Friday, July 29, 2011

Highlights of The Return Drive

We did it.  The journey is over and I am back. 

How was the drive?  Well....

I said goodbye to my parents and my childhood home and we started off.  The tears started as soon as I pulled off their street.  I cried as my children's CD played Happy Trails and I drove out of Carmel.  I almost immediately ran a red light from feeling so disoriented and sad.

I should have been crying because I had two days of driving with my three children, dog, and Mother-in-law ahead of me.  I wasn't thinking of that pain yet though.  See how disoriented I was? 

The trip was looooong.  Each stretch of highway between cities felt like days of never ending fields.  It was boring and completely without enough Starbucks locations to keep me sane.

The highlights of the trip were:

  • The amazing assortment of adult entertainment and novelty store options between Indianapolis and Austin.  Cheesy and sleazy marketing abounds for these establishment.  Very entertaining.
  • An insane amount of construction traffic.  Grrrrrr.
  • Scare tactics of eternal damnation on billboards for an array of different sins and ominous crosses in fields.  It was a nice contrast to the adult entertainment ads.  These two groups should get together.
  • A drive up liquor store/gas station visit brought me great pride when a car of four young men in baseball hats and wife beaters decided to yell, whistle, and honk at me after they drove through the service window.  I felt so proud and classy as I waited for my dog to poop.
  • Aiden and Cole's perpetual fight over the 30 some markers they had to share.  It's really important to have the right shade of blue or green and I am choosing to commend their perfectionism in their coloring rather than screaming at the insanity of their inability to color a light saber light blue.
  • Planters Energy Mix of nuts and chocolate covered something from heaven.  Amazing.
  • My MIL and I drove 11 hours, dreaming of how delicious a margarita would taste, only to find out our hotel was located in a dry county.  WHY do those still exist?
  • Finding a "cage" to put my children and dog in outside the hotel so I could stop yelling at everyone to stay out of the parking lot.  I think it was a basketball court left unattended.  It worked.
  • My realization that rest stops creep me out and I am convinced every child I see is actually a missing child and I am watching a crime in progress and doing nothing.  Why do I feel like this?
  • Cole having some major diarrhea in a rest stop bathroom which forced me to think about all things rest stop related, and vow that Cole will never again eat licorice.
  • A fun stop at a Starbucks outside Dallas where we met Alex's Aunt Cheryl....made sweeter by the knowledge that she actually called Starbucks headquarters to ask them which Starbucks we should go to, which I just find hilarious and wonderful.
Overall it went well.  It was long, but it was relatively easy.  Other than some whining, I was reminded that my kids really are pretty good.  (I will forget this quickly.)

The highlight of being back?  Alex had the house professionally cleaned while we were gone so I could come home to a clean house.  Amazing.  I forgot how wonderful it is to not have to work myself. 

I like him, he was good to come home to.  I guess he's sort of worth living in Texas.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Oh man-a professionally cleaned house is one of my fondest dreams. Now, to actually have that requires more tenacity than I have. That kind of tenacity which means getting up at the crack of dawn and working way too many hours.

And who on earth paints a light saber Blue !~!~

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I'm sure your sweet hubby is SO happy to have you home!:)

Kimberly said...

Loving so much of this post! I've driven that same route before, and I always get a kick out of the combination of adult entertainment and eternal damnation advertisements. Dry counties SUCK (we're vacationing in one next week, but we're prepared to bring our own alcohol), and I totally understand about thinking every child at a rest stop has been kidnapped. I thought I was the only person who thought that! I really do like rest areas, though. Don't like the bathrooms, but the picnic tables and free brochures are always fun.

Coming home to a clean house sounds wonderful. Glad you made it safely!