So it turns out, after the craziness we went through loading up the U-Haul and our late departure, the drive itself wasn’t bad at all.
Don’t get me wrong — it was LONG and there were some terrifying moments towards the end, but we made it through unscathed.
Driving the vehicle was actually not as bad as I had feared. Sal has experience with driving large vehicles with attached trailers (from his Tarradiddle Players days) but it was all new to me… Fortunately it was pretty much a straight shot north, so I ended up being perfectly comfortable driving it.
Staying around 55 miles per hour did take some getting used to, as the natural impulse is to stay with the flow of traffic. However, as I didn’t want a trailer full of our belongings to go wildly careening into nearby lanes, I kept it pretty close to the recommended limit. Mostly.
Sal and I traded off “shifts” of driving as the trip went on, with him taking the beginning and end, and us switching during the long middle portion. We had a portable speaker playing music (and even TV shows, audio only) from our iPhones. And since we’d each gotten about three hours’ sleep two nights in a row, we traded off brief naps here and there.
The dogs were actually REALLY well behaved up in the U-Haul cab with us. One of us drove and the other sat in the “middle seat” to be a human barrier, so the dogs (especially Nala) couldn’t bug the driver. But both of them largely ignored us for the trip, thanks to the anti-motion-sickness medicine (with the helpful sedative side-effect) that we gave them. Puck sat up in the passenger seat looking out the window most of the drive, while Nala slept and tried to cuddle up with whichever of us was in the middle seat.
Except for the part where we drove through midtown Manhattan streets at midnight, which was hour #14 of the trip, it was pretty much uneventful.
Oh yes, our directions took us straight into Manhattan and across it on 40th Street over to 2nd Avenue, so Sal drove that big-ass U-Haul and trailer through midtown traffic. I was absolutely terrified, but I bit my tongue and focused on not distracting him. I’m REALLY glad that it wasn’t me driving at the end.
There was no way we were getting into our apartment at that late hour, so we imposed on our friends who live in Long Island and went to stay with them overnight. At about 1:00 in the morning, fifteen hours after we departed Charlotte, we pulled into their neighborhood, parked the U-Haul and trailer out in front of their neighbor’s house, and collapsed into the first decent night’s sleep either of us had enjoyed in several days.
Maybe it was because we were so exhausted that we would’ve slept like babies anywhere, but the sentimental part of me thinks it’s because we were finally in New York, to stay.