I AM EXHAUSTED!!!
Who would think that you could feel this tired after doing nothing but riding in the car? Most people wouldn’t, although if you have fibromyalgia you are currently nodding in understanding.
We left our house this morning about 6:20 AM and drove about half an hour to my in-laws’ house to pick them up. We left their house about 7 AM, headed to Gettysburg, PA. It was raining, which is really uncharacteristic of any vacation my husband plans. He usually has an uncanny knack for choosing vacations with good weather. We traveled down Rte 49 in MA to Rte 20. From Rte 20, we picked up I 84 in Sturbridge, MA and headed for CT. The rain wasn’t too bad at this point. In CT we circumvented Hartford by taking I 91 south to I 691 south, which then connects back to I 84 just east of Waterbury, CT. No rush hour traffic for us!
We made a pit stop at the McDonald’s in Southbury, CT, then continued on I 84 into NY. It was still raining. We’ve made this trip many times before, so there was nothing new to see anyway. In NY we picked up I 684 and followed it to the Saw Mill Parkway. We like this road because it’s a “greenway” and trucks are not allowed. There sure were a whole lot of them on the road today!
We picked up I 287 and crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was still raining but the Hudson looked as lovely as ever. I told my in-laws the story of the time I slept overnight on the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was many, many moons ago when I was about 14 years old. My future stepdad had a travel trailer – not big like an RV, just a simple trailer. We were traveling to Florida. There were 6 of us: myself, my younger sister, my mom and stepdad and my mom’s parents. In those days, you had to pay a toll in both directions at the bridge. As we stopped at the toll booth to pay late Saturday evening, all of us crammed into the station wagon, something gave way in the trailer. After inspection, it became obvious that the wheel had broken off at the axle. That trailer was going nowhere! Of course, they couldn’t leave us stranded in the toll booth. So several men lifted the rear of the trailer while we pulled out of the booth and over to the side of the apron that leads to the bridge. And there we stayed until morning. Yes, we slept on the Tappan Zee Bridge, listening to vehicles whiz by all night. Sunday morning dawned with very little sleep. What now? My stepdad unhooked the trailer from the car and a sympathetic, very helpful toll taker took him across the bridge to a machine shop owned by someone he knew. This wonderful man opened his shop on Sunday morning to repair the wheel and axel. By mid-day we were on our way again. Talk about the grace of God! All that could have happened on the highway and caused a terrible accident. Instead we got a story to tell for many years.
That story helped pass a bit of time today. From I 287, we connected with I 78 NJ. We followed that to I 81in PA. In Allentown, PA we stopped at a Perkins Restaurant for lunch. I wasn’t expecting to eat as early as noon and it really messed up my “eating schedule.” I decided to eat breakfast – an omelet with veggies, whole wheat toast with no butter and fruit salad instead of hash browns. It was good food, good service and a good break. The rain had let up to a light mist so we didn’t get too wet going to and from the car. In fact, it did that every time we took a break for a pit stop, too. Is that the grace of God again?
Back in the car, we realized that the sky was beginning to brighten a bit. But it was still raining lightly. The scenery began to change as we passed farms and herds of cows heading back across the fields toward the barn. They knew it was almost milking time without a watch! From I 81 we picked up I 83, then US 15. There were still plenty of trucks but far fewer rain drops. By the time we picked up US 30 (the Lincoln Highway), it had stopped raining. By the time we arrived in Gettysburg at 4 PM, there was no more rain falling and there were some breaks in the clouds. We checked into the Comfort Inn and rested for an hour or so before heading out to Friendly’s for supper.
That’s right, I said 4 PM. We were on the road for a little over 9 and a half hours! You folks with fibromyalgia know very well what that can do to your body. The last hour or so of driving was very difficult. My back was beginning to tighten up in spite of the frequent breaks and stretching. And I was – am – exhausted for no really good reason. My husband did all the driving. All I did was take up space in the front seat. I think that’s one of the most frustrating things for me. I love traveling and it shouldn’t be considered strenuous to sit in the car and ride. But it is. By the time we got back from supper about 7:30, all I wanted to do was put on my “jammies” and veg out. I’m looking forward to bedtime. I’m going to need all the sleep I can get – tomorrow we tour Gettysburg National Military Park. I’m hoping for less food and more walking in between the riding. My body seems to like that balance better.
For right now – g’night y’all . . . z-z-z-z-z-z-z . . .