July 22, 2008 – Tuesday – Day 3
0605 Wake up. I must miss my little cub scouts – I was dreaming about them. And I wasn’t even yelling at them to sit still and be quiet in my dream!
0735 The car is repacked. Many pictures have been taken. We load up into our separate cars and off we go… we’re headed for Texas and Kim is headed for daycare drop off then work.
0746 Stop at McD’s for breakfast and coffee. Kim called and advised us on a better route out of town to avoid the rush hour traffic.
0815 Leaving McD’s with full tummies. The kids also got some playground playtime.
0920 Leaving the Tuscaloosa Travel Center. Bella and Felisa each bought an alligator tooth necklace with some of their money from Grandma D. Gas was $3.89/gallon. We have driven approximately 1000 miles so far.
0925 Gummy snacks – bears and worms – that Lana had packed for the kids. Someone asks “If you could be any color gummy bear, what color would you be?” I choose orange since I like orange flavor the best, Lana chooses red, and Felisa chooses Purple.
0926 – 0947 (and then some) Felisa is playing a sound game. She makes a crazy sound then Lana and I try to guess it.
0947 Pass a car towing a car towing a car. With no sign about “vehicle in tow”. Looks illegal to me…
1028 There’s a house driving down the road. And it’s hogging up both lanes!!!
1045 National Air Station Meridian/National Guard helos flying over. Which reminds me (again) that I did NOT get the helo ride on the ship that mini boss promised me. (I was in the Navy, serving on a ship with a helicopter attached during times underway. A few times people on the ship got to have a little ride in the helicopter. The air dept assistant promised me a turn. I never got to go. I’m still carrying a grudge, obviously!)
1047 Cow statue (but still not a single live cow has been sighted since we left home)
1109 Cows!!! Finally! And one of the cows has even escaped out the fence and is eating grass alongside the interstate. I have no idea why I enjoy seeing cows along the road when we go on trips. But I do. And I have been missing them…
1123 Stop at Wendy’s in Forest, MS for a potty break. Get chicken nuggets as a snack for all of us. The kids had all eaten cinna-melts at McD’s for breakfast so hadn’t had any protein yet today.
12:12 p.m. Pearl River. Spot our first train of the trip.
12:26 p.m. Horses, goats, corn AND a farmer!
12:50 p.m. Crossing the Mississippi River into Louisiana!
12:53 p.m. Louisiana (at least initially) has no trees lining the highway. All the way across Mississippi, all we could see was a solid line of trees along the middle and both sides of the interstate. No scenery to break the monotony of driving. No cows, no nothing!
1:08 p.m. Dead armadillo.
1:23 p.m. Stop for lunch at Sonic. While we were eating, the fan was blowing, the radio was on, the DVD charger was plugged in and it was really hot (like almost 100 degrees!). When we were ready to go, the car wouldn’t start. Dead battery. D-E-D dead. (Does anyone know what movie that D-E-D dead line is from?) Fortunately one of the girls who work there had jumper cables (do I have any? I should. But I don’t know if I do. And IF I do have them, they are certainly buried under a big pile of luggage!) and another girl who works there had good car-jumping knowledge and we were up and running fairly quickly. Phew! That was close!
2:04 p.m. Leaving Sonic in Delhi, LA
After the dead battery incident, we decide against stopping immediately for gas and instead drive for an hour with nothing on in the car except for the air conditioning. No radio, no DVDs, no nothing.
3:10 p.m. Stop in Ruston, LA for gas. $3.97/gallon. When we arrive, the pumps are all flashing the message “Pump has been Shut Down” I go inside to check and the clerk tells me the pumps will be back on in about 5 minutes. They had to turn them off for shift change. So I decide to use the bathroom while I wait then go back out to pump gas. After I get my gas, I call the hotel to verify our reservation and late check-in. At the rate we’re going we may never get out of Louisiana!!!
3:16 p.m. Squeal my tires as I exit the gas station which garners a “Whoa! Dude!” from Ryan in the back. I was turning left across traffic, looking for a good opening to turn out. Lana said “hit it and git it” so I did! In my defense it was a steep drive. I’m sure on a flat drive I wouldn’t have squealed the tires…
3:17 p.m. Pass a Ryan’s Restaurant. (seems to be a chain in the south)
3:18 p.m. Felisa says that there isn’t a Felisa anything in Virginia so we ask her what sort of place she would have if she had one. Lana says Felisa’s Puppy Place which makes her smile. Then she decides on Felisa’s Puppy Shop. So be looking for it in another 20 years or so…
3:21 p.m. Car thermometer says 102 degrees!
3:23 p.m. See another dead armadillo on the road. I think we’re up to about 7 for today. For once I would really like to see a LIVE armadillo.
4:08 p.m. Barksdale AFB jets are flying overhead. Kids think it is pretty cool. As do I.
4:26 p.m. See a billboard with an armadillo picture. Maybe that’s a sign that a live armadillo sighting will come soon. Kind of like the cow statue then the cows earlier today …
4:28 p.m. Texas!!! The exits start at #635. I think we may have some driving still to do…
Mom calls to report Darby not feeling well. Won’t eat. Actually covered his food dish with the towel it is sitting on. Not sure how that is even possible. Tell her to call the vet to see if the Dr. might still be in the office. She calls back later and says she was able to make him eat a bit of an ice cube so she would give him until tomorrow to perk up before she makes an appt. for him.
5:58 p.m. Arrive at hotel after a long drive down to and around Tyler, TX. The hotel is just as it was pictured on the internet. What we can now see, and what wasn’t pictured, is the fine location – between the pawn shop and Chinese buffet on one side and Goodwill on the other. The good news is that we can walk to dinner.
There is no water in the hotel room because they are fixing a pipe in one of the rooms. The kids have way too much energy after today’s crazy long drive but I don’t want to take them to the pool until I know there is a shower available for them to get clean afterwards. So after I quickly check my email (yea! Internet! I have missed you!!!) we walk next door to the Chinese buffet (where by the way, there is not a single chicken entrée that isn’t fried!). While we’re there, Allie calls to check on us because of Hurricane Dolly who is headed for Texas. Told her we were fine – all sunny where we are! – and I would email her later with more details. By the time we get back, the water is on so we take the kids to the pool for an hour to get the wiggles out. Leave the pool at 9:15. Go back to the room to shower and change. Still can’t get them settled. Finally we are all in bed. Lana and I have just drifted off to sleep when the phone rings. It seems the desk clerk has found Bella’s backpack in the lobby. I guess she must have put it down there when we arrived to check in and forgot to bring it to the room. It pays to have your belongings labeled – we got it back because it had our name in it!
So finally, after a long, long day we sleep…
(An update on my license plates for today: KY (full points this time because it was on a car!), AZ, MI, AR, CO