It is Saturday, and we are leaving in less than 24 hours. The early morning flight left us with a decision about whether or not to stay in Philadelphia overnight and catch the hotel shuttle to the airport. Given the alternative, which would have meant waking up around 3:00 a.m., we chose to cash in my road warrior husband’s hotel points for the room.

Today, however, is filled with the last minute details, packing and readying the house for the cat sitter’s arrival. Because our precious fur babies are medicated, I no longer feel it is fair to rely on the sweet neighbor boy to try to give two ornery cats a pill. We worked out a contract a few weeks ago with the service, meeting with the exceptionally nice lady, and taking a chance on a relatively unknown factor in our vacation planning.

I spend most of the day cleaning, while my husband works on laundry. I take about an hour break in the middle to sit down and watch a bit of the golf tournament on TV, eating some reheated pizza from the night before. The weather is gorgeous and we leave the windows open. The cats are chilling out with their toys, a guilty cat parent’s attempt to butter them up before we take off for a week. They’re buying it.

By the time we decide to get on the road, the house looks awesome and we’re as prepared packing-wise as possible. The hour drive to Philly flies by until we get to our exit, two exit-only lanes completely jammed with cars. Everyone seems to realize at once that they are in the wrong lane, and the merging creates even more chaos. An improvised third lane has manifested itself on the shoulder, but later must re-merge because of a stalled vehicle in our lane and the police have two cars pulled over on the shoulder, probably for trying to make a third lane.

We finally arrive at the hotel unscathed. Because of my husband’s frequent work-related overnights at this hotel chain, we receive a breakfast voucher. The hotel’s buffet won’t be open when we leave at the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow, so we given two free drinks in the hotel bar instead. After the long day, I get about halfway through my beer before I’m ready to crash. We head up to bed, readying ourselves for a very early wake up call the morning.