why hello there, day two.

dear diary,

you know how thanksgiving dinner tastes almost better the second day when all the holiday hoopla wears off and the saran wrap is peeled away from leftover mashed potatoes and turkey gravy to reveal an even homier meal? so, road trip day two is just like leftover mashed potatoes. tasty but more comfortable. equally delicious but settled in.

awaking this morning to sun streaks peeking through rubbery hotel drapes and the realization on cubby’s face after a bit of sleepy-eyed confusion that she is still on our little travel adventure…and we’re still having fun.

if day one was characterized by raw enthusiasm, day two is settled with nostalgia. i keep looking at her contented little face wondering what she gets of this whole thing. knowing it’s special…applauding ourselves for making memories for them and taking the time to lose valuable miles on the road to stop for something worthwhile…something kiddish, adventurous, memory-making. and yes, while i know there are many moms who accomplish much greater tasks, trekking with babies up mountains and enlightening their little souls with a bigger realm of nature in say african jungles and such, i am not ashamed to admit i’m celebrating mediocrity here and patting myself on the back for a simple jog across one stretch of highway with a baby…and doing it husband-less. gotta start somewhere.

(hello…look at the shirt. how ’bout them apples?)

so, we quickly realized we were not indeed as brilliant as we thought for finding a hotel next to a cracker barrel because…well, nine out of ten buildings in any given georgia square mile are most likely to be sitting next to a cracker barrel. seriously, georgia has an infestation of cb’s.

day two commences with previously-said thick rich coffee and egg & tomato sandwiches and continues with breakfast wrap-up video here.

followed by long road naps from the littlest two through the smoggy atlanta traffic…

…and then finally into the hills and valleys of southern tennessee (honk-honk).

all gas stations are, of course, left with the mark of roadtrip 2009 which, might i declare is an untrackable tag.

the drive has been simply enjoyable and after what seemed like warp-speed time, we landed in another cozy inn outside of knoxville where we ventured out in hail tonight…yes, hail (proof here) to find this pregnant mama the tennessee barbecue i ravenously craved.

and speaking of pregnant…not exaggerating here…not pushing out. seven and a half weeks in and this is what it looks like after i eat. it just appears.

which is just fine by me.

triple baby bath tonight…

i am so enjoying being with her for so long and the opportunity to be so present. and amazed at how great she’s been and how happy she is to just drive and be with us. (all our little roadtrippers are troopers…alas, they shall have golden carseats when we return.)

so proud of my roadtrip girl. and loving my vision of her contended little elfin face in that rearview mirror. (or hotel bathtub).

and as for hotels?
i think i like ’em. i love my home…i do miss my bed.
but there is something about setting up a make-shift home in a hotel room far, far away. like playing house when you’re little. tonight i sprayed my room spray and rummaged through the trial-sized treats laid out to find a bag of decaf orange pekoe which i brewed in the little bathroom coffee pot and poured into the pourous turquoise styrofoam cup. and i brought it over to my night stand where i propped up my pillow from home and cuddled with my girl who conveniently has felt at home wherever i am…and we watched t.v. without any guilty excuses for what else we could be accomplishing.

(those are my legs, her head, thank you very much)

yes, i like hotels. and i like the challenge of creating the perfect night…the perfect adventure…the perfect roadtrip wherever the wind might take us.

tomorrow, it shall take us north…to play in the mountains and kentucky bluegrass fields.

heidi’s summation of day two here.

hit the road, jack.

dear diary,

currently burrowed under soft pillows in cozy hotel room nestled among flowering trees in a small georgia town and smiling.
smiling because road trips are super fun…and if ‘super fun’ had any i’s in it…i’d so dot them with big bubbly hearts this time.

after a groggy morning start and the almost-acceptance of a what-if-this-isn’t-what-it’s-cracked-up-to-be realization, the dreamy road trip enthusiasm we had anticipated quickly lit our van on fire after we passed thru mcdonald’s drive-thru for some coffees and found a huddle of employees smiling and making over our tricked-out bedazzled road-trip windows…

envy. that’s what i saw…in the beaming buck-toothed smile of the manager as he waved and cheered us on. ‘have fun!’ they said. ‘safe trip!’ they hollered. it felt celebratory. festive. exciting.

oh, roadtrips are super fun.

so we drove…miles across the long stretch of 75. and only fifteen minutes into it, a mother horse galloped parallel against us, her tiny foal fast at her footsteps in a fenced-in field beside the highway. it was too good…the coffee, the sight, the excitement. i half-expected unicorns and northern lights.

but we didn’t need them. we had happy kids. and the ‘if’ book. piles of trashy magazines and salty snacks. oh, and our road trip hats wisely guiding us from their dashboard perch…right alongside our trusty roadtrip diary.

florida’s long tail seemed surprisingly short as we effortlessly breezed across hot pavement into the foresty north.

with a stop at cracker barrel where we were happily welcomed by the proverbial line-up of country rocking chairs…

and penny-candies and old-fashioned toys amid the country store where the kids roamed barrels and wooden crates searching for the perfect car toy (or not-so-perfect…see heidi’s blog here for peyton & beckham’s choices.)

we literally gasped when the welcome to georgia sign suddenly appeared and, although we were quick enough to madly honk across the state line, we weren’t quick enough to snap the picture of our first state. they say getting out of florida’s the worst…the longest. but it came fast and easy.

the peachy state greeted us with billboards liberally sprinkling the edges of 75. okay, not sprinkling…dousing. billboards for chicken shacks, peach ‘plantations’, and unfortunately way too many adult super stores.

we fell sucker to a promising peach plantation sign. we expected southern picturesque with lines of fruity trees and shaded paths. we got a citgo station. with a really big store…or plantation, as apparently it’s called. nevertheless, we were pleased as i got my georgia spoon–one for every state, i need. my grandma collected them from family travels in our states to mission trips across the world. i always admired her lofty and memorable collection and tearfully accepted her london spoon after she died…it’s framed in lainey’s room. so i follow in the silly tradition and value my meager collection that slowly grows.

yes, a spoon at the plantation.

and a hopefully authentic jar of peach preserves. hopefully authentic as in…i hope it isn’t mass-produced by citgo and shipped out to georgia in phony homemade jars.

and my favorite part…
the minnetonka store.

heidi made a joke about picking up some moccasins followed by a funny ha-ha…
but then i walked in and these little babies had me at hello.
gasped, i did.
it was love at first sight.

i couldn’t get them fast enough for her and my shoe-high was compounded two-fold when i found the matches in my size.

look out pocahontas. i see your braids and i raise you two pairs of damn cute moccasins.
that’s a happy day right there.

and then you throw in random stops to the dq for creamy soft-serves…

adolescent humor brought on by nice roadtrip vibes…

finding a cozy hotel across from a magical flowering field…

watching heidi’s babes give my girl a mohawk in the pool tonight…

conveniently settling into rooms overlooking another cracker barrel where we will enjoy egg and tomato sandwiches and thick rich coffee tomorrow morning…

well, it just doesn’t get any better.

some road trip madness videos…


and here

oh, and here.

and my sleepy babe awaits…

we miss the daddy badly. but are happy. our not-so-midnight train to georgia landed us here safely with happy memories, happy babes, and happy hearts.

tomorrow, the journey continues to the smoky mountains of tennessee.

and until we hit the road…i’ll hit the bed with my big baby and my little growin’ one…on our happy, happy road trip.

…enjoying the super-fun things. ~k

*and thank you heidi for being game for fun and counterparting my roadtrip enthusiasm so symbiotically.