So today has been a bit of a scramble between trying to get caught up at work and get ahead since I'll be gone for the next 10 days, and getting preparations for our Friday departure.
We got a phone call today from our Travel Agent telling us of the hazard of pick pockets in Rome, in particular... the Vatican. Hunh. Evidently they take the picking of a pocket to a whole new level there. So I spent the evening trying to find a place that sold a money belt (Sears) and picking up last minute travel items that we might need.
I've forewarned the boys already about the hotel, that the rooms are small and don't have closets. I also explained the bathrooms will be small and functional. I didn't want any surprises.
Except, I didn't get into the Bidet thing with Bones. I think the warped part of me wants to see his reaction. Evidently Bidets are standard in all their bathrooms as exhibited by all the pictures Americans take of them and post on Travel websites.
So that whole 'Bones meets the Bidet' thing could be a post in itself.
That could be a Chapter name in my book... you know the one I am never going to write that is going to be entitled, "Something is Fermenting in my Car".
I'm just kind of excited about eating Gelato in Italy. I want to try their chocolate.
It's the little things.
An update on the young man... the vent will be disconnected tomorrow if all goes well. I don't know when/if they are moving him out of ICU, but he is evidently doing well enough to allow him to try to breathe on his own.
I think they are assessing neurological damage tomorrow. That may be awhile to figure out.
Everything I have read has been rather bleak regarding recovery. That said, he made it this far and he was in great cardiovascular shape before the incident... so I remain hopeful.
Thank you for all the prayers. It is very much appreciated.
My husband owns his own business and for the last 25 years, he has put all his business expenses on his credit card as well as I've put all our groceries and school supplies and clothes on there.
For 25 years.
If we don't have the cash, we don't buy it. Why do we use a credit card? We have it tied to frequent flier points.
For 25 years.
And we've never spent them.
For 25 years.
And after 25 years the number of ff points started getting close to 2 million. And they didn't expire.
When my husband's father died a couple years ago, he told me he'd like to got to Italy. His family immigrated from there in the late 1800s, early 1900s. And so I said, "Well, your Dad left you the inheritance. If this is what you want to spend it on, that is YOUR choice. It is YOUR money..."
And he started to look into it, got a good travel agent that had been recommended to him and realized...
... that after 25 years of saving ff points, you can fly 5 people coach to Italy and pay for all the hotel for 10 days... just using ff points.
Which means, other than food and tours, we could go to Italy FOR... FREEEEE.
This happens Friday.
On Friday at 3PM, we fly out to Charlotte where we catch a flight to Rome and we will spend 5 days in Rome, 3 in Florence and 2 in Venice.
I'm a bit giddy. I'm... going to Italy. And I'm going to the Vatican. And I'm going to eat gelato... IN Italy. And I'm going to see the Statue of David. And I'm going to go to a real Catholic Mass IN Italy IN Latin.
And he promised me that I can see the catacombs... 'cuz we all know I'm all about the cemeteries.
I'll have a way to blog, but probably not to post pictures. I'm pretty much unplugged.
For ten days.
I have to pay for that... the gelato. I think I can swing that.
I had the funniest dang talk with Bones the other day. We had to go shopping and we were talking about 80s movies. A little background, when we go to my sister's, she always rents some classic 80s movie for my boys to watch. This time it was Weird Science.
Now, when we went up to Eric's a few weeks back, the boys and I were in the car with him, when something came up about our going back to Mo's that night and watching Weird Science. This entire banter occurred like this... and you will see that Eric has absolutely NO appreciation for the 80s:
Me: And Mo rented us Weird Science!
Eric *grimacing*: Weird Science? Ugh.
Me: What?! What's wrong with Weird Science? It's a Classic 80s movie!
Eric *turning to my boys*: Classic 80s? Guys. Listen to me. It's like ordering a corn dog and saying, "This is the best corn dog I've ever had". It's still... a corn dog.
The boys have been quoting him and corn dogs ever since.
So the other night Bones is quoting Eric and his corn dog comment when I said, "hey, you liked the airplane movies..." and that's when the whole conversation went sideways.
Bones: I frickin' LOVED the airplane movies!
Me *laughing*: I thought it was a riot that I had to explain the smoking section of the airplane to you...
