We finally got the car loaded and were ready to go at 1:15 this afternoon. Having remembered to bring my camera along, I decided to be the camera geek and record everything possible on it. I started by taking this photo in our driveway using the handy-dandy tripod my husband made using a gatorade bottle and a bolt in the top. Here we are, ready to leave on an adventure!
(Of course, I had to threaten the boys to get them to smile, but, look, it worked! sort of)
In the car and on the road and 5 minutes in, we were making our first stop at McD's for sustenance for the trip. Fifteen minutes later, we were driving north on the Turnpike and both boys were asleep. I found myself relaxing...for real. I started to think about the potential of this trip. We are going to North Georgia to visit Cindy (Kurt's sister) and her kids. While up there, I plan on making a side trip to Nashville to visit my step dad and a dear friend (Mel) and her kids. As I thought about the drive up to Nashville, I realized I would be driving right near Turtletown, TN. This is the little town Mama Hickey lived in and where I spent an awesome summer as a child. Ironically, that town was the destination that lead to one of the most memorable road trips of my childhood. To read about that road trip, click here and start on part 1.
So now, I will drive my kids to Turtletown and spend a day showing my kids around. I hope I can find the shack we lived in that summer. I hope I can find everything! I am so excited by the thought of going there and showing them!
Anyway, driving while the kids slept, I enjoyed my streaming thoughts. It was very peaceful. I found that I wasn't stressed at all and was looking forward to the whole journey ahead. I wasn't even nervous about seeing my mother. Photos of the trip as it happened...
And a little north of Orlando...a valley!! Hills!
For those of you with exceptional eyesight, yes, those are bugs stuck to the windshield. Also, for those of you who live in areas of the country where there are REAL hills and valleys, humor me. This is a Florida valley.
And then I arrived in Ocala for the visit with mom. It wasn't even awkward, compared to my relationship with my mom that is. I mean, it was nothing like other mother-daughter relationships where there is bonding and gushy mom love, but it wasn't bad and it wasn't uncomfortable. Really, what more could I ask for? Maybe she is changing now that she is older? I don't know, maybe there is hope for her yet.
As soon as we arrived at my mom's apartment building, I saw her sitting out front. She didn't get up when I got out of the car and I thought that was a bad sign, but it turns out she just didn't recognize me with the blond hair...last time she saw me, it was dark. So we all hugged and she said she wanted to go to the Golden Corral for dinner. I'm not a fan of Golden Corral. I've never eaten there, I just have a thing about buffets. I always think of "Golden Trough" when I think of it...too much food all laid out and lots of people milling around...ugh!
So anyway, we went there and there I was, snapping the photos :)
|Arriving at the Golden Trough|
|Please note the combination of foods, steak, spaghetti, fried chicken, biscuits, and homemade potato chips.|
|Me and mom. I want to go on record stating that I did not eat at the trough. I just wanted to make that clear people!|
|Round 2 included an ice cream cone, a slice of pizza, a roll and chocolate chip cookies.|
|Still eating...feeling strong!|
|Can't believe I ate the whole thing!|
|And after leaving mom, it was back on the road. We drove another hour and then found a nice hotel for the night. Jack was so thrilled with the room and said it was the nicest place he has ever stayed. It was very nice and huge! We each had our own comfy bed! What a great start to our trip! Now, it's time to shower in the beautiful hotel bathroom and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow morning after breakfast, I'm going to drive the kids to Live Oak for a little field trip (out of the way and not on our route) just to show them a place where I spent time as a kid. I know there's no way I will ever be able to find the location of my grandfather's old farm, but I can show them the town and maybe I'll recognize something...fingers crossed!!|