2016 Trip Journal

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2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:22 am

Moved post-for-post from http://belariath.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=20154.

My dad and her boyfriend Tim are coming up from Florida to Virginia around June 10, and spending two days here. Immediately after church on June 12, Mom, Dad, Tim, and I will be convoying from Virginia to my sister's place in Nevada, driving in two vehicles-- my mother's new '13 Prius, and our old '01 PT Cruiser.

We expect it will take about a week to get across the country. We'll spend about a week in Nevada, during which time Dad will teach my sister how to drive. We'll leave the PT Cruiser with her, and all return together in the Prius, which will take another week or so to get back to Virginia.

During a lot of this time, I'll be spending hours on the road at a time. We'll try only to stay in hotels that have free WiFi, but as often as I play, you'll notice that I'm around much less than normally.

We're excited and a bit trepidatious about the trip, but we'll take plenty of pictures, enjoy each other's company, go to exciting places, and hopefully, it'll all turn out. Watch this space: When I'm online, I'll try and update y'all about what I've been doing and what I've been seeing.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:23 am

Friday, 6/10/2016, 9:39 a.m. Eastern:

I woke up about an hour ago and, while I haven't gotten any roleplaying done yet, I hoped to do some after eating breakfast. Instead Mom and I discovered that the milk had gone bad, so we're going out to get some more. Dad and Tim probably left their home in Florida a couple hours ago. We expect they'll be here in Virginia at about 8:00, 8:30 or so. We've already reserved a room for them at the Quality Inn.

Sunday, 6/12/2016, 4:13 a.m. Eastern:

I was concerned about introducing Dad and Tim to our landlady Cheri and our landlord Dan, on account that Cheri and Dan are conservative Christians and Dad is trans, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. Cheri and Dan treated them just like family. We all talked in their living room for a good half-hour last night.

On Friday night (the 10th), Dad and Tim arrived in Franklin at 9:45 p.m. after 11 1/2 hours of driving. The Huddle House, our first choice for dinner, had already closed, so we went to Don Pancho's Mexican Cantina instead. I had a shrimp quesadilla. Good eating. Yesterday, we did Al Forno's Italian Pizzeria for lunch, the same place that my best friend Alex and I went to for our birthday dinner a few months back. We proceeded to go to the Dollar Tree for a few things, and then hang out at Starbucks for a couple hours and soak up their WiFi. For dinner, we all went back to the apartment and, after hanging with Cheri and Dan, I made us some Johnsonville sweet brats and macaroni and cheese.

Something a little scary happened after dinner-- Fiona, the PT Cruiser we're giving to Laura, wouldn't start. We needed Dan to give her a jump from his truck. Hopefully this is the last engine trouble we'll have from Fiona. I've already checked, and our normal repair shop, Suffolk Alignment, isn't open on Sunday.

Today is Music Sunday at Suffolk Christian Church. The choir is singing at both services. We'll also have the services of a young woman named Christine at percussion, the King's Ringers at handbells, and two guest trumpeters from high school who also participated in our Easter Sunday service.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:24 am

Sunday, 6/12/16, 7:04 p.m. Eastern:

Music Sunday was wonderful, but a bit exhausting. The PT Cruiser's problem turned out to be simple corrosion on the battery contact, requiring a thorough bathing in a baking soda and water solution. Therefore, we were a little late leaving the apartment. We crossed the James RIver on the Jamestown Ferry, my first experience with one. I was all smiles.

Today, we started with Mom driving the Prius, named "Snowy", with me as the passenger and navigator. Dad drove the PT Cruiser, "Fiona", with Tim as passenger. Towards the end of the day, Mom got tired of driving, so we switched up: Dad and me in Fiona, while Tim drove Mom in Snowy.

We went through Richmond to a hotel in Glen Allen, Virginia. We used one of our free Pizza Hut coupons and got a stuffed crust pepperoni and mushroom pizza. Now we're watching the Tonys.

