This should be an interesting weekend, for more reasons than one.
My wife and I are just a few hours away from heading east, a 600-mile trip to my native land in north central Ohio to see our newest grandchild, Maddie Jane, who entered the world six months ago.
It's a long journey, but Kathy and I travel well together, which is surprising, to say the least.
When I make the same journey alone it's usually the better part of 16 hours. I like to stop along the way -- a lot. I've made this trip quite a bit over the 20 years I've lived in Quincy, so I know where all the good bookstores, malls, bakeries, restaurants and other interesting sites are along the way.
My wife is more of the drive-straight-through-without-stopping mentality. Other than the obligatory restroom pit stops, we never leave the road. Never.
Sure, we'll get there in about 10 hours, but look at all we miss along the way. (For the record, I believe the all-time family mark for this cross-country effort is 9 hours, 37 minutes, which belongs to Maddie's mom, Kaysi. That record-setting run came two years ago when she swears she only stopped for one gas-and-go/bathroom break.)
Kathy also is an interesting travel partner in another way. I enjoy cruising down the highway with my window down and radio blasting, normally songs from the late 1960s and pre-disco 1970s. Kathy, as you might guess, prefers windows up and air conditioning blasting. I have already packed an extra sweatshirt for the car. I know it will be a chilly 600 miles.
Speaking of the radio, that always provides another hot conversation topic. When Kathy is in the passenger's seat, the radio or CD player can barely be above a whisper. I usually just turn them off. I mean if you can't enjoy Rod Stewart or Bruce Springsteen in full volume, why even have them on?
But when Kathy is behind the wheel and I'm snoozing in the passenger's seat (or trying to), the volume of the radio or CD player is pretty close to max. She loves rockin' down the highway to late 1970s offerings, and when she thinks I'm sleeping (which she doesn't realize is virtually impossible) I do enjoy hearing her sing along with some of the tunes.
And yet, despite all of these differences, we always enjoy traveling with one another. I'm sure this weekend will be another memorable excursion.
I feel like there is a pot of gold at the end of this trip. I am so anxious to see and hold Maddie Jane for the first time I can hardly wait. In fact, I have actually been the one suggesting we don't make any unnecessary stops so we can get there as quickly as possible.
But I will still bring along that extra sweatshirt. The drive may be guaranteed to be quick, but still chilly.