We weren't 100% sure Greg was going to make it home from his business trip to Arkansas in time to leave on schedule. There was talk of him flying to meet us, or us driving to get him... it wasn't an option for him to not to go. He arrived home around 6:00, just in time to drop off Murphy at Grandpa and Grandma's for his doggie vacation and for us to get a few hours sleep before heading out.
Nick, prior to leaving and before Greg arrived home, received a call from Sherwin Williams letting him know they would like to hire him and for him to come to the store to pick up some paper work to fill out. Leslie and I were in my bedroom when we heard an incredible crash. I rushed down the hall to find our table in the middle of our front room shattered and Nick standing there looking at it in total shock and horror. He immediately started apologizing and I, after a panic of thoughts running through my mind, ask him what on EARTH had happened. He just kept apologizing.
I said "NICK, what happened? Why is the table shattered and are you okay?" He said " I am fine, I am just concerned about the table, I am really sorry." I am still talking in my motherly panic voice... "What happened?" "Why is the table shattered?"
Nick replies.... "I stood on it"
"You STOOD on it?"
"You STOOD on a GLASS table?"
"What were you thinking? Where was your head? Did you think a glass table would hold you?"
" I don't know, I am really sorry."
"Is your foot okay? Did you cut yourself?"
" I am fine, I am really sorry"
"Would you please take off your sock and look at your foot?" "What made you STAND on the table?"
As he is taking off his sock.. "Sherwin Williams called and I was excited"
"You were excited so you decided to STAND on a glass table?"
Leslie could tell I was a tad shaken so she stepped in and vacuumed the carpet and helped Nick clean up all the glass by wearing thick gloves. So very thankful we didn't have to make a trip to the ER.
We now refer to our joyful moments as " Table stomping happy" moments. Nick would prefer we drop this and stop bringing it up, but its just too good to let go. Leslie found a quote for a new piece of glass and Nick is on the hook for $100.00 to replace it.
Anthony and Jonah spent the night at our place so everyone would be in the same place when it was time to leave. Nick and Jonah decided to stay up all night so they could sleep on the drive.
We pulled out around 3:20am after checking all windows, doors, outlets, faucets and lights. We were all packed up and ready for a week of surf, sun, sand and fun.
Greg drove the first round, Nick and Jonah slept while the rest of us discussed a recent test performed on rats to determine if a glowing light would make them depressed. The test was done to test to see if watching TV would make humans depressed. Greg said he felt the show being watched on TV should be taken into consideration... not just a glowing light. Plus, how could the rats tell them they were depressed? Leslie explained how they test their blood chemical levels to determine depression and it wouldn't matter if it was a TV show OR a glowing light... it would be the same result for rats. Greg still didn't feel the comparison was relevant and we moved on...this discussion lasted way too long.
There was sleeping on and off while Greg drove and then it was time to stop for gas and switch drivers. We were in Tennessee and the ladies at the gas station were so sweet. I loved their southern drawl and they called me precious.
They also had some of these....
We needed air in the tires and since Greg wasn't home very long before we left for vacation this was one of the things I had over looked prior to leaving...we had gas and snacks.. I thought we were good. Our tire pressure gauge wasn't in the van for some reason so Greg had to run in to the gas station to purchase one. He came out laughing saying they were the nicest gauges he had ever seen, but they were 20 bucks. We weren't spending 20 bucks on a pressure gauge so we drove across the street to another station where they allowed us to borrow one of theirs.
Back on the road we decided it was time to open gifts. Greg and I had bought random, silly gifts for the kids to open each hour. We had to wait until at least daylight so they could see them AND we could take pictures. :) This was gift number one, and I believe my favorite.
Gift number 2...
Leslie was disheartened by the covering of Kudzu all over the trees throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. There was a discussion about Kudzu ramping up and taking over the world. THEN what would happen if Kudzu and Honey Suckle were brought together to create a mega invasive species called Kud-Suckle? The outcome is limitless.
After a couple of hours had passed we thought we should stop for breakfast. We wanted somewhere quick so we could get back on the road ....McDonalds was the choice. The people there were NOT nice people. Scrambled eggs was no longer on the menu and I made the mistake of asking if I could still have them even though they were not listed. The lady said yes in a mean tone and looked at me like I had a third eye. The people in the back were all confused because instead of ordering me a side of scrambled eggs, she ordered me pancakes (which weren't on the menu either) and sausage minus the pancakes. They were all yelling at one another, it was a wonderful breakfast experience.
Back on the road with a lot of fun conversations, one of which involved wild turkeys.
Leslie saw a group of wild turkeys off to one side of the road. We started talking about what a group of wild turkeys were called. I teasingly said a "gobble". Jonah, who had been asleep and had not participated in ANY conversations thus far, raised up from the back seat and yelled " A group of wild turkeys is called a rafter of turkeys. He was correct, Anthony looked it up. We laughed and laughed about Jonah's contribution to the conversation. We hadn't heard a peep out of him and then he pulls rafter out of nowhere. Come to find out "gobble" is also another name for a group of wild turkeys... not the official name, but a name indeed. So I was right and was actually trying to be funny.
