It’s always nice when we can take a break from our daily routine and do something new. That’s what happened recently when my dear hubby and I drove up to North Carolina to visit friends.
It all started with the TripTik. We carefully entered our information into the computer and through the modern marvel of AAA’s website we were presented with a TripTik (in olden days we would have to submit a request at our local AAA office and the maps were plotted and put together by a human person). We were then notified that our TripTik was ready and we had to physically go to the office and pick it up. But now, all we needed was some paper and a printer and in less than two minutes we had our driving directions!
We set out early on a bright sunny morning, driving north, then east, crossing state lines into and out of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and finally (10 hours later) into North Carolina. Our destination was Charlotte and we arrived there tired but happy.
Now let me state for the record that I do not like highway driving but I am okay with two and sometimes three lane roads. However, when lanes start coming together, like they do in Atlanta, and start to blend, merge, divert, and come together again I freeze. Fortunately my hubby has the courage of a Christian facing a lion in the Coliseum. He can navigate through that mess with only minor interjections by yours truly as I encouragingly state, “Move one lane left” or “Stay in this lane” or “We need to take the next exit”. I will also state that I utter these words through tightly closed lips, trying desperately to ignore my clenched fists and moving my body through the turns as cars and trucks whiz by us. Some thirty-five minutes later we emerged on the far side of Atlanta and I could slowly breath again. I found myself actually yearning for the sight of the Yankees as they invaded Atlanta during the Civil War. At least they moved at a pace that I could understand.
This was our first visit to Charlotte, NC and we fell in love with the charm of their beautiful downtown. The outlying districts were lovely as well and we felt at home in the South Park area as well as the smaller town of Matthews. It would be so easy to learn to call Charlotte our home. After a lovely visit with friends who we haven’t seen in over 15 years we set out for our return trip. Ah, the early morning commute past Charlotte-Douglas Airport, envisioning the mass of business travelers standing in line for security checks before boarding a plane for their destinations! We zipped past on I485 before connecting to I85 West on our way once more to the mecca of vehicular traffic – Atlanta! This time I knew what to expect and had mentally girded my loins. Our timing was perfect – just after the morning commute and into the slow but moving noon-time traffic!
Four days after our departure, we pulled into our driveway. Safe, happy, and welcomed by our family of furbabies. Yes, it’s been awhile since we were away from home. But visits to those North Carolina bookstores were well worth the trip. Going to set our sights on another road trip but hopefully this time we can avoid going through Atlanta.