Leg One: Baton Rouge to Acworth, 552.7 miles
Friday, August 31st: And as I made the decision to leave, I was hearing about a dam in Mississippi that was likely to fail. It was on my route, which meant this might be my last chance to get out for a while. I took my chances, nervous through the long journey from Baton Rouge to Slidell and into Mississippi. I didn’t relax until I was in Alabama, which is ironic because it’s usually my least favorite portion of the trip. But I was going north, getting away from the coast and that was good news. I’ve made this trip 3-4 times a year since 2000, so that’s about 50 times. Whenever I can, I stop in Auburn to see my sister Aimee and her son. This time, I picked them up and took them with me. We had a blast together in the car, even if it was pretty late by the time we got into Acworth. The best was listening to Aimee read my nephew his bedtime portion of Peter Pan from her iPad. The juxtaposition of past, present and future represented by an old story on an iPad, my sister reading a bedtime story to her son, and the deeply dark night pressing against the car windows, will probably always be one of my favorite memories.
Saturday, September 1st: Mums and I ran errands to get ready for the trip. We’d planned to leave on Labor Day originally, but I suggested we begin on Sunday to avoid bad traffic, since I was already there a day early. Our most notable errand might have been going to the library for audio books. This is the library I grew up with, still called the “new library” after it was moved to a new location when I was in elementary school.
We also had lunch with my best friend since 2nd grade and her son.
Then, there was a round of laundry and re-packing. Now, the focus of my packing was purely on The Grandma Road Trip and while I did have to include some work documents since I would be finishing my work on the movie long distance, I was also able to lighten my load a bit.
But to really prepare, it was necessary that I tango. So, I drove down to the city and had a fabulous couple of hours with the tangueros there. This is my second time dancing in Atlanta, but the people I’d met before weren’t there and one dancer who had moved from BR to Atlanta was out of town. So, I had to brave an unfamiliar group all over again, but the Atlanta dancers were so welcoming and talented.
Mums hadn’t wanted me to go considering we were getting an early start in the morning, but I think she saw that it was worth it when I returned. I hadn’t danced in more than a week and when I came home, I was so much more relaxed and happy. I was bound to be a much better travel partner in the morning.