I was the one driving at this point and had noticed 2 dead armadillos in the road. I pointed one out to everyone as we were passing it, but they missed it. Greg then proceeded to tell me he thought I had probably seen a hunk of tire off of a semi truck and not REALLY an armadillo. I said I think I know the difference between an armadillo with a tail and 4 legs and a black mangled piece of tire. He continued with his disbelief until we came across another armadillo on the road and he actually saw it himself. He said THAT one really was an armadillo but probably not the others... I let it go, I obviously was not going to win this one.
I then mentioned I didn't really know much about the armadillo which was rather odd since we watch all sorts of animal documentaries and read a lot about different species. I was troubled by this fact. Leslie pulled up a long list of facts about the armadillo on her phone.
They used to be only seen in Texas and New Mexico, but have been spotted north as far up as Nebraska in the past several years. They are common road kill because the poor little guys jump straight in the air when they are startled, equal to the height of a bumper of a car. They eat insects and grubs. They burrow underground to live. They birth 4 babies in each litter and they are identical which make them great mammals to test in genetic laboratories. They are carriers of leprosy. Greg said he really liked armadillos until this fact was mentioned. Needless to say we were all very informed about the armadillo once the conversation had ended. See what you miss out on when you fly to your vacation destination. :)
Our conversation then moved on to a new kind of truck Greg had seen while on his business trip. A Ford F650.
Greg expressed his frustration with detouring traffic into construction tubes while the other side of the road is being fixed. What if there were an accident or a flat tire.. travel would be backed up for hours. We drove in this "tube" for nearly 40 miles.
As we were approaching Atlanta..(at least that is where I thought we were approaching but actually we were very far from Atlanta and actually still in Tennessee) we saw many beautiful houses up on the tippy top of the mountains. We were commenting on how lovely they were. Anthony asked where we were, in which I then incorrectly answered Atlanta, in which he incorrectly HEARD "Talamit". He said "hmmm, never even heard of Talamit"... we laughed and said "What? Talamit?" More laughter imploded. We then came around a bend where there was a street sign that read "Fresh Oil" What does that even mean? Is there going to be very fresh oil spilled out onto the road?
We drove a few minutes as we continued to drive through the valley with mountains on either side of us and there was a sign that read "look out valley up ahead". We didn't know how a valley could look OUT onto anything. Shouldn't it have been look UP valley?
We were excited to see our route took us across just the tip of Georgia right into Alabama. I remember it taking what seemed like an eternity to drive through Georgia as a kid. Every time I would wake up to ask where we were my parents would say Georgia.
Time for more gifts.... The kids would start to count down when it was time for them to get their next gift... very seldom did we EVER go over 1 hour between gifts.
watch em grow... place in water and they grow.
Super power wrist bands... for power walking on the beach
Flash lights for walking the beach at night and frightening Jonah with crabs
Really nice watches... tee hee
coloring books and crayons... very nice
Little nerf ball shooters
Recorders which only Anthony could play
As we crossed the Florida border and neared the condo everyone was up and awake. Last year we attempted to drive across the huge bridge over to Destin and our GPS lead us to a construction site which was a dead end. We could SEE the bridge, but couldn't get to it from this particular street. Well, our GPS tried to do the same thing again this year. Apparently the map has not been updated to show the dead end and the new route to the bridge. Anthony found the new street on his phone and we drove right to it. We then proceeded to make fun and laugh at all the vans with luggage racks full of luggage having to turn around in the dead end street (which you can see from the bridge) with confused looks on their faces. Poor people... that was us last year. We still don't know why they don't put a sign up stating it is a dead end.
Leslie said she will be "table stompin happy" to get out of the van.
We passed a sign that read "Sweet Georgia Peaches".. Nick yells from the back of the van "Look, there is Gorgina peaches". We all start laughing again.
We were almost to our condo when Nick spotted a VW Beetle with a mustache. He said "Look Leslie, there is a bug with a mustache" Leslie proceeds to look for an actual BUG with a mustache. I told her she was having a blonde moment. She didn't think it was funny.
We unloaded all of the luggage once we arrived, made a list for the grocery then headed over to the beach. The smell of the salty air and the feel of the soft sand was amazing.
We all still knew what was ahead of us so we couldn't settle in completely. Wal-Mart!!!!
We again split the list up into 3 lists like we did last year. Leslie and Anthony, Nick and Jonah, and Greg and myself. Had it not been for the stupid deli we probably would have been in and out in under 45 minutes. The deli line was ridiculous. I chatted with the ladies in front as well as the ladies behind me and I felt as if we were pretty good friends by the time I finally received my turkey, salami and cheese. I was in line for so long that Greg and the kids had already checked out, loaded the van and were in the parking lot waiting for me.
It was nice to come home to our condo, unload the groceries (everyone pitched in and we were done in minutes), take showers and snack around while being lazy. It was a nice ending to a fun drive with great kids. I think we will all sleep well tonight and we look forward to a sunny day on the beach tomorrow.