It Really Starts Today

Donald wasn't home.
Donald wasn’t home.

-7 Minute Read -

It Really Starts Today
A common sight.
A common sight.
Trying to get something other than the postcard shot. Subject: the Washington Monument.
Trying to get something other than the postcard shot. Subject: the Washington Monument.

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Joel’s Journal - Entry #160 - 4/8/2017

I’ll start this post off by thanking all of you. I know, I know, I’ll get to the roadtrip and how AMAZING it has been so far in a few lines, but I need to say this.

It was a big night for me last night, and hearing all of your congratulations and your comments, likes, loves and reactions just makes my day. Honestly, I’ve said it before, this writing job can be lonely some times and receiving that support in such a strong wave is a little overwhelming. But I read all the comments with a smile on my face, so THANK YOU!

On to bigger and better things next year!

Now, about this road trip.

It was quite the transition really, straight from awards and suits and bowties to in the car and cheap motels. I was perfectly fine with that. We had a quick two hour jaunt down across the border and into Buffalo. We had no issues getting across and when we pulled into the motel, we were both pretty exhausted. As exciting as these award ceremonies are, they can be damn stressful, and that anxiety takes a lot out of you.

Pushing through the door of the motel room, the place was like the arctic circle. I imagine that the motel turns the heaters off in unused room to cut down on the hydro bill, but that didn’t really help a pair of exhausted kids looking to get some rest. I immediately got the heat rockin as we got ready for bed. I wrote up the journal with my back against the headboard, and when it was finished, the lights went off and were both almost immediately asleep.

Then, it seemed like we were both immediately awake again.

It had to be several hours later, but the room was two degrees shy of the surface of the sun! I clawed at the sheets, the thick air clogging my throat. I felt like a man covered in sweat trying to free himself after being mummified in saran wrap.

M had awoken at about the exact same time, and she would tell me in the morning she was extremely grateful I got up to slam the dial on the heater and turn it off.

Silently, we both debated in our heads stepping out into the cold, early morning darkness. Neither of us did, and the room returned to a normal temperature pretty soon and I was quickly asleep again.

In the morning, I quickly showered, which was good because the hot water only laster a minute and a half, then spooned some cereal into my mouth before we hit the road for our first day in the car.

Today’s schedule only called for about 8 or 9 hours in the car, but we were a bit left in the dark when my GPS was unable to locate our Washington hostel, or the White House, or anything near or in the vicinity of downtown DC. I was read to go Office Space on the small plastic box (but was without a bat to do it with) when we decided to play it by ear and see how close we could get. The Garmin was able to find a location that was about 3/4s of the way there, and we figured we could just figure out what came next when we got to that point.

Cue classic roadtrip montage. Driving. COFFEE. Music. Snacks. Chatter. Laughter. Driving. More Music. More snacks. Pee break. More snacks. More driving. Arrival.

This was the first city that M and I have been to together where neither of us had been there before. This was completely new to both of us, and it’s an amazing feeling.

There’s this electric excitement that runs between you, feeding itself between your connected hands like a vibration as you both take in the unknown together.

We only have a single day here, so we did it ALL. Along with the collection of monuments that litter the downtown, we stopped at the White House, the Washington Monument, the War War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. ALSO, the cherry blossom trees were just starting to bloom so it was an absolute perfect time to be in the city. On top of that, our driving schedule dumped us into the city in the middle of the afternoon, meaning as we walked around for several hours we caught golden hour in the most beautiful portion of the city.

We grabbed some pitas from a nearby food truck, sat down in a field across the street and ate our dinner while the sun went down behind the Washington Monument.

We’re both back at the hostel now, M is down in bed and I’m in the common area writing to you guys and editing some photos. In the next room, a massive group are about to turn it up to 11. I’ve seen several trips to and from the kitchen with people returning with arms of beer.

For now though, M and I have an early morning and what appears to be a LONG day of driving, potentially over 11 hours in the car.

So, until next time, all of you make sure you keep doing what you love and doing it well! And thanks for reading!

On to FLORIDA.