This year's tour includes a stop at my aunts' houses in Louisiana, a camping trip with my parents to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a weekend with Greg's family in upstate South Carolina, another week of lounging by the lake at my parents' house in Georgia, a night out with some
Well, no, really it ends with me driving back to Texas on one last frazzled nerve.
Have I mentioned that my husband is not coming this year? And that I am driving? The whole way? Ha ha ha hahahah. Ohhhh.
I asked Google Maps the other day how long my trip would be, and it turns out it will be over 2,000 miles, with 27 hours spent driving.
Ha ha ha ha ha hahaha. Hmmm.
I know this sounds totally nuts. That's because it is. But we do it every year, and I know people don't believe me when I say this, but it's really not that bad. The kids and I are seasoned travelers, and we actually enjoy it.
One thing that makes it a lot easier is that I am freakishly organized when it comes to road trips. Before we leave, I pack everyone a backpack full of art supplies/puzzle books/leap pad games, set up the DVD player with a few new movies, and then I pack breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks, placing them in the seat next to me so that I can toss them back when the whining starts. The kids sleep in their clothes the night before, so that when we wake up at the butt crack of dawn, all they have to do is go potty and get in the car. We stop whenever we reach 1/2 tank of gas (about every two hours) and fill up, restock everyone's toys and snacks, and strongly encourage everyone to go potty...in the baby potty in the car, while I'm filling up the tank.
(and then I fling the contents of the baby potty onto the side of the road and get out of there as quickly as possible)
(Yes, I know that is redneck.)
(But you try herding three children into a gas station potty every two hours.)
So there you have it. Another thing that makes it fun is that we have some quirky traditions that the kids really look forward to. There are certain junk foods that I buy only for road trips. I bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for each trip, just like my mom always did. I let the kids go into a gas station in the middle of Mississippi and pick out any candy their hearts desire. We eat dinner at Waffle House as soon as we cross the Georgia state line. We always eat at Cracker Barrel on the way home.
Wow, it looks like all of our traditions are focused on food.
I'm starting a new tradition this year of downloading songs that have to do with each state we will be passing through. I thought it would be fun to listen to 'Sweet Home, Alabama' while crossing the Alabama state line, for instance.
So anyway, if you have any suggestions for my road trip playlist, feel free. And yes, I already own James Taylor and yes I always play it when we get to South Carolina. And I know I will pick Ray Charles' Georgia on My Mind, but I'm open to other ones, because that song makes me cry.
Mainly because my freshman year of college, I was standing in a Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) in Charleston, South Carolina when that song came over the intercom and I was so overcome with homesickness that I stood right there in front of the Ramen noodles and sobbed.
So every time I hear that song I am transported back to the Piggly Wiggly. Or the Laser Show at Stone Mountain.
Wow, this got really off track. So anyway, submit your southern state-themed songs, and I'll publish my playlist later this week as if everyone were interested.