Monday, July 02, 2007

Floating Across Texas

Big Trip 2... Day 4... July 2, 2007... Monday

0500 Alarm goes off... I can hear the rain already. I really don't want to spend another day driving in the rain.

This is why we aim for an early departure... we said we'd leave at 5:30 but didn't make it out until 6. If we had said 6 then who knows how late we'd leave!

0610 Gas and coffee in Germantown. They have Deluxe Coffee cup lids here!

0614 Snacks for the kids. We have modified the lid of the snack box with some rubber non-skid. We don't want a repeat of the cell phone into the tissue box incident. We all know teenagers can't live without their cell phones!

0617 Miles to go... 759.4 Estimated time by the computer... 14:02

0621 What did I do with the egg I was using in bible school on Friday?!?! Did I throw it away in the classroom or did it get packed into my boxes of supplies? Those supply boxes are sitting in the basement at home. Which means we could be coming home to a rotten egg. Oh no!

0635 Slight detour... somehow we got sucked off the highway into a gated community. We got in the front gate but now we can't find our way out! Finally we wind our way out and find a road back onto the highway. The GPS definitely came in handy this time.

0640 Crossing the Mississippi River into ARKANSAS

0641 Melissa - "Can I go back to sleep now?" Me - "Yes. We're in Arkansas now so there's nothing to see."

0650 There was a semi in the tree at the rest stop. Oops! Guess he fell asleep before he parked.

0651 Oh joy... raindrops.

0705 Need to send a postcard to Marta. And someone else. But I can't remember who.

0804 Black and white striped prisoners collecting trash along the highway. I didn't know they still made those types of prison jumpers!

0823 440W bypass headed around Little Rock

0932 Cows... all laying down. Melissa says this means rain. Is that true? (Okay- I just googled this and according to this is true. The website also says this about cows: If you see nine cows in a shed with a gray bull next to the door, and all of them lie on the same side, you are in luck, because you will be granted one wish.) And not to give away the ending but... the cows were right!

0950 Christy texted Melissa... we need a GPS tracker on the car so she can track us online. An upgrade for next year maybe?

1005 All but Bella are awake. We are looking for a Sonic and a BATHROOM! That coffee I drank this morning has gone right through me.

1015 Horses for sale. Do you think we have room in the car for one?

1023 Felisa is singing - "Oh happy days we're going to Texas!" Very cute.

1024 TEXAS!!! Only 500 more miles until we get to Kerrville.

1026 Stop at Chik-Fil-A in Texarkana (the TX side). The breakfast burrito is very yummy. Also, while we were eating this morning, Ryan commented on how sweet the grapes were. I said that was because everything is sweeter in Texas. Melissa said it was because God blessed Texas with his own hands. Ryan didn't get the joke but Melissa and I thought it was hilarious! After breakfast the kids played on the playground for a few minutes while Ron went next door to Starbucks. I think he was trying to sneak in a little internet time. Part of the kids' game involved Bella telling Felisa to run away because she was "going to explode!" I just don't understand sometimes but they were having a lot of fun so I guess it doesn't matter what I think.

1130 Leaving Texarkana.

1133 Call Lynne to ask her about the bible school egg. She doesn't recall packing it in my boxes and thinks I probably threw it away. I sure hope she's right! Lynne told me that Logan saw his mom throw a 6-pack plastic soda ring in the trash and got really upset - made her take it out of the trash and cut it up. His older brother said that Logan's VBS teachers must have been really smart because his teacher didn't teach him that. So I guess we can call the week a success... we taught one child one thing. And we had fun.

1135 Horses, cows, sheep, and a bull all in the same field. That farm must be a de-segregated farm!

1139 A discussion between Ron, Melissa, and I about the soda rings. Ron says we are teaching the kids to become environmental wackos and it doesn't matter if they are cut up or not because all VA trash goes to the landfill and not into the ocean. Melissa and I said we are teaching them to make doing the right thing a habit, regardless of where the trash ends up. And what if a crow or a raccoon tears open the trash bag on the curb then the ring falls out and floats down the sewer to the river and a fish dies. And what about in Happy Feet - a penguin almost died from a soda ring around his neck. I say Better Safe than Sorry.

1148 Rain. Rain. Rain.

1152 Bella is reading her Disney Princess collection easy reader book. I'm glad to see her voluntarily reading. Sometimes she doesn't like to do it because it is still hard work. However, I have also noticed that if something is her idea or something she really wants to do, she'll try hard and do it. If it's my idea or someone else's idea, she will give up instantaneously.

