After about 10 minutes, I whispered to Bob, "Are you awake?"
"Yes," he whispered back.
"Do you want to just get up and go?” I asked.
"Yes," he said.
We had pretty much packed up before going to bed, so after getting just a few last things together, we woke up Frances and Vincent and whisked them out to the car.
Although there was little-to-no traffic on the road, it was a little treacherous driving the first couple of hours due to heavy fog on small roads (MI 127-S). Once we got to I-75, though, it cleared up, and it was much better going.
We stopped for "breakfast" on the Ohio Turnpike at around 3:30 a.m. It was one of the Service Centers on the turnpike, so we didn't have to exit, pay, and re-enter the turnpike. There was a Hardee's there, where we each had a sausage and egg biscuit and shared a cup of coffee.
Of course it was still dark out, and when we got on the acceleration ramp to merge back onto the turnpike, there was a huge deer that started to cross the road, and I thought, "Dear god, please don't run into our car."
It hesitated long enough for us to pass it, and I let out a huge sigh of relief.
Four more hours down the road, we stopped in Cambridge, OH at around 7:30 a.m., and we deemed it lunch time. Here I am greeting the sun with Vincent and Frances at that stop.
We sat on a picnic table there, and even though it was 7 a.m., Bob made us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our new bread, and with the same peanut butter and jelly supply that had served us so well on the way up.
Our next stop was at around noon, in Bland, VA, which was at a Dairy Queen, and at which we each had a chili cheese dog, and we split a caramel shake.
5 hours (from 7 a.m. until noon) seems like a long stretch without us having taken another break, but we were both more than ready to be back home. And Bob did whip out the ever-faithful, and most-beloved, Catch Phrase game to keep me awake and alert.
He was actually cracking me up with it, because he kept saying how amazing and great I was doing, even though I obviously sucked in at least one category—entertainment.
We pulled into Bob's driveway at right around 3:30, and I snapped a picture of my odometer—for posterity—of our 2687.2-mile trip.
Frances and Vincent sure were glad to be home, too! They were the best little travelers. They didn't complain once about being on the road for 15 hours. Sleeping beauties. Both of them!
In my blog entry for day 1 of our trip, I indicated that: "The main purpose of this trip is to meet as many of Bob's Michigan relatives as possible and to see as many sights as possible—some of which are still standing, many of which are not—of Bob's childhood in Battle Creek."
I would say it was a successful trip on both accounts. I have now met a grand total of 9 of the 14 McVeigh siblings.
Sketch of 1991 family portrait (Legend: Red = siblings met, Black = siblings not met)
In addition to the siblings, I met a number of extended family members, and a longtime friend of his.
We hate that we didn't get to see everyone while we were there, but there's an open invitation to any and all if you're ever passing through Raleigh or making it your vacation destination!