know if you’ve ever had a trip that felt like you were on a National Lampoon vacation. Or just say hi!