fifty. 5-0. a half centinniel. that's the time we spent round-trip in the minivan traveling to the family's lake house in Virginia AND to an impromptu family wedding on the coast of North Carolina.
We survived, sometimes thrived, and sometimes everyone was really mad at everyone else. Here are some highlights and deep thoughts from the 8-day epic tour:
* Did you know that anything over 80 mph’s in Wytheville, VA is considered “reckless driving”? I should consider myself lucky, I was told, that Deputy MD Smith shaved off two mph’s and let me off with a $135 ticket.
*When would a mini-van ever qualify for reckless driving?
* I punctured my left foot jumping off a dock and became addicted to soaking my feet in warm water and Epson salt for the rest of the trip.
* Brianna really likes boys. Cousins or otherwise.
* At its zenith, there were 31 family members and 4 dogs at this Lake House. We were literally on top of each other.
* Family. Godlove’em.
- * We drove 5 hours to the wedding where I sang and helped Mia pick flowers during the homily. At the reception, I ate fish taco’s on the pier, ate a cupcake, administered communion to the bride and groom, then drove 10 hours.
* Fish Tacos + Cupcakes + 10 hours of driving = bad.
* We about decimated the Comfort Inn in Huntington, W. Virginia. The continental breakfast room will never look the same after Elise left me alone with the girls to go pack the car.
* Next time, I will pack the car.
* Next time, I will send Elise in to explain to the Comfort Inn manager that Hadley had "pooped out" and that while she didn't crawl across the entire surface area of their carpeted breakfast room, she did cover some serious ground. And, no, I could not remember exactly where she had crawled.
* They should make car seats for people like Hadley.
* They should also make DVD players that allow for Dad to simultaneously listen to all of the NPR shows that he meticulously burned for the trip while his daughters watch Dora the Explorer, Boz, and other shows on repeat.
* You can drive a long ways on Mountain Dew and sunflower seeds.
* We lived our own “Supersize Me” experiment – eating at a McDonald’s about every 3 hours. For once, I craved vegetables.
* I brought just one book to read on the trip. It was a big book; a fun book; a book about golf. Turns out, I had already read that book a couple of years ago. Then I decided that, as a spiritual discipline, I would read it again. But I couldn’t do it. Just didn’t feel productive enough. It scored low on my accomplishment scale. There was no way I could impress my friends about the new book I’ve read if I had already read it. It just wouldn’t do anyone any good. So I read “How Married Do You Want To Be?” instead. A lot, as it turns out.
* Returned home Wednesday morning just after midnight. Woke up, discovered there was a flat tire on my car, that the Royals were still the same team, took Brianna to doctor, then to Children’s Mercy, then walked to mechanic’s to pick up car.
* The mini-van now smells really really bad.