Thursday, November 15, 2007

Heading South for the Weekend

Motel 6 scenic vista

The past weekend in brief: Jo and I exhibited in the Three Rivers Arts Festival down in Covington, Louisiana. (Actually, only Jo's pottery was juried into the show; I just went along to provide a strong back.) Covington is a “north shore” community (i. e. on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain across from New Orleans), a fer piece from our Ozark hills. The show was good for us, but not great. Because it required a 1,500 mile round trip, the show really needed to be great.

The “When do we leave?” debate: We needed to be down in Covington Friday afternoon so we could get the van unloaded and the booth (mostly) set up. We could leave Thursday afternoon and drive all night. Or, we could head out early Friday morning. Both choices were complicated by needing to get our dogs to the vet's for boarding.

If we left Thursday afternoon, we had to get to the vet's office by five o'clock. Leaving then would put us down in Covington too early in the day. If we waited until early Friday morning, we'd have to make a special trip to the vet's Thursday afternoon. Jo and I finally opted for leaving Thursday afternoon, mostly because of my night owl habits. Leaving early Friday morning would have meant that we'd head out about the same time I normally go to bed, and that wouldn't have been good for my staying awake while driving.

The “Which route do we take?” debate: We could have driven south to Pine Bluff, AR, and then angled east to I-55, but since we'd be driving at night, we chose to stay on the Interstate Highways: Down to Little Rock, east to Memphis on I-40, south on I-55.

The sleeping navigator: Jo drove until we reached the outskirts of Memphis while I napped a little. I drove the rest of the trip because I can see better at night and because I'm more accustomed to staying up until all hours of the night. We didn't have any problems until near the end of the trip. I'd stopped and bought gas on the south side of Jackson, MS, a little after midnight. After that stop, my navigator did some serious napping, more serious than she realized. A few hours down the road, Jo woke up enough to ask, “When are we going to get to Louisiana?” I told her we were about 20 miles outside of New Orleans. There was a long pause while Jo cleared a few more cobwebs out of her head. Then, she informed me that I should have already exited onto Interstate 12. Getting back to I-12 required backtracking for about 25 miles. I really should start looking at the maps before we leave on a trip.

Scenic Slidell, Louisiana: Our ultimate destination for this leg of our trip was Slidell, LA., which is about twenty miles past Covington on I-12. Jo had spent much time online trying to find us a reasonably priced room in Covington, but there wasn't anything available for less that $100 per night. Spending that much for a place to shower and sleep cuts too deeply into our bottom line. Jo finally found a room at the Slidell Motel 6 for around fifty bucks.

We arrived in Slidell a little after 4:00 AM. There's not a lot – that I want to know about – going on in Slidell at four o'clock in the morning so we pulled into a truck stop parking lot to get some sleep. Sleeping in our van when it's fully loaded for a show meant remaining upright in the standard issue Econoline cargo van bucket seats that we'd been occupying for the past twelve hours, but that didn't bother me. I managed to get several hours of sleep. I don't think Jo did quite as well, but she was quiet and let me sleep.

We decided to give the Motel 6 a try mid-morning. The lady at the desk was nice enough to let us check in early, so I got a few more hours sleep in a bed. (Some friends of ours tried the same thing at the $100 per night Super 8 motel in Covington and were told they'd have to pay a $50 early-check-in fee.)



Anonymous said...


Marvin said...

We're just trying to follow Ben Franklin's adage that "A penny saved is a penny earned". Had we not found the cheaper Motel 6 in Slidell, we were planning to sleep in the van (somewhere) all weekend.