Sunday, April 24, 2011

1 day down ? days to go....

Well, we didn't actually hit the road till 1:30 today.  Fatigue from my lyme disease has really been kicking my butt these last few days and as we were (still) packing last night I was ready to postpone our departure one more day so that we could get up early (like 4AM early), get on the road and spend 2 straight days driving to Albuquerque.  I just could not fathom getting up with 4 hours of sleep (we still had 2 more hours of packing) and driving all day.  Michelle, to her credit, had a MUCH better idea.  Go to bed, don't set the alarm clock, get up when the kids do, have a leisurely breakfast, finish the packing and hit the road.  Instead of two 12 hour days of driving, she suggested we just take 3 shorter days and also see if there was anywhere worth stopping for an hour or two along the way (we originally had not planned on doing any sightseeing until we made it to Albuquerque).  Well, as it turns out, our route takes us right past Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, AR.  

We had planned on trying to make it to HS today, but Aldous would not have it.  We made it right outside Memphis by about 8PM Eastern before he was done for the day.  We pulled into a truck stop and Michelle fed Aldous while I used her new smartphone (the HTC Thunderbolt ROCKS!) to go on Hotwire and find a decent cheap hotel.  Just about the time I was finished booking a night at a Holiday Inn Express about 2 miles away Michelle had finished feeding Aldous and we were getting ready to head out.  Just then, two shirtless  gentlemen in their mid-50s covered in home-applied tattoos and mud, rode over to our mini-van on 4 wheelers.  One pulls up to Michelle's window and the other one parks in front of the van.  The fella at Michelle's window starts talking to us.  Now, you have to remember, we are in Mississippi, and if you have never heard a DEEP SOUTH accent, they can be a bit hard to understand (hell, even if you have heard them, they can be hard to understand).  Michelle can't understand a thing he's saying.  I understood enough to get the gist of it, but before I could answer him, Michelle started complimenting their "mini trucks" (I don't think he understood what she meant at this you can surmise, Michelle has not spent much time around "four-wheelers" in her life :) ).  I think they made her a little nervous and that's why she started gushing over their "mini-trucks."   So there we are, a mini-van covered in sunflower, daisy and bee stickers surrounded by locals in "mini-trucks" blocking our path of escape.  Turns out they were just asking if we were lost and did we need directions.  We explained we were fine, just needed to feed the baby and I said they looked like they were having fun.  The talkative fella said "HELLS YES, WE'RE HAVIN FUN!"  Evidently, according to him there about 30 guys just like him and there are four-wheeler trails all around that area and they all get together every weekend to ride the trails.  They told us to take care, we said likewise and off they rode on their "mini-trucks."  Michelle looks at me and says, "I couldn't understand a thing they were saying."  At this point, Isabella pipes up.  "Are we still in the USA?" she asked, 100% serious.

Damn, this trip is gonna be FUN!  :)

We plan on getting on the road early and although I would never travel here to see it, I think since we are in Memphis, we might swing by Graceland, get a pic in front of the gates and then boogey on over to Hot Springs for a few hours.  Sorry about the lack of pics today, but there really wasn't much to take a picture of, though if I had to do it over I would have asked our 'mini-truck' friends for a pic.  :)

PS as I was typing this Isabella insisted we post a pic, so, by popular demand, or rather Isabella's, here is a pic of Isabella and Aldous in bed for the night in the Holiday Inn Express in Olive Branch Mississippi...

 While I think this pic is cute, I hope future pics will be a little more scenic in nature.  Ok, I'm off to bed, it's now midnight for me and I'm beat.  :)


  1. Never be nervous about taking a picture of people. Just flat out ask "hey, do you mind if I take your picture?". Simple as that. I've never run into anyone in my travels who balked at that.

  2. i bet those dudes would have LOVED to pose for a pic with you guys! have fun!

  3. Banjo Brothers and the Skin Head Clan! When's the first CD due out? First of many awesome adventures.

  4. Sounds like you guys are off to a good start, enjoy.

  5. Love the "mini truck" story!! Bella's question made me laugh so hard! Would have loved to see a pic of those guys!

  6. Wow! Already quite a treasury of lifetime memories. " Mini-trucks", " Are we still in the USA" and "was that a cowboy" will become classics. For her back, and her olfactory senses, Michelle needs to keep both you and Aldous away from the beans! Great pics. Wait til you see Yosemite and some of the coast hywy near Big Sur.

  7. Hey Guys

    What a trip ..for real...I was really worried about you guys in tornado glad you made it safely to Bill's...say hi to everyone. Keep up the good living your pics...and Isabella is quite the quipper!!!
    Extra hug to Mama Michelle....she rocks!!!!!