Read this post knowing it was written in a semi-delirious state of brain-deadness – we’ve been traveling since Friday the 16th – and between the prior week of packing chaos, sleep interruptions, long days driving, and hair-raising circumstances on the road, I’m here – well, sorta 😉
Here’s the real reason why I’m writing this post:
…to celebrate, cherish, and acknowledge.
Gustavo and the Beach
A dear friend from the east coast came to Colorado to help me pack – Gustavo Coronel. (Thank you Maria for supporting him to help me move!)
I don’t know how I could have done it without him. Between help packing from 11am-9pm each day, and alternating driving shifts with me, Gustavo’s made this whole move (and trip) doable. He mastered finding stop locations for each leg of the voyage, and tolerating me despite my stress and moments of frustration (which I’m sad to report I had quite a few…all of my practices, and still I’ve so much growing and learning to do…).
Warning: hanging around a sleep-deprived, blood-sugar-crashed gail, life is NOT a beach! I, however, prolly was.
Again thanks to Gustavo, we hired Clockwork Moving Company to pack the boxes in the truck. Holy Freaking Amazing, Batman!! They worked so well they were…well, like Clockwork! Machines, these guys.
Here’s what I mean: at one point one dude had my entire 4-drawer tower filing cabinet (which is full to the brim with paperwork and heavy computer parts) ON HIS BACK. Alone. One guy! If you have a chance to hire these guys, DO it! They were nothing short of amazing.
Our last day of packing (which started at 7am) included the Clockwork dudes, Gustavo getting a truck from UHaul, me wet-vacuuming 1100 square feet of carpet, and putting 100 miles of road under our tires. It was a longer day than we’d hoped, but we were delighted to put some miles behind us.
In Limon, CO, we stopped at a cheap EconoLodge Hotel. At a modest $50 a room (we had 2 rooms), and Pet Friendly (Molly came with me of course), we wondered if we’d made a smart choice.
Apparently the location has just recently changed management, with new manager Eric Pepper at the helm. OMG!!! First off, Kudos to Eric for an amazingly clean, pristine hotel! Secondly, what amazingly friendly and kind-hearted staff!! Pet fee – waived. $12 pet treat fee, waived. Breakfast – delicious.
I can’t rave enough about the Limon EconoLodge and Eric Pepper.
We slept soundly, in comfortable space, without an enormous cost.
Biscuits and Gravy
I now understand why we Americans are so thick around the middle. Have you *tried* these things???
It all started with free breakfast thanks to the EconoLodge – which didn’t have eggs. What’s a girl to do? Breakfast did, however, include this midwest favorite, which I’d never tried.
What they did to the gravy, I have no idea, but this breakfast was in a word – divine.
Hooked, I have now tried them in 2 other states. I’ve tried biscuits in turkey gravy, I’ve tried biscuits in regular country gravy, I’ve tried biscuits in sausage gravy.
Conclusion 1: I love biscuits and gravy.
Conclusion 2: I’m going to weigh more than my UHaul truck by the time I arrive.
Thank goodness I’m starting a P90X workout routine after I unpack! Egads!
No Dreary Drury’s – Part One
Our first hotel night was only surpassed by our second – we landed a great deal. For $69 each, we got two rooms at a Drury Inn in Kansas City.
Where is Kansas City? Most of it is in Missouri. But did you know that some of Kansas City is actually in Kansas?
We celebrated having run a cool 513 miles that day.
No Dreary Drury’s – Part Two
On our third night Gustavo and I decided to see if we could do better in hotels than the night before.
In Louiville, KY, for a mere $109, we landed a 2-bedroom room suite (pet-friendly, of course) with a separating door, again at a Drury Inn.
Now let’s get this straight –
For roughly the same $50 per room, we got a pet-friendly separated 2-bedroom suite, at a hotel that was FAR, far, far nicer (with all due respect to Eric Pepper and the EconoLodge chain).
Apparently Drury’s are pretty popular, having multiple awards as #1 on the JD Powers Guest Satisfaction Study.
I can see why.
Did I mention they have free drinks from 5-7pm, free breakfast (full spread), free WiFi, and 1-hour free LONG DISTANCE?
But before I go on about our night tonight, let me share with you one other bit of cherishing and gratitude.
To recap, we hopped from Boulder/Denver, to Limon CO, to Kansas City MI, to Louisville KY.
Perfect weather, perfect clockwork progress.
Everything going without a hitch (well, except for the transport hauling my car behind our 17-foot truck).
Then we hit Kentucky.
Slip Slide and Away
If you heard the news, you’ll know that on January 18th, Kentucky got hit with unusual bits of white slippery stuff….yes, snow.
If you know Kentucky’ans, they respond to snow like this:
Here’s what we saw:
Sliding cars. Nine accidents. We fishtailed on black ice. Cars in ditches left and right.
And right when we got to Louisville and hoped the worst was behind us, traffic slowed to a mere 5 miles per hour, as minivans slid through red lights, and cars hit curbs everywhere we looked.
I am on the verge of tears again thinking about this. Somehow, by the grace of God, we made it to our Louisville hotel room in one piece, including the truck, transport, and my car hauled behind.
I don’t know how. Anyone could have slid into us at any time. We could have lost control like so many others had.
But we made it.
I don’t know what makes me cry more – the heartbreak I feel for all those people, out in the freezing cold, their cars in ditches or smashed or overturned – or the overwhelming gratitude and relief I feel that we landed safe and sound and in-tact.
Molly never knew a thing. The entire trip, she slept soundly on the furniture pad bed in the middle of the truck’s cab.
I’m still sitting here teary and about to burst from the shock and awe and grief and horror and relief of it all.
It now seems that Gustavo has a magic touch.
Each day we took turns driving 2-hour legs.
Each time Gustavo would drive, he’d have clear roads, sunshine, and an absolutely effortless drive. Butterflies would abound. Little squirrels in cheerleader outfits would cheer him on with pom poms. Angelic choirs would sing.
By the time it was my turn to drive, the sun would set, the roads would ice over, or we’d get snow, or fog, or rain.
Tonight we found out that our scheduled switch-over location had no place for our long truck + transport. Result: I drove both my leg and Gustavo’s leg. At 40-50 miles an hour. While we took care not to slide on road ice.
Gustavo thinks this is funny.
“I do! I think it’s hilarious!”
But we’re here. We’re alive and well.
Now we’re staying at a Country Inn in Beckley, West Virginia. Dinner was at Cracker Barrel (more data for why we Americans are so thick-waisted).
And we chose a light day – only 3 legs of driving today instead of 4.
We only have 1 day of driving left.
Meanwhile the world turns. Whispers abound about Obama and the Inauguration tomorrow, jet crash survivors in New York, and a pilot jumping out of his planes to fake his own death.
And we’re alive and well, in tact, and having (all-in-all) a quick and effortless move.
Maybe life really is a Beach.
Heading to bed with ocean-wave meditation soundtrack,
and a heart full of gratitude,