We were eager to get home. We had been gone for nearly two weeks and during that time, our apartment had been renovated. We couldn’t wait to see the results!
We’re a weird mix, Judy and I. We love – live – to travel, but we also love being home. Our apartment is nothing fancy, but we’ve made it into a real home that represents who we are as a couple. The renovations to the kitchen and two bathrooms would just make it better. But, in the weeks and days before we left, we had to clean out all the cabinets, filling bags and boxes with our stuff and piling them out of the way. We knew that when we got home, we would have to put everything away and make the apartment perfect again. We’re not clean freaks, but we DO like things put away.
The wonderful thing about diversions is that you are not confined to a specific schedule. We checked out of the hotel in Savannah and headed north, not quite sure whether to make a planned stop near Richmond – we weren’t quite ready to end our honeymoon – or push on through.
Contrary to our usual driving mode, this would be a blast up I-95. In relatively light traffic, we set the cruise control and made the best of it. A few hours later, the gas gauge approaching “E” matched the hollowness in our stomachs. We pulled off the highway in Florence, South Carolina, for a bite and fill-up.
One thing about diversions…you never know when you’ll find the “perfect” thing. Such was the case at this stop. We decided to stretch our legs with a stroll through the local Hobby Lobby. I found it first, and when I brought Judy over to see it, she gasped…a life-size wall-hanging mirror of the door of an old English telephone booth that we both knew would be perfect in our newly remodeled master bathroom. It was on sale, too!
First things first. We rushed out to the rental car to see if it had fold-down seats. At six-feet tall, the mirror wasn’t going to fit in the trunk or the back seat alone. We were in luck! So back inside we went, made our purchase, and came out again, only to remove EVERYTHING that was in the car so that we could re-pack it with our new find. For a few minutes, we may have looked like a homeless couple living out of our car, but everything fit with room to spare and we were back on our way!
Darkness fell as we rolled into Virginia. Despite our eagerness to get home and redecorate, we still wanted one more play night. We called an old standby – Country Inn and Suites in Ashland, Virginia – and made a reservation. When we arrived, the young man at the desk upgraded us to a suite (a pattern on this trip!). We quickly unpacked and headed off to our evening’s destination – Dave and Buster’s in Glen Allen – for a night of food, drink and frivolity. I won the first skee-ball game, but after that, it was all Judy. She beat me at virtually every arcade game Dave and Buster’s had! We laughed and smiled all the way back to the motel and let the frivolity continue.
The next morning, we got up early, enjoyed the motel’s fine free breakfast and hit the road for the relatively short two-hour ride home. We flew in under the radar, not letting anyone know we were home a day early. Why spoil the fun?
We were home. We opened the door and, well, you couldn’t rub the grins off our faces as we saw the magnificence of the renovations. Our honeymoon was over, but the joy of being together was just starting. Let the unpacking begin…