From Michigan to Florida in 22 hours
Hello everyone! It's been about two weeks since my last post here and the break was definitely needed. I have been hard at work and between, family, school, work, and personal projects, I really needed to step back a moment and prioritize. During my break I was able to finish school and design my personal website. It will included my portfolio among other items. As of right now I have the homepage and blog portion completed. I just have to finish up on four more pages and it will be revealed to all. All of that has lead to one thing, graduation. My school is based in Winter Park Florida so that meant I would have to take a vacation. I know, Florida is so horrible this time of year, (playful sarcasm) but I can't miss my own graduation. The excitement of it was becoming unbearable as early as last week. As Friday approached the local news station warned of winter weather. I figured it was a crock since this winter in West Michigan has been nothing compared to previous winters. I think it has snowed maybe five or six times and even then it didn't stay.
Friday morning, or two days ago, I woke up at 3am to get ready for work. I walked outside and it was snowing but not like I had heard. My car was barely covered and I figured my team and I would have an easy day in dispatch followed by an easy drive for my family and I. The Gods and Goddesses of winter must have heard my cocky remarks about the weather and they let us have it! Dispatch was busy with slid-offs and accidents everywhere. We had only so many officers working but we kicked ass like we always do. It also helped that my co-worker Whitney hooked everyone up with some awesome BBQ pulled pork. Although we had good food the powers that be continued to grace us with snow so our eating time was limited.
After kicking ass at work and saying my good-byes I headed home to get the family and head out on our long trip to Florida. After packing the car and getting some last minute items we were off. Our first stop was at the local BK to get some fastfood and my 6 month old daughter Lola was already tired of being in her seat. She was fussing so my wife decided to sit in back to keep her company. It was just what the doctor or Lola ordered and she was good to go. The snow was coming down hard and when we got to Benton Harbor the snow was really bad. White-out conditions and no windshield fluid made it tough but we made it out fine. At one point I couldn't even tell where the road was.
"You should see this."
"I don't want to look."
I shoved more fries in my mouth as I tried to figure out where the highway was. Luckily the smart folks at the Michigan Department of Transportation decided that rumble strips between lanes would be best. Indeed they were correct because that was the only way I knew I was within my lane. The snow was like this until we passed Indianapolis. After that the roads were clear and I was on a mission to get as far as I could before switching with my wife. Now remember in the beginning I said I woke up at 3am for work. It was almost 3am when we hit Kentucky and I was beginning to wind down. The kids were asleep as well as my wife but when I stopped to put gas in she ended up in the drivers seat. I was relieved and ready for a nap. We took off and I crashed out.
I remember dreaming something crazy and someone was pushing me. I awoke out of a deep sleep and it had been my wife trying to wake me up.
"WHAT'S WRONG!? ARE YOU OK?"
Rebecca looked at me with her eyes half open,
"I don't think I can make it."
"How long have I been asleep?"
"An hour or so...I think."
I laughed and applauded the fact that she took the wheel for me.
"I'm sorry, you know that when it's dark out I want to sleep."
"It's cool, I had a cat nap and I'm ready to go."
We stopped at the next restarea and I hit the road with a bag of beef jerky and a couple cans of Red Bull. We were making pretty good time and the kids were doing great. The whole trip was pretty easy and I was proud of Lola because she hates her carseat. I don't know if she just gets bored or if she gets hot but she will pitch a fit. Until this point of the trip she had been fine but the last 2 hours were HELL! She fussed here and there but nothing big. The traffic blew and for whatever reason the people of Florida wait a few minutes after the traffic light has turned green to take off. I mean, geez people! Punch the gas already! We were all getting hot and ready to be done. The very last leg of the trip was where Lola had had it. She definitely let us know where to put it in baby talk and when we finally reached our destination I wanted to kiss the grass and roll around in it.
It was a good trip overall but man that last part about killed us. I would like to thank the excellent people of Combos, Jack Links Beef Jerky, and Red Bull. Without your contributions to society I would have not made this long trip on minimal sleep. Thank you to my family for hanging in there and we left on Friday at 7pm and arrived Saturday in Florida at 5pm. Despite everything that attempted to hold us back we pushed forward and that's how you go from Michigan to Florida in 22 hours.