Bones: Wait. They REALLY had smoking sections in airplanes?
Me: Oh yeah. Here you are in a flying tube and somehow the smoke is going to stay in the smoking section? Right.
Bones: So basically the entire airplane was smoking...
Me: Yeah, pretty much. Hey, it wasn't so long ago that we had smoking sections in restaurants.
Bones: WAIT?! We had smoking in restaurants?
(It was banned in Florida in 2003. Bones was four years old.)
Me *staring surprised at him*: Umm... yeah. Until 2003 when you went up to the hostess at a restaurant she said, "Smoking or Non Smoking?"
Bones *wide eyes and incredulous*: YOU.ARE.KIDDING.ME
Me: No... you don't remember... do you?
Bones: NO. I don't remember that. Mom. I don't want to eat my meal with smoke. Holy crap.
Me: Bones, there are scads of other states that still ask you that, you can still smoke in a restaurant.
Bones: YOU.ARE Joking, right? You go in and the hostess actually says, "Smoking or non-smoking?"
Me: Yeah. All the Carolinas. Anywhere there is Big Tobacco. I think we need to go up that way just so you can see. (Sidenote: when we travel through Alabama, Georgia and Tennesse, we have never been asked, so they must have some local ordinances where we travel.)
Bones: So, is there a big wall that separates smoking from non-smoking?
Me: Nope. Just a section. Sucks to be the guy who wants to be in non-smoking and ends up on the border between the two.
At this point, Bones has completely stopped in his tracks and is staring at me slack jawed.
Bones: Mom. Smoke... travels. It doesn't stay in one place. How can you just... decide 'This is smoking' and 'this is not smoking' and expect smoke to stay in one place?
And at that, I laughed really really hard and upon running into my husband I said, "I have the funniest story that exhibits generational differences..."
On a sad note... if you are of the praying kind, if you could throw a prayer to a young man we know who drowned yesterday but is on a vent right now, I'd greatly appreciate it. I should say nearly drowned I guess... but coma and water in the lungs... feels like drowning to me.
Children aren't supposed to die. Not like this. We are sick about it... my husband has already been to the Church over it, kneeling and praying that God will watch over this young man and not take him at age 14.
So any prayers and good thoughts are appreciated.
Bones latest thing in the last six months is to say things like, 'When I get my private jet...'
For instance, I'll be in the kitchen and he'll say, "When I'm older and rich, my private jet will have a solid gold kitchen..." (My response is something like raising an eyebrow and saying, "That's not a very practical use of your money, a gold kitchen..." I play along he'll have the jet.)
Or "When you and Dad want to travel, I'll just have my private jet pick you up..."
Or "My private jet will take the whole family to 'insert place here'"
The other night he was watching a cartoon movie named Rio. His brother, Ringo, was in the room on an iPad on FB and I was in the other chair reading, when the following conversation ensued.
Keep in mind, this movie is about a bunch of talking birds that live in Rio de jeneiro.
Bones, seemingly out of the blue: I think I realized, when I'm older and rich, I need a small jet as well as a big jet.
Ringo, looking up from FB: Oh so you can stick your small jet in your big jet and just fly it out?
Bones: *blank look, pregnant pause* Uh. No. But hey *You can hear him thinking* That's not a bad idea...
Bones, continuing: No, I need a small jet because when I get older, I want to go fly around Jesus.
Ringo: You're kidding.
Bones: No. That's my goal.
Hey, we all need them. Every morning when I wake up, my goal for the day is to not eat any processed foods. I fail miserably. His goal is to fly around Jesus.
Maybe he'll be more successful with his goals...
I came home from taking Bones to his math tutoring this evening and sat down with my husband and older boys as they finished dinner. (Bones' tutoring is during dinner time, so we don't eat as a family those two days.)
My eldest son put his plate in the dishwasher and said, "I'll be home in a couple hours..."
Me: Where are you going?
Ringo: To see a movie.
Me: Which movie?
Me: Ted? You're going with Ted?
Ringo: NO. That's the NAME of the movie. *everyone at the table is laughing at me* See ya...
He walked out and the conversation continued.
Me: Hunh. I've never heard of that. Ted, hunh?
Bones: Yeah, it's about some stuffed bear.
