Sunday, June 6, 2010

Belated Memorial Day Weekend Post

The boys, Desiree and I took a little trip over Memorial Day weekend to Douglas to see my parents. My parents have taken a shine to Desiree and pretty much insisted that she come with me when I expressed some interest a few weeks back in the boys and I visiting them over Memorial Day. Sometime at the beginning of week before last I had decided against going because our recently-acquired car (note I did not say "new" -- it's a 2001 Toyota Corolla with only 50k miles on it that we got after the Expedition stopped running) is rather small, particularly in the backseat where two boys are well within striking distance of one another. But then Dez, who had responded to my first invitation to join us with certainly polite, but less than enthusiastic, eye furrowing, realized that no, Flamingo Joe would not be coming on the trip with us, so no, she wouldn't be crammed into the backseat with two boys on either side of her and an ice chest between her ankles, decided that yes indeedy a trip to Douglas sounded like just the thing. It was a good thing, too, because when I called up my mom on Wednesday afternoon to say the boys and I would be coming to Douglas after all, the first thing she said was, "Is Dez coming with you?" I didn't ask her whether we were still welcome to come if Dez wasn't coming too, because really there are just some questions I don't want to know the answers to.

On that Friday, we couldn't leave for the trip until Dez got off work at 4:00, so we left town pretty close to 5:00 and made decent time on the interstate until we exited for dinner around 6:00 somewhere south of Ocala at a Cracker Barrel. When we were leaving the Cracker Barrel, I looked left toward the Interstate and saw that it was now a parking lot, so I whipped out my phone (I looooove having GPS on my phone -- I can find Flamingo Joe anywhere now, thanks to the handy dandy latitudes function), and found an alternate route that would take us around the accident. Unfortunately, the Traffic application on my phone doesn't tell you whether the road you have found to skirt around the problem on the interstate, once it intersects again with the interstate, actually has an entrance ramp to get you back on to the interstate. So we ended up on what we at first thought was a dirt road (but soon determined was just a really dirty road) that took us straight through the Withlacoochee State Forest and then back to some road that eventually got us back to the interstate. The good news, though, is that when we got back to the interstate, no one else was on it because they were still stuck back behind the accident.

On Saturday, we took Dez to see the thrilling sights of Douglas, GA. Dez had actually researched what there is to do in Douglas, GA on the internet and found exactly two things: the Broxton Rocks and General Coffee State Park. Well, you can't just walk right in to the Broxton Rocks anymore -- though I distinctly remember friends of mine in high school doing that all the time -- apparently now you have to have a botanist guide take you on a tour. So there was no tour of the Broxton Rocks this trip.

But we were able to visit General Coffee State Park and Dez learned lots of things about what life was like in Coffee County back in the day.

People apparently kept their turtles in big plastic tubs behind their houses before turning them into soup. These turtles were definitely trying to make a run for it.

We were able use Casey as an object lesson at the sugar cane press exhibit. He was the mule:

And this family of ducks adopted Mace:

They were really hoping to get the cracker crumbs on his pants, but he kept running away when they got too close.

The best part of this state park, though, is its trails. We took the boys on the East Swamp River Trail and it looked like this pretty much up until we turned around because I couldn't carry Mace on my back anymore:

After the park, my parents took us to see Douglas, GA's claim to recent fame:

That's right -- we got to visit the actual site where our water comes from. We burst into the lobby Geraldo Rivera-style and demanded an immediate tour of the facilities and a full explanation of "reverse osmosis." We were promptly carted off by security and taken next door:

Well maybe that last bit didn't happen, but not because Dez didn't offer to demand a tour. She really wanted to, but I wouldn't let her because Belk's was having a sale and we didn't want to miss it.

Other highlights from our trip included:

Taking baths in YaYa's big bathtub.

Adopting the neighborhood stray for YaYa to take care of. Casey named him Skippy the Chihuahua and Mace called him "Skippy Wa Wa." He was cute, but probably flea-infested, so I didn't let Dez bring him back to Tampa with us.

This moment was not so much a highlight as it was really really disturbing.

Ooh -- but look at that -- super cheap gas! Dez wanted me to fill up a bunch of empty Yoo-Hoo bottles with gas and take it back to Florida with me so we could sell it, but I just couldn't think of one thing to spend extra money on, so we didn't do it. But we did get back home to Florida for a lot less than it took to get to Georgia.

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