Monday, September 7, 2009

Destination v. Journey, Part I

When someone coined the phrase, "It's not the destination, it's the journey," my side of the family took it literally. We tend to take long road trips, spend 24-48 hours at the destination, and then turn around and head back home. My mom called me a week and a half ago and told me that my uncle had died and that we needed to go spend a couple of days in Memphis with mom's sisters. Mom called my sister, who currently lives in Michigan, and my sister agreed to meet us in Memphis. So last week on Wednesday afternoon, the boys and I loaded up the Expedition and drove to my mom and dad's in Douglas. We put the boys to bed in the motorhome Wednesday night and then woke up early the next morning and headed for Memphis. Mom's shoes woke us up:

We drove and drove and drove on Thursday. Casey was thrilled that he was in 4 states in one day (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee), though he did sleep through Mississippi. The boys did great. They clearly have the travel genes from my side of the family. We would drive for 2 to 3 hours and then stop at a McDonald's for them to play, then load them back up. They learned pretty quickly the best ways to pass the time on a long road trip:

And look what was next door when we got to the campground in Memphis:

Nothing like camping next to the fair. Casey drove me crazy for the next 24 hours wanting to know when we were going to the fair. I wasn't sure why he cared, I never can get him to ride rides (even the kiddie ones) at Busch Gardens or Disney. At Disney, he acts like I'm abusing him when I force him to get on Dumbo, for crying out loud. The only ride he likes at Disney is "It's a Small World," but even there the little Scandanavian children on the tightrope kind of freak him out. But he was determined to go, so we agreed to take him on Friday night after dinner.

We had dinner at the Germantown Commisary Friday night. "Dinner" actually is a more sophisticated term that I'd really use to describe the experience we had there -- it was BBQ. If it's real southern BBQ and if it's done right, you don't call it having "dinner," you call if having BBQ. And we had BBQ. A lot of it. It was so good, my sister took back several pounds of it to Michigan just to prove to her neighbors that there is nothing as good as Memphis BBQ.

Here's some of my family at the Commissary -- I didn't take a picture when there was food on the table because I was too busy stuffing my face. But I'm posting this picture because I want to introduce you to Mary Griffin. She's my first-cousin-once-removed's girlfriend sitting near the end of the table on the right. Winston, my first-cousin-once-removed, came in after we had all been seated and introduced his girlfriend, "Mary Griffin." So I said, "Nice to meet you, Mary." You see where this is going don't you? I called her by the wrong name -- her name is really Mary Griffin MiddleSomething LastSomething, and her first name is "Mary Griffin." That's how you know I've been living in Florida too long -- I had momentarily forgotten that in the south it's okay to give a girl two first names and to always use both names. If either of my boys had been girls, I was going to name her "Beth Ann May Flamingo" -- and I was going to call her Beth Ann. Joe was opposed to this naming scheme, so it's a good thing we had boys. Though if Flamingo Joe hadn't gotten to the nurse with the forms first at the hospital when we had Mace, we'd be calling him Quenzer Powell.

When you're on the road for 14 hours in a motorhome in one day, you really really want to stop and take pictures of those interesting places that you see, like "Walter's Boobie Trap," an adult night spot somewhere near Birmingham, but time does not allow for such frivolous stops. So I'm sorry, I didn't get a picture for you. I tried to find one on the web for you, but apparently this establishment has only a local following among Alabamans who don't use the internet.

But I did take some pictures of Casey and Mace at the fair, so I'll post those tomorrow night. See you then!

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