Sunday, July 31, 2011

Family Trip 2011 - Wrap-up

Today was the return to reality.  We got up early, had breakfast, packed the van, and headed out.

It was opposite day on the road for us when compared to the drive up on Thursday.  Captain Carsick did not rear his ugly head again, traffic was for the most part relatively light, and there were no traffic backups.  The only hang-up on the road was that Boo tried to get out of his carseat several times, which caused us to pull over and re-strap him in.

We got from Columbus to the Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati in really good time, but lost all of that time when I made the mistake of trying to get a quick lunch at a Bob Evan's on Sunday at noon.  I know, I'm not very bright sometimes.  It took 45 minutes to get seated, 15 minutes to be waited on, 45 minutes to get our order, and another 30 minutes to get a check and get out of there.  If I didn't think that Boo would have melted in the parking lot if I'd tried to get him back in his carseat so soon after getting him out, we would have left after 15 minutes of waiting for a table.  It took 45 minutes to get our meals because they lost the order, but they tried to make up for it by giving us a couple of appetizers gratis while they put together our meals.  I stress the 'tried', because it'll be a cold day in Riyadh before I go cross the threshold of a Bob Evan's again.

On the way back, we took the scenic route down towards Lexington instead of taking the straight route to Louisville.  That way we avoided all of the construction on I-71, as well as the possibility of being backed up behind race day traffic at the track in Sparta.  The Bluegrass  is prettier than the route along the Ohio River anyway.

I tracked fuel economy on the way back, and the van got a little less than 22 miles per gallon driving 70 to 75 miles an hour on the interstate.  Not bad for 5 year old minivan loaded to the gills with people and luggage.

Pros for the weekend:

  • Columbus Zoo is awesome!  If you are into zoo's, it's definitely worth the time and money to get there.
  • Our hotel, the Chase Suites in Dublin, was wonderful. More on that later.
  • I am officially off of my soft, bland, sweet post-surgery diet, so I was able to partake in meals that contained actual food!

Cons for the weekend:

  • It was hot enough to boil a monkey's bum.  We've already decided that when we go back, we'll make it part of a spring break trip so we can spend more than 3 or 4 hours at a time walking around the zoo.
  • The highway departments in Ohio and Kentucky are on official notice that they can bite me.   At least half the highway between Louisville and Columbus was a construction zone, and a poorly managed one at that.  My guess is that this is the states spending the last of the money for "Shovel Ready" projects before Uncle Sugar shuts off the taps.

So there you have it.  The family got to spend 96 hours together, no-one got strangled, and everyone reports that they had a good time.

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