Weekend Road Trip

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A co-worker friend told me a few weeks ago, “We need to take a trip together.” I said sure! I am never one to turn down the opportunity to travel and visit someplace new…or old. I asked her where she and her daughter wanted to go as she is a single mom like me. They couldn’t tell me. I finally decided on Atlanta.

I have a dear aunt there and when I called to see if it was o.k. if we came for the weekend, what a wonderful surprise…lots of family was coming that weekend. My mom came from Texas, my aunt from Louisiana, my cousin and her children from Florida, my uncle and his lovely lady from Minnesota. I picked a good place and the right time. Everyone happened to be there for my uncle’s surprise birthday. Unfortunately, we were not able to make it to the party, but we were able to see everyone.

I really don’t know what the favorite part of a road trip is for me. I like to travel as soon as I get off of work. I am not able to sleep if I expect to go somewhere, so I figure I should just get on the road. I love the open road, but as you know, I do not like driving in the city. I really like driving at night because the road has so much less traffic. The best thing about it is watching the moon travel across the sky and for Myra and Priscilla, it was seeing the stars. They said they don’t remember ever seeing so many stars in the sky. I LOVE to see the sun come up in the morning. I truly feel that the darkest hour is before dawn. It becomes increasingly difficult to stay alert right before dawn, but I am able to do it with great determination. Seeing the night sky fade away into a new morning just fills me with hope and joy.

Maybe one of my favorite things is good music. The ladies listen to music that I don’t always think of when I am going throughout my day. Sharing our musical taste and having a teenager tell me to “turn it up” certainly adds some excitement to what could become a long and boring ride. When I hear something that I like and haven’t heard in a long time…watch out! I throw my head back and sing at the top of my lungs. It is a good thing that Bean can sleep through most anything.

I also like to stop and get something to eat in the car. It reminds me of when my brothers and I were growing up and took road trips with our parents. Actually, we never took a plane, the car was the only way to travel. We would be in the backseat with my mom and dad in the front. When it was time to eat, mom would pull out the sandwiches and hand them back to us. We would eat our sandwiches and look out the window at all of the fields passing by. Our dad would still get something to eat at every stop that we made, whether it was for gas, to use the restroom, or just to stretch our legs, dad always found something to eat. I loved those times so much, I want to share that with Bean. She may not have brothers and sisters, but we are blessed every time we have someone with whom to share a road trip…and a picnic in the car.

We made it to Atlanta without incident. We hung out with my family, of whom I am very proud; they always make visitors feel welcome. They are some of the most hospitable people that I know. I am grateful for them. That evening we went to the Georgia aquarium. I wasn’t too thrilled for the long lines to get inside or the ticket price, until I got inside. That place is amazing! It was great for me to see, but even better Bean was able to see the sharks, seals, crocodiles, various fish and stingrays overhead and all around. I was very glad to pay for such an experience. I am very, very impressed with the Aquarium and recommend it highly.

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We also hung out at the Marietta Diner. I think the place is so popular because it has been featured on a major TV show. The food was alright, but man, was that place packed. I wasn’t quite tired enough to fall asleep in my food, but if I stayed awake much longer, I certainly would have.

The next morning, everyone else left very early in the morning, so we had the day to spend with my aunt. We went to church with her. I must say, I have NEVER seen a children’s church area so interesting and exciting for children in my life. Bean was in heaven, especially when some classmate gave her Valentine’s cards. I do have a question though, maybe someone can answer it for me. What is it with churches and black interiors? I don’t get it. I am not opposed to it, I just don’t get it.

Keeping with tradition, we went to Sunday dinner at a Busy Bee. It was so busy that we had to wait for an hour to eat. I am so glad that I believe in carrying snacks around for that is what saved us from starvation. I kept saying that the food must be good if we needed to wait that long. People kept coming and going. The line for take out was as long as the line to eat in. I think a lot of it had to do with Valentine’s Day. When we finally sat down to eat, it was worth it.

The ladies were able to try real southern sweet iced tea for the first time. It was just like I remembered it. We had the traditional southern meal of fried chicken, greens, fried okra, broccoli and cheese casserole, corn bread, macaroni and cheese. It was so good. Having banana pudding for dessert just topped it off!

Aunt M. was generous and took us for a tour of Atlanta. We were able to see the downtown area, the arts district off Peachtree, the Buckhead area and more. I tried to count how many colleges and universities are in the city, but I am sure I got the number wrong.

The whole day was great. After being out all day, I really enjoyed getting back to the house, curling up on the couch, eating ice cream and watching a movie. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for the weekend!

The ladies and I got on the road at the crack of dawn and headed back to Chicago. I was able to experience all of my favorite things on a road trip again. I especially liked introducing them to Cracker Barrel. I don’t often get to one, so it was a treat for me as well. All in all, it was a lovely break from routine. What are your favorite activities on a road trip? I would love to hear them.

8 Comments on “Weekend Road Trip

  1. I live in mid-Michigan (Lansing) and there were a few times I took my son to visit my friend that lived in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the upper peninsula. Straight through it’s about a 9 hour drive. I usually have to stop for gas once. I have my travelling music (Zero 7). We would stop in Mackinaw City and have lunch before heading over the bridge. Then we’d drive for a while. We might stop at some point on the lakeshore to stretch our legs and then we get to our destination around dinner time. On the way back, we stop in St. Ignace (on the other side of the bridge) at a hotel with a pool and spend the night. Sadly, she just moved to be closer to her aging mother in the lower peninsula, so we no longer have a place to stay up there. It’s a lovely place to visit.

    A couple of years ago, the whole family (including the dog) drove to Washington D.C. We did a lot of walking (not the dog). A lot. One day we hit all the monuments (Washington, WWII, Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean War, MLK, FDR, and Jefferson). We then met our friend for dinner and he wanted to walk some more (he had not been with us that day). I didn’t even want to walk across the street at that point.

    I love going to different places!

    Last year we flew to Florida and stayed on the space coast for a week. A good time was definitely had by all on that trip. It was my son’s first plane ride. He was so excited.

  2. I am an arm-chair traveler and I so appreciate real travel logs such as yours. I easily imagine I was there with you and the children. Thank you.

    Linda

  3. This was so much fun to read!! It sounds like a fabulous time.

    Thank you for the way you put into words being proud of your family for their hospitality-I feel the exact same way about my family.

    I enjoy driving starting in the evening hours too-it feels much better on the body also I think-you’re already limber from the day instead of waking and then going right to sitting all day long! But my drives are 6 hours max, so not as impressive 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment. Believe it or not, this was actually one of the shorter road trips that I
      have done with Bean. Maybe one day I can stick to 4-6 hours.

  4. If you think your trip is a trophy then it’s already ruined. There’s no way you’ll be able to think about anything but destinations.

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