So I had a travel plan, with directions on the best route from Indianapolis to South Carolina. It was going to take 10 hours and 37 minutes according to Google Maps. See….
The problem with Google Maps is that the other 5 million people who are also travelling to the beach use Google Maps also. Look isn’t Google nice it now shows you how you can save 7 hours of your life by flying. Or in our case it would have saved about 13 hours. Because what should have been a 10 1/2 hour trip took nearly 16 hours. You know its bad when you have an app on your phone that assesses the upcoming exits for you based on your speed and GPS location and it wont work because you are at a standstill and it keeps telling you that you are not on the interstate.
We did have a scavenger hunt to keep us entertained while we were sitting in stand still traffic. Some items on the scavenger hunt are maps from rest area, horehound candy from Cracker Barrel (although the Gamemaster didn’t tell anyone that it was at Cracker Barrel), and an item from a gas station vending machine. The fun part was when one of the cars — did I mention we had 3 cars on this trip? — lost their vending machine item temporarily in the snack bag. Because when you reach for a snickers it’s not fun to get a glow in the dark …………..well you get the idea. Items that we might want to add for next year would be expired cat food at a gas station, couple with a broke down car sitting in camping chairs by the side of the road, random guy picking up cans in the median in the mountains, most creative bumper sticker on a car (single sticker not multiple), and large 3 story cross over looking an adult book store — that’s in Tennessee by the way. There was one really pretty detour near Lexington Kentucky that took us by some magnificent horse farms. Magnificent as in these horses live better than most humans.
Other things that would have been nice was a bathroom at a gas station with more than 1 stall. When you are travelling with 10 people a bathroom stop can take a really long time if there is only 1 toilet. Even a 2 stall takes an inordinate amount of time and then add the other 5 million people who thought a trip to South Carolina sounded like a great idea this week and you have a line longer than a group of teeny boppers waiting to get in to a One Direction concert. When there was a line 25 deep at the rest area – you know there’s a problem. Seriously this was my view of the majority of South Carolina:
We got a tip from a lady in a McDonald’s bathroom (don’t judge we’re travelling – and PS McDonald’s needs more than two stalls as well) that her dad lived close to where we were going and we could take State Road in the Middle of Nowhere to get there. Skeptical as I was that State Road in the Middle of Nowhere did get us where we were going and even though we were only going 55 mph it was faster than the interstate. Before getting on the Road in the Middle of Nowhere Dave stopped at a gas station so we could all go to the bathroom since we didn’t know what to expect. The line for the bathroom was 35 people deep and I’m not exaggerating or embellishing like I sometimes do as I’m sure there really aren’t 5 million people in South Carolina right now.
An hour later we approached a “town” that had a General Tire Store and Gas. It had a bathroom. A single bathroom that you could only access from the outside next to the fence containing the “Beware of Dog” guard dogs. The only thing that would have made it more fun was if the key was attached to a license plate but it wasn’t. Surprisingly it was one of the nicer and cleaner bathrooms we had been in the whole trip. But I was mad that exactly 2 miles down the road was an El Cheapo gas station. I will visit an El Cheapo gas station before this trip ends. Google it, it’s real.
You know what always happens when I travel right? About 1 hour away from the destination Mother Nature decides to remind me why it is that I should never go on vacation. I mean I saw the dark and ominous clouds building all around us. I was trying to remain positive – it’ll blow over, it’ll go north of us. No…. no it did not. The “bling” of my cell phone alerted me to the SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING for northern Charleston (hmm.. my Red Cross Severe Weather App works according to my GPS !!). The downpour started, the lightening sparked and to quote Garth Brooks the thunder rolled. For an area that I would assume gets a lot of rain/weather the roads were not capable of handling large amounts of water and we mostly hydroplaned into the north part of Charleston. But it was fun… it was an adventure. And it wouldn’t be a Baughn family vacation if we didn’t hydroplane into our location after driving for 16 hours.
Well it was a rocky start… lets see what the rest of the week brings!