Day Twenty-four: North Dakota, I rebuke thee!

16 Jul

Well, here it is. CMRT: Summer 2013 Edition has officially come to a close.** And, as always, it feels utterly surreal to be back in my own home. Which is kind of a weird thing to say. I know that. But I can’t even begin to tell you how strange I feel right now, how my head is absolutely being messed with, just by proximity to my own things, my own bed, my own space. It all feels like one gigantic step through the looking glass. As if the past 3 weeks or so (24 days to be specific!) might not have happened. Like maybe it was all just one massive brain episode. Did I imagine it? Nah, my imagination isn’t that good. And I do have souvenirs. But I can tell you that it’s messing with my kids’ heads, too. They haven’t been in this house for 26 days. That’s a long stinkin’ time to be away from your Legos and snuggle friends. And let us not forget, Tivo! We all have some adjusting to do. But for now, the kids are sleeping soundly in their own beds. The van has been completely emptied, and the beautifully clean & totally organized house that I left over 3 weeks ago, is now crowded with bags to be unpacked. Blerg.

But that’s not why you’re here now. To hear me blather on about my malaise at the ending of CMRT. You’re here for the low-down recap, the final accounting – CMRT: By the Numbers. It’ll be brief, because, man, am I knackered, but here ya go…

–> We’ll start with the most important stat, our findings in the license plate game. I really thought this would be the year. We had such a promising start. But, alas and alack, I must hue and cry, North Dakota, I rebuke thee! Yeah, you guessed it. The only state we missed. North Dakota. We got D.C. and all the other 49 states – yes, including Hawaii and Alaska. Even multiples of hard to find states such as Wyoming and South Dakota. But no North Dakota. And we’ve been sitting in that position since our week in Maine. Did we lose focus? Were we not vigilant enough? Has the luxury of our built-in entertainment system made us soft? We’ll never know the answer. Oh, so close, and yet, so far…

–> This was the first year that the CMRT: Lottery Project was a failure. And my oh my what an abysmal failure it was. The past two years have been winners for the CMRT: LP. Okay, nothing grand, but we walked away from the fun both entertained, and in the black. By less than $10 each year, but still it was like being paid for our own entertainment. This year? Not so much. We definitely still had fun, but came to realize that winning was much more fun than losing. And losing is what we did best this year. We were definitely in the red. Way in the red. Didn’t lose it all – started with $100 – but we lost most of it. CMRT: LP 2013 had a deficit of $74. Yes, we had the entertainment along the way, but lighting 74 $1 bills on fire individually would also have been entertaining in a way. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. All cash invested in CMRT: LP is strictly for entertainment purposes, and playing the what would you do if we won the big one with this single scratch of a coin game is pretty fun.

–> Number of states we drove through: 15 (counting Florida). Number of different states in which we rested our heads for the night: 9 (ME, CT, NJ, PA, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA). Number of times I reminded my kids that they had no idea how lucky they were to travel so extensively, and that they have, in their short lives, visited more states than many people see in a lifetime: shockingly, only 1.

–> And now for the big reveal. The total number of miles I personally logged behind the wheel, the sum total of all travels for CMRT: Summer 2013 Edition? 3,309 miles, on the nose. Forgive me, but I like to write that out longhand, too. Lets me savor it a little longer. Three thousand three hundred and nine miles driven. In 24 days. Wow.

Phew! Okay, so that’s it. It’s all over except the unpacking. No more updates. No more snark. Hopefully, no more rocks off the interstate. Though, to that end, I did make arrangements to drop my car off at the body shop tomorrow to get the damage caused by that rear-end collision in Philly fixed. Which means I get a rental car. The guy’s insurance company arranged for me to have a full size from Enterprise. Fingers crossed for the Dodge Charger! Because if my days of long driving are over, I might just need to jump over a lake or two… (“Straightnin’ the curves, flatnin’ the hills, someday the mountain might get ‘em, but the law never will…”)


** Applications for inclusion in CMRT: Summer 2014 Edition are now being accepted. Please kindly allow 6-7 months for a response. And understand that to be eligible for inclusion as a CMRT host family, you, too, must be completely crazy.

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