**I am not posting pictures right now because I am having trouble uploading them at the moment. I will try and upload photos later. Check back :)
This is “Arrival Day”. We are all looking forward to being able to stay someplace more than one night. The kids (and us) haven’t had a full night’s sleep since we left Washington. Those of you who know me well know that I give my kids LOTS of sleep and they LOVE me for it. The lack of sleep is really showing, on all of us (yes, I mean me too).
6:12 am Gracie wakes up. She’s happy. I pick her up immediately and we have some cuddle time in the big bed. I love it when she gives me really big hugs and nuzzles her head into my tummy.
6:30 am Eric’s alarm goes off.
7:15 am Mrs. Chipley has pancakes and fruit ready for us. The kids scarf down the pancakes. Gracie spots fake grapes up on a china cabinet and starts repeating, “Grapes, peez. Grapes, peez.” Mrs. Chipley kindly rummages up some grapes from her pantry.
8:36 am On the road. Earliest start yet for us. Keep in mind with the time change this is like leaving at 6:36 am with THREE kids. I’m very proud of our accomplishment.
9:29 am I am surprised by how relatively lush the foliage is and how curvy these roads are.
9:43 am Cross the Sabine River which is crossed on a three mile long bridge. We cross into Louisiana. Eric reminds me how much he dislikes driving on bridges. He’s aware there are many more to come. I’m wondering why he chose this route.
10:37 am 95 degrees.
11:44 am Amidst casual conversation Eric admits, “I must have had my wife filter on.” What???? Does that mean I’m allowed to have a husband filter?
12:05 pm Come up to the WASHINGTON Exit and it starts to rain. Sunshine by the time we get to the next exit. Hmm.
12:12 pm “Mom, my bottom hurts a LOT, really a LOT!” says Mercy.
12:15 pm We pull off with Mom and Dad Blue for lunch. We choose Wendy’s because it’s the closest and easiest thing off the interstate. We splurge and get kids meals. We’re glad we did because the “toy” is a CD with family friendly sing-along car tunes.
1:09 pm Gracie has a blowout just before we get back in the car. Total clean up required. Takes an extra ten minutes.
1:19 pm On the road, Eric and I are singing “Achy Breaky Heart,” “ABC,” and “Reunited.” Glad we didn’t make the kids pay to upgrade their lunches today.
1:50 pm Daddy points out the bajous to Daniel (and Mommy).
2:12 pm Daniel is SO konked out!
2:17 pm Quick heavy rain.
2:18 pm The rain is all done.
2:21 pm Look back at Mercy and realize she has been entertained with the same deck of educational cards since long before lunch.
2:23 pm See something new. They have these huge painted (in color) Interstate signs in the middle of the lanes at tricky highway interchanges. Love it! Wish I’d gotten a picture. Somebody had a great idea.
2:38 pm I notice what I assume to be a “Man Heaven.” It looks like a Cabela’s like resort. Pull out my camera and snap a few pictures. Set my camera down and look up again to see “HOOTERS” right next door. Definitely a little man’s world.
3:47 pm Mississippi state line, in the middle of another bridge.
3:55 pm As I hear the end of another Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends video come to a close I realize today has been almost continual videos. I don’t even feel bad.
4:13 pm Pull off for a potty break. Daniel and I are both in pain for having waited too long. Hear a cluster of four people speaking Creole, or some similar dialect.
4:49 pm Pull out the snacks from Grandma Cook. The kids were thrilled with the army men and butterfly shapes. Gives quite a few minutes of entertainment.
5:12 pm We’re in Alabama.
5:23 pm Videos are off and Daniel is absorbed in some imaginary creative play. Lot of whooshing sounds coming from the back of the van.
6:47 pm We arrive at Uncle Joe and Aunt Rita's. Walking into the cool of their home is a little piece of Heaven. We bring in our luggage and get our room set up. It's wonderful already. All the family starts to show up. We'll post more later about the evening and the following day. Lots of visiting, eating, meeting family for the first time. The kids LOVE it here. Legos show up from down in the basement and Daniel lets out a whoop! It's going to be a great few days!