*Will edit with pics later when I download them*
Sunday morning we headed out at o-dark thirty... a time I had not seen since being in the Army and either attending an alert or heading out to a field exercise. We were about to initiate Operation Are You Crazy!! Yeah, I might be but it was a lot of fun. The first day's drive was really easy! Maybe too easy. As we ventured into Louisiana we quite enjoyed the scenery, I had forgotton what green trees and grass looked like. I was almost mesmerized by it. The trip was pretty uneventual as far as the drive went. We spent the night in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and got to meet my friend "G". I have been chatting with "G" for maybe 5 years?? We had dinner at the lovely Crackerbarrel...I think I had the best fried chicken EVER!
Just a few random thoughts about my short time in Hattiesburg...I'm not sure if it's just me (I could be a magnet for bad customer service) or just how things are (not knocking Mississippians, just merely stating an observation).
Incident #1 - going to check into our hotel for the evening. I'm standing at the desk waiting for the clerk to finish conversing with a couple. Wait about 2 minutes. She finishes with them and walks behind the counter and I think she's ready to talk to me, however, she instead begins to talk to her coworker who walks in. She starts talking about how she needs a new car, her car that she has only had for 6 months is a piece of crap and she REALLY needs a new one. After carrying on for about 2 minutes she looks at me and says, can I help you. Well yes, you can! So I go on to tell her I need a room for the night. She starts to hand me a paper to fill out and then turns and continues the conversation with her coworker..she continued to say over and over...I need a new car, man I need a new car. Finally, I replied...hey you know what I need? She glances at me and I say...I need a room!!!! She finished checking me in.
Incident #2 - paying for my meal at the local Crackerbarrel. I hand her our dinner receipt and the few items my children have talked me into purchasing. The cashier is talking to the lady at the counter. She never greets me or anything. She is going on and on about some guy who didn't give her enough of some weird food. She delays ringing up my stuff because she is complaining to the girl about how the guy was selfish..well hey, you know what? You're selfish for holding on to my card and receipt while I'm waiting to go!!!!
Incident #3- head on over to Walmart to pick up toothbrushes since my children forgot to pack theirs (oh wait, not Michael, he would be upset if I said he forgot his when his OCD self managed to pack almost everything but the kitchen sink in his small bag). So I grab the toothbrushes and a few odds and ends and head to the checkout line. Lucky me!! Third time's a charm, right? Wrong, my cashier happens to be ready for her break and is tired. How do I know this, because she is complaining to the cashier one over. She rings up one item, stops, complains, turns around to the woman behind her, then goes to ring up something else, stops and says something to the woman in front of her. I start to read the card reader outloud...question of the day...Did your cashier greet you today? I press NO. I wait as she continues to ring up my stuff when she pauses from complaining to her coworkers. Look at the card reader and the question is...Was your cashier friendly...I press NO. She looks at me and she says, what are you pressing, I'm not done ringing up your stuff. I simply smile and reply, well I hope you don't finish too soon, I'm having fun answering these questions!!!
I think it's just me...
After a pretty restless night since our beloved Sapper wanted to bark at every single thing, I gave up and we headed out about 0415 in the morning. Sadly, I only lasted about 90 minutes before I had to pull into a Pilot and take a nap. I made sure to let my Soldier radar kick in and we parked next to a Soldier traveling out west...not that he could save my life while he was knocked out in a sweet slumbar but it made me feel safe nonetheless while I enjoyed a quick nap. Why did I pay $76 for a motel room when I slept better in the back of my vehicle??? Oh yeah so I wouldn't miss my Army Wives show, lol.
After my powernap, we got back on the road and ventured on into Alabama. Not a bad drive, though I was starting to get tired of driving, the green trees were quickly losing their luster and I was ready to be in NC. My lovely kids who had promised to stay awake with me during the duration of the second day's drive were all nicely sacked out dreaming of who knows what. I was left to entertain myself with intense conversations with myself and also my own version of kaorake while driving. Have to say, I got some pretty interesting looks as I was doing my driver's seat choreography.
While we were driving in Alabama we saw a sign for Talladega...ooooh it was so tempting, I battled back and forth and figured..why not!!! So the boys and I took the 30 minute tour. The staff was kind enough to let us take Sapper as well...we are a true Nascar family..we were missing daddy..but we got him a postcard "Dear Deployed Soldier, we stopped at a really awesome place, it's Talladega..wish you were here, but you're not, here's a postcard!!!" Love, your thoughtless family! Ok, so I didn't really write that, yet..but I did get to talk to Kevin shortly after we drove away from the speedway and I jokingly told him that was what he could expect. Fortunately for us, he is very supportive and loving and wants us to enjoy ourselves. Trust me when I say that the void has been more then obvious during this trip and we miss him lots.
Interesting moment at the souvenier shop...as I was paying for our goods, I paid with my debit card. The cashier asked for ID and I flipped open my wallet to show her my ID, while most people have their drivers license, I am an Army wife and as such, I always have my military ID card ready to show at any given time (those who live on a military installation understand this). The girl goo'd (yes, you read that correctly, goo'd like I was a newborn baby being oogled) and said.."oooh, look it's a military ID". Uhm, seriously...that was kind of weird. I guess the ACU purse or wallet didn't give that away. I'm thinking that I'm not ready for the civilian world yet.
We loaded back into our car and continued on our journey. The rest of our traveling was booooooring! I was so done with the road trip, we were now on the journey that never ends. Thankfully the kids were great and behaved themselves. Overall it wasn't a bad drive, just a long one! We'll be in the Fort Bragg area for a couple weeks.
A few RaNdOm thoughts about our road trip:
* Don't drink through a straw while driving on roads that start off with one of those lovely orange signs that say "uneven roads ahead" it can cause damage to the roof of your mouth
* a 3 pound Chihuahua requires lots of room to be comfortable while on road trip, your needs become second
* You know it's a long road trip when you now hate all the songs on your iPod, even if they were favorite EVER, they now are EVIL songs
* Even though you don't want to rush your children growing up, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a couple of them be 16 with a driver's license, at least for the road trip, the idea of teaching a 12 year old to drive was very tempting...they did it on the old days, right???
*Don't depend on 3 boys to keep you company on a really long drive, they will fall asleep before you put the car into drive.
*Drinking an Amp, Mountain Dew and a bottle of water in 30 minutes doesn't only keep you awake, it makes you have to pee every 30 minutes...at least most of the rest stops were decent which is important to someone like me who detests public bathrooms!
* The cure for bottomless pit appetites is a long road trip, the kids will be too busy sleeping to think about eating!
It was a long drive but so worth it, I love our friends and am so happy to be hanging out with them. The only thing better would be for our beloved Soldier to be with us!!!