Nothing quite like a whirlwind road trip
Less than 72 hours.
Five hundred plus miles — one way.
The plan for a girls’ whirlwind weekend road trip went on my November calendar back in September when the thought became the suggestion and then the absolute intention.
A trip from Ohio to North Carolina last weekend was all pleasure and purpose, a show of support to see my sixth-grade step-granddaughter Emma Kiaski shine in her lead role as princess Jasmine in the production of “Aladdin Jr.”
We had our own magic carpet ride down and back — a very smooth and scenic traveling experience minus any drivers beholding to make-good-time expectations and absent any drivers unwilling to make any and all pit stops.
Of course the day before there was what we considered to be un-Novemberish kind of weather — too much winter for what is officially still fall.
Departure Day Eve brought odd Calendar Month No. 11 conditions — freezing rain and how about a little snow for a follow-up, pilgrim?
I don’t believe this, I grumbled to myself when I was creeping along in my commute home from work in sleet and snow, doing a mental inventory of what I needed to throw together to take with me the next day to Fuquay-Varina.
Is it possible we won’t make good on our down-and-back mini-mini-mini-mini-getaway?
Will “inclement weather” make us party poops in a cast of we-would-have-gone-if-we-could-have?
No way, baby.
Off we headed, first properly caffeinated with a coffee stop.
How lovely it is to travel with women, especially when the experienced driver behind the wheel has a side job as an Uber driver who thinks long-distance driving is no big deal.
And how lovely it is to not only stop and eat, but to shop a little afterward because you’re in no big terrible horrible hurry.
Now, this is good — girl travel, girl talk, girl stuff.
GPS is pretty nice, too, a technology perk that means you don’t have to rely on a road map you can’t make heads or tails of much less refold.
And you don’t have to depend on a gas station attendant to interpret how you need to get back on track and proceed in the right direction.
With the GPS lady, you’re told where to go (in this case, in a pleasant tone and someplace nice) and even alerted when there are delays, disabled vehicles, construction up ahead, you name it.
This was not my father’s road trip for sure.
And school plays surely have come a long way, too, with elaborate costumes and sets.
Our family does have some “drama” in it, with some Thespian heritage in our blood, so it’s no surprise that Miss Emma took to her Princess Jasmine role with ease.
No matter what, the show must go on, we were reminded, when smoke from the genie’s lamp set off the fire alarm during the play — an alarm that kept sounding until the fire department arrived.
The cast improvised in the interim and asked the genie to make it stop.
Our ride home included some theatrics, too, an extended karaoke hour of individual performances topped off with the grand group finale — “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
There’s nothing like a whirlwind weekend road trip.
(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)