nut free nerd

thoughts of a nut allergic book lover

How I Survived 15+ Hours in a Car

How I Survived 15+ Hours in a Car

My family and I recently embarked on a road trip to West Virginia for my brother’s soccer tournament, and boy, it was an adventure. Let me tell you: I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated coming home more than when we returned from this trip.

We left early on a Wednesday morning, around eight o’clock. Jamming all of our stuff into the trunk of our small car was an impressive feat, one that I still don’t fully understand how my parents were able to pull off. Now, I live in New Hampshire, and if you know anything about USA geography you’ll probably be like: Isn’t that far away from West Virginia? The answer to that question is a resounding YES. As you can see from the graphic I made (I stole the map from Google images- I’m not THAT fancy!) it’s quite a distance from my house to Charleston, West Virginia. It takes about twelve to thirteen hours to drive there without traffic- and that, my friends, is a LONG time in a car!

My Home

I was prepared for this ride with a TBR pile, of course. It consisted of:

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I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The first two orange boxes are these things called Playaways, which are these little MP3-like devices that come preloaded with one audio book on them. The library I work at has a bunch of them, and they’re great for listening to audio books when you don’t want to bother with CDs or downloading them online. If you guys are interested in learning more about them, just let me know in the comments and I can write a more detailed post about them in the future!

I only ended up completely finishing I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, but I’m more than half way through the other two books. Considering I was only gone for five days, I’ll count that as a success!

The ride to West Virginia wasn’t all that bad, mostly because we left early in the morning and I got a full night of sleep the night before. We left my house at eight o’clock and arrived at the hotel in Charleston, West Virginia a little after nine o’clock at night. It took us a good thirteen hours to get there, but we were so excited that it didn’t really feel that long.

AND on the way there we got to ride past Scranton, Pennsylvania and my adoration for The Office was practically bursting out of me. ❤

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See that sign? It says: Central SCRANTON Expressway. (!!!!!!)

This soccer tournament was the Region I Championships, and my brother had three games to play within the three days we were there. (His team ended up losing the first two and winning the last one, but it’s all good!). It was pretty good weather while we were there, although it did starting POURING during the second game.

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Dark storm clouds before the game started… yikes! Fortunately, the rain only last for a little while!

It’s a good thing our hotel was good, because there was literally NOTHING TO DO in our area. Seriously, what do people do in West Virginia? If you live there, let me know what you guys do for fun, because we came across no attractions or anything! The most entertaining thing was Mosa, this twenty-two year old parrot who lived in a big cage in the hotel. She was ADORABLE, and she even talked to us!

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Mosa, the amazing parrot. I miss her already!

After my brother played his last game on Sunday morning, we embarked on our long journey home. It was by far the worst car ride of my entire life. Most of the other soccer families were driving half way and then staying at a hotel overnight, but my parents decided to just drive straight home. Our projected arrival time was around midnight.

Yeah, that didn’t actually happen.

Instead, we got stuck in mega traffic around New York City and New Haven/Hartford, Connecticut. What was supposed to be a twelve-hour drive turned into over a fifteen hour drive, and we didn’t get home until after three in the morning. THREE IN THE MORNING. For some reason it’s hard for me to fall asleep in places other than a bed, so I didn’t even doze off. It was the worst thing ever.

So how did I survive the drive? Here’s how:

  • I listened to audio books and knitted scarves at the same time.
  • I listened to the song “The Prayer” by Josh Groban on repeat for over an hour.
  • Snacks. And lots of them.
  • I drank enough water that I felt hydrated, but not so much that a bathroom break was required every two seconds.
  • Comfortable clothing- this is an absolute must!

Usually I really enjoy road trips, but this one was just SO LONG and so late at night. The trip overall was really fun, though, and in the end it was all worth it!

Do have any fun, crazy, or terrible road trip stories? Have you ever been to West Virginia? Let me know in the comments section below!




11 responses to “How I Survived 15+ Hours in a Car”

  1. I know we took the car to Luxemburg and Germany when I was little, but I barely remember it! I really want to go on a roadtrip though 😀 It’s a shame it took so long to get back, but at least you had fun! ^-^ And Mosa is adorable!!


    1. That’s so cool that you can take road trips to other countries! I mean, I guess I could drive to Canada or Mexico (although driving to the latter would literally take DAYS), but it’s not like in Europe.
      I know, Mosa made it all worth it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been wanting to go on a road trip for ages but that ain’t happening any time soon (in London not everyone needs to own a car to get by). However at least you had all those books to read while on the road trip (I can’t imagine sitting still for fifteen hours though).


    1. That was worst part- SITTING STILL. I kept trying to reposition before I got sore but it didn’t really work out, and by about the tenth hour I was just like GET ME OUT OF HERE. Thank goodness for books! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ughhh road trips. I love a good road trip when I’ve had enough sleep and am prepared with books and activities, but the one on the way back sounds rough. I totally get it. Love Jane Eyre!!


  4. I don’t usually read any audio books but those playaways seem so cool! I’ll have to find out how to get those. I’d actually give those a try. That was such a long road trip for you!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


  5. I’m taking a trip to Virginia with my family this summer, so I will need to prepare for the 8+ hour drive! I like your tips, especially the one on clothing; a comfy tee and shorts is a must for any long road trip. I’ll be packing five books, so we’ll see what I can get through 🙂 {And, yay, Jane Eyre! That’s one of my favorite classics.}


    1. Oh wow, eight hours is a lot! I agree, comfy clothing is an absolute MUST. I was so happy that I brought Jane Eyre along because I ended up completely falling in love with it- I wish I had decided to read it a long time ago, because it’s sooo good! Anyways, have a great trip to Virginia! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] How I Survived 15+ Hours in a Car […]


  7. […] 4 AP exams. I danced the night away at prom. I graduated high school (FINALLY!). My family and I took a road trip to West Virginia, which I will hopefully never have to do again. I interned at my local county attorney’s […]


  8. […] family and I have been on many road trips before (as I discussed last summer) but I think it would be super fun to go on one just with my friends now that we’re all […]


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About ME, Holly

former english major, current twenty-something book lover, allergic to nuts. drop me a line at or on instagram.


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