Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Driving North, from Hot to Cold!


A beautiful warm spring day for driving….a long road trip ahead, and the sun is shining, and temps are climbing the closer I get to the Virginia/North Carolina state line.

I’m heading north on I-85 –I know this route like the back of my hand.

It leads me from Greensboro toward Raleigh/Durham and then north toward Petersburg, Virginia.

SO much history happened in this area.

Everywhere you look are signs for battle fields, military museums, historical markers and sites.

There is no time to stop – I’ve got to make it all the way past Richmond, Past Fredericksburg, Past DC…oh my gosh, DC…the worst traffic in the country!

Do NOT get stuck on this side of DC during heavy traffic times….I need to make it to Maryland.

Do you see this lovely Dogwood tree?  OH my goodness – they are starting to bloom and they are such favorites of springtime.


Hello, my pretty!

I stopped at a rest area just short of the VA/NC line and these trees were blooming in the parking area.

It was a balmy lovely 74 degrees!  Of course I didn’t pack more than a denim shirt to wear and ward off any chill on my drive.  Temps are perfect!

There is an emergency sweater in my suitcase.


The crowning glory of spring time in the south.  Red bud trees!

But from here…….to Richmond….temps DROPPED from 74 degrees to a chilly 50 degrees!

The blue sky went away, and grey clouds began to drizzle.  Oh no!  What happened to my beautiful day??


Richmond ahead in the yuck.

Someone forgot to send them a memo!  BRING ON SPRING!


Can you see what this is behind the grey barren trees??


I’m getting closer to Washington, DC and temps are now at 49 and still dropping.


Yes, I passed monuments…in cold misty drizzle, temps at 45 degrees and dropping.

And I still hit DC traffic.  I think they have traffic 24/7/365.  2pm and things are at a standstill.

I couldn’t make my exit because the line of cars was so long I missed my need to get in that lane…..and ooops. RECALCULATING!

The recalculating GPS took me up and around…..and THROUGH A TUNNEL!  So I promptly lost signal.

I ended up in the wrong lane again…and because we were in a tunnel I had no signal to tell me to get in the right lane….and ooops!  I missed that exit as soon as I came out of the tunnel and had service again.


I swear…..that GPS put me in the worst side of DC that you can imagine.  Lock your doors and don’t look anyone in the eye!  And I am almost out of gas at this point.

Find the cleanest looking gas station with plenty of customers and pump that gas quickly!

Find your way eventually back to the interstate…..Whew.

I made it.  I white knuckled my way through most of this day, and my mood took on the color of the clouds and the rain and the mist and the dreary.  If you think that color can’t dictate or influence your moods..think again.  Think how color can make you feel.  That blue sky and sunshine and blooming purple red buds and blooming ivory dogwoods had a definite effect on my morning drive.

The LACK of color and light and the fact that everything looked dingy and grey and dirty and industrial all the way through DC  did a number on me.  It erased all of the color that made me so happy on my drive.

So what am I going to do to make myself happy again?


Sew with COLOR!

The more color the better!

This is late because I just got back to my hotel after a nice dinner out to up my mood.  I’ve got my school bus featherweight with me, and my Lozenge blocks to work on.  Bring on the color, and color me back happy!

Oh…and light and sunshine always help too ---so remember this little goodie??


Magnetic push button battery operated BBQ light!

((Find this at Lowes in the BBQ aisle!))

It really does have a bright beam and makes sewing with the featherweight in a hotel room such a pleasure.  I haven’t had a road trip in a while, and when I last went to Georgia I had taken the 301.  This machine needs to come out to play….and the light was already attached from the last time and you know how it goes….What I had forgotten, is now new to me again!

If you can’t have REAL sunshine and color –quilt some up.

Bring on the happy!

Jammie and sewing time….tomorrow morning is a lecture in Columbia, MD.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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  1. Whew, glad you made it. DC has got to have the worst traffic ever! I hope the weather improves tomorrow.

  2. LOVE redbuds--state tree of OK! And I've planted one at every house I've lived in. My son did some training at Quantico and we lived in Herndon (I was born in MD!). Lots of history there for ME! Have fun and hope it warms up!