Me: *blink* Really? Why would a bunch of teenagers want to see a movie about a stuffed bear? Is it some retro movie about Teddy Ruxpin?
Bones: Who is Teddy Ruxpin?
Me: A stuffed bear from the 80s or early 90s... What is this, a G rated movie? Please.
Hunhead: Uh no. It's rated... like R? It's an adult movie.
Bones: Oh yeah, this stuffed bear is a real loser. He's a drunk and a real jerk.
I read the reviews on it, what it's about. I completely see why teenage boys want to see it now.
It's Teddy Ruxpin is a coke head.
Who in the world thought of this as a premise for movie? Hunh.
This music thing we did with T is NOT what we expected. I thought it was some nice little church program where he would be with a few buddies and find a couple other trombone players to jam with.
The day of the concert came and when the Jazz band came together, I was blown away. Holy crap. This was a group of kids, playing three tunes, that had all of (no kidding) 2.5 hours together to practice and they were phenomenal.
But then the Concert Band played... and I was absolutely speechless. In the 30 minutes a day these kids had, for five days, along with some members of the church, I'm talking over 50 people, it was better than just about any high school band I'd heard.
That's all they had... 30 minutes a day.
The trombone section was very very strong and so the bonus for T was that he really did get to play with other trombone players. By 2nd semester of his freshman year, he was 1st trombone. This is not because he's a great trombone player. It's because there is no one else who ever practices.
So now he was with a class of kids who were around his skill level and he had an absolute blast. I'm going to work on him to join a community band.
Brass Ensemble (which T said was not good, but I thought was no bad)
Mom's a Jerk
Good Hand Shot here...
You can really see the gloves, which reminds me of a conversation with Bones.
T: I hate the gloves. They don't fit well. This little kid insists on wearing the big gloves and so mine are tight.
Me: Tell him you want the big ones!
T: No, I think it makes him feel big or something. And you know what the deal is with the gloves? It's not to protect the bells. It's not to make them sound better. It's so you don't get FINGER PRINTS on the bells. That's it. No reason. Just no finger prints.
Bones: *big pause* They make you wear latex gloves when you play the handbells?
T and Me: *BLINK*
He's been watching too much CSI or something.
Can you imagine a handbell choir wearing latex gloves?
I still can't quit laughing...
Bones and I went to the funeral yesterday. It was well done. It was sad. Enough said.
On to the odd...
I walked into work the other day and there was a 3x5 card taped to the freezer that said in block print, "If you didn't buy it, don't eat it". Evidently food from the fridge has come up missing.
This has added a lot of speculation as to who it is that is pilfering food that is not theirs. We have a group of new hires and we suspect it is this younger generation as for the last seven years we've not had this problem. The funny thing is the food that has gone missing.
One girl had her cheese sticks stolen.
One guy had his bologna sandwich taken. He thought he'd misplaced it until he looked in the garbage can and found the paper wrapping alongside the tomatoes he'd packed to slice up to go on it.
Evidently the food thief does not like tomatoes.
But the funniest one to date is what happened to me. When I was in Pensacola, my brother introduced me to this juice that is green like pea soup. It's heavy with vegetable and fruit along with other vitamin additives. I decided that during the times I'm getting hungry at work, this wouldn't be a bad thing to do... drink a cup of it and it'll tide me over to lunch.
I walked into work with it in my hand the other day and our head of security, who is an avid runner and health nut (other than his confessed addiction to fried chicken) said to me, "What in the hell is that?!" After looking at it he said, "I don't think I could drink that. Just... the color makes you not want to drink it..."
I drank half of it, put my initials on the top and put it in the fridge.
Two days later I went to grab it and... it was gone. My half finished bottle of thick green juice was gone...
I said something to the head of security about how this juice disappeared, mainly as a joke as in, "Our thief is evidently not a germ phobe as I actually had my lips around that small container and he stole it..."
Our security guy's eyes got big and he said, "Bou. I'm blown away it was stolen, not because the thief isn't a germ phobe, but because... who in the hell would want to take that?! I saw it! No way I'd want to drink it!"
So the mystery broadens, plot thickens... this food thief has odd tastes and serious boundary issues.
It's definitely got everyone talking... nearly as much as the woman upstairs someone dubbed the 'unipooper'. She took to taking a crap in the middle of the bathroom floor. What is up with people?
