I’m back at last. From July 3 to 7 Leive & I were in Georgia, visiting our daughter Lindy, her husband Adam and our granddaughter Lexi. This was the first time we had seen them in two years. I also actively promoted my LegalShield Business while I was down there, so this was a business trip as well as a pleasure one.
To avoid wear and tear on our own aging cars, I rented a Chevy Impala. It handled well, but the weather was against us for most of the way down. Both Kentucky and Georgia are having a very wet summer (last week alone, Kentucky got nearly as much rain as it normally gets for all of July), and it rained from the Kentucky-Tennessee border to Dublin, GA, a distance of about 410 miles. Before it was over I joked about driving in a hurricane; the weather and traffic jams (in southern Tennessee and Atlanta) caused us to arrive quite late, long after Lexi had gone to bed.
Lexi is now three years old, so I doubt if she remembers our last visit. For our second day we drove to Savannah to buy her some presents, and I brought some more from Kentucky, so she probably thinks the Fourth of July is another Christmas. Here she is in Savannah’s Ross store with Leive.
The next day (Friday) was Leive’s birthday. Because of the on-and-off rain, we stayed home for most of the morning and afternoon, but in the evening we all went to Leive’s favorite Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, to celebrate. They had a special menu, so Leive gave Lexi a scare with a crawfish!
And Lexi got quite a reaction when she fed the fish in the restaurant fish pond.
On Saturday, I was out aggressively distributing LegalShield business cards and brochures. This interesting antique shop was closed, though. Supposedly “Hopeulikit” is also the name of that neighborhood.
Nearby I noticed a house where the American flag was at half-mast while the Confederate flag flew twice as high. For many Georgians the Civil War never really ended.
Meanwhile at home, Lexi helped Leive make the dough for sio pao (steamed rolls with a meat filling).
That evening we went to a popular clubhouse, and played a game of bowling. Here Lexi jumped when she saw Leive bowl a good ball. Later she helped out when Lindy’s ball got stuck in the gutter, and she went out on the lane to roll the ball back to me. I’m sure I would have slipped if I had gone there, because the lanes are greased. After the game, Lexi and Lindy played in the clubhouse ball pit until it was time to go home.
Sunday was the day of our trip home. We got rain from Macon onward, so I wished out loud that it would finish by the time we got to Knoxville. On previous trips I learned to dislike the 60-mile drive between Knoxville and the Kentucky border, because the mountains and the elevation make that stretch a challenge, especially when the weather is bad. Well, it did clear up in Knoxville, so northern Tennessee wasn’t so bad this time; I even got through it before the sun went down. As we entered Kentucky, it looked like the worst part of the trip was behind us.
Or so we thought. At mile marker 73, just short of Berea, KY, traffic stopped in all northbound lanes. Gradually we learned that five miles ahead, two semi trucks collided, causing a hazmat spill, and the authorities didn’t want any cars continuing on, or even going back, until they knew what the spilled chemical was and decided what to do about it. We ended up sitting there for four hours, making this worse than the Berea accident that stopped us in June 2007; that traffic jam only lasted three hours. Still, it could have been worse; the weather was just right, for a change, and it took some drivers six hours to get out of there. Here is the only news story I could find on the accident:
Traffic is moving again on I-75 in Madison County after a crash forced northbound lanes near Berea to close down. Around 8 on Sunday night near mile marker 78, a semi was rear ended by another semi. The second truck was hauling hydrated alumina, a non-hazardous chemical that spilled into all three northbound lanes. Crews finished cleaning up the wreck early Monday morning.
The cops detoured us to a side road at the Berea exit, which we took to Highway 25, and followed that to Richmond, where we could use I-75 again. In the end we got home at 1:20 AM, four hours later than expected. I couldn’t sleep late, though, because I had to return the rental car. By tomorrow we should be completely recovered from the trip, and will get back into the routine of home life.