We heard about the deadly shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, while we were eating lunch at Burger King. Tim knew about it several hours earlier, actually, but it was the first time Mom and I had heard about it. Dad and Tim, who live in Florida, have friends in Orlando that they've been trying to get ahold of.

This concludes the content from the previous thread. Every post beneath this one is new content.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:25 am

Monday, 6/13/16, 1:49 p.m.:

I lost my phone today.

At least, temporarily. We stopped at a gas station so that Mom could take some allergy medicine. I stopped in to use the restroom. As we left the station, I realized that my phone wasn't in my pocket. We tried calling it, and it rang on Snowy's Bluetooth. We were far enough away from the station that we were out of Bluetooth range, but after a few minutes we went back to the station anyway. Wasn't reported missing, or in the bathroom.

Eventually, Mom realized that I'd been charging the phone, so we yanked on the cord, and the phone was on the other side of it-- it had gotten lodged between the center console and the passenger seat. So, that was an adventure!

We're on the other side of the Shenandoah Valley now, hoping to get as far as Huntington, West Virginia today.

Monday, 6/13/16, 6:11 p.m.:

We went to the Tamarack, a tourist attraction in West Virginia, today. I took many pictures of a man building a glass angel using a forge. He even posed with the completed project for me, doing the peace sign.

We're in Dunbar now, after exiting the West Virginia Turnpike. We got gas and food at Kroger. We'll hunker down in Huntington, probably.

Monday, 6/13/16, 7:49 p.m.:

We're hunkered down at a hotel in Huntington, and my baseball team, the Washington Nationals, are hosting the Cubs on ESPN tonight. I had fried chicken and cream soda for dinner-- got those both at the Kroger in Dunbar. Oh, funny story: While holding a spot at the gas station for Dad and Tim, a guy on a bike came up to me and asked if he could borrow a dollar. "No, I don't carry cash." "Well, can I use your phone?" I lied and said that I don't have a phone either. I put up with too much bullshit this morning about that phone to just hand it over to someone who could outrun me in three seconds!
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:13 am

Tuesday, 6/14/16 (Day 3), about 11:00 a.m. EST:

We're now in eastern Kentucky. We needed to replace FIona's battery at Walmart this morning: It wouldn't hold a charge.

Tuesday, 6/14/16, 7:35 p.m. CST:

We started today in Huntington, WV, and traveled through Kentucky, Indiana, and most of Illinois; we've set down for the night in O'Fallon, IL, about 20 miles east of St. Louis. Google Maps took us on the scenic route to get to our hotel, placing us right in the middle of town; I had to go back into the hotels app to get me to the hotel. We went through two roundabouts in O'Fallon.

Now I'm doing the laundry.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:58 pm

Wednesday, 6/15/16 (Day 4), 11:44 a.m. Central:

We crossed the Mississippi into St. Louis, and got through without any traffic snarls. At a recent stop for gas, I told the crew that I'd like to stop at a Jack in the Box restaurant for lunch, because I've never been to one-- they don't exist in Virginia or Indiana. Nearest one is about an hour away.

Wednesday, 6/15/16, 1:44 p.m. Central:

We had lunch at the Jack in the Box in Columbia, MO. Mom had a sourdough burger, but they forgot to leave off the four strips of bacon. More for me and Dad. I had a #1 combo, just a regular burger. Took advantage of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine and got a Fanta Raspberry.

122 miles to Kansas City. We hope to get as far as Lincoln, NE, today.

Wednesday, 6/15/16, 9:27 p.m. Central:

After an exhausting drive through Missouri, and a bit of Iowa and Nebraska, we finally arrived at the hotel in Lincoln, NE.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:49 pm

Thursday, 6/16/16 (Day 5), 9:35 a.m. Central:

The breakfast bar at the recently-constructed hotel in Lincoln was MASSIVE. As always, I took full advantage of the free hot meal.

Today's destination: Rawlins, WY.

