Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 hours, Nashville & Miss Sonya

Several months ago, after discovering that Brad's parents and sister planned to go to Nashville over Thanksgiving to visit Brad's sis Kelli & her husband Caleb, we started tossing around the idea that maybe we should go, too.


We checked into flying...way too expensive for us...especially after buying a seat for Gracelyn. So we knew if we were to go, we would be driving. Yes, driving. 12 hours straight through, without counting the stops we would have to make for our sanity.


Call us crazy. 



So Tuesday, after Brad worked a half-day, we packed up the van and headed out. The first day of travel was good (minus the super nasty blowout Jemma had around KC. It was so bad that I had to tell the gas station clerk that he should go clean the changing station. The carseat was also a mess, so we improvised by placing some plastic under Jemma, and then washed it with hotel shampoo when we stopped for the night. What else could we do? The road was looming...)


After much deliberation, we decided to quit driving around 10 p.m. in a place called Mt. Vernon, Ill. We thought *maybe* we could keep driving, but we didn't know if we could finish the last four hours, and we didn't know what kind of hotels were down the road. Mt. Vernon seemed as good a place as any to spend the night.


But morning came, and we started to rethink our decision. The girls woke up crying. I woke up crabby. Brad woke up ready to hit the road. Nothing jived. And the hotel's pool was under maintenance...leading to a major meltdown by Miss 3-year-old.


A limited-choice breakfast helped. (At least it was free). And we loaded up and got on our way. The going was smooth...until we hit Clarksville, Tenn., about 45 minutes from Nashville. Traffic started crawling. And then stopped. Yes, STOPPED. We drove TWO miles in 50 minutes! You can imagine the outrage from the backseat.


Once we arrived at Kelli & Caleb's, we were greeted by a shaking (not as in tail wagging, but as in full-body shaking) dog named Chloe. Poor thing. She was terrified of the two travel-weary strangers bringing in suitcases & a teal bookshelf.


We made a jaunt to the airport to pick up Brad's family, who, thanks to our road delay, had been stuck at the airport longer than they wanted to be.


We all stayed at Kelli & Caleb's house (visit That Place on Myrtle to see the house. They've done a TON of work, with more planned.)


Being all together in one house was a good time. I know, surprising, right? Especially with two kiddos & a dog...but it was wonderful to see K & C, and the time went so fast!


Pretty soon, it was Saturday, and time to hit the road...again. Clarksville passed by in a couple minutes. Mt. Vernon didn't look as appealing in the daylight. St. Louis was coming up...and we decided to stop at the Arch for some sightseeing. The construction was impressive...and we managed to beat the rain that ended up being a steady downpour after we got back to our car.


Then it was time (PAST TIME) for lunch. We decided to drive to a suburb before stopping. That wasn't a bad choice, except by the time we got somewhere, Jemma had been in full crying/angry mode for 20 minutes. We had never eaten at White Castle before, so we decided we would. Don't EVER decide that, by the way!


We ordered, tried to put Jemma in her highchair, and she fought us tooth & nail. Loud screams, kicking, lot's of stares. I held her until the food was ready. Then Brad placed a tray of mushy, greasy, terrible burgers in front of me. My stomach churned. Jemma must have been afraid, too, as she started screaming again.


And then, there was Miss Sonya. I don't know where she came from. Maybe she was an angel. She started talking to Jemma in a southern accent. And Jemma started to calm down (this was after I was about in tears from embarrassment, being tired, and being sickened by the food in front of me). We tried the highchair again. More screaming & a burger went flying. Yep. Straight down to the floor. (Inside I was cheering about that one). But Miss Sonya persisted. And Jemma eventually ate a few fries without crying. (The fries were the only safe-looking thing to eat).


The trip rebounded from there...I guess it's pretty good when the low point of your trip is a screaming child and a White Castle.


After 15.5 hours of traveling, we arrived home. We all crashed in our beds and slept a good sleep. 


What can I say...There's nothing like driving cross-country!


***


Stay tuned for trip PHOTOS!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds familiar! I am glad (and jealous) that you had a good time. I was surprised at how well our trip went when we did that. Sometimes it pays to expect the worst. :) Now I am trying to figure out if we are brave enough to attempt it with 3!

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  2. So glad to hear that overall it went well. And that you had a good time with family.

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