Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Road Trip, Road Music, and Road Monster

We road-tripped to Memphis this weekend. Every year, Darren's extended family holds a big party on the Sunday before Labor Day, which we try to go to. We thought we were leaving when I got home from work on Friday afternoon, probably around 4:15. Yeah, that didn't happen--we finally rolled out of here a little after 7 p.m. I mentioned it's at least a 9-hour drive, right? Probably more like 10. We hit St. Louis close to midnight and just had to stop. We had planned to drive straight through, but...

We got up in the morning and went the rest of the way. With that length of journey, of course the DVD player comes in handy, but something's up with our car and players and I don't know what all, but right now you can only do one thing at a time--have movies going or have the iPod on. I said to Darren, "Trust me, I know the utter irony in being annoyed that all the electronic junk in our car that is like a traveling living room doesn't work perfectly, what with starvation in the Sudan and Hurricane Gustav and whatall, but MAN. We paid for this stuff! It should work!" So we alternated between letting the girls watch endless episodes of the Muppet Show and listening to our music.

Darren and I are experienced road-trippers; everyone knows the music is key. For this trip, we played Memphis theme music: the soundtrack to The Firm (mediocre movie, fantastic soundtrack), Shawn Colvin's Fat City, and of course Marc Cohn's self-titled album--which we play all the time anyway. (get it?"Walkin' in Memphis"?) Then we just threw James Taylor in there because he is the definition of road trip music. The girls sang along too because being JT fans is genetically hard-wired into them. Then occasionally Darren would drift over the line to the side of the road so Road Monster could talk to them. (You know, that strip on the side of the road that makes the horrible noise. We debated about it's actual name. The sleep guard? If you know, please tell us.) Anyway, the girls love Road Monster--actually there's a whole family: Mr. Road Monster, Mrs. Road Monster, and Baby Road Monster.

So with all that we finally got to Memphis. We were staying at Darren's Aunt Madge's house--she has a pool. 'Nuff said because that is where the girls spent the rest of the weekend basically. Their cousins Drew, Ryne, Joseph, Hallie, Jessie, and Noah were all there so all the kids played and played together. They would get out of the pool, run around the huge yard, jump on the swingset, then get back in the pool again.

The party on Sunday was great--wait for it; here's the food description because you know this blog never disappoints--fried fish, hush puppies, french fries, hot dogs, Coleman's BBQ, chips, coleslaw, Mississippi mud pie, butterscotch bars, brownies, and my favorite--my mother-in-law's Texas sheet cake. Yeah, not a lot of green vegetables in the line-up, and it probably should have been served up with some salve and paddles close by (by the way, did you know that you can buy a defibrillator on amazon?), but it tasted so good.

We left Sunday afternoon and drove part of the way, stopping in Jackson, MO. We stayed at a hotel there and surprise! Got back in the pool for some more swimming. We were very glad to see home last night though.

Talking about road music and Marc Cohn (my love for his music is well-documented) made me think of the very first post I ever wrote for this blog, about another road trip, back when the only person reading this was Melanie. Normally I hate everything I write afterward, but I actually still like this one. I'm not sure why I wrote it all in present tense, but there you have it if you're interested.

Oh, and one more thing. While in Memphis? Elaine decided to potty train herself. On her own. Independently. Pretty much done.


Jill said...

That's the beauty of potty training - it's all in their time...guess it was her time :)

Alice said...

We had such a horrible time with Lucy; it took two YEARS--I couldn't believe it this time around--2 days. She has completely done it all herself. No more diapers! Woo hoo!

Melanie said...

I don't know if you know but Scott and I went to college just a few hours away from Memphis and all of the music and food you mentioned really took me back. In fact, it made me want to get in the car like now and go to Memphis. But then I remembered how long even a five hour drive can be so thankfully I have a gifted writer-friend who captures the essence of everything perfectly! I so love your food descriptions - they make me hungry and nostalgic for places and people I've known. Okay, must go eat something now.

Ann-Marie said...

I heard a cover of Walking in Memphis by a country group - can't remember which one it was now - and I fell in love with it. It might even crack my top ten favorite songs. Now I'm going to HAVE to listen to the "original" and see how it stacks up.

The rumble strips as a monster made me laugh and realize (again) how much fun you and Darren have parenting and loving on your beautiful girls! I'm so glad you had a good trip.

Juliet said...

Hurray for Elaine on potty training.

What a fun trip you had. Family is so important and of course a pool doesn't hurt. And good southern cooking isn't all that bad either.

Welcome home.