With a full year since our last adventure, Grandma and Grandpa pulled into the driveway with big smiles. I’m almost positive that they were just surprised I was awake.
In a pretty typical turn of events, I didn’t sleep the night before our takeoff. Nope. I saved all the most important things for the very last minute. You know – laundry, packing, finding my long lost Helly Hansen jacket. In fact, only two hours before they were set to arrive, all of my laundry was just escaping the dryer. I hadn’t even decided on what to take along yet.
But by the time the navy Ford F-150 rolled into the driveway, I (shockingly) had my handful of bags completely ready to go. The Ogermonster snuck into his bedroom to wait for the dog sitter, we loaded my stuff into the truck bed and, in no time flat, we were on our way.
The cruise across Missouri was quick. I’m always surprised by how fast you can fly through Columbia and land in St. Louis without really feeling like you’ve been in the car too long. Before I’d really realized it (maybe it was the exhaustion setting in), we were rolling through Illinois.
Then, Indiana. And, suddenly, Kentucky.
Our road trip would mark quite a few firsts for all of us. Breezing through 19 states and dozens of landmarks, we saw giant chunks of the nation that none of us had ever uncovered before. Kentucky was one of them for me. We drove through sunshine – surrounded by grassy pastures and timber. It was gorgeous.
I had taken the wheel shortly before we started our drive into Louisville and had very few clues about what to expect. Surprisingly, the traffic wasn’t too terrible. The drive around downtown even had the added bonus of river views, a peek at their stadiums and some gorgeous bridges. From what I spotted on the fly – I’d absolutely made a trip back!
In that sense, Kentucky was also the first in a long line of “oh man, I have to come back for that.” Two new for the wanderlist: Louisville and the Kentucky Derby.
Creeping into the evening, we wandered off the highway to find gas and a hotel. We landed a nice place with our go-to hotel breakfast and – major bonus points – a small gym. There, I jumped into my on-the-road workout routine of “recreate any exercise I can using resistance bands and broken hotel weight machines.”
By morning, Grandma and Grandpa were ready to roll again – bright and early. I, on the other hand, zombied my way out of bed, hopped through the shower and tossed on a look that probably wasn’t significantly better than my PJs. I explained how, since last year, coffee had become a life force. They laughed at me and we headed to breakfast.