Sunday Morning 8/7/2022: A Quick Update

Sunset and blue hour on the way to Boston

We are on our way to Nashville today! We were up early this morning, enjoyed a wonderful free breakfast at the hotel (sausage gravy and biscuits for me!), have loaded up the van once again and will hit the road in a few minutes. Our drive today should only take around three hours (versus the eight hours we’ve driven the past two days).

Our first stop once we arrive in Nashville will be at the car dealer to pick up our new car! Once that piece of business is taken care of we’ll head to our hotel for the night and get checked in, unload the van once more, then head over to see our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. I’m so excited about that I can barely stand it!

We had a long day last Tuesday getting out of San Miguel de Allende and up to Boston, but our flights were comfortable and we actually arrived on time with WenYu and Meiling waiting for us. After we got home to WenYu’s we spent a couple of hours catching up with the girls, and then Brett and I fell into a deep sleep. I honestly did not sleep well the entire time we were in Mexico and it was wonderful to sleep so deeply again without waking up several times during the night or super early in the morning (like between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m.). I couldn’t get over the difference in how good I felt the next morning.

Good times in Massachusetts

Our two days in Massachusetts went by too quickly. On Wednesday, WenYu and I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things for Brett and I to carry along on our journey. Afterwards she took us on a walk around their property (the house sits on 10 wooded acres) – such a lovely place to live! Meiling had found a box of oil paints in a free box on her street, and brought them along with her along with a couple of canvasses, so we had fun watching the girls both try oil painting for the first time. In the evening we had dinner over at WenYu’s partner’s parent’s home. We enjoyed our time with them immensely and it was obvious they adore WenYu and look out for her. Early Thursday afternoon WenYu took us over to pick up our rental van, which turned out to be not only brand new but much, much bigger than we expected. Brett loaded it with all our stuff when we got back to the house, then he and I went with the girls to a concert being held at WenYu’s workplace. The band was great, and we had a very good time at the event (WenYu had recently worked with the band to design their logo). WenYu picked up sushi for everyone on the way home for a late dinner.

If there was a downside to our stay it was that WenYu’s partner wasn’t feeling well most of the time. He has long Covid (although currently disease free) and has no energy most of the time. It’s made it very difficult for him to work or do other things. He did show us around his work spaces (some in his home, some in his parents’ home), and provided us with gifts (a t-shirt for Brett and some of his product adorned with Meiling’s and WenYu’s artwork for me, to which I will add necessary accoutrement for a Christmas gift for our grandson). We left with a much better understanding of his product and the process that goes into designing, fabrication, and then getting it to customers.

We set off early Friday morning, and made our way through five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, stopping in Chambersburg for the night). We were up early again yesterday morning, enjoyed a delicious free breakfast at the hotel, reloaded the van, and traveled through another five states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, a long drive through Virginia, and finally Tennessee – stopping for the night in Knoxville. We have spent over $100 less than expected on gas, and less than $10 for food and drink while we’ve been on the road (WenYu gave us sandwiches to bring along). Breakfasts have been free at both hotels, and the hotel in Knoxville (Drury Inn) provided a free dinner as well.

There was lots of road work in MA, CT, and NY that added about an hour to our drive on Friday, but we also endured an awful rain storm in Pennsylvania for nearly an hour – we could barely see the road in front of us! Thankfully almost all the other cars and trucks put on their emergency flashers so we could see them. The roads were better yesterday but we had to drive through not one but two even worse storms, one in Virginia and one as we approached Knoxville. Both of these storms were frightening, with even heavier rain than Friday and loads of thunder and lightening, but very few put on their flashers and some didn’t even turn on their lights. Thankfully Brett is a good driver who remained calm and just kept going although we had a near miss during the final storm when a car pulling a trailer without any lights on stopped for some reason in the middle of the Interstate versus pulling over and we almost ran right into him. Thankfully Brett was able to swerve around him at the last second.

Anyway, it’s been quite the journey so far but we are ready to finally be in Nashville and start unpacking and settling in. We will meet with the property manager tomorrow morning to get the keys to our place, then will unload the van for the last time and head to Costco to purchase a mattress and TV. The van will be returned on Tuesday, and after that’s taken care of we’ll go food shopping. Our furniture will arrive on Thursday and we should be nearly settled by next weekend!

