**This post is an attempt at a humorous post describing the road trip that would not end. However, I do want to acknowledge that the reason I got stuck is because of a horrible accident involving the death of 11 members of the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood Church. Most were members of one family-the Esh family. I know this community could use your prayers.**
So.....I thought it would be a great idea to load up the kids and head to Indianapolis last weekend. Because, having recently reconnected with my cousin Todd and his wife, Nikki, I was itching to spend some time with them. And my mom was already headed that way. And it was only 5 hours. I could do five hours.
I carefully plotted my course, choosing where to stop for lunch. I even consulted my crack team of Louisville experts. I used the Chik-Fil-A map your route feature. Which shows you every Chik-Fil-A on your way. Seriously. Just one more reason to freaking love Chik-Fil-A. The car was packed, gassed and ready to go. Mapquest directions in their place. Phone charged. Snacks handy. Bottles ready to be warmed in the handy car warmer. We were set.
Around Bowling Green I thought to myself, "Wow. Miles are flying by. What an easy trip." Serious tactical error. A few minutes later I saw a sign that alluded to an accident and a detour. But the exit seemed forever away. "Oh, they'll have it all taken care of by the time I get there." Another serious tactical error.
About 30 minutes north of Bowling Green traffic on I-65 North came to a screeching halt. This did not bode well for the two small people in my back seat. We crept along. I kept thinking, somehow this will all clear up. I called my sister who got to work on finding out some info for me. In the meantime, I had pulled alongside a trucker with his window down. So I did what any redneck mama would do-I rolled down my window and shouted at him. He let me know there was a major accident involving fatalities. Then he said words that chilled me to my bones. "The interstate will probably be closed all day." Holy Crap. I was seriously trying to avoid freaking out. Katy gave me all of the horrible details about the crash and then informed me there was a detour set up. I needed to take exit 58 and follow 3 different KY highways to get around the accident. No problem. I was at mile marker 54. Only four miles to the exit.
While I made my way those next four miles, I was treated to the company of three carloads of redneck, farm boys from Illinois. They were making the most of their time on the interstate. Having chinese fire drills, standing up out of the sunroof. Blowing their horns over and over and over and over. Taking a leak right outside my car. Delightful young men. Such a nice way to spend two hours.
Yes, TWO HOURS, is the amount of time it took me to go four miles. By this time I had broken into a complete sweat using all of my energy trying to avoid breaking into sobs. During that two hours, anytime we stopped moving, I threw the car in park, hopped in the back and fed Emily some bottle. She got to eat for as long as we were stopped, then she had to have a break while I moved the car up 6 inches. We finally made it to the truck stop/McDonald's. It was packed, as you might imagine. We waited in line for the restroom for a good 15 minutes. Then we probably almost started a riot since I was in the big stall for about that long. Mommy potty, preschooler potty and baby diaper change cannot be rushed.
Somehow, in my mind, once I got off the interstate I was home free. I failed to think about the implications of the entirety of traffic flow from I 65 being diverted to a one lane highway. Oh. My. Gosh. Sitting still. In the car. Again. Baby starts crying. DONOTFREAKOUT, DONOTFREAKOUT, DONOTFREAKOUT. Finally, I realized what the problem was. The problem was that teeny tiny ol' Horse Cave, KY, was not organized in such a way as to handle the LARGE volume of traffic flooding through "downtown". I think they stuck a yellow safety vest on every good ol' boy who had been at home listening to his scanner and came down to see what all the fuss was about. It was a traffic jam the likes of which Horse Cave has never seen, I'm sure.
Finally, after getting through the rush hour traffic in downtown Horse Cave, the speedometer hit 40 mph and I almost wept-tears of joy. I followed these highways through small town after teeny town. Thanking the Lord there was gas in the tank and snacks in the bag. There was literally no where to stop. So we pressed on. Near the end of our Highway sojourn, we came to the birthplace and childhood home of Abraham Lincoln. Don't think I didn't consider stopping. I might never be back. Then I decided throwing in a history lesson might be pushing my luck...ya think??? As I turned left onto that last highway, I could feel myself getting excited. Almost back to the interstate. I'd been driving for hours. I must at LEAST be in Indiana by now. The INTERSTATE. I could see it!!!!!!! And then, 100 feet away, STOPPED by a red light. All i could do was lay my head down on the steering wheel.
Finally, back on 65 I felt exhilarated. Thrilled. Not long now!!!!!! I felt great until I saw the sign that said: Louisville 42. FORTY-TWO MILES TO LOUISVILLE??????? BUT IT'S STILL TWO HOURS AFTER LOUISVILLE! I HAVE THREE MORE HOURS IN THE CAR????????? And, so, the buzz was killed. We had three more hours to go after being in the car for seven. Seven hours and three to go.
I took a deep breath and decided to make those next three hours the most fun three hours in the car ever, of all time. Drew and I rocked out. We stopped at Kroger for some formula (because I forgot mine. Because I'm awesome like that) and some treats. We cheered and pumped our fists when we crossed the state line. We had a great time. Until 30 minutes out when Emily decided she had had enough. Turns our 9.5 hours in the car is her good girl limit. She started crying and I just refused to stop with only 30 minutes to go. So, Emily cried, Drew hid, and I almost fractured my fingers from clenching the steering wheel so tightly. When I got to Todd and Nikki's house I blew the horn like those rednecks from before. I didn't care. WE MADE IT!!!
For the record, Drew and Emily were AWESOME. And I'm not bragging because I know it was a straight up miracle from on high. Talk about troopers. I could take those two anywhere. Although, I think we're done with adventures for a while.
You may be wondering if the trip was worth it. You'll have to stay tuned to find out.