It’s very weird being home all alone without either Ted or the cats.

By which you can tell I survived all the driving. The way down went pretty well, except that due to the holiday traffic a trip that can be done as fast as two and a quarter hours took three and a half hours. In a perverse way that made the driving easier; the first hour and 3/4 was largely stop and go traffic. Even the lane changes in dense traffic weren’t difficult, thanks to a combination of my Taiwan-honed reflexes and the friendliness of Portland drivers. (I don’t think it’s widely known, but drivers here are amazingly polite – some of that stems from strict yield-to-pedestrian laws but it applies even on highways.) Ted took back roads (resulting in one predictably carsick cat) and arrived about twenty minutes after I did. Even with the delay, the whole drive went pretty well for me.

The way back was a bit rougher, even though it was a much quicker drive. I’d feared it might be: there’s a part on the way back that typically has me dozing off when I’m a passenger. I wasn’t feeling sleepy at all, but after about an hour and a half, whenever I’d blink my eyes hard (to keep them moist) I’d feel like my brain skipped out for a second, which did make me a bit nervous. So that part wasn’t fun, and it went on for a while. I think I’d have felt better with a wakeful passenger, there to spot if it seemed like I was dozy. I stopped at the last rest stop (thee are three along the way) to do a little stretching and a few jumping jacks, and that seemed to help, plus once I got into the last stretch off I-5 and onto 217 and 26 I knew I was almost home and would be OK.

Ted is staying there all week and would really like me to come down next weekend; I’d have to drive down on Friday and back on Sunday. My options are:1) don’t go; 2) drive and tough it out; 3) take Amtrak (train is about as fast as driving but add a couple hours between the walk to light rail, light rail ride to get there, and extra time to find and wait for my train since I haven’t been to that station, and time for Ted to pick me up in Eugene); 4) drive but get someone to go with me – which would be more feasible if we had actual friends here, but I could ask someone from work. Hmm.

I have canceled our CSA shipment, which I’d otherwise have to pick up on Friday after 5 to maximize my options. Thing is, staying in Portland for a weekend isn’t exactly punishment!