Vacation has officially begun! Yesterday I drove up from Virginia to my mom's house in Lancaster and tomorrow we're going to kick of the "real" vacation part of the trip by leaving early AM and driving our way up to Maine. I'm gonna see if I can keep up a daily blogging schedule, and hopefully put up pictures each day.
This year is going to be ... different. Some parts are definitely familiar - we are retracing the first leg of our old annual Maine vacation and will spend the weekend in Kennebunkport. But after that we veer off into new territory pretty quickly. For starters, we're only retracing the first leg of the trip; we aren't spending a week at the cabin with old family friends, and will be coming home on Tuesday after a short stop-over in Boston. Then there's the fact that I'm not 16 anymore, and I'm honestly not sure what Kennebunkport will offer for a more mature me. Katie is bringing Brandon, Will is bringing Kyle (and as I write this I realize that could be some very cunning planning on their parts ... they will have each other to keep themselves occupied for a weekend, I will have my phone ... hmmm). But the most obvious difference will be who's not along - this will be the first family vacation since Dad passed away last year, a fact that all of us are acutely aware of. There are going to be some tough moments, and while I can usually keep my emotions in check, this trip is going to offer some challenges. Anyway ...
In true-nerd fashion, we're going to go ahead and call yesterday "Day 0", since it was more of a vacation-instantiation* than a vacation-instance. It actually started at work, where I had a half-day of meetings and reviews and side-by-sides and generic be-the-person-in-charge stuff. Let's just say I pretty much phoned it in ... not only was I single-digit hours away from starting vacation, but I had a few drinks the night before and wasn't exactly, um, in the clearest of minds.
Anyway, after work I drove home, finished packing (which I'd planned to do the night before but, for obvious reasons, didn't finish) and then started the drive up to Lancaster. I left Richmond about 2:30, which I knew was perilously close to hitting rush hour on the DC beltway, but I was betting that 2.5 hours would be enough to get up, around, and through. I did not win that bet. About 10 miles south of the beltway on I-95 there were a couple of accidents that slowed traffic almost to a standstill, and it took an hour to get through them, so by the time I got onto the Beltway itself it was 5:15. Whoops.
And actually, it wasn't that bad. Crowded to be sure, but traffic kept moving at some speed the entire time, and it only took 45 minutes to make the 30-mile loop and continue north. Undeniably better than the backup from the accident, and orders-of-magnitude better than some of the jams I've been in during the holiday travel season. Having the windows wide open with the Grease soundtrack playing didn't hurt either ;) So, mark that one off the life-accomplishment list!
The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful. After the DC beltway I switched over to the soundtrack from Rent and sung along to that, stopped off at Katie & Brandon's house for about an hour and shared a beer with them, then grabbed a sandwich and finished the drive to Lancaster. Had another beer with Mom and talked for a bit, then to bed. All-in-all, Day 0 turned out pretty well!
* If you know CS, you'll get that. If you don't know CS, you probably don't care enough to want to know;)