Monthly Archives: November 2007

Day 16 — Driving to Las Vegas

Snow SUCKS. I despise it. Evil. Devil spawn. No redeeming qualities. Notice to all who travel with me — In good weather, I’m an angel. When it snows, I lose my pleasing personality FAST and become a raving bitch.

Have I mentioned that I HATE SNOW?

We had a great morning. Breakfast at Jay’s parents’ house, and then a visit from his cousins Clint and Jenny and their two children. A few family pictures…


Jay’s aunt, Barbara


Jay’s cousin, Clint


Clint’s wife, Jenny


Joyce and Robby


Clint and Jenny’s son, Zach. I didn’t get a picture of Seth, sorry!

We hit the road around noon, planning to drive to Albuquerque. Before we hit the Texas panhandle, though, we hit SNOW. Evil snow. Visibility went to nothing, and the road was covered. It lasted about 50 miles, and then we broke out of it. Snow was on the ground the rest of the day, but we were mostly out of precipitation at that point. Eventually the road got dry again, and my pleasing personality was back. It hadn’t affected our time tooo much, so we still planned to go to Albuquerque.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last. Right when it started getting dark, we hit more snow. It wasn’t bad, but the road was getting wet and the temps were dropping. I rolled a car on black ice many years ago — I don’t do ice. So we decided to stop in Tucumcari. It’s supposed to snow tonight, and I’m going to be driving through snow ALL ACROSS NEW MEXICO tomorrow.

This is the desert. And there’s supposed to be a drought. WHY THE HELL IS IT SNOWING ON ME??? I am not amused.

One good thing today though. We stopped at a McDonald’s and the car next to us had a curly coated retriever (like Pax) in it. His name is Cobalt, and he recently got his first three-point major (and he does agility and obedience). Lovely boy, and I got lots of kisses from him and his chocolate Lab buddy. I missed dog kisses!

Tomorrow more snow hell. Grrrrrr.

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Day 15 — Thanksgiving in Oklahoma

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Got dressed in my turtleneck <cough>, and we headed over to Jay’s parents’ house (Starbucks in hand) around 8:45. Kay fixed a wonderful breakfast, and then Jay and I zipped out to the airport to pick up his brother, Robby, and his wife, Joyce. So nice to see them! This was actually the first time I’ve met Joyce, since I’m lame and don’t get down here very often. She’s a sweetie!

The whole family gathered in the kitchen, of course. Those who weren’t cooking sat at the island and chatted and picked at the food as it came out of the oven. Finally it was all ready, and after the blessing, we sat down for a feast. Everything was fabulous, but I must say Kay’s cranberry Waldorf salad was divine.

After lunch we lazed around. I got a foot massage from my darling husband, and then I napped while the rest of the family shuffled off for their second trip to Starbucks. When everybody got back, I dragged my butt off the couch, and we had dessert. Pumpkin, cherry, and pecan pies. Pecan is my favorite, so guess what I chose. 🙂

I married into a game playing family, so after dessert they pulled out a card game called Rummy Royale. We dug out all our change and tossed it in the pot, and then we had several hours of fun. I did well, which means I blew all my good luck today and will have none in Vegas this weekend. Sigh.

Not many pictures today, but I did snap a shot while we were playing rummy:

When the game was over, we sat down and hit the leftovers for dinner, and then we headed back to the hotel. We’ll be back here tomorrow morning, and then we’re off on the first leg toward Vegas.

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Day 14 — Drive to Oklahoma

My streak of good weather ended today. I woke up to lots and lots of rain. Ick. I got on the road early, early this morning. Before I hit the highway though, I had to run by Starbucks and upload yesterday’s blog, and I had to run by the gas station and grab a bag of ice. Then I braved the rain and Memphis traffic and hit the highway.

The weather in Memphis and West Memphis was AWFUL. Hard rain, thunder and lightning — impossible to see the road. Add a ton of traffic, most especially fast-moving 18-wheelers, and the early part of the drive was nightmarish. After West Memphis, though, the rain lessened, and by the time I hit Little Rock, the sun was out.

There wasn’t much rain for the rest of the drive, but there was wind. My hands and wrists were killing me by the time I got to Oklahoma City because I had to physically hold the car on the road for so much of the drive. On the plus side, there wasn’t nearly as much traffic as I had expected.