They say if you have a guestroom that you should sleep in the bed to see how it is for your guests. My husband and I are having some work done in the master bedroom, after 17 years, it needed to be done, so we're sleeping in the guestroom.
There is no known depth to the horror I'm feeling for all my guests over the last 17 years.
1) I have known that room is warm. I have worked with a/c people to try to cool it off. I need to work with them more and when I have guests, I will now drop the a/c down to 'snow' because it is inexcusable that my guests be that warm.
2) The bed is hard. I need some sort of 'down' something on the mattress. The first night, my husband and I were laying on the bed, when in the dark I heard his voice say, "This bed is hard". It takes firm to a whole new level. Holy crap.
3) The fan in that room needs trim balancing. (I don't know what they call it for ceiling fans. I know that's what we call it in the jet engine world when we need to make sure the blades are all balanced.) When you put the fan on high, to offset the fact the room is so damn warm, it makes this loud 'tick tick tick' noise. There is NO WAY in hell you can sleep with that. Holy crap. And you need the fan on high as the room is really that warm.
So... I'll be researching today on how to balance that fan. My project over the next couple months is... get the fan balanced and a down feather bed for that mattress.
Good Lord. And nobody... ever... said... a word. Ever.
Today has been an unsettling day. I've been trying to figure out how/why to pinpoint... to be able to phrase the depths of the sadness of it.
But sad isn't the right word. I can't think of it. Maybe by the end of this post, I'll have flushed it out.
There is mother of some kids that went to school with my youngest. I'm going to put it right out there... I have spent the better part of eight years detesting this woman.
How much did I dislike her?
I disliked her so much that one day in the Mall, my three kids said to me, 'oh Mom, look, it's Mrs. Smith. Quick. Go hide behind that shrub!' They teased me for hours as they know that I'll do anything I can to avoid her.
How much did I dislike her?
I was in the Mall at Christmas with my Mom and she said, "Bou, that woman is trying to get your attention..." and when I saw who it was, I think I visibly shrank.
And I've had to really think about why I have frickin' hated her so much, and what it comes down to is she always acts really stupid and I thought nobody could be that damn dumb, so she wasn't worthy of my time.
Anyone who wants to play the tall skinny stupid blonde needs to play that game with someone else, because I don't throw that ball. I have no respect for people who play dumb intentionally. It pisses me off.
So I've felt that way for a long time. I've never been mean, outright mean, but I've gone out of my way to not be around her. I've been aloof. And all my friends know how I have felt about her, because things have happened, she's said things that have pissed me off, or done something I found extraordinarily stupid, and I did not hold back... at all... in letting my friends know exactly what I thought of this seriously stupid woman.
And her husband died a couple days ago and now I'm hearing things about what was really going on that has shed some light on her and who she really is and her situation.
And I don't feel bad... not really... because I didn't know. And I'm not a gossip. I don't stand around with the groups of Moms that talk about what has happened to whom and when. So how was I to know?
But yeah, maybe I do feel bad, not that I could have helped, but that maybe I would have held back judgement not warranted and I could have cut her a bit more slack.
Because you can't be stupid or weak and to stand guard over your children, making sure nobody hurts them. You can't be stupid or weak to make sure your children get the best when someone has dealt them a crap hand. You can't be stupid or weak, when you finally stand up and say, "I'm leaving and taking the children because we can't do this anymore..."
And I'm not going to go into it except to say that for the last 10 years it has been a hellish existance for her and suddenly things said, actions noticed, situations make more sense and for that... I have great compassion.
I don't know what is going to happen to this family, but I pray for them. And Bones and I are going to the funeral on Saturday because I said to him, "It is the right thing to do. Your friend will remember for the rest of her life that YOU were there."
It's been... eye opening. Do I want to be her friend? No. But I won't avoid her anymore and I won't roll my eyes. I know now from where she comes and it is not a good place.
And I know now the kind of woman she is... and it's not weak or stupid.
She's not what I judged her to be.
And yeah. I feel bad.
At the last minute, I signed Mr. T up for a band camp that is held at a local church. It's a music camp actually and it's got an excellent reputation. The kids have fun and it's only from 9-1, lunch included.
