Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Family Mini Vacation

We have spent the last several days trekking across America with my husband for a business trip he planned. OK, actually, we just went from Nashville, TN to Little Rock, AR. But it FELT like we were going across America.

Especially when we went on the leg between Little Rock, AR to Jonesboro, AR. If you look on any map, you will notice that there is virtually nothing there. Amazingly enough, there really isn't anything there- except farm land.

Farm land is beautiful. It reminds us of how this country was founded as an agricultural country. There were rows and rows of vegetative greenery stretching out for miles and miles.

After 200 miles, there was still only agriculture. No people. No gas stations. No bathrooms. No restaurants. Really, no other cars. Just green.

At mile 20, someone had to go to the bathroom. By mile 200, we were all crossing our legs with tears in our eyes, no longer all that fond of the agriculture. When we finally hit civilization, we all cheered. Then we rushed the gas station bathroom like a fat man at an all-you-can-eat-FREE-buffet. I don't recall ever shuddering before from going to the bathroom. But we all did today.

I can say with all certainty that I would never make it as a trucker. God bless them for hauling all our stuff from one end of the world to the other. But I would go stark raving mad if I had to weave through the fields of America on a daily basis.

I can not begin to describe the panic I began feeling seeing only the green field every way I turned. It felt a little like being in the middle of the ocean and not knowing where land could be seen. There was only green fields. No direction had anything resembling civilization (as in retail establishments, homes, gas stations, restaurants, etc.). I felt something close to claustrophobia, if that makes any sense at all. My heart raced and I was dizzy.

Finally, we came over a ridge and saw some cars. JOY, RAPTURE, BLISS!!! PEOPLE!!!

As we moved along, we saw more signs of life: a small neighborhood store/gas station; a couple of small homes with cars in the driveway; street signs. Thank you, God!

Then, miracle of miracles: a mall!!!!

My breathing leveled out; my heart rate slowed. I actually had tears of gratefulness in my eyes.

We did enjoy parts of the Little Rock to Jonesboro trip. We got to go past exits that hailed such sights as (no lie) "Toad Suck State Park" and "Bald Knob Lake." We did not try to go see those auspicious land marks. It was enough to just know they were there.

The kids LOVED the 14+ hours of Looney Tunes dvd's I purchased on E-bay. In fact, despite the fact that we went to the Memphis Zoo, the Peabody Hotel to watch the ducks, ate out in multiple fabulous restaurants, slept in hotels with indoor pools, and even had a movie night at one of the hotels (complete with popcorn)- their favorite memory was watching Looney Tunes in the rental car's dvd player. You know, we could have just sat in the driveway, as far as they were concerned.

But, it has been a wonderful family trip. We did love the Zoo and the Peabody. We stayed in some hotels run by some very nice people. And I have lots of great pictures and memories. We have some funny moments that I hope I'll never forget:

Keith had his nose pushed into the whipped cream on his sundae by daddy. When we were at the Zoo and we visited the giant turtle, we tried to guess how old he was (at least 90, by my estimation). Amy stated the turtle was "really old... Like 39." We hosted the First Annual Looney Tune Sound-Alike family contest to see who could sound the most like Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and other characters. And lots of other little moments that were both sweet and funny.

I can now say that I have been to another one of our great United States. While I don't imagine coming back to Arkansas on any kind of regular basis, I enjoyed experiencing it with my family. And I look forward to many family trips to come.

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