We went on vacation this weekend. My husband's grandfather was visiting my in-laws, as he does for a few days about this time every year. The visit was short, but nice. The weather was fabulous and not too hot.
My husband and I pledged to each other that this was our "Stress-Free Vacation." Anytime blood pressures started to rise or voices got a little higher pitched, we stopped, thought things through, adn decided either on whatever decision we actually wanted, or to forestall the decision until such a time as it could be made with no stress. It was marvelous.
I hate driving through Memphis, Tennessee. Driving through Nahville on our way to Kentucky never bothered me the way Memphis does. I would drive 50 miles out of our way if I could to avoid Memphis. However, I generally just grit my teeth and pow ahead, paying as close attention as I can to highway direction signs and trying not to let crazy dirvers get to me. It is usually only 30-45 minutes of the 7 hour trip.
Traffic on the I-55 Mississippi River bridge was horrible. There was construction being done lane by lane as best they could, to do repairs without having to close the bridge. We had slow going headed north but never had to actually stop. We could tell the south-bound lanes were not so lucky.
"Good thing we are going this way."
"They are not likely to have it all done by Tuesday."
"We could take a different route on our way home."
That started a spark of thinking on our parts. I know of two other ways to cross Tennessee on our way from Kentucky and proceed further southward. Of course there are others, but they don't really count.
"We could go through Jackson (TN) and down through Corinth, like we did when we lived in Tupelo. Or we could go through Huntsville. It adds and hour and a half to the drive time, not counting whatever time we spend IN Huntsville, seeing friends or doing whatever."
"Sounds good. Let's do that!"
I know very well that there is almost 0% chance we would have sat in stopped traffic for 10 minutes, let alone an hour and a half, if we had just driven through Memphis on our regular route. But the spirit of the week was fun and fancy free. And we had not visited our old home city in years.
We thought about going to see tourist sights, and Yes, Huntsville, Alabama has quite a few, but that wasn't really in our budget, so we passed. We drove around the city pointing out to the girls our old stomping grounds, apartment complexes, and the hospital where two of them were born.
I am amazed at how much one state university can change in 6 years. They must be doing well, funding-wise.
As we drove past the old dorms I noticed a fraternity-sorority row and pointed it out to DH. I pulled in and parked at his fraternity's house (built 3 years ago, it turns out) to let him go in to see if there were brothers there to show him around. he acted at first like he wasn't that interested, but then I ended up having to go fetch him after 20 minutes.
We got to have lunch with a friend, even bumped into a friend we hadn't been able to contact, randomly. The girls had fun even on what could not have a been a great day for them, and we got home with a day to spare for Dh to recuperate from vacation before heading back to work.
All in all it did indeed turn out to be a stress-free vacation.
Can you believe that I was in 6 different states over the past week? Pretty impressive for someone who doesn't normally travel so much. The girls only went to 5, since they never crossed the Ohio river into Indiana, which Dh and I did while we had a date night, leaving the girls to their grandparents (and great-grandfather.)
Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama.