Day 1 started at 4:00 a.m. with the alarm singing. The car was packed up the night before, so I had hoped to be out of the house at 4:15, but we didn't get out until 4:30. My plan is always to hop up and brush my teeth and go, but Kevin is a little slower in the mornings, and there is always something last minute to be done.
I usually drive first, but I had slept horribly that night, so Kevin thankfully was up for it. I did my best to sleep in the car (didn't work) and Kevin drove most of the 17 hours to Austin. I did drive the Kansas turnpike, while Kevin "rested" in the passenger seat. Kevin tells me he can't sleep in the car, but when I turned to him to ask for $6 to pay the toll, he was pretty shocked we were already to the end of the toll road!
The road trip is long, but we did pretty well this time. We didn't resort to any car games like billboard ABCs. This is one thing that is really great about Kevin and I: we drive in the car together really well.
Elsa does well in the car too. She just sleeps and looks at us expectantly anytime we open up the snacks. (I usually let her have some.) She loves getting out to walk at gas stations! I love getting Subway in Emporia- woo BLT! (That is usually dinner too, we get a footlong and save it.) We didn't have Sirius this time but Kevin put our entire computer onto a USB port. I think on the ride down we listened (in alphabetical order) to the As, Bs, and maybe some Cs. There is a lot of music on that thing! While he slept, I listened to Roger Creager- so that slowed the progress through the USB down a bit.
This is our second road trip in the Escape and it is definetly more comfortable than the Civic was, but I don't like driving it as much- especially through Kansas where the speed limit is 75! Of course, I always drive it in Kansas. Usually I end up having to drive through Oklahoma City, and I hate driving the SUV in the city! Luckily, due to my inability to not be tired, Kevin drove there too. He was really the hero of the trip. We don't get fantastic gas mileage on highway driving, as the hybrid engine mostly works under 40. BUT it does one great thing for road rage: while sitting in traffic that just doesn't go anywhere, you get to watch the MPG gauge keep on going up. This gauge is an average, not what we were getting at that moment- I think it got up to 36. Very nice, FTW traffic, very nice.
We kept the camera in the front seat and took some picture along the way. In Denton there was something going on (and I think there was a sign saying "Medal of Honor City"- so I think it had something to do with that.) Every overpass had people with flags, and often fire trucks set up on them. And then a parade of policemen, and then what has to be every area biker came through. Thankfully, on the other side of the highway! No delay for us.
We've always wanted to get a picture of this church in Fort Worth area. Do they not see what everyone I've ever driven by with sees? I don't think its members would like the nickname we gave to this church.
Finally- we reach Austin. We've given up on taking I-35 all the way to Ben White. I-35 in Austin is possibly the scariest place in the world to drive (Kevin's driven in Los Angeles, I've driven in Houston and Chicago, and we've both been in cars in NYC.) So we exit early and take Mopac. You can tell we aren't Austinites anymore, because despite doing this over Christmas, Kevin takes a different route and it takes us a while to figure out how to get to Mopac (he did do it eventually). We get to his parents house just about 9:30, the last hour or so listening to a live Roger Creager (my favorite!) concert courtesy of KVET, and are thankful we started so early. Finishing the drive early definetly makes the early wake up call worth it. I hated when we used to drive until midnight or so. Kevin visited for a bit, but I went to sleep!