Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Chicago and Back!
Here's a picture of Tina behind the table we shared at the Chicago Area Soap and Candlemakers' Conference. You can see my jewelry display on the left and her magazine and book display on the right. Tina isn't really a mouth breather! I think she's talking to our neighbor, Art, the shrinkwrap guy while holding coffee to stay warm.
Well, we made it there and back. What a trip! The universe seemed to conspire to make sure we got our fill of driving and turnpikes this trip. We may not be straying too far from home for a while.
The trip was going pretty well until we got about 2/3 of the way through Ohio. The turnpike was shut down because of a serious accident and Tina had brillliantly decided to turn into a rest stop just before everything stopped. We were stuck there three hours which meant by the time we left, it was close to sun down.
By the time we hit Indiana, it was dark and we were punchy. Road work loomed.. maze like contortions of roads which seemed to end periodically, no they didn't really, but it was getting late.
Then the signs began.... We really didn't understand this one. Here you see it in the daytime - snapped on the way home. But, a sign like this, saying, "Animal present when flashing", looming out of the night is rather disconcerting, especially when it is flashing!
And when it is followed by another sign saying,"Vehicles entering exiting area", confusion is complete.
At least they gave us something to talk about and eventually babble about on the way. The area the IN turnpike crosses is pretty desolate, so...
We looked so forward to getting into Illinois, thinking that, besides the fact that we would be closer to our goal, probably the roads would be in more populated areas... maybe even lighted.
Oh, the road was lighted all right.. And completely under construction... Orange barrels and cones everywhere... At one point, I had to veer around a bridge abutment, but by that time, we were running totally on adrenaline anyway.
It was nearing 12 midnight - our time - and we knew we were getting closer... a sudden exit appeared - and it was the right number (the order of exit numbers had not made sense for some time). We took it, and to our surprise, the gas station we saw ahead (where we planned to ask directions) was a toll booth. We escaped to the correct street and turned almost immediately into our hotel... Whew!
Gee, and almost 5 hours left to sleep before we had to get up for the Convention - great!
The convention itself was great and we made some good sales and even managed to pull off our presentation about adding herbs to soaps and other bath products. If the trip itself hadn't been so bizarre, I'd probably have a lot more to say about this!
Unfortunately, we still had to drive home... The trip home was very similar, even included an extra night we took to hide out from a nasty rain storm and pull ourselves together after a bit too much stimulation from said storm...
We're still recovering from the trip and grateful to have made the final leg of the trip from Pittsburgh to Lancaster without mishap... Maybe next time we'll go East - or north - or.. just stay home!