I am trying to compose a post about our CMA trip earlier this month. The post is getting to be a bit long, so I've decided to split it up into parts. Here is the first:
Bruce, B1, and I attended the CMA Award Ceremony on 11/11/09. Attending an award show is something I've always wanted to do (a "bucket list" entry, if you will) and back in September, when the nominations came out and I realized the show was going to be on a day we had off school, my mind began turning. I then realized that the following day (11/12) was a day I didn't have to be at school until 12:00 noon because I had parent/teacher conferences until 8:00 that night. So that gave me an extra 4 hours to work with. This all came together in my head in about 10 seconds and I then said to Bruce "let's go!" He said "really?" And the following day, he was on the net trying to get tickets, which of course he did.
We left on the evening of 11/10 around 6:30pm. I drove that entire evening. We stopped in Okawville to get dinner in a DQ drive-thru and then quickly stopped at a convenient store to get some sunflower seeds (my favorite snack to eat while driving). B1 was my navigator in the passenger seat while Bruce sat in the back and did some schoolwork, sudoku puzzles, etc. It was dark and we were listening to music on whatever country radio stations we could find. We were having a good time. We stopped at a rest area which I hadn't remembered seeing in the past so we could go potty, throw away some trash, and get a drink. Back on the road.....Bruce decided to sleep and B1 and I were chatting away. Pretty soon, we come to the river that you cross over to go into the next state. As we approached the middle of the bridge, I looked up and saw a sign that said "Missouri state line." What? Missouri? That's not right. We're supposed to be entering Kentucky. Huh? For a second, I seriously thought maybe the highway department had made a mistake here. Now Bruce is waking up because B1 and I are confused and he hears us talking. Next thing we see is a sign that says "Welcome to Missouri." Yep, we were totally in the wrong place. Gees.
I remember seeing the sign that said "I-24 to Nashville.....2 miles." I don't remember seeing anything else about I-24. I knew that in that part of Illinois (about 50 miles from the southern border), some interstate ends and another begins. But the deal is that if you are traveling NORTH, then I-24 ends. If you are traveling SOUTH, it begins. But I-57 keeps going too…..into Missouri! I assumed the interstate we were on ended and I-24 began and I was just fine; there was no other option; we were on the right road. Wrong. So now we get out the GPS (which I, a self-proclaimed map aficionado, certainly didn't think I would need because we have made this drive (to Florida and other parts of Tennessee) many times). I was hoping it would give us a route to take to cut across part of Missouri and put us back on I-24 in northern Kentucky. No such luck. It said that the shortest way to go would be to go back 52 miles and get on the right interstate. Oh great. So that's 104 miles round trip and if you drive 70 mph, it's basically 1.5 hours wasted. Bruce wasn't real happy. I wasn't either really but I kind of thought it was funny. I wish I could have a picture of the look on my face when I saw the Missouri state line. What the?????? I guess this explains why I didn’t remember that particular rest area from previous trips and why some of the towns we passed didn’t sound familiar to me at all!
And on second thought, I should have pulled out the real map (the paper one!) and checked because the following day when I did so, I did see a road we may have been able to take to cut us across over to where we needed to be (after I made the mistake). Live and learn I guess. If you have a GPS, use it.....even if you don't think you need to!
OK, so we only made it as far as Paducah, KY that night. By that time, both Bruce and B1 were sleeping and I was getting tired. It was almost 11:30. I made an executive decision on my own to get off the interstate and drive to a hotel. Bruce woke up and questioned my decision but I stood firm and told him that we were all tired and it would be good to sleep and just get up a bit earlier the following day. So we stayed at an Econolodge for $64 and it was clean and fine.