Today was a short driving day and my energy level reflects that tonight. I feel much better than I have been.
We left Staunton, VA about 9 AM. It was still a bit cloudy, but there was no rain. There was wind! We decided to travel the “low road” for a while. My husband set us out on US 11, heading south. We passed through scenic small towns. We drove through Virginia Military Institute. Lexington, VA is absolutely beautiful – historic buildings and tree-lined streets. We followed Rte 11 as far as Roanoak, VA.
After that, we picked up the highway to vary the driving speed and make a little better time toward our destination of Bristol, TN/VA. We stopped just into Bristol, at a Red Lobster, for a late (2:30 PM) lunch. I just love mostly deserted restaurants. It was a pleasant, leisurely meal. Our hotel, another Hampton Inn, was just a few miles away. The sun was shining brightly by the time we got there. That was certainly a good omen for the next few days.
I love this hotel room because it has a comfortable chair and ottoman. I can sit and read in comfort – which helps to keep the fibromyalgia from flaring up. My husband went down to the lobby coffee station and made hot chocolate for both of us. We spent time talking about how frustration his mother is. We know we can’t change her and we love her, but we wish for her sake that she could relax and enjoy herself a little bit more. We can even understand some of the reasons she is the way she is. But that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes you feel like you’re walking on egg shells around her, not wanting to say or do something that will upset her.
I think she enjoyed the ride today a little more than she did the ride along the Skyline Drive yesterday. We could hear her and Dad talking about the gardens we passed and what they’d like to do in their own gardens. They even sang along (quietly) with some of the country music on the radio. I think that was the most pleasant, relaxed part of the trip so far.
The timing of meals was better for me, although I know I’m not eating what I should so far on this trip. Mom’s biggest source of pleasure, the thing that makes her eyes light up, is food – eating it and talking about it. It’s the talking about it that is my undoing. I listen politely and share where I can, but it puts thoughts of foods I shouldn’t be eating into my mind. I can tell you, they don’t sit around in there quietly, minding their own business!! They shout at me and distract me and cause significant mental chaos. It usually results in a bad choice on my part. The responsibility ultimately falls on my shoulders, but I know if it were just me and my husband, I would not have the same degree of temptation and failure.
I have to get control of this issue before we get to Nashville. There are too many good places to eat there.
Tomorrow should be a short day also, since we’re staying at this hotel tonight and tomorrow night. We probably will drive over to Bristol Speedway (a place all you Nascar fans are familiar with, I’m sure.). They offer tours on the hour and I figure, I may not be a big a Nascar fan as some, but I’d like to see the famous track for myself. Besides, I read a novel that included a number of Nascar venues in it’s plot and I think it would be interesting to see them in person. Then, when I hear about them on TV, I’ll have one more place that I can say, “I’ve been there!” Those “I’ve been there places are starting to add up!
We’ll check out Historic Downtown Bristol, which like Texarkana, is contained partly in Virginia and partly in Tennessee. Brings up interesting points, do these towns in 2 states: If the age of majority is different on one side of the street than the other, is it a crime for, say, an 18 year old who lives on the side of street where the drinking age is 18, to take a beer across the street to his 21 yr old friend, who is legal on his own side. Can the 18 yr old be grabbed as a minor transporting alcohol? Just an odd thought. It must make life interesting or generate a lot more cooperation amongst the town fathers (politically speaking) than you have in other towns.
I’ll be sure to take a photo of Mom in one state and Dad in the other. We’ll tell them that, if they bicker about anything anymore, we’ll leave them each in their own states and continue the vacation in peace. If they bickered about important things, we could deal with that. But bickering about who said what 20 years ago is not winning any points around here today.
Tomorrow night there’s a program of Blue Grass music in the town common that we hope to enjoy, whether others come with us on that jaunt or not. That would be a good, relaxing evening before we pack to leave Bristol.