At long last…the annual “What we did on our Summer Vacation.”
I figured I should get this out before it’s Fall, and since I’m now under a deadline, and since I procrastinate,
I’m more likely to actually finish.
This Summer’s vacation was a cross country (almost) road trip to Nashville, Tennessee. It would be a lie if I
said we went because we really wanted to see Nashville, because we really went to see these people:
Because we love and miss them. I use present tense because we still love and miss them (weeping and gnashing of teeth).
Our trip started out with me freaking out because we didn’t have our hotel’s address and reservation number, as our internet decided to go down the night before we left and lo and behold was still down the next morning. It also started with a drive through the local Starbucks to feed our bad moods from internet issues and lack of sleep, and with that the usual OCD that Pip displays with his drink sleeve lining up with the logo on the cup and being centered with the drinking spout (I’m sure that’s not the proper name for it, but I don’t care. That’s what I’m calling it.) We had driven about 1/2 mile before the kids started to complain that they were hungry. I very stupidly (I blame the lack of sleep) decided that they could tough it out until we got to the next major town to eat. You see even though I know from experience that hungry kids on a road trip leads to unpleasant stomach issues that then lead to unpleasant mess and smell in the car, I thought some paltry snacks would solve the problem. This led to holding DQ’s ponytail and rubbing her back while she bent over a toilet in McDonald’s in Limon, CO. Her nausea passed without incident though and she ate all her pancakes and orange juice and kept them down. So yea for our side. It was also at this time (70 miles and over an hour into the trip) that we realized we forgot to put ice in the cooler. Warm mayo anyone? We ingested said mayo in tuna sandwiches at a rest area in…somewhere in Kansas.
It was during this lunch break that I realized that one can of tuna does not so much feed a family of 4. Pip and I had a very thin spreading of tuna on our sandwiches. They really could not be called tuna sandwiches so much as bread with some tuna flavor. Pip was now questioning my ability to pack meals for road trips. We arrived in Kansas City (well really Independence, Missouri) around 6 or 7. (see, this is what happens when you wait months to write about your vacation) We met our friend “Stan the drummer man” for a lovely dinner at Denny’s by our hotel. I left dinner early with the kids so they could swim in the pool before it closed. For us and our bribery skills it is critical to not only get a hotel with a pool, but also get there in time to use it. A word about the hotel: ewww. We paid an exorbitant amount of money to stay in a hotel that should have been rented by the hour, and maybe was. You know it’s not going to be a comfortable stay when your feet stick to the carpet. The one plus was that there was a frozen custard place 20 steps from the hotel. We split some custard and watched I Dood It, which we thoroughly enjoyed. This hotel did have a decent breakfast (no Fruit Loops and Tang here). Pip was nice enough to make waffles for us, but in so doing dropped the waffle mix on his shirt and wanted to change. We had already packed the car. Though annoyed that he would care about a couple of splashes of waffle mix on his shirt while he drove for 12 hours, it did not surprise me. Pip has little patience for foreign items on his shirts. When our kids were babies this intolerance was more pronounced. If a microscopic bit of spit up landed on the back hem of his shirt, he would rip it off as if it was now contaminated with Agent Orange and was headed toward his bloodstream. He wanted it off so quickly that he would very nearly forget to put the baby down first. All while I’m standing there with my shirt dripping with all manner of baby waste. I’m amazed he was able to look at me, let alone give me hugs and kisses.
After breakfast we set off to the nearest gas station where someone else pumping gas noticed that i was looking at a map and proceeded to ask Pip where we were going. Pip told him we were headed to Nashville by way of St. Louis. He told Pip, “The difference between K.C. and St. Louis. St. Louis is more of an East Coast mentality. K.C. is more West Coast.” I had to laugh because having lived in L.A. I can assure you that Kansas City is most definitely not “West Coast”. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This is often some of my favorite parts of vacation: the people you meet (or that Pip meets really) along the way. Great stuff. We drove through St. Louis and were awed by the Arch and excited to show the kids the Mississippi River.
I think Pip was sad to leave Missouri because he had so much fun making fun of the name. It started out like “Mizzeruh”, and progressed (or digressed) into Mizzer then Mizz them Muh ending with just Mmm, all said like a drunk Barry White. He used it every time he saw the name, as in “Oh look! It says The Pride of Mmm…”. I on the otherhand was thrilled to drive into Illinois so as not to listen to that anymore.
After the previous day’s lunch experience, we didn’t want to relive the sandwiches with essence of tuna. Instead we went to Taco Bell. This was a bad move as you can never tell if DQ is going to like something from one day to the next and even though she previously loved TB, she decided to make this lunch a living hell by deciding that no she did not want a bean burrito, she wanted pizza. Because Taco Bell loves me, this one was of the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut variety. She got a cheese pizza…that after 3 bites decided she didn’t like and wanted a burrito. It is these times that I have to physically restrain myself from reaching across the table to strangle her. And in case you’re wondering, she did not get a burrito. She ate 3/4 of the pizza, but not without making positively sure we knew how abusive we were by forcing her to eat what she threw a fit in order to get. I think she stopped crying by the time we got to Rand Lake (Rend Lake?) in southern Illinois for another rest.
It was a really beautiful lake, but also REALLY hot and humid. I actually think the heat and humidity was worse there than anytime we were in Nashville.
I had been trying to get pictures of all the Welcome to… signs as we crossed into each different state, but
missed Kentucky’s entirely because as we crossed we came along side a truck that was truly fascinating. It was old and large with faded red paint and a gun rack in the back window. The man driving was sunburnt, shirtless, and had a mullet. I do not make these things up. I wanted to get a picture, but Pip didn’t want him to have to use his gun rack…on me. Once we were in Kentucky, Pip took the opportunity to blurt out “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” every chance he could get. Fortunately, we were only in Kentucky for a short time.
To be continued…(because it’s been two hours and my fingers are tired)