I went to Tennessee for the seventh time (I think… it could have been the sixth or eighth time, they all seem to run together) a few weeks ago. I stayed for three weeks, and my sister, her 10 year old brother, her mom, and myself all made the drive up to Michigan, for a family reunion that was happening the following day. My sister has written a blog about it, but I thought the public might like to see MY take on the whole event. She’s pretty right on, but… I think she’s a little biased. Towards herself.
4:55am: I awake due to a bad dream. Watched The Count of Monte Cristo movie right before bed… probably not the smartest move. All the sword fighting and murders… it makes for quite the vivid night of dreams.
5:25am: Wake up. We have to leave by 5:45am to take Josh, her husband, to the airport. Ashley complains about being up since 4am, because apparently her normally quiet neighbors are singing karaoke. To Spanish dance music (I think). I, without thinking, assume that they got up really early to sit outside and sing. Thus, I say, “Why would they get up and sing that music this early?” Ashley proceeds to tell me that they didn’t go to bed the night before. Oh.
6:45am: McDonald’s stop #1. (Incase you’re wondering… I got a Sausage McGriddle and Diet Coke.)
7:00am: On the road to Michigan.
7:05am: Cow in the road! A cow just starts walking across the road. Yes, we’re in Tennessee, but we’re not exactly in farm country. Oh, and you can’t forget about that stray squirrel. This is getting a little crazy.
8:45am: McDonald’s stop #2. I’ll be honest… Whenever I’m on road trips, my body knows it. It KNOWS it, and it likes to torture me. I don’t think I ever drink any more on the road than I do at home, but I have to use the bathroom approximately 3.28 times more. And the weirdest part? Normally Ashley is the one that has to stop LITERALLY four times the first hour on the road to go to the bathroom. This is messed up, yo.
9:30am: McDonald's stop 3#. Ashley's goal is for us to make it to at least 10:45.
10:55am: Goal met! I believe this would be McDonald's stop #4.
12:00: Lunch time! McDonald’s AND Burger King. The McDonald’s stop was pretty interesting. The restaurant has a weird setup, so Ashley has to show me how to get into the building. She’s had a chance to live though - she’s 25 - and I’m 15. Some things she’ll just know more than me. It’s natural.
12:25: Ashley gets flipped off by another driver, when they were in the wrong! I’m completely outraged. Infuriated. Shocked. Ashley just laughs.
1:35: Contrary to my sister’s view, I do not tell her how she can improve herself. I only give tips. Joking. When she does something I find interesting, I just say what I’m thinking. In my family, it’s normal for you to say exactly what you’re thinking (probably not the best way…) so I guess I don’t really think anything of it. She’s a little offended though. I buy everyone ice cream and say sorry.
4:00: Get me out of this van. David is driving me bonkers. But, when I started to really look at him… I remembered everything he was feeling at any given time. Attention-deprived because the adults are talking. Bored because you’re sitting there, sick of all the toys you brought with you. Angry you can’t take the headphones out of your portable DVD player, and listen to it like the TV. Kid, I feel your pain. You’ll make it through.
The rest of the trip was pretty plain. I do have to say though… Lord, thank you for my iPod.
My sister's view on things:
Last weekend I made the trek up to Michigan for the third time this summer. This time was in a van filled with my 15 year old sister, my 10 year old brother, and my mom.
My day started when I awoke to my normally quiet neighbors singing. Loudly and drunkenly. Along to a CD of Spanish music. Is that the correct genre name? Now the singing did irritate me, but what irritated me more was the fact that their dog, Lucky, who barks at me through the fence anytime I take out the trash or start the grill, seemed to actually like the singing and sat quietly watching.
I sit awake listening to the singing with a piercing headache. And watching Josh sleep soundly.
Josh and Brittney wake up well rested and ready to go. I curse at both of them quietly. Josh thinks the neighbors tried out for American Idol this week and were celebrating. Brittney thinks it's really weird that someone would get up in the middle of the night to sit outside and sing.
We leave the house just as the amigos next door go to sleep for the night.
After dropping Josh at the airport, driving to Lebanon, and a stop at McDonald's, we're finally officially on our way. Mom's driving, I'm eating.
The minute I'm done eating, mom yanks the car to the side of the road so we can switch drivers. I did not see this coming.
Have to stop for a cow in the road. Then a squirrel. Then I ran into a butterfly.
2nd McDonald's stop for a bathroom break. Brittney gets a large drink. Mom gets a large coffee. I glare at them.
3rd McDonald's. When we're back in the car, I ask that we make it our personal goal to not stop until at least 10:30.
Goal met! And slightly succeeded, but let's not get too excited. Bathroom break and gas fill up.
Lunch stop. We hit McDonald's for the 4th time, AND Burger King. Highlights: I have to show Brittney how to get in the restaurant. Guy at McDonald's gives my change to someone else.
I get flipped off after honking at a lady that pulled out in front of me. Brittney is outraged. I laugh.
Brittney tries to tell me how I can improve myself. Just as we're passing a prison. I stop the car and try to drop her off, but mom forces me to keep driving.
We stop at Dairy Queen and she buys me ice cream. All is forgiven.
And other than mom denying me a 5th stop at McDonald's, and David asking if he can drive, and then chanting 'kick Ashy's butt, kick Ashy's butt' after I tell him no, the rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived around 5 pm.
The rest of the weekend was filled with lots of fun with family: Birthday party for my cousin, family reunion, and family girls' night at the Three Rivers hot spot...Apple Bee's!
I'm flying next time.