I've got a few hours of overtime saved up so I leave work a little early to get the money from the bank and take out some money from savings for the trip to Corpus Christi and back. An email from John says that the actual notarized document from the bank up north didn't arrive today, maybe tomorrow.
I pick up the loan, sign the paper work and cash the check. My banker friend says that I can pick up the Daytona without the original document but if the original document doesn't get to me I'm going to have a problem titling the car in MS. I ask him if it is okay if I go pick up the Daytona and if the document is not there when I pick it up if John just mails it to me when he gets it. My friend tells me that will be fine and gives me a pair of documents the bank needs signed ... and notarized.
A bill of sale and the power of attorney in case there is a problem with the title on the Daytona. I ask my friend where exactly am I supposed to find a notary public at 5pm or after in Corpus Christi, Texas on a late Saturday afternoon.
He has no answer but says that if John can get the documents signed and notarized he can mail them later. I feel better now, too much paperwork so far, too much back and forth having to get John to run around and get things. This starts to feel like it is finally almost over. All that is left is the trip ... and surviving the wrath of my wife when she finds out what I've done.
I run by my insurance agent and put the Daytona on my policy, making sure that I have full coverage as well as roadside assistance and towing. That way, if anything does happen to the Daytona on the way back my insurance will cover it. That makes me feel even better.
I go home, my father arrives a few minutes later to pick up my daughters. I see them off and tell them that I will pick them up Sunday. With my father and my daughters gone, it is just me and my wife. We sit around for a while on our front porch and watch a rain storm blow through. I ask her if she wants to go out to a nice restaurant to eat and she says that she's not very hungry. I'm starving so we settle on Hardee's (Carl's Jr. to you yankees) and we sit and talk.
There's a marvelous post-thunderstorm sunset.
My wife's curiosity gets the best of her. She can't stand surprises and she asks me if we're going out of town. I tell her yes, that we'll be leaving tomorrow morning, to pack light because we're only staying one night and coming back Sunday. I tell her that I need to stop off at Wal-Mart to get some items for the trip. I have a shopping list in my wallet. We leave Hardee's, go to Wal-Mart and I load up on basic stuff for the trip; shop towels, hand sanitizer, etc.
I stop by Autozone on the way home and pick up the hard parts ... hoses and belts for my '99 Lincoln (which we will be taking as the chase car) and the '89 Daytona. My wife just knows that I bring out a pair of bags with "stuff" in them and throw them in the trunk.
We go home.
Everything is ready ... almost.
I tell my wife to pack light because we are going out of town, for a day. We will be spending the night out of town and coming back on Sunday. She says she has a few more chores to do so I go back to the garage, with my checklist, and start packing the Lincoln.
I know that she is curious about where we are going and why. I get a little worried that she may step out while I'm packing all the tools and supplies in the trunk of the Lincoln, especially the two large tarps and the blanket but she must be busy inside and doesn't stray into the garage.
Hot, sweaty, dripping from the humid Mississippi evening (even this late at night) I finish up most of my checklist ... all that is left is to get my clothes and personal stuff together. Paperwork is set, John's address is programmed into the Garmin Nuvi as well as the address of the hotel we will be staying at. I take a quick glance at the Garmin, bring up John's address and ... 654 miles.
About ten hours, non-stop but anyone who travels with a woman knows that is impossible so I give us twelve hours one way. If we leave at 5am tomorrow we can be there about 5am that afternoon.
My wife is NOT a morning person. I'm lucky in that she is now excited about going ... somewhere. When she gets up in the morning, if I can get her stuff in the car and get her in the car then I'm okay until she fully wakes up or has caffeine. I figure once we're underway I've got probably an hour before she starts to ask serious questions.
I go inside to take a shower, pack and get ready. My wife has not started packing. I chastise her, politely, for not having gotten ready while I was out working in the garage. I tell her that we are getting up at 4am and that makes her eyes go wide open.
I didn't tell her that!
She starts to pack because she realizes it is almost 10pm and the more time it takes her to pack the less sleep she'll get. I get a shower and pack. All of my stuff, including clothes and shaving kit, fits in a backpack.
My wife packs a suitcase and a travel case.
I go to bed, my wife isn't far behind me in doing so either. We cuddle for a while, she asks some questions, I give her very vague answers. I remind her of the quote from the Johnny Depp version of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in that "the best kind of prize is a SURprize!"
She does not like that.
I set my alarm and fall asleep but it is a dutiful sleep, no dreams.