Peaceful. Joyful. Fun. A laid-back, throw-back adventure. We talked, uninterrupted. Reminisced. Made jokes that would not have been appropriate with children present. Laughed.
Until we saw the signs of bad things to come.
And by signs I mean actual signs. Those big light-up road signs that warn of imminent danger. These signs said WINTER WEATHER FORECAST - TUNE IN TO 1670AM. So we did. The first four words I heard were "three to six inches." '
But...but...the forecast said temperatures in the forties and rain. And then it hit me, I hadn't checked the forecast for Pennsylvania since Thursday of last week. It was now Sunday evening, and my how things had changed. We pressed on. What else could we do? We needed the car our in-laws were gifting to us, as my husband's car would cost more to fix than it is worth. Their more than generous offer was worth the whirlwind trip- and braving the snow.
Exhausted upon arrival, we went to bed shortly thereafter.
Upon dragging myself out of bed, there were a good three to four inches of snow on the ground already. By 8:30AM the roads looked clear despite the continued snow, so we ventured out for coffee, temporary plates and paperwork at the AAA office, and supplies from the Mennonite store.
As the sun tried its best to banish the grey, we got on the road, each driving, thankful for clear roads in the midst of stubborn snowfall. We stopped for lunch at 1ish, made a pit stop at 3ish, and got gas after the car dinged at me just as we entered some major traffic. The snow stopped when we reached Promised Land - the state park, that is.
Mercifully close to home, we made a final stop to pick up our kids. Thanking my parents for wrangling children overnight and most of the day, we loaded the children up into two vehicles and made our way home via Five Guys Burgers and Fries - or Burgers on Friday if you ask the GPS voice we used to use.
After dinner, it was bedtime for all. Well, technically it was bedtime for the kids and I was going to stay up and watch a movie with my husband, but I didn't quite make it through the movie.
We spent around 16 hours in a period of 28 hours driving - more time driving than we spent with my in-laws, and more time sleeping than awake in the presence of my in-laws.
There aren't words that express enough gratitude for the gift of a reliable vehicle or the gift of being able to make the trip without children. We are blessed to have such wonderful, giving parents.
A month or two ago when I thought it would be nice to get some time away with just my husband, this was not quite what I imagined. Next time there needs to be more relaxation and less driving.