1159 Passing Elk Meadow Game Ranch. They offer guaranteed hog hunts. Great.

12:01 p.m. How long before they remember that I told them they could have a movie after we ate? I'm certainly not going to remind them as long as they are all content without it.

12:06 p.m. Crossing the Sulphur River. It looks like the water level is running a little high... the bottom branches of the trees are all underwater.

12:09 p.m. Still raining and it's getting harder. Cross over another high river. Oh and we can't see the road...

12:10 p.m. A semi-truck blows by us like we're standing still. Melissa says it looks like it is "disappearing like a ghost".

12:12 p.m. Lightning! And Thunder! Because, you know, it wasn't already exciting enough...

12:13 p.m. Car off the road oln the other side. Must've been driving too fast.

12:17 p.m. Rain is a little lighter now. More like regular rain and not the torrential downpour of earlier.

12:20 p.m. Ryan is playing Leapster in his sleep. His eyes are closed but his fingers are still moving. Oops - he just jerked awake!

1:08 p.m. Felisa is playing with the spinning rabbit toy that Logan gave her. I think it is so sweet how all the kids were playing together so nicely. Logan especially was very sweet and took good care of the two girls while also doing "boy stuff" with Ryan. It was very nice of him to give the toy to Felisa to keep since she liked it so much.

1:21 p.m. My turn to drive. Stop at McD's for ice coffee and a bathroom. Apparently they don't have the ice coffee here since the girl at the counter looked at me like I was crazy. Which is really disappointing - I wanted an ice coffee!

2:52 p.m. We are driving past an Owens Corning plant. The kids are watching The Pink Panther. What a coincidence... driving past an Owens Corning plant miles from home at the same time that the kids are watching the Pink Panther, who happens to be a spokesman for Owens Corning.

3:07 p.m. Italy, TX has a really cool caterpillar shaped building wearing cowboy boots.

4:55 p.m. Finally find a Sonic in Temple, TX after a very long, drawn-out, roundabout search.

5:03 p.m. At the gas station, there is a fly in the car. Ryan says its a housefly because they live in houses and this fly thinks our car is an RV. Get it - RV, housefly...

5:06 p.m. Now I'm riding in the back and Melissa has taken over my seat in the front. How did that happen?

5:07 p.m. A big forklift-type truck pulls out in front of us. Felisa says it looks like big teeth.

5:35 p.m. Uh-oh emergency alert on the radio... Heavy rain and flash floods to the west.

5:36 p.m. Goats

5:44 p.m. Felisa is playing with her action fingers.

5:45 p.m. My notebook has been kidnapped for review.

5:56 p.m. Ryan spies a playground store.

6:03 p.m. My hands have been recruited to Felisa's game. Maybe she'll go to sleep soon if she has a hand to hold?

6:04 p.m. Billboard with a real wrecked car stuck to it... "They buckled up and lived."

6:05 p.m. Passing UT campus. Traffic jam ahead... good time to get off the highway!

6:07 p.m. Texas State Capitol Building

6:55 p.m. Leaving the capital. The building was nice. Pretty quiet after hours. Beautiful architecture. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get in after regular business hours. Personally, I prefer it that way. If only all our tourist stops could be quiet and empty, open only for us...

7:07 p.m. Made it out of downtown and onto 290 West... heading into some very dark rainclouds.

7:15 p.m. Big storm ahead. Big lightning too! Ryan asks, are we sure we want to go this way?!

7:20 p.m. It's getting very dark. Well, except for the brilliant flashes of lightning.

7:24 p.m. Now the kids are too engrossed in their movie to even notice the rain.

7:30 p.m. Dripping Spring, TX is really dripping today!

7:32 p.m. Yikes! We are doused by a humongous splash from the Hummer in the next lane. That got the kids' attention!

7:34 p.m. Drainage ditches are raging rapids and there is flooding everywhere!

7:37 p.m. Whoa! That's a lot of water!

8:00 p.m. Johnson City, TX - former home of President Lyndon B. Johnson

8:10 p.m. Longhorn cows

8:12 p.m LBJ ranch

8:15 p.m. Sheep

8:20 p.m. I'm not sure we'll make it to the ranch before dark. We are racing the sun.

8:39 p.m. Deer!

8:53 p.m. Cows in the road... just minutes after the kids said, "What if there are cows in the road"

9:00 p.m. Dusk (not dark... just dusk!) and we arrive at the ranch.

9:45 p.m. Tour of guest house, unload the bags, then sleep! Wow, what a crazy long day on the road this was.

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