Thursday, 6/16/16, 3:20 p.m.. Central:

We stopped for Pizza Hut in Cozad, Nebraska, using Mom's second coupon. We discussed the possibility of splitting the remaining leg of the trip into thirds, stopping in Cheyenne instead of Rawlins, but the more expensive hotel prices in Cheyenne put an end to that idea.

It's been extremely hot the last several days; since MIssouri, really. We were fortunate to get out of metropolitan St. Louis when we did. According to NPR, there was a massive power outage involving about 1500 customers the day after we left O'Fallon, owing to an underground electric fire.

Thursday, 6/16/16, 7:24 p.m. Mountain:

We passed through Cheyenne, WY, a few minutes ago. . We're over a mile high, but it's all been very gradual. We haven't had the sense of going up and down mountains, like near my late grandparents' house in Huntingdon, PA.

Mom had trouble breathing and had to use her rescue inhaler at the last gas stop just before Cheyenne.

A little less than two hours til the hotel.

Thursday, 6/16/16, 8:56 p.m. Mountain:

It was bound to happen eventually: The two cars got separated. Due to the sunset in Mom's eyes, an enormous amount of bug splatter on the windshield, and a funky way to establish a rest stop on Wyoming's part, we took an exit that Dad and Tim didn't. They're going on ahead to Rawlins, and we're waiting here at the rest area until the sun goes down.

Friday, 6/17/16 (Day 6), 8:16 a.m. Mountain:

While we got back on the road last night, Dad and Tim stopped at a grocery store across from the hotel and picked up stuff for dinner. I was rather exhausted, and just ate my last piece of pizza cold, finished my cream soda, and went to bed.

The breakfast bar at this hotel wasn't really up to snuff, but I did get some sausage, eggs, orange juice, and a bagel. We asked for a late check-out time of 1 p.m. to give Mom a little extra time to rest. So we'll have to wait out the sunset today as well, I imagine.

Today's destination: Elko, NV, 20 minutes away from where my sister lives in Carlin.

Friday, 6/17/16, 8:35 a.m. Mountain:

I almost forgot to mention-- the speed limit as we entered Wyoming was an astonishing 80 miles per hour. I about freaked out. At one moment, without even realizing it, Mom went 84. Then she was all, "Wait a second... HOLY SHIT!"
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:03 am

Friday, 6/17/16, 1:50 p.m. Mountain:

We stopped to get some bug-removing windshield wiper fluid, food at McDonald's, and gas before leaving Rawlins. Today's destination is Elko, Nevada (only 20 minutes away from Laura), which will require another 8-hour day of driving.

Friday, 6/17/16, 5:24 p.m. Mountain:

We hit up a charming tourist trap in the middle of nowhere called Little America, Wyoming, where we got 75-cent ice cream cones and ate leftover fried chicken from last ight. Little America's mascot is the penguin, calling to mind the remote base camp in the middle of Antarctica which was set up for travelers.

Friday, 6/17/16, 8:53 p.m. Mountain:

We're past Salt Lake City and are waiting out the sunset at a McDonald's.

Saturday, 6/18/16 (Day 7); 12:18 a.m. Pacific:

My God, Nevada has casinos at every corner gas station! We checked into our hotel a few minutes ago. The McDonald's here has a Create Your Own Taste burger and chicken sandwich thing, with 20 different toppings, so we gotta try that out sometime. The promotion has its own website, http://yesmcd.com.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:09 am

Saturday, 6/18/16, 2:58 p.m. Pacific:

There's a Motorcycle Jamboree going on in Elko all through this weekend. After Dad and Tim picked up Laura from Carlin, the five of us went to a restaurant, the Coffee Mug, directly opposite the festival. It's a delightful restaurant. Four of us (except Tim) had bowls of clam chowder, and I had a Swiss, mushroom, and spinach omelet. Mom had a steak sandwich, Laura had a chicken quesadilla, Tim had a burger, and Dad had a roast beef sandwich. A great time was had by all, but we had to park about two blocks away. Mom's been having trouble breathing at these high altitudes (thankfully she has her inhaler close at hand at all times), so we had Tim drive the car to a nearby barricade so that Mom wouldn't have to travel all that far back.

