My first alone trip ever-ever

I woke up at 3 a.m. panicked for no good reason. Of course I did. It’s not like I needed extra sleep. On the agenda today: take the child for an overnighter at her future college.

My oldest child and I left at 5:45 a.m. My first-ever road trip without a parent, or a husband, or a friend.

When people lament that the world left them behind, sometimes it’s true. For me, it certainly is. I have never spent the night completely alone.

She drove the whole way.

My husband drives this route a lot and gave me basic directions. Since some of the details were fuzzy, I turned on the GPS. That was a mistake.

It didn’t like The Husband’s directions and it kept trying to take me 40 miles out of my way to a different road.

We missed an important turn at some point and ended up here.

A four-house town in nowhere USA.

Stupid GPS.

So the plan was: get there by 10, have lunch and explore for a while, drop her off and run. I was going to go antiquing, see my brother, and sleep like a teenager.

What I didn’t know was that the college had a parent orientation and tour, where I accidentally over-shared confidential information with a stranger, pet a snake, and got to see my child’s arm intentionally set on fire by the chemistry professor.

Orientation Bingo and Q&A

We finally said our goodbye’s and I wandered the corridors until I finally found the same doors I used to go inside.

Unintentionally getting all my minutes in.

And then my GPS struck again. You’d think I would learn. You would be wrong.

I was looking for the Walmart. I forgot to bring some non-optional personal items. Plus, I generally find the local supercenter first thing while traveling.

Instead of going 0.4 miles to the other side of the freeway (seriously, you can see it from my hotel window), it took me 5 miles in the wrong direction so I could see a barn. Then it took me 3 miles in a different direction to an RV park.

The bonus was that a thrift store was in the same parking lot as Walmart. It might not be antiquing. But it’s darn close.

Oh. My. Gosh. If I’d been in my behemoth car and not my daughter’s compact sedan, I would have come home with it filled to the ceiling.

I resigned myself to three candy jars and a light fixture. I’m a little bit obsessed with light fixtures.

The agenda for the evening: hot tub, pillow fort, sleep.

Nope. Hot tub full of little kids. And when I say full, I mean there were probably 20 kids in the pool area.

Pillow fort. Check.

Sleep. Not so much. Hard to sleep when the neighbors are fighting. I’ve always hated hotels. I’d rather sleep in a tent.


Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.

Lucy Maude Montgomery

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