Friday, December 30, 2016

Heading Home

We had a fun vacation, but as always, they have to end.  I wish we could have stayed for another day or two, but the girls wanted to be back home for New Years, so we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to the Sunshine State, although Kris, Alison and I will be back in a little more than a month for Cheerleading Nationals.

Driving home was much better than the drive to Florida, mainly because we didn’t hit any of the traffic we hit on the way down.  We did have one thing happen just south of Atlanta that didn’t make me happy.  I got stuck behind a dump truck, although not quite a dump truck.  It had a longer and shorter bed on it.  But it was kicking off tiny bits of gravel, a little bit larger than sand.  So driving at 85 mph was like having the front of my car sand blasted.  And I wasn’t even right behind the truck, I was a good amount behind it, and at times there was even another car between me and the truck, or I was in the left lane while the truck was in the center lane.  But it didn’t matter apparently, because later on I could see all sorts of sparkles on the windshield, each one the result of a very tiny chip.  I was not happy AT ALL!  

Other than that, the only slow spots were thru Chatanooga, which we know is always going to be a bottleneck, and we hit a slow spot in Nashville as well.  But we found out that the reason for that was that the Music City Bowl.  Add to it the fact that Tennessee was playing in it, and it makes sense as to why we were moving at a crawl past the stadium downtown.  But that only lasted about 15 minutes, and once we were past it, it was smooth sailing.  We also made more pit stops on the way back home for bathroom breaks and to grab food.    

Since I am always looking for the fastest way home, and because I really hated the roads in Indiana on the way down, I decided to look for an alternate route home.  I found one where we bypassed Indiana altogether.  From Nashville, we stayed on I-24 thru Nashville and into Western Kentucky, thru Paducah.  Then took I-57 north the entire length if the state of Illinois, to the western suburbs of Chicago where we met up with I-94.  The overall distance was 30 miles longer (according to the Garmin) but because of traffic it only took an extra 5 minutes.  Not too bad, and it saved the hassle of the traffic thru Chicago and the crappy roads of Indiana.  I am going to have to remember that if we ever decide to drive again.  I am also going to have to remember to plan for times for rolling thru large, metro areas to stay out of traffic jams.  Either that or keep working on better, alternate routes.  I mean there has to be a better way to get around Chatanooga.