  3. Next time when you get to Fredericksburg, cut over 17 and wind your way up.... you miss DC.. and it's a nicer drive

  4. Gray, gloomy and misty here in Nebraska too. We need moisture, but really, why can't it just rain and have it over with? Not that it matters much. Everyone around here, including me & hubby have the coughing crud that's going around. UGH!! Seeing that little bright yellow machine is kind of like having the sun come out! Enjoy your evening together.

  5. Bonnie my Great-Great Grandpa was captured in Petersburg, Va near the end of the Civil War. He was sent to Point Lookout, Md and was held there for the last 2.5 months of the war. I hope that you get to make some stops and get pics as you drive home.
    I've told you lots of times how much you and I are alike in loving history. As I was reading this post it made me think of him right off the bat. I look forward to all your history stories. I was telling my cousin that if he wasn't captured that none of us would be here today. It's a chilling thought.

  6. That was supposed to be....
    If he wasn't captured and lived, he may have been killed and none of us would be here.

  7. Brenda Wilkinson, WL, BC10:46 PM EDT

    That perky little machine would brighten anyone's day! I have only read about Quantico in books by Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, so was interesting to get a glimpse. I love that you take photos along the way. It lets the rest of us be armchair (or sewing chair) travelers. Enjoy your road trip. Here's hoping for better weather and happy antiquing!

  8. So glad that you made it in spite of some weird lane changes. You'll be happy to know that you escaped New England just in time; we're having 3 to 4 inches of fresh snow here tonight in New Hampshire. Even WE can't believe it!

  9. The red bud trees are just gorgeous! I really like the light on your FW. I need one!!! Went to Lowes site but didn't see a pic of one like yours. Can you share more info about the light?

  10. Is this the light? I found this one on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Bar-B-Q-Magnetic-Grilling-Light/dp/B0042AUIEW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428554493&sr=8-1&keywords=magnetic+grill+light

  11. Glad you made it. I remember many years ago getting lost in a really bad section of Washington. DC after dark. I certainly was not going to stop and ask for help. I finally found my way out and lived for another day.

  12. Pleased that you have arrived safe.Just reading gave me the heebie-jeebies.

  13. No wonder our countries leaders have so many problems.... they just don't have any color to keep them happy! Hmmm, must pray for more color in DC! Lol...

  14. Loved your travel story. I lived in the DC area for almost 3 years and know about the traffic. It is incredibly beautiful when the flowers start blooming, the flowering bushes are unbelievably gorgeous. I too am very affected by color. I love very bright colors but need my home to be quiet (except my sewing room).

  15. We learned from our yearly drive from here in northwestern PA to Williamsburg VA to use an alternate route in order to avoid the Beltway. It puts a damper on the start and end to our vacation, and it is NOT good for our marriage!! I suggest that you check out Sundae Quilter's suggestion on a map before heading home. Your trip will be so much more relaxing!

  16. Anonymous3:12 PM EDT

    We do NC to PA & back a lot & have stopped going anywhere near DC. Try 29. We take it as far as we can going north & then head over to 81. You could take 29 almost the whole way home! It's not a bad route & definitely no stress. GPS needs to stop taking people thru DC...I know exactly where it routed you...

  17. We made the 13 hour trip from West Palm Beach, Florida to Richmond, VA today. It was hot (85) at the rest stop in southern NC today, and only 54 in Richmond by the time we got home tonight.

    The good news about the cool weather: it makes the daffodils last longer.

  18. Bonnie, did you feel my suffering for you as you finally made it through DC. Hate to be off course when I'm driving by myself. Just can't seem to avoid a bit of an anxiety attack. One hint for all that I read on Ami Simms blog that is wonderful. A way to test your battery to see if it is dead without a tester. Hold one between your index finger & thumb with the flat side pointing down. Release. If it is dead it rolls over dead. I tested immediately and sure enough my battery was dead. Enjoy! Safe travels.

  19. I remember on my wedding day we were driving from Philadelphia to DC for our honeymoon. We circled around the Iwo Jima statue five times before finding our way. Cwoosley12@yahoo.com


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