It’s hard to believe that almost two weeks have passed since Christian and I left the house at 5 am for the airport. Travel plans for our annual vacation at Big Sand Lake involved flying to St. Louis where we met up with Jeff and Justin, packed Justin’s car and a fourteen hour drive to Minnesota.
I checked every conceivable airline, airport, and rental car combination possible. I’ve gotten pretty good at using Internet Explorer and Firefox simultaneously to try and find the best deals. After hours of searching and countless combinations the choice remained clear. A fourteen hour drive saved me over a thousand dollars in travel expenses and there was no question that a week at the lake was worth it.
Our air travel was uncharacteristically boring. There were no accidents on I95, my bag was a good four pounds under the limit, and I cleared security without a second glance or a pat down. We drove to my parent’s house without getting lost and enjoyed a relaxing evening with Chinese food, board games, and a good night’s pre-road trip sleep.
While Jeff and Justin were at work, Christian and I treated ourselves to lunch and a movie. For some reason I’d convinced myself that since Jeff got off work at 5:00 pm we would magically be on the road by 5:15 at the latest and to our overnight destination by 10:00 at the latest. I forgot to factor in his commute time, packing the car, the obligatory picture, and the all-important stop for snacks.
Des Moines turned out to be much further away than we thought, particularly since we took a detour through Quincy, Illinois and were delayed by an unplanned stop less with less than thirty miles to go.
It was midnight when I blinked my eyes open and realized the light shining in the car was a flashlight and we hadn’t stopped to ask for directions. Jeff, aka Mr. Speedy Pants, was busted.
After what seemed like an hour rather than ten minutes Jeff got back settled back in the driver’s seat.
“Well, how bad is the fine? “ I asked.
Jeff held up the ticket, “He was really nice and let me off with a warning.”
“Phew! You got lucky. How fast were you going?”
“Seventy-three in a sixty-five, I’m surprised he only gave me a warning. I don’t think he believed that I didn’t see any signs,” Jeff said.
I laughed and said, “He probably felt sorry for the mom slumped over and sleeping in the back seat. And the good news is that you only got a warning and now we have a story. Otherwise I was going to have to make something up.”
Twenty-four hours, a never ending game of celebrity, and more than a few rest stops after leaving St. Louis we arrived at my favorite place on earth and were greeted with giant hugs and a glorious sunset.
I like to think it was the lake’s way of welcoming me home.