The stars at night..

If you can finish that lyric, you get a lollipop.

So I’m back from six days in the deep south. Actually, I’ve been back, I’ve just been recuperating. After a lot of sleep I think I’m all cuperated.

It was a fun trip, despite the 15.5 hour car ride both ways; well worth being squished in to the back seat with Bug’s booster rubbing my left arm raw, and the monster neck aches from trying to sleep in said vehicle. I lost count of how many times we watched the smurfs movie, and Madagascar, and Bambi, and Earnest P Warrel. None of those movies had Ice Cube in them, so I have no complaints.

Of course the week we went to Texas was the week they had what they call “cold weather” (cold being 40s-50s). You know you’re out of place when you walk in a store with short sleeves on and all of the cashiers are wearing winter jackets and scarves. What an odd sight they were. Yes, there were chilly days that became nice days, and cloudy days, and rain. It wasn’t bad at all for December – more like spring time here in Illinois.

Then there were the long days of six people being cooped up in a one bedroom hotel for a week. I won’t complain about that actually, it wasn’t bad company. We spent a lot of time talking and watching Texan TV (not all that different from Illinois TV, except people wear cowboy hats, and not as a joke). Bug and Booger got a little bit of cabin fever though.

We ate some really excellent food – Cheddars, Texas Roadhouse, Godfather’s Pizza, and good old fashioned cereal and spaghetti. Cheddars makes an amazing dish called baked spasagna. I was in high Carb, tomato paste, mozzarella cheese, and noodle heaven. Mmm mmm mmm.

We saw some sights, both on the road and in/around San Antonio. On the way to Lackland we drove through Jefferson City, where we briefly saw the capital building. It snowed some and we may have had icicles hanging off our noses when we stopped for bathroom breaks. I fell asleep sometime in the middle of pitch black, flat, mundane Missouri landscape and woke up in still flat and still mundane Durant, Oklahoma. We quickly crossed over in to Texas, where I was surprised to see some evidence of flurries on houses and in fields. The major event of the drive was Dallas. Can you say madhouse? We all learned something that day: Dallasites drive like maniacs. Eesh.

Of course we saw a fraction of Lackland AFB in our week on base. Most of it we saw when we were driving from building to building, trying to find our hotel. It was really very nice there. All of the old planes were particularly impressive. We attended the airmens run, the coin ceremony, and the graduation. We also took a brief tour of the BMT unit where my friend stayed, and walked through the base exchange a few times. Off base, we saw a fairly large mall, and a lot of busy roads. Lucky for us, Tom-Tom was in our travel entourage.

On the way home, I started out with some pep, but fell asleep fairly early on. Just before Dallas I dozed off, and woke up seeing daylight and signs for – what do you know – Durant, Oklahoma. Woooo. After that it was another endless drive across Oklahoma and Missouri. I stared at the rarely changing scenery while helping Bug with her new math and activity books. We did drive through Lake of the Ozarks, which I must say was incredible. I don’t know if it was the time of day or the clear sky, but my first glance of this famed over-sized pond was breathtaking. I was lucky enough to have my camera at the ready and snapped a gorgeous shot of the scene as we passed. That was without a doubt the highlight of the drive home.

Overall, it was a good experience. Seeing two new states and spending time with my two favorite kids was second only to seeing my best friend graduate BMT and be reunited with her family. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss these moments for anything.

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~ by Ashlee on December 17, 2011.

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