Sunday, July 26, 2015

Solo Road Trip

A couple of weeks after family vacation to the Gulf Coast in Alabama, I did something I haven't done in over 12 years. 

I spent the night by myself. 

I know it's been at least 12 years because my daughter turned 12 this year.  Now, there have been plenty of times when she and/or my son have had an overnight stay at a family member of friend's house, but on those occasions, my husband and I jump at the chance to go out for a date.  So, I haven't been alone.  He's with me.  There have also been times when he's been gone, and I've been alone with the kids. Or there have been times when he's been somewhere with one of them, and I've been home with the other one. 

But alone for the night by myself?  No.  It's been more than 12 years.  How is that possible?  The funny thing is, before I was married, I did pretty much everything alone.  I was 32 when I got married, so I had pretty much flown solo on everything I did.  If someone had told me back when I was 30 that I wasn't going to be alone for 12 years, I think it would have given me pause. I can honestly say I haven't missed it, but I did slip back into the old habit like a broken in pair of jeans.

This happened by accident.  My husband and I had been planning to make a trip down south in July.  We were going to see my brothers play in their band at our favorite winery. This plan had been in the works since they scheduled the date in the early spring.  As it turned out, my daughter was invited about a month ago to a pool party that same weekend.  She really wanted to go and is at that age where it's all about being with her friends, so we made arrangements for my husband to take her and pick her up.   My son preferred to spend the night at my parents' house, which is on the way to Southern Illinois.  I made a reservation for myself to stay at our favorite inn.  I realized when I was doing that, how strange it was going to be to be there alone. 

One thing about heading south in mid-July.  You know it won't be cooler when you get there.  It was oppressively hot and humid that weekend.  I made it down to The Davie School Inn to check in before heading out to the winery.  The Davie School Inn is just what the name implies: a former elementary school building converted into an Inn with eleven different suites.  I stumbled on it online, searching for a place to stay one night on a trip in December.  This place is a delight.  When the owners renovated it, they left a generous amount of the 1910 charm, while updating it with all the modern comforts you hope for. 

These rooms are referred to as suites for  a reason.  With a large sleeping area, dining area, kitchen area, living area, and bathroom, they put hotel "suites" to shame. (Blue Suite)

   Original chalkboards in many of the suites (Blue Suite)

   The black line on the floor is the "Reading Circle" in the second grade classroom. (Blue Suite)

The schoolhouse flag is displayed in the Black Suite.

    There's quite a bit of original cabinetry in the suites. (Black Suite)

When I arrived, I was told my room had been upgraded to one of the main floor suites because it was available. I had reserved the White Suite but was being moved to the Pink Suite. I knew this meant fancier digs.  I was a little disappointed this happened on the one stay that my husband wasn't with me.  That didn't stop me from texting him and rubbing it in a little! ;)
    Softest sheets ever in the Pink Suite!

   Can you see me waving to my husband in this picture I texted him? (Pink Suite)

  Cozy gas fireplace in the Pink Suite - but not much fun in July.

I made my way out to the winery.  My sister-in-law and my brother's girlfriend were already there.  This winery, Owl Creek, in Cobden, Illinois, specializes in hard ciders.  So naturally, I had to try a cider-rita, made with their coriander lime cider and tequila.

We then proceeded to polish off a pitcher of peach bourbon hard cider and a pitcher of their Sweet Knocker hard apple cider.  Just because it is kind of awesome to be pleasantly drunk at 4:30 in the afternoon sometimes.  Especially when good music is involved.

After the gig was over, I got to spend the evening visiting with my family on my brother's farm.

Then it was time to go back to my suite.  I took advantage of the huge spa tub, crawled into a deliciously comfortable king size bed, and began to read my newest check-out from the library, The Silkworm.  And it was all very fine.

The next day, my breakfast was delivered to my room.  This is another sizeable reason I am a fan of the Davie School Inn.

Here are a couple of the scrumptious breakfasts we have had when we have stayed at this fine establishment:

   Pancakes this time around...

   This spinach and feta omelet from another visit rocked.

   This French toast was life-changing.  I had to ask the owner (who does the breakfast-makin') for the recipe.  Five words: Girl Scout Samoa Coffee Creamer

 I can tell you, I took my sweet time getting ready to go.  When I checked out, I asked the owner where I could find some fresh peaches.  He directed me to Flamm Orchards, 15 minutes away.  I did a little shopping in Carbondale and then headed home. 

I suppose I could have just stayed home too when it became obvious that one of us was going to have to stay home, but I'm glad I didn't.  I had been looking forward to going for a few months, and it was enjoyable to set my own schedule, even if it was for a little over 24 hours.  I had kind of forgotten what that was like. 

It's not bad.



  1. Love the blog! Will be staying at the Davie School Inn green suite this Friday!!! I saw it on your Facebook and Sarah and I are going to watch the band.

  2. You will LOVE it! Tell Gary I said hi and try the French Toast!