Monday, June 7, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Our trips down to the coast always follow a consistent pattern.

We start out listening to my favorite radio station, heading for the state line by the most direct route. Lots of jokes, declarations of what we are going to do when we get there, groans about things we now realize we have forgotten to pack. That's okay, we aren't going to Outer Mongolia, anything we really need we can pick up when we get there, with the exception of medications, which I very carefully made sure we have.

Just over the state line, we make our first stop at the Mississippi Tourist Welcome Center. Free (lousy) coffee and a chance to stretch our legs. Very pretty place.

Now it is the kids' turn to pick a movie for the rest of the drive. This year, it is Kung Fu Panda, or some such. I turn the speakers in the front of the van off to cut down on the aggravation factor.

As we drive through Mississippi, Sweetie comments on his memories of the area. He was born at Keesler Field AFB, in the old hospital that they tore down. Lived on the beach until the family moved when he was 6. Moved back to the area when he was in high school. He gets a lot of miles out of pointing out his high school and telling again the story of the Beauviour Ghost. The kids always get a chuckle out of the thought of the grandfather they never knew, who grew up to be a preacher, pranking a town as a teen by making them think the the place was haunted.

Our second stop is always at the Alabama Tourist Welcome Center. Another pretty little stop, with tolerable vending machine coffee. No, I shouldn't have any more. Yes, I am going to have a caffeine induced panic attack if I'm not careful. I've been up for hours, after a late night last night. I drink the coffee.

Mobile and the tunnel under the bay. The interstate is always at a dead stop there. You would think the people have lived with the tunnel long enough that they wouldn't feel the need to stop for the tunnel, but no. Always stopped, day or night, weekday or weekend. Amazing.

The battleship is an inspiring sight, and brings back memories of the times we have toured it and the submarine next to it.

Right after Mobile we stop at the very first Cracker Barrel restaurant. It is at the front of a shopping mall in Daphne, and the kids always look forward to getting their first souvenirs of the trip there. This time, Bigger Girl bought a very tiny cast iron skillet, #2 Son bought a miniature cap gun that broke the very first time he tried to use it, and Little Girl got yet another stuffed animal for her collection. You would think she would tire of those, she can barely fit on the bed with all the ones she already has. It's a regular menagerie.

Today is

Daniel Boone Day

Fete of St. Gilbert the Englishman

Fleur-de-Lis Day

National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

St. Willibald's Day

VCR Day (holding on to the past?)

Vestalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival for Vesta, goddess of the hearth), through the 15th

Vivien Kellems Memorial Day 1896

Birthdays Today:

Michael Cera, 1988
Anna Kournikova, 1981
Larisa Oleynik, 1981
Allen Iverson, 1975
Karl Urban, 1972
Prince, 1958
Liam Neeson, 1952
Jenny Jones, 1946
Tom Jones, 1940
Gwendolyn Brooks, 1917
Dean Martin, 1917
Jessica Tandy, 1909
Paul Gauguin, 1848

Today in History:

The first Crusaders begin their Siege of Jerusalem, 1099
Port Royal, Jamaica, is devastated by an earthquake, 1692
David Thompson reaches the mouth of the Saskatchewan River in Manitoba, 1800
Asian cholera reaches Quebec, brought by Irish immigrants, and kills about 6,000 people in Lower Canada, 1832
1,800 Fenian raiders are repelled back to the United States after they loot and plunder around Saint-Armand and Frelighsburg, Quebec, 1866
Tolbert Lanston receives patents for monotype typesetting machines, 1887
Norway's parliament dissolves its union with Sweden, 1905
Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder for sale to the public, 1975
Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public, 1982


  1. Sounds like the kids do travel well.

  2. By this time, they know what to expect.