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After  my first day of driving, I was more than ready to chillax, watch some Olympics, and go to bed early. I initially planned on finding a hotel in Toledo, until I realized it was a bit further off the highway than I wanted to travel. I circled around the area a bit, but settled on a hotel that was close to the interstate, “America’s Best Value Inn.” I also happened to be a short distance from Toledo’s “Hollywood Casino,” with shuttles from my hotel to the casino daily. The hotel itself was actually better than expected, since I’ve stayed in my fair share of shitty hotels thanks to traveling for rugby (one hotel had sticky carpets, mattresses somewhere inbetween a twin and full size [a cozy sleep for two players], and broken wooden box springs half the size of the mattress…you get the picture).

So, I get my room for one, and the woman seemed confused that I was just passing through (you know, Casino), and I had to go into a different building, up some stairs and down two hallways to the left, and then the room is 251 on the left. I didn’t really follow, but figured I’d find it. The first hallway I walked down was freezing and smelled strongly of weed. I turned the corner, and the next hallway was bizarrely warm (especially for the summer). I made it to my room…and of course, neither of my keys worked. So, turned around, trudged back down and out in the rain to the lobby to get my keys fixed, then back up through the cold, weed, and heat. My room smelled of stale hot cocoa and coffee, and SURPRISE, I was given a king sized bed?! I hadn’t even asked, but at $70 a night (plus tax), I’d take it.

After I settled in, I went across the road for a gas station dinner of Gardetto’s and Tropicana OJ (some pulp), and came back to eat on my king sized bed and watch some Olympics and check out maps for the next day.

The next day I woke up bright and early to make it to Dorset in time for Sunday dinner. It was a fairly straight forward drive, and fortunately, no more storms. I stopped for gas before getting off the toll way in New York, and picked up a couple flies for the rest of the ride, so that was awesome (so disgusting and distracting). As I approached Dorset, I entered into residential areas of New York, which was seriously confusing. Jillian did well and did not lead me astray, though, and I made it into the rolling mountains of Vermont safe and sound under the afternoon sun. By 5:30, I had arrived to my temporary home at the Dorset house for the next few days. It was a warm welcome and I felt at home among Derek & Kristen’s family. We had a big family dinner with great conversation, wine, and relaxation. I think “elation” is the only way to describe the evening.

And the anticipation for the days to follow, well, that was also something else. So much to do! So little time! So. Much. Excitement.

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