Laura's home and in bed now, because she works the overnight shift, and the rest of us are back at the hotel room, resting. I'm RPing with Callie's girlfriend Kayleigh, and doing Mom's laundry.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Sunday, 6/19/16 (Day 8 ), 9:26 a.m. Pacific:

Dad and Tim just left for Carlin, where Dad's gonna give Laura some driving lessons. She may even let her drive on the interstate later today. I'm terrified that someone's gonna get hurt.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:17 am

Sunday, 6/19/16, 2:09 p.m. Pacific:

Laura drove from Carlin to Elko without incident, though she stalled out once or twice. She also drove to the McDonald's from the hotel, with Mom and myself watching behind her. She did a good job! I'm really proud of her!

For lunch, I did the Create Your Own Taste thing at McDonald's. I had a grilled chicken sandwich on ciabatta bread with mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, and cheddar cheese. The roll kinda fell apart, the fries were too salty, and each combo was expensive (upwards of $7 each), so in the future I wouldn't go out of my way for this sort of thing. But it was neat to try once.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:36 pm

Monday, 6/20/16 (Day 9), 9:02 a.m. Pacific:

There's a lot of things that need done before we can legally hand Fiona off to Laura. Some of them even seem to have catch-22 orders of operation. We'll therefore be spending some time at the DMV today.

Monday, 6/20/16, 10:57 a.m. Pacific:

We got Laura signed up with car insurance. Now she's filling out some DMV forms. The DMV building is less than a mile away from the hotel.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:44 pm

Monday, 6/20/16, 2:07 p.m. Pacific:

I took some pictures of Fiona with new Nevada license plates. Laura will have to get handicapped permission for the car at some point in the future.

We had lunch at The Star Hotel, and holy SHIT was it expensive. $92.17 plus a $15 tip. I'm paying less for the hotel every night. And Laura couldn't even eat her first choice-- a crab sandwich-- because it has lettuce in the crab mixture, and she's allergic. So her sandwich will become my dinner, and she had a burger instead.

We asked the front desk to have the maids make up the room while we were gone, and we entered to the loveliest smell. We're thinking of staying in Elko for tonight and tomorrow night, and then leaving on Wednesday morning. Laura wants us to meet a woman named Rey who's been helping her out.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:04 pm

Tuesday, 6/21/16 (Day 10), 5:29 a.m. Pacific:

I woke up early-- about an hour ago-- and decided to get a little roleplaying done before breakfast. Breakfast at the hotel has always been sausage links, eggs, and potatoes, with the option of making your own waffle too, which I haven't done yet. To drink: Cranberry juice. It's nice to have a free meal with your stay.

Tuesday, 6/21/16, 3:05 p.m. Pacific:

We took Laura and Rey out to a Chinese restaurant in Carlin that I think was a bit sub-par, and then we took Laura shopping in Elko for pet food and groceries. We filled up both cars and got them washed, finally getting the Wyoming bugs from Thursday off of the vehicles. Then we went to Laura's place, and Mom met her "grand-animals". The smell in there was a bit too intense for me to endure. We said our goodbyes to Laura. Hopefully it won't be five more years before we see her in person. Tomorrow morning we'll be checking out and heading back out east.

The whole point of this trip was to bring Fiona out to Laura so that she can get a better job and have a better life. I hope that's what happens.
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
--Dr. Beverly Crusher

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Re: 2016 Trip Journal

Postby CallieO on Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:55 am

Tuesday, 6/21/16, 3:18 p.m. Pacific:

We got a call from the hotel's front desk saying that someone found a thumb drive in the parking lot that belongs to Dad. It had Laura's DMV documentation and a couple of movies on it. We got in touch with the finder, a Mr. Wolf, who's on his way to Arkansas and was already out of town by the time we got ahold of him. Why he didn't simply leave the damn thing at the hotel's front desk, I don't know. Hopefully he can't/won't use this information to commit identity theft!
"If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
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