Okay, we didn't really take the long way round, but an 18-hour drive is going to feel like the long way round no matter what.
I would love to extoll my newly-deceased grandfather's virtues, or regale you with tales of his very lovely funeral service-- but I'm afraid I'm not able to do so at this time. Suffice to say, he was a great man and will be missed by many.
Also, all that great stuff I was going to share about Harry Potter will have to wait for another time.
So instead I am going to warn you about the shortage of McDonald's restaurants. There are signs as you leave various states telling motorists, "Last McDonalds until (insert next state here)." I'm afraid I'm a bit concerned about this now; I can only conclude that state lines are woefully short on fast food. Should we start a petition?