Tag Archives: north carolina

March 2011 Trip to Florida – Almost home, then finally home

We had a nice visit with Jeff and Evy and the kids Saturday night and Sunday morning. We went to Sacrament Meeting with them in the morning, and then came home.

The kids played, and then we had a wonderful lunch. There was a ham, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, salad, and more. Yummy!

We would have liked to stay longer, but we had to get going, and we left their house just before 2 pm. We filled up the van, and got on our way. Along the way, the kids watched lots of movies.

Here is the timeline:

  • 1:56 left house. Arrival time was estimated at 9:28
  • 2:16 done filling the van, on our way
  • 2:35 Christine was very tired, and finally fell asleep
  • 3:30 Christine woke up. We thought the nap would have helped her, but she was still pretty cranky.
  • 4:10 – 4:26 stopped for bathroom break, top up the van, and get a milkshake (courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa)
  • 4:47 reached the North Carolina/Virginia border
  • As we drove through the mountains, the GPS showed the elevation peaking at around 2,700 ft
  • 5:28 we went through the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel in the Jefferson National Forest. Later we went through the East River Mountain Tunnel.
  • 5:54 reached the Virginia/West Virginia border
  • 5:55-6:17 bathroom break and topped up the van
  • 6:35 As we were driving, we kept going up. We passed a sign that said the elevation was 3,252
  • 6:38 paid a $2 toll
  • 6:53 paid a $0.40 toll
  • 8:32 bathroom break
  • 9:12 crossed the West Virginia/Pennsylvania border
  • 10:35 reached the Econolodge just outside of Pittsburgh

The hotel was pretty basic, but had comfy beds, so we had a decent night’s sleep. We got up on Monday morning (our 14th anniversary) and had the continental breakfast at the hotel. We were done at the hotel by 8:30 or so and on our way back to Canada. Here is the timeline:

  • 8:36 left hotel
  • 8:51 filled up the van, bought a fuse for the cigarette/power port (we had blown one the night before). Arrival time is estimated at 12:35. Lisa was driving
  • 9:00 we hit some very bad traffic. We listened to a local radio station and heard that there had been an earlier accident, and there was some “residual” traffic. Well, it took us until 9:47 before we were back up to the speed limit. Arrival time is estimated at 1:15
  • 10:55-11:08 bathroom break at a Wal-Mart
  • 11:40 we got on the I90
  • 11:58 we reached the Pennsylvania/New York border
  • 12:40-12:52 one last bathroom break
  • 1:20 crossed the Peace Bridge. A the border the asked how long we were gone and how much we spent. We were through in just a couple of minutes
  • 1:51 home at Dunvegan Rd

Along the way, we have also seen a few more license plates:

  • Delaware
  • Nebraska
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • We also saw a US Government DHS plate

We unloaded the van and Grandma and Grandpa got their care loaded up. We said our goodbye, and they were on their way.

The kids helped us unpack and get organized, and then Andrew and Matthew put together their new LEGO sets they got at Downtown Disney. Christine wanted to play Mario Kart Wii right away.

We had a fantastic 2 1/2 weeks, but it is nice to get back home.

March 2011 Trip to Florida – Day 14 (Saturday)

It was a sad day as we packed the van and left Florida, but it was a good day as we had a nice drive to North Carolina and got to see Jeff, Evy, Ryan, Lillie, Lauren, and their house.

The boys and I got up this morning at around 7 am and went swimming for the last time. The air was cooler than it has been, but the pool was as warm as always, so there was quite a bit of steam coming off the pool. We swam for half an hour and then got out to get ready to go.

We left the house at around 8:30 and headed to Ponderosa for their breakfast buffet. It was similar to the one we had at the Sizzlin Grill last week, but the quality of the food was a bit better. But hey, for $3.99, you can’t complain too much 🙂

After having breakfast and filling up the van, we were on the road by 10:06. Here is the timeline…

  • 8:29 left the house (odometer at 141,118). Graham drove.
  • 9:36 left Ponderosa
  • 10:06 left gas station. Arrival time is estimated at 7:41
  • 10:10 on the highway I-4
  • 11:38 arrival time estimated at 7:30
  • 11:39 – 11:47 at a rest stop. Arrival time at 7:34. NOTE: just before the rest stop we saw some burned out areas along the highway from the forest fires from a month or so ago
  • 12:51 arrival time estimated at 7:20
  • 12:54 crossed Florida/Georgia border (odometer at 141,429)
  • 1:32-1:43 bathroom break and filled up van. Arrival time estimated at 7:25. Lisa started to drive
  • 1:49 things don’t look quite as green as Florida

At some point along the way, I took this picture…

  • 2:36 crossed Georgia/South Carolina border
  • 3:17-3:25 bathroom break. Arrival time estimated at 7:25. Graham back to driving.
  • 4:37-4:44 bathroom break. Arrival time estimated at 7:25
  • 5:30 crossed South Carolina/North Carolina border
  • 7:16 arrived at Jeff and Evy’s house

We had some pizza with everyone when we got there and some ice cream for dessert. The kids played around until around 10 pm and then went to bed.

As you can see, it didn’t take Christine long to dress up in Lillie’s and Lauren’s princess dresses (first Cinderella, then Aurora). She was in her glory.

After the rest of us crashed, Lisa and Evy stayed up until after 1 am. I’m sure they were talking about how great their husbands and kids are 🙂

We noticed lots of Ontario plates along the way. It was strange to see so many. We don’t know if it was because everyone else was like us going home, or if something else was going on.

The only license plate that we saw that we hadn’t seen the whole trip yet was South Dakota.

On Sunday we are going to Sacrament Meeting with Jeff & Evy, and then coming home to visit for a bit. We hope to be on the road by 1 pm.