Jul 6, 2008

NOT the Pelican State!

You'll never guess where I am right now.
I'll give you a hint: Davy Crockett.
(No, NOT the Davy Crockett in my UVSC Accounting class. The one I laughed at when he told me his name...and then I realized the was serious. No, I'm talking about the ORIGINAL Davy Crockett! King of the wild frontier!)

Not helpful?

How 'bout this: Home of the Grand Ole Opry AND Graceland.

Still clueless? (I would be...)
Okay, I'll just tell you!

I'm in Tennessee. Knoxville, to be precise.
And I got here by driving.
In my stalwart Grand Caravan.
All the way from Virginia. I mean Washington D.C. (Sorry Jenny!)
With all three of my sons...

And we all made it alive!!!

Yes, the first leg of my North to South journey is complete in just a SHADE under a decade. (Actually, it only took 10 hours, which is good considering it's a 7 hour trip and we like to stop for potty breaks every 10-12 seconds.)

***{Speaking of North to South, while staying at Jenny's we watched the movie North and South. A four-part BBC mini-series based on the Victorian Era book by Elisabeth Gaskell. It was so good. SOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD!
Rent it and watch it. You'll love it. (If you're in to that...)
It inspired me to start a Victorian Era Author On-line Book Club. Want to join?}***

So anyway, back to my point.
We're here. We made it.
We're safe and secure at a lovely little Hampton Inn.
(I love Hampton Inn's...they always have pools AND hot chocolate in the lobby!!!)
This particular Hampton Inn has the added benefit of FREE Internet access.

This is a good thing because I'm wide awake.
Because I drank a Coke today.
On a SUNDAY, no less!
Yep. I'm a no caffeine kinda girl. (Chocolate does NOT count.)
It's a Mormon thing. But not all Mormons. (Definitely not all! Diane, you little Mountain Dew rebel!)
It's pretty much up to one's discretion.
In my family growing up, caffeinated beverages were strictly verboten. EXCEPT as a cure for excessive vomiting.
***{Did you know Coke is good for settling upset stomachs? It is. Just ask my mom. So the only Coke drinking I've done in the past has been to cure extreme nausea.
Which means I've had Coke probably less than 20 times in my 30 years of life.}***

But today I made an exception to my personal "only-in-times-of-vomit" rule and ordered a Coke float from Wendy's.
(When the only Coke you've had your entire life is associated with stomach flu, you need a little Frosty-action to help it go down easier. But yeah, it was pretty gross.)

So anyway, I drank it and it prevented me from falling asleep and I'm okay with it, and myself, and my eternal salvation, ALRIGHT?!?!?!

(Am I over justifying now?)

The only draw back is, it's 11 and I'm not the slightest bit tired.

So, now for the important stuff. How was it driving with three boys? Honestly, it wasn't too bad. My bum is numb and my nerves are a bit frayed, but all in all, they did alright and I did alright. Thanks in large part to technology. Here's how it went down: Max and Sam were in the back of the van, with Gabe in the middle. They have a little DVD player in back with them, so they kept busy watching Hairspray and Winnie-the-Pooh, and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. (Eclectic mix, I know.)

Interspersed with these were a few books on C.D. including "Chocolate Fever", a "Magic Treehouse" volume, and one more I'm forgetting.

Add to that some souvenirs from our Saturday visit to the Smithsonian, two Kids Meal Transformer toys, occasional snacks thrown at them from the front row, promises of Frosty's for good behavior, and you get two relatively good boys.

Gabe was a little less content. He did quite a bit of sleeping throughout the day, but when he was awake, he got a bit restless. For the most part he was happy, but there were a few times I dislocated my shoulder to reach back and tickle him, feed him, or bink him. One time, I had to stop at a gas station and warm up a bottle of milk for him, but that was pretty much as bad as it got.

As for me, Doug kindly loaded my i-Pod with audio books which is how I kept myself entertained. (Right now I'm listening to "Pretties" by Scott Westerfield and it's definitely keeping me engaged.)

Speaking of Doug, he is still getting his bottom kicked at COT (Commissioned Officer Training). He's up at 4 every morning and is busy until 11 at night. They do a lot of running and marching when they're not in class learning about procedure and protocol. It sounds pretty dang exhausting and frankly, I think I prefer gallivanting around the country in the Caravan to getting screamed at all day and being forced to RUN.
Like I discussed with my SIL Beth this evening. The only way they could get me to run any significant distance would be to hold a plate of French Toast out in front of me. That MIGHT work, but no guarantees. (I'm allergic to exercise, you know.)

Anyway, tomorrow we're back on the road headed for Montgomery, Alabama and DOUG!!! He's been authorized to do a "hand-off" of some paperwork. That means I get to see him for at LEAST 10.3 seconds tomorrow!!! YAY!!!
They better give me at LEAST 10 seconds!) And then we'll finish up the rest of our trip to our final destination: Destin, FL.

Why there? Why not!

(Just kiddin'. I'll tell you later!)
I'm going to try to sleep off my Coke Float now.



lacey said...

Okay, I know we have not met, as before mentioned, but I am living somewhat through you how my life will be next June when my husband is done with residency and then does his AF payback. Anyhow- he has boot camp same time next year... and I am a bit petrified for him. But he's tough. And a doctor. What will they make him shoot? So, I will be following your journey. I thought they had weekends off at COT?

But, guess what? We are going on down to Destin Florida ourselves for an "awesome" beach vacation this month. With a newborn and 3 other little ones I'm not sure of how much of a vacation it will be. But my husband is in charge. That's the deal. Maybe you will see him running up and down the beach trying to keep the gang together?

Good luck with the rest of your journey!

Anonymous said...

I loved this mostly because I am a very active LDS diet coke afficianado (read addict). I can tell the difference between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi-fountain, bottle or can. Anyway, I have a books on tape recommendation for the kids. Have you heard of Fablehaven? It is a much gentler version of Harry Potter distributed by Deseret Book. All the best on your cross the nation trip.

Jenn said...

Good luck on your drive to Florida! Heck, why don't you make a pit stop in California?

Lisa said...

Hi Em, I'm happy to hear you are surviving your cross country road trip. I've never seen north and south, but I've both read and watched Wives and Daughters (also by Elizabeth Gaskell) and loved both book and series.

FOX said...

So how long did you get to see Doug for?

mama bear said...

Okay, I actually know that Davy Crockett - he married my mission president's daughter! I had totally forgotten about him until you just mentioned him. And oh, my aunt lives in Knoxville you should have stayed with her!