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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Virginia hotel jackpot

Before I move right along, I want to explain some more things we’re doing this time to make the trip easier on ourselves. I mentioned the drive-up rooms. But we are also taking a room each on this trip, with Stella and Ollie in with Joyce while Nick bunks with me. Although we originally decided this because of Joyce’s snoring, it turns out to have many other advantages I didn’t think of before. One, there’s only half as much travel crap in a room, so that each of us can have an entire surface covered with pill bottles. Our different sleeping schedules don’t matter. We like the privacy from each other, since we are jammed together in the van all day a lot of the time. The dogs don’t want the pack split up, but we still spend most of the day together, and they have adapted as they always do. They’re really better travelers than we are.

We also changed their cages. We got rid of the heavy metal cage and replaced it with a bigger, lighter one made of nylon. It’s collapsible if we need it to be. We don’t bother bringing the cages in any more, at least, not so far. We are each using one everyday suitcase, and we have an extra one for use at the long stops. No more trying to make breakfast in the rooms; it’s just too much trouble. We only packed the small cooler for the road up, and are buying more things in grocery stores. There are probably other things that aren’t occurring to me right now, but just these make the whole thing a lot less exhausting. Basically, there’s less to haul over shorter distances.

So, on to Virginia. Although this leg was almost the same length as the previous one, it took a lot less time, and was still a beautiful drive with the leaves just beginning to turn.
And when we drove up to the Red Roof Inn, I realized I had made a mistake: it didn’t have the drive-up, motel-style entrances. What an idiot! But they saved me from myself and put us on the first floor near the back door where we only needed to make up one cart-load of gear, and it was very easy for me and Nick to get in and out at night. Best of all, there were a pool and spa. And now it was cool enough to leave the dogs in the car, so we could eat in a restaurant. As soon as the sun was low enough to be sure we could park completely in the shade with the windows cracked, we skedaddled next door to the Cracker Barrel. So we planned to spend the next day driving around the countryside the way we had in South Carolina. After dinner we tried the pool and spa. Pool too cold. But we watched the sunset from the spa which was a great way to end the day, and it helped Joyce’s back, too.

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