11 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 8/7/2022: A Quick Update

  1. So glad you’re almost there! Your time with the girls sounds so fun – they’ve turned into beautiful women!

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    1. We had a great time there, and loved what little we saw of the area where they live. I’m so incredibly proud of both of them and what they have accomplished and have yet to do!

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  2. Glad you had a nice visit! I’m sure you’ll be glad to have the road trip behind you. Those long highway trips are exhausting, and the crazy summer T-storms are the worst! The near miss sounds harrowing. Yikes.

    Sorry to hear about WenYu’s partner having long Covid. There are more cases around us again, and that is one of my big fears. I know people who have taken so long to get their energy back.

    Safe travels the rest of the way and happy reunion with your Nashville family. I’m so happy for you!

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    1. So, so happy to have finally arrived in Nashville. We had a good trip down, crazy weather nonwithstanding and are thinking that maybe a few years of road tripping might be the way to go for us. We’ll see.

      We picked up our car yesterday – love it! – and will get the keys to the apartment this morning and start moving in. Furniture will arrive in drips and dabs but we should be fully settled within a couple of weeks.

      I feel so badly for our daughter’s partner – he is getting better but it’s happening very, very slowly. He has had to cancel so many things, but does what he can and keeps going. WenYu takes good care of him, but it’s tiring for her as well.

      K and I had a terrific reunion yesterday – we are going to have a grand time these next two years! So good to finally see our son again as well. DIL was at a consular event yesterday though – we’ll see her today.

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    1. We’re here and the move-in starts this week. We’re picking up our mattress today, and furniture starts arriving tomorrow. In the meantime, we have all those boxes to unpack and put away!

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  3. To what do you attribute your lack of sound sleep in Mexico? Why did you unload 50 packages so many times at the hotels? The further south you go, the less you will find safe drivers. The guy probably stopped on the interstate because he could not see the road. I have been on the interstate when I was not sure where the road was or if I were on the shoulder. I am glad you were okay. The scariest rain on the interstate was on the way to Chattanooga from Alabama!

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    1. The neighborhood where we lived in Mexico was noisy, and those kept waking me up during the night. Also, the mattress was uncomfortable. It wasn’t bad, but not good either. These past few nights on comfortable beds has meant a good night’s sleep every night and I am feeling much better!

      We took the boxes in every night at the hotels because trailers, vans, etc. are targets for theft in hotel parking lots. We just didn’t want to risk losing our stuff. We’ll move them all out of the van and into the apartment today and then the van gets returned!

      We had a near miss with that trailer – the worst part was that he didn’t have any of his lights on and visibility was terrible – we could only see a few feet in front of us. We are lucky Brett was able to swerve in time to miss it. These rain storms the past few days have been incredible!

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  4. It seems like we can all say “Welcome to Nashville” now😃! I’m glad you made it through the storms and through the woods, like in a children’s story. And yes, this trip has given you a glimpse into what driving around the country may look like. It’s not for the faint at heart and it can be tiring. But if you have your house with you, you can stop for a few days and rest. These days I find that driving for more than 4 hours is not fun anymore for me. I get cramps in my leg and my wrists get tired.
    Everything will fall into place in a couple of weeks and having your family close by will make time fly. Good luck with your move and take care!

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  5. Glad to hear you’re in Nashville now! It sounds like it was quite a journey, but, as you said, it was a glimpse into what RV life would be like. You would be traveling at a much slower pace than you were this time, so it would be a completely different experience. I’ve been watching Youtube videos from people who live that lifestyle and it looks very interesting/fun.

    It was smart to move the boxes out of the van at each hotel, but I’m sure it was difficult work, especially in the hot weather. Sorry to hear about WenYu’s partner and long COVID. Is there any treatment for that or does he have to wait it out and it will eventually improve? It’s nice to see your daughters are doing well and are happy.

    I returned from my trip to Montreal the other day and it all went well. Thanks for your encouraging words before I left! I was amazed at how empty the airports were. After hearing so many stories about staffing issues and long lines, I was prepared for the worst, but that wasn’t my experience at all. Canada is doing random COVID testing and I was selected for a test when I arrived in Montreal. I had to find a lab to go to, but there was one about a mile from the hotel, so I got that done not long after I arrived and it wasn’t a big deal. No one was wearing masks there though and I was in a lot of bars and restaurants, so I expect to get COVID, but I’ve been testing negative so far. Most people were wearing masks in the airports and planes though, so that was good. I feel much less apprehensive about travel now, so I’m glad I went.

    Enjoy this time with your son and grandkids!

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