When you sign up and you're in 6th grade or above, you're asked what instrument you play, for how long, and what electives you'd like. You get four electives.
Three were easy, Jazz, Concert Band, Brass ensemble. But then I didn't know what to sign him up for, so I left it blank.
Just a little background on my 2nd son. My analytical exact son.
Mr. T chose the trombone because he loves the sound. It is deep and manly. (He has been playing for nearly 6 years, was first chair as a freshman, and was referred to in band his freshman year as 'that kid who can really play the trombone'.)
Mr. T loves football.
Mr. T loves basketball.
Mr. T pretty much loves all sports. He is a manly boy.
Mr. T doesn't care what you think of him because he knows he's more than likely faster and smarter than you and in his mind that's all that matters.
Mr. T doesn't pull punches and calls it exactly as he sees it.
Mr. T is not metrosexual at all. He's about as testosterone ridden as they come.
End of background.
Mr. T got in my car today and said looking through the tops of his eyes, "Mom. My fourth elective. I got... handbells."
Me: *laughing* That should be fun!
T: Handbells. I'm sure. But I'm stuck with a bunch of little boys who can't count. That's irritating. The girls count. The young boys just like to ring their bells...
Me: Bwhahahahaha. Is anyone else in handbells with you?
T: Yeah. Steven.
*sidenote: Steven is a friend of his from Scouts, a junior in HS, 6 feet tall of pure moutainous boy*
Me: Holy crap!
T: He got the big bells in the back. I swear each one must weigh 5 lbs.
Me: So. You and Steven are playing handbells.
T: Mom. And. We have to wear... white gloves...
I can't wait to see it! My manly boy teenager in white gloves, with his bells, marking time, being exact, because that's how he is... very exact... surrounded by little boys who don't count and just ring the bells.
I cannot... frickin'... wait.
My son and I were driving through the South; my younger two were in the back
fighting watching videos or whatever they do and the following conversation occurred.
Me: Look at all these cemeteries. Look at all these old church cemeteries. I love church cemeteries. I want to be buried in a church cemetery, not just some public cemetery. I want one that is all churchy. With churchy caretakers. And historical documents as to who is buried there.
Me: You know, we have a church cemetery that your GGGGG grandfather started in Birmingham. It's named for us and we have scads of family planted there. I bet I could be buried there...
Me: Really, I just want the tombstone. I just want some stone record I existed...
Me: I love cemeteries.
Ringo: I know. Mom. It's kind of weird. We've been through this thing with cemeteries before.
Me: Tell me right now that you didn't frickin' LOVE that cemetery tour in New Orleans. Tell me you didn't...
Ringo, grinning: I did. You know I did. We all did. It was really cool...
Me: But, as much as I want to do the cemeteries in Charleston on the next band trip, I am not planning a cemetery tour.
Ringo: Thank you.
Me: You know I wanted to.
Ringo: Mom, I know. Thank you. Do you know what it would be like if you did? All the kids in band would be like, "Dude, what is up with your Mom and cemeteries" and I'd be all like, "Yeah. Whatever..." and they'd all think it was weird. 'cuz it kinda is. So... thank you.
We took the Great Flambina to see Madagascar III. I took this picture as we made our way through to the theatre.
Nothing quite says, "I feel pretty" like a pretty blue dress accessorized with green bug rain boots.
She cracks me up.
My family has a theme song. Not my family, the five of us, but this includes as well my Mom, Dad, TN, Mo and her family.
I think I've written on it before. I tried to find a video on youtube with it.
A little background: It started when Mo was a senior in high school, so think late 80s. She drove a car that had Mardi Gras beads hanging from the rear view mirror, a stuffed monkey on the dash and a bumper sticker on the back windshield that said something ghastly about tail gating and flipping a bugger on your windshield.
TN used to sing this song whenever she got out of her car.
From there it became the song when there was just utter chaos swirling around. Anytime we were trying to go somewhere with all of us, that means with my three boys, kids scrambling for shoes, screaming to have to pee first, someone forgot their purse, some kid was kicking another, all as we tried to make our way out the door for dinner... someone would invariably start singing this song.
You will hear this song at least once a day when we're at my folks' house trying to get something done with all of us together.
