Rebecca is getting married tomorrow (!!!) in Newport, RI. some time ago I decided that Hugh and I would make the 8-hour drive to get there rather than booking a flight.
As this week approached, I got more and more nervous about things going wrong during the drive. Originally, we planned to leave this morning (the day before the wedding, when I have to report to the rehearsal later this afternoon). Well, to get to Rhode Island from DC, you pass through DC traffic, Baltimore traffic, and New York traffic. Naturally I began envisioning us stuck in some city’s rush hour as the minutes ticked down to rehearsal time. I kept thinking:
I’m going to be late and I’m going to show up in my driving sweatpants. No makeup, hair a mess, late and miserable.
So we resolved to leave last night, drive about halfway, crash in a motel for the night, and get back on the road bright and early in the morning. We finally set out around 9 p.m. and made it most of the way up the New Jersey turnpike with no problem. Eventually, though, I got sleepy and my passenger had been snoozing for a few hours. So I did what any classy traveler does: I pulled into a parking space at a rest stop, reclined my seat and took a nap.
Around 1 a.m. I woke up a new woman. I snagged a diet coke from the Roy Rogers and onward we went. At that point I was ready and determined to make it the rest of the way – and we did. Hugh stayed awake and talked to me about Connecticut trivia as we drove through Connecticut, and Rhode Island trivia as we entered the smallest state in the Union.
We of course spent some time discussing the states’ role in the big parts of American history: Did you know that Rhode Island declared independence from Britain two whole months before the rest of the country did? They also had the largest slave population in New England prior to the Civil War, but upon the ending of the war immediately outlawed segregation in schools.
So after dodging speed demon trucks, random heavy downpours, intensely thick fog, and a few long bridges, we made it to Newport just after 5 a.m. Thankfully my parents were already here and had some space in their hotel room for us to crash and get some shut-eye before the madness begins.
And on that note, I’m going back to sleep.