5:55 am Gracie hollers out once. She falls back to sleep, but I use it as my alarm clock and go ahead and get up. We want to be on the road by seven, if possible.
6:13 am I get back from my shower to find Daddy and Daniel up. Daniel is doing the jidder bug, waiting to go potty.
6:55 am Aware of our plan for an early departure, Mom and Dad show up to say good-bye. They are staying around another day before starting their trip home.
7:39 am Feels “cool” outside as we load up the kids. It’s a comfortable 77 degrees.
7:40 am Kids are quietly munching on their favorite cold cereals (Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops), thanks to Donna’s pantry. I’m wishing I’d asked if we could have gotten a picture with Stacy and Donna, even though I didn’t because I knew how I would have felt if Donna had asked it and I had gotten up so early just to say good-bye to house guests. Still, I’m regretting it.
7:58 am We’re following behind a pick-up truck loaded down with watermelons going to market. Notice as we pass that some of the melons are mammoth!
8:18 am Stop to fuel up, empty garbage, and grab the Learning Notebooks from the back of the van. It’s 81 degrees.
8:58 am We watch a huge tractor trailer truck full of chickens pull into Tyson, in Carthage, MS, unaware of their inevitable fate. I spend a couple of minutes recalling the good fried chicken we had, once at Uncle Jo and Aunt Rita’s and once at the Blue Reunion.
9:05 am Look at Eric’s GPS and notice we have 2204.2 miles to go. The GPS estimates that will take us 42:53 hours. Wonder what they would estimate if you could factor in three kids five and under?
10:36 am Heavy, brief rain.
11:22 am We cross the border into Tennessee. I remind the kids we are staying in a hotel tonight, Mercy starts saying “Yippee!” (Never mind she was begging me this morning not to leave, she wanted to stay in Sarah’s room.) Gracie, hearing Mercy, started chanting, “Yippee! Yippee!”
11:34 am Almost missed crossing the Mississippi River again. Got a quick, but very blurry picture.
11:36 am Incredibly bouncy road, felt like we were on an amusement ride.
11:47 am Everyone is getting incredibly whiny. Pull out a Sugar Creek Gang to see if it can buy us a little more time before we need to pull over for lunch.
1:48 pm On the road again. The girls are busy coloring pictures of birds found in Arkansas
1:58 pm Look over and notice Gracie is sleeping soundly. Eric announces we are in Missouri now.
.2:58 pm Quick pit stop to fill up (and empty out).
3:15 pm Lots of corn fields. I'm starting to feel like we must be getting close to Indiana where I went to college. See Indiana plates.
Donna, this one is for you! I miss you!
5:08 pm Gracie is starting to loose it. We're going to need to find a place to eat soon.
5:45 pm Pull off at a Denny's with just about 75 miles to go.
6:44 pm Got back on the freeway and saw those great painted interstate signs right on the asphalt roads again. Wish I had my camera handy. Maybe another day.
7:55 pm Pull into Super 8. Tired. Ready to get out of the car. Our room is huge. Not the greatest hotel room but LOVE the size. Plenty of room for the kids to spread out and feel like we have a suite.
10:49 pm Blogging and notice that Mercy has fallen asleep sprawled out on the bed. Tomorrow is Legoland.... Nite nite...