And I've wanted to convey it on my blog for years... and then Madagascar III came out, I was partially sleeping/zoning out in the movie until halfway through when they joined the circus and this song played and immediately I looked at Mo, all wide awake, and I practically shrieked, "MO! It's... our family theme song! They are playing our theme song!"
It's just the first few bars... until you get to Circus Afro Polka Dot part. That parts not included.
So here you have... just hum the first few bars... the Theme Song to Boudicca's Family... the Circus song. At last...
Don't tell me we're the only family with a theme song...
My sister and her husband are selling the Little House in the Big Hood and moving to a family neighborhood where their babies can go to public schools when they are of age. They love their little home, but they have outgrown it and it is time.
I've finally gotten to know my way around downtown Atlanta, to some degree. No longer do my insides liquify when I zip on and off I-75. I like how close they are to everything. No matter where we want to go, see any of the sites, it is so close with character all around.
But there are some things I am not going to miss.
I'm not going to miss the inner city parking, where everyone parks on both sides of the street and you have to inch through slowly down the middle of the street.
I'm not going to miss trying to find parking if we get here too late in the afternoon.
I'm not going to miss hearing the garbage truck driver laying on the horn as he waits for someone to move their cars, parked on both sides of the road, so he can make his way through.
I'm not going to miss passing project housing and seeing little four year old boys, holding the hands of 2 year old sisters, walking across the street to the park where he knew he could take care of her... the big boy he is, as I watched in horror looking for a mom. That wasn't there.
I'm not going to miss the Paddy Wagon.
Or the stuffed animals nailed on the light poles.
Or the crack whores I've run across, from afar, occassionally.
Or my boys telling me they don't like sleeping in the front room, hearing things on the street. My husband lecturing them about staying away from front windows at night.
It is inner city living. Great food, close proximity to wonderful culture.
But I'm not going to miss it when they move.
It has been a life experience.
We have been in Alabama visiting family. The weather has been a bit wonky everywhere I think.
Sometimes visiting family is sad. It is tough watching couples grow old, cleaving to one another in the end years.
My cousins are in their mid 80s. In the last year, both have deteriorated exponentially. She is hobbled with every joint having failed, unable to walk due to neuropathy, and a deep sadness. He has the onset of Alzheimers. Her sadness is two fold... they are farm people, no kidding, plow the fields, herd the cows, canning, jelly making, quilting, fix everything, farm people... salt of the damn Earth. They are the last of the kind who truly made this country what it is... hardworking Americans who will do anything to survive.
The backbone of America.
She sees her own body, so badily broken after 80+ years of a tough hard farm life and she sees his mind, what was his sharp determined mind, losing what he was. What he was is disappearing.
There is a dimness setting in, although a childlike enjoyment of life remains. He still recognizes us, but forgets processes, things he did for years and years, midway through he'll forget what to do next.
I've written of her before, he magnificent quilts, the needlework she does, the tatting. I'm going to learn to Swedish Weave now, since she sent me home with an afghan yesterday. A picture will follow.
I had to laugh at the horrific thought of a story she related. A few weeks ago, the alarm on their home went off. She told her husband to grab a gun and a flashlight and off he went while the cops were called by the alarm company.
I was picturing this elderly 'just surviving' couple, he with his shotgun and flashlight, vision not so good and mind not so either, and she following behind on her walker, inching their way down the hall.
I think I let out a horrified gasp/laugh, complete with hand over the mouth as she told me the story. It turns out the basement door blew open. I was grateful that their entire home is protected by an alarm, that someone had seen to that. I was grateful that they live in a small community where the local law enforcement will look after them.
I was still horrified of the entire gun in the dark in the hands of a half blind 87 year old man fighting dementia being followed by his hobbled wife...
Still... It is country life.
This is a picture of a little girl who loves me, but loves Bones more. Her Ya Ya. That's what she calls him.
This is a picture of a little girl who is not so enthralled with me. Until today, I thought she might actually hate me. Hate would be a strong word. Tolerate might be better. I did get a couple hugs today. Bones is able to carry her throughout the house, give her airplane rides, and smooch all over her cheeks and she squeals for more...
BTW, remember the pig fan from Christmas?
Mo plugged it in today for the first time. My bro is in town as well and said he'd like a fan while he slept. Voila, instant pig fan to the rescue.
