Sunday, August 8, 2010

A quick turnaround road trip...

If anyone asks if it is possible to do 800 miles in a 24 hour period, my answer, now, is most decidedly yes.  I left yesterday morning to go to my cousins wedding in Winston-Salem, NC in the Nissan Altima I spoke about in the previous post.  '

The fact of the matter is the little bugger held up VERY well, even though it turned over to 181,000 miles on the return trip.  The trip down was miserable.  It took nearly 8 hours due to very heavy beach traffic on I-95.  It took four hours just to get to Richmond, once you add in a stop for lunch, two stops for the bathroom, and the regular 3 hours it normally takes to get from Richmond to Winston-Salem, and the entire trip down was just excruciating.  The lunch stop was at an unremarkable chain sandwich shop, so there is really no reason to expand on that.

When we got to Richmond, however, we quickly discovered that the Hotel we were going to be staying in was so new, that the road it is on was not in my GPS unit.  So, we had to guess where it was based on other places that were nearby.  Once past Richmond, traffic moved nicely on I-85.  So nicely in fact, that we made the three hour trip in only 2.5.

The hotel does deserve a mention, for one reason.  While it was just a standard Hilton Garden Inn, nothing spectacular there...Hilton has decided to change out the mattresses to a set that while in theory should be a better bet, however, they were horrid.  I have never slept on a bed that was that hard in my entire life.  I think laying on the floor on the carpet alone might have been softer.  After checking out, I found out the beds are actually adjustable, so if I wanted a softer bed, I merely needed to adjust the firmness on the side of the mattress.  The person checking me in was supposed to tell me about it, but they didn't.  So, after only 2 hours of sleep it was time for the return trip.

The return trip was fast.  Very fast.  For most of the trip back I kept the Nissan at around 80 mph.  While 80 seems fast, I was in the slow lane passing no one.  In fact, I moved to the far right lane because I was getting my doors blown off on both sides by cars going easily 20-30 miles per hour faster than I was.  I still made it back in record time, only 4.5 hours including a stop for gas, and a stop for a bathroom break.

When I finally got home I collapsed.  I needed to pick the Volvo up today because my school parking sticker is on the back window.  When I woke up from my nap, at 8 pm, I headed to Warrenton to get the Volvo.  While having AC in the Nissan was very nice, when I got back in the Volvo I realized there was a lot I missed about it.  The Volvo feels heavy and solid, the Nissan felt light.  The Volvo has a distinctive smell, one that is very familiar, it's the same smell that was in my 1987 740 Turbo.   I missed things as small as the thickness of the steering wheel.

The fact of the matter remains, no matter how nice something is that you're borrowing or renting, nothing is as nice as being  back on familiar territory.  The Volvo is just home to me.

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