After a fun little weekend in Memphis, we gathered up our things, packed the car, and sent everyone to bed until 4 am, at which point we rolled the kids out of bed, trotted them to the bathroom, then tucked them into their appropriate seats and headed out into the wee hours of the morning. It was the one morning we got to see the sun rise while the children slept quietly, so tranquil. We stopped in Nashville at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and food was gobbled up and savored.
*side note: when I was growing up, my family always stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way from Texas to Pennsylvania to see my grandparents, and we always played checkers with my dad; then, the summer before we got married, I became a waitress at the one here in San Antonio, faithfully collecting my stars on my apron, meeting all sorts of folk, burning my hand severely with spilled grits, and even crying a little with another waitress when I found out my grandmother had died, but by the end of it, swearing off waitressing for the rest of my life, (except for the fact that now I’m a mom, so really I’ll always be a waitress). So strange how this place can evoke such memories for me.
And after a very, very long day of traveling, with not quite the same luck as the first day (meaning, the kids were back to their normal selves having to potty every hour and a half, at least), and the construction was terrible (Louisville–if you are going to shut down a highway, please direct everyone to another detour that is not also under construction!). It was on this day when my love for the huge ol’ paper state Atlas may have annoyed Luke just a little–during a high traffic moment he was asking for some navigational help, so I quickly pulled out the massive atlas and my highlighter, to which he said, “Could you please just use your phone.” And so I did, but not without a little sorrow over days gone by, when people were truly the navigators and not a fake woman named Siri.
And thus after 14 hours of driving, meandering through the blue grass state, lots of rounds of the game Rubber Neckers and overall relatively happy children, we arrived in Kent, Ohio, home of Luke’s sweet sister Rachel and her husband and adorable little boy. What a pleasant welcome and way to end a long day’s drive and begin a sweet few days in Ohio….(to be continued)