I got to Oklahoma City around three and went straight to my in-laws’ house where my husband awaited. We spent a quiet afternoon at the house (which is newly remodeled and gorgeous), and then we had Memphis barbeque for dinner. It was an early dinner, and I’m glad, because I’m absolutely wiped!

Pictures tomorrow!

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Day 13 — At long last, Christie

Today was the day the whole trip had been planned for — the day I got to see Christie, my best friend since preschool. Christie and I have been friends FOREVER. We’ve lived in the same city relatively little time in our lives, but we stayed in touch and stayed best friends regardless. It was so, so, so good to see her again, and I’m so happy we got to spend a whole day together.

Christie’s grandmother, Dottie, invited me and my mom to join their family for an amazing lunch at a restaurant in Collierville. I knew Christie and her family would be there, but I was thrilled to find that her brother’s wife, Ericka, their son Jack, Christie’s aunt Kit, and her cousin Mary Catherine were attending as well. I was bummed that Christie’s brother, Paul, had to work, but I got to see him tonight.

I have no pictures from the restaurant — hopefully Christie will send me hers — but I took pictures at the park we went to after lunch:


Me, Christie, and Ericka


Mary Catherine and Christie


Christie and her sweetie, Mike


Ericka


The grownups… (L to R) Mike, Christie, Mom (in the red), Kit (in yellow sitting on the table), Dottie, and Mary Catherine


Okay, I didn’t manage to get decent pictures of all the children, but I got one of Jack, Christie’s nephew. Isn’t he gorgeous?


All the kids playing together.


Kit — Isn’t she photogenic?

After lunch, Christie and I came back to the house and just hung out and chatted and laughed and acted silly. Eventually we piled into my car and ran a couple of errands and then headed to dinner. Marni was going to join us, but she bailed on us. Never fear, we ate enough sushi for her and the French army. Yum! After dinner (and ice cream), we drove to Paul and Ericka’s house.

Paul Michael is Christie’s little brother. Since I’ve known him since he was in diapers, he’s pretty much my little brother too. He and I are absolutely crazy about each other. I adore him and always have. I forgot to take my good camera with me, so all I have is this lousy shot from my camera phone. Christie took a couple of shots of us though, so hopefully she’ll send them to me.

I adore him. Have I mentioned that? Ericka, you’re a lucky, lucky woman!

Tomorrow I leave at the crack of dawn and drive to Oklahoma City. It has been a TERRIFIC visit.

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Day 12 — Monday in Memphis

I can hardly believe I’ve been on my trip for twelve days! Only two days left until I join my husband. I might even miss him a little bit. (But I’d never admit it!)

Today I had the treat of meeting my dear friend Mr. Wilson for lunch. Mr. Wilson was my art teacher in seventh and eighth grade. Even though I changed schools after that, I kept going back to see him, and we’ve remained close. I can’t believe how many years we’ve known each other! He retired a few years ago, and now he signs his e-mails with his first name, but I told him I’ll never ever be able to call him by his first name. He’ll always be Mr. Wilson to me!

We had a good long chat, and it was great to get caught up. He looks terrific! I’m so, so, so glad I was able to see him.

In the middle of the afternoon, Mom and I ventured out. Today became my “favorite foods of home” day. I am madly in love with a little Mexican fast food joint called Pancho’s. There used to be tons of them plus several sit-down restaurants, but at this point they’re down to just three fast food places. They sell their fabulous cheese dip and “special dressing” in the grocery store though, and I’m going to get some to take home. Pancho’s has the BEST tacos ever. Theirs was the first taco I ever had, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the best taco I’ve ever had.

This evening we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I know it’s a chain, but it’s southern cooking, and I love southern cooking. I wasn’t hungry after eating Pancho’s in the middle of the afternoon, but I still got to taste favorites like Vidalia onion rings, fried okra, and dumplings.

Tomorrow is my Christie day. Yay! Christie and I have been friends since preschool. We’re more siblings than friends, and it was because she was going to be in town that I decided to do this trip in the first place. She has three children, and I haven’t met any of them! Last time I saw her, she was pregnant with her first. It’ll be so good to see her!

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