Heading Home: Travel Days Three, Four and Five
After leaving Albuquerque I knew we had a long drive ahead of us until we made it back home. After all, we had to cross Texas. Now, taking that drive as a child many, many years ago I remember being so hot and uncomfortable and bored out of my mind with the same flat scenery passing by. I was dreading this leg, but, my memory of the trip was that of a child with no technology. My kids could have cared a less where we were. They had their iPods, iPads, Nintendo DS’s and so much more. And for me, I had another adult to talk to so we passed the time very easily. After what was a flawless driving day we headed off the highway at Fort Worth to call it a night. Now we decided that we were not going to make reservations ahead of time at any of our stops because we weren’t sure we would be able to push ourselves to make they stops we wanted. So I wandered into a Holiday Inn in Fort Worth asking for a room and they said they had rooms available. I asked for two beds and ran into a problem. They only had rooms with Kind size beds and only suites. I almost cried I was so tired but as I took my daughters hand to leave they did everything they could to have me stay there. They brought up a cot which was actually a whole twin bed and we all fit comfortably. The staff was great and the room was clean and perfect! We had dinner and passed out!
The next morning we awoke early ready to hit the road. We were going to push from Fort Worth to Biloxi, Mississippi. Another day another drive. Getting through Dallas was horrible, traffic everywhere and their highways are being fixed and it was just a mess. After that we had smooth sailing, that is until “the bridge”. A little bit of a back story really quick. I have gephyrophobia (pronounced jeff-i-ro-fo-bia), intense fear of driving over bridges. I never had it as a kid or growing up, I think it hit me around 30. One day I was going over a bridge and a fear of being up above, over water made me panic and I white knuckled the rest of the bridge, holding my breath, sweating like crazy, heart racing. So anytime I see a bridge I close my eyes and plug my ears (don’t know why I do that). Of course I only do that when I am NOT driving, as was the case when it came time to cross the Huey P. Long Bridge on U.S. 190 over the Mississippi River. I took one look at that bridge and I swear a sob almost escaped my throat. I seriously hated the look of this bridge, it looked old and ready to fall apart. I didn’t want my husband to drive on it. It looked narrow and we had a very heavy, wide trailer. I was petrified! I closed my eyes, covered my ears and started humming to myself to keep calm. My husband taps my shoulder when we are over bridges, but this tap took FOREVER to come. When it finally did come he said that that bridge triggered a fear in him as well. He said it was so narrow and he was worried about getting across with the trailer. He understood my fear and said he felt for me. When we came home we looked the bridge up and saw that it was built in 1940…1940! Holy cow!
By the time we pushed through to Biloxi I was so tired, I felt like I had taken a beating. But our day was far from over. There were no rooms available in Biloxi, no rooms anywhere. Every hotel we stopped at had handwritten signs saying no vacancies, I wanted to cry! We drove back to the previous town about 15 minutes back and we ran into the same thing. Going forward wasn’t an option we just didn’t have it in us to go another hour, hour and a half forward. I didn’t know what to do. We pulled into another Holiday Inn to no avail. I saw a motel next door and decided to walk over there. They had one room left! OMG!!! I took it, much to the dismay of the couple that came in behind me from the Holiday Inn. It was not a really clean motel, I was kind of afraid to fall asleep, afraid that our car with our whole life in it would be broken in to. But we crashed hard as soon as our heads hit the pillow. My husband woke up once to go check the car at 2am. It was okay. Thank God!
I woke up ready to go right away. This day was our last driving day, by the end of it we would finally be home! I couldn’t wait to see my son again, my sisters and brother again! Thankfully besides the day being a long the travel was smooth and fun, everyone getting excited as the miles went by. We finally pulled in around 6pm, Josh, our son coming to see us alone. I hugged him and started crying, I missed him so much! Then he got the girls out of the car and hugged them. We walked into my sister’s house and everyone else came up to us giving us hugs and welcoming us home. It was such a good feeling, being back with family, being back home. I have been in Florida for around 30 years of my life, but it wasn’t until I couldn’t be here for months that I realized it was my home. I had all my kids in Florida, many memories in Florida, good and bad, but it is all a huge part of my life. I realized I was finally HOME!
Back where we belong!