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I am alive and in Florida. Opa!

Yesterday, I attempted a breakfast with Eric, but his early meeting ran late and we only had time to get his car picked up from the body shop before he had to go back to work for another meeting. Stupid school with all their meetings.

But I was then able to go to Pearle Vision and get my glasses. Only the regular ones, the sunglasses weren't going to be ready until today (which the woman conveniently didn't mention in the message she left). I panicked momentarily and explained that I was leaving in a few hours to go to Florida and wouldn't be back until December. When the lady offered no response, I asked if they could be shipped. $30 later...I should have them here in Florida tomorrow. I better have one-day delivery if I paid $30 to have a pair of sunglasses (read: small and light) shipped.

I went back up to Antioch, finished packing everything into my car, had lunch with the sister and niece, then left for Northbrook, where I'd be picking up Zoe. Amazingly, we rendez-vous'ed promptly at 2pm as planned, but Zoe hadn't had lunch, so we loitered in the Northbrook Court food court for 40 minutes while she ate. On the road at 2:45-ish, we headed through Chicago, down I-65 without being killed by the maniac, around Indy and into Ohio. Stopping for dinner at Bob Evan's took some time, but it was worth it, and we still made it to Oxford by 10pm EST (silly time change). I shot Mommy off an email and got to sleep at 10:30.

Bright and early at 4:17am, I woke myself up and decided to make use of the 13 minutes before my alarm was set to go off and got dressed and ready to go. Bid farewell to Zoe and got on the road 10 minutes early. Yes!

Then I drove. For almost 15 hours. I took breaks for food, gas, bathroom, and Starbucks, often combining two or three of those...because I grew up going on road trips with my father. If you didn't pee at the gas station, you were holding it for the next 300 miles until the next gas stop. I did break from the strict tradition, however, and got Starbucks without filling with gas or using the bathroom...crazy, I know. But I limited myself to bathroom breaks at rest areas only, because they take less time to get in and out that actually exiting the highway.

I'm quite sure no one cares about this, but I believe in efficiency and this is one of my practical applications.

So yeah. Traffic was fine. We were stop-and-go for a few miles through Knoxville because construction forced a merger from 3 lanes to 2, so that was rough. Atlanta had a lot of traffic, but it was 2pm, so it still moved quickly. Gas is really cheap everywhere but Chicago. I filled up with $2.84 today...33 cents cheaper than my last fill-up in Gurnee...and that was the cheapest Gurnee had been in weeks. I stayed awake by drinking much caffeine. Two cans of Diet Pepsi that I had packed, two medium Diet Cokes from McDonalds, and a grande iced white mocha from Starbucks. I also drank four bottles of water (hence the need for bathroom breaks when gas and food were not needed). But I didn't feel drowsy at all and I was attentive and awake.

Music was also key...my iPod was playing for the entire car ride. I started with some Dixie Chicks (Fly and Wide Open Spaces)...good and peppy for when it was still dark out, moved onto Sara Evans (Born to Fly and Restless...same deal with the peppy, modern country), then the sun rose and I felt the need to listen to the Pink album with which I am currently obsessed. After that, I decided I needed musical theater in my car and listened to Into the Woods, RENT, Wicked, and Avenue Q. Then I hit up Jason Mraz (Mr. A-Z), John Mayer (Heavier Things) and started in on some Barenaked Ladies (Easy and Stunt), which brought me into Mama's house. I sang much and enjoyed highly.

Pulled into Spring Hill at 7:40pm, so it was technically 14:50...but we'll round up to 15 hours. Not too shabby. It was nearly 1000 miles...my car turned over 47000 miles today (it turned over 46000 yesterday).


And now, I'm exhausted. It's possible that I won't be able to get up tomorrow, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

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