Moving day was upon us. The rental truck was 30 miles south of home so we headed down early afternoon to pick it up. A 14′ U-Haul, ours for 5 days at the cost of $1200. 14′ is a nice size for amateur truck drivers (like us). Large enough to fit a 2-bedroom apartment yet small enough to handle easily. It was time to load up the Red Panda.
Though we’re only slightly experienced, loading the truck went smoothly. My oldest son is a huge asset in any move. His strong back and determined resolve get the job done trouble free. We left our driveway a little behind schedule, but honestly, I assumed this would be the case. I knew that my wish to leave at 5:00 A.M. was only a wish…an unrealistic expectation really.
First day of driving was uneventful. Fun to finally be on the road. We stopped for the night in Fultondale, Alabama. Nice Holiday Inn Express. Pets allowed, extremely helpful and friendly staff, clean rooms, nice beds , “free” hot breakfast and HBO.
Late start the next morning…based on theory (and experience) that it’s best to drive long distance when you’re well-rested. I think we were. Another uneventful day of driving…until we hit Florida. We had been on Interstate 10 only briefly when we were greeted by the most magnificent rainbow ever. It was tall and bright…the most brilliant rainbow I’ve seen. Welcome to Florida!
Then north of Gainesville we ran into a vicious thunderstorm. The sky turned very dark and the rain was blinding. I drove on at a steady, safe speed, with wipers flailing and hazard lights flashing. We pushed through and found the clearing after about five minutes. Just a guess on the time. It seemed much longer, but likely was not.
In the homestretch and I notice fireworks ahead of us. It’s Wishes, from the Castle! Emotions were stirred and we all became very excited. Missed my exit due to slow acting GPS. Not a big problem…get off and get back on again…pay toll again. Bah.
Make it to the general vicinity of my neighborhood, but I’ve only been there twice before…but never in the dark. After several more turnarounds and circling we find home and it felt so very good to arrive.
The scary adventure has ended…or rather the scary has ended, the adventure continues!