It turns out the pig fan is all for show. It puts out air like someone is blowing.
I said to Mo, "So it's for show?"
Mo said, 'Really? For show?" TN started to laugh.
Mo started to sing, 'I feel pretty... oh so pretty..." Smart ass.
It is far different traveling with teenagers, than children. It's more... relaxing. It's an easier trip. You start hearing the 'adult-them' come out.
Bones and T said something from the back at one point and Ringo said, "No! We only stop when we have to get gas. We push through! No bathroom breaks!"
Ringo is also young and overzealous. 'Mom. Look. We're leaving at 6-7PM. Orlando is 2.5 hours, Gainesville is 3.5 hours, but, I'm getting a lot of sleep. Man. I feel GREAT! I sleep for 12 hours, I'm awake for 13. I've never had so much energy. SO. I think we should just push through to Tallahassee, which is... what... six hours? That puts us there at Midnight, maybe 1AM. You drive the first few hours and I'll do the rest. Or, you know... we could just drive straight through to Pensacola. We'll get there about 3AM..."
Me: Are you frickin' nuts? Do you think my parents want us showing up at 3AM?
Ringo: yeah, that is really early. But still, we could do Tallahassee...
Me: No. Lake City is as far as we go. There is no reason for us to be on the road at 1AM....
We pulled in to Lake City around 11:15. There wasn't a room to be found anywhere. Evidently there was some little league baseball going on and there were no rooms at the Inns.
We did find the last room in the city at a little motel called... Cabot Lodge. Hot breakfast served in the morning.
You know you have teenagers and not children, when you walk in and the teenagers raise their eyebrows, look around and say things like, "Hunh. This front door doesn't want to shut..." "It smells... kinda musty". "This room feels a bit damp..." or in the dark, you hear a voice say, 'Mom. You know how you said you haven't had a good nights sleep in three days? I don't think you should count on this ending the streak..."
Or when you wake up the next morning and you hear things like, "I've never slept on... scratchy pillows..." or "That mattress was terrible. I hurt. I slept at a slant..."
Children don't notice things like that. They sleep like rocks wherever you rest them. And you could sleep them in pretzel form and the next morning they unbend and hit the floor running.
Teenagers... it's starting to hit.
We made it down to the hot breakfast. I grabbed some eggs and a biscuit and a big cup of coffee. Ringo just sat there, wishing he was still attempting to sleep on his slanty bed with scratchy pillow.
Finally I said, "Are you going to eat breakfast? At all?"
To which he replied, "No. My stomach will hurt. I can't..."
Five minutes more I saw him get up and get a biscuit. Ten minutes later he said to Bones, "Hey, while you're up, can you get me some eggs and another biscuit?"
Me: I thought you said your stomach hurt. "Ohhh. I can't eat. Blech. It's too earrrrllyyyy... whinnnnne."
Ringo: Nice. You see, I started. Once I start eating, I have to just keep going...
I think he just wanted to sleep on a full stomach. No sooner had we hit the car when he was leaned up against the door catching the last four hours of his 12 hour snooze fest.
The kids have still mostly grown since the last time my folks saw them. T has mutton chops now, growing down the side of his face. No moustache. No beard. No whiskers. Just mutton chops. He looks very... 60s.
Ringo is all about planning when he can go to the gym. My folks are very active members in the local gym, so they have it set up so he can go work out.
This is not a sedentary family. I was up this morning getting breakfast and my Dad was already at the gym and my Mom was in her gym clothes getting her shoes on. Stretching, strength training, moving... my folks are the picture of what we're supposed to be doing to keep healthy.
Mo and Flam arrived with the wee little girls today. The Great Flambina talks like a princess which cracks me up. Everything is very exact and happy tone. The wee Flambina is in baby Godzilla destructo mode. Everything in her path is stomped on as she toddles around.
We took them to the beach, and Ringo had the wee Flambina on his hip, as we got set up. I said to him, "You know... you're old enough. She could be YOURS!"
He rolled his eyes and said "Um. No."
But it's true, so many many kids his age have babies of their own. What a tough tough row...
My husband comes in tomorrow. He had to stay at home and he says he's lonely. He's looking forward to joining us. We miss him.