September 26 (Sunday)
We got up early and were out of the hotel around 8 AM. Have I mentioned the weather? For almost the entire trip, it was cool in the morning and not too hot in the afternoon. This day was no exception. I drove over to the old hospital part of WebMD, just ’cause I wanted Mom to see it, and it wasn’t that much out of the way. Then we hopped onto I-65 and we were on our way.
Oddly, I can remember Mom and I talking about restaurants and shops we’d see in Florida that had branches elsewhere. I think it was seeing Outback and such like.
It’s only about 40 miles from Nashville to the Kentucky border, so we were out of Tennessee in no time. We stopped just after for our usual quick breakfast, at a McDonalds, I think.– Dinosaur World
This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It was mostly clear skies, and the traffic was surprisingly light for an interstate. I could enjoy the scenery, and did. One surprise was later in the morning. I saw some sort of giant figures ahead just off the highway. Closer, and they were life-sized dinosaur statues, just like Dinosaur World outside of Tampa. Then I saw signs, and they said this exit for Dinosaur World! When I got home, I checked online. Indeed, it was the same business. I had no idea they had a park in Kentucky. Complete happenstance, which I’d likely never have discovered if we hadn’t gone in an unplanned direction. Story of my life.
We hit the outskirts of Cincinnati and the traffic thickened up. It was a bit confusing, but nowhere near as bad as Atlanta or Jacksonville. I waved to the west towards my boss in Indiana, then caught the exit to get on I-71 and we were in Ohio. I was tempted to take an offramp and drive around Cincinnati. But since I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to see, I decided to continue on.
After another relaxing stretch, we skirted Columbus (the state capital) and headed west on I-70. In a way, this was like the first day. The plan was to keep driving until after 5 PM, then start looking for a hotel. I wanted to get to Wheeling, West Virginia, but by around 6 we were still a couple hours out from there. So we got off at one of the Newark exits, since we saw signs for a Red Roof Inn. It was quite nice, and they had plenty of available rooms. There was also a truck stop across the street (Petra, I think) that had a restaurant with a buffet, so we were set for dinner. In the hotel lobby, there were tourist brochures for the area. There were several things that caught my eye that gave me ideas for the next day.
By the way, during the trip we made the usual stops for gas and restrooms, but I won’t detail that. Mostly because I don’t remember the specifics. If there’s anything out of the ordinary, I’ll mention it.