Thursday, April 06, 2006

Vacation Part One

We left South Bend last Wednesday to visit my dad (and stepmom). I did the whole parent/teacher conference thing and found out that Lily is doing wonderfully in school as always, but her reading is doing much better than I anticipated. She's reading at a level D and according to her teacher, they are supposed to be at a level C by the end of the year. That means she is one level higher than she needs to be. It makes me glad to be a mom when a teacher is telling you that you're doing a good job.

Mrs. Mah also congratulated us on the newly acquired shoe tying skills, which I attribute to Casey. He gets that one. I'm still trying to figure out how he managed to teach her how to tie her shoes in ten minutes, but he did and it was awesome. Way to go, babe!

I had the car completely packed and ready to go so all we had to do is stop for gas and hit the road. It is a seven hour drive to my dad's house and we made it in about 7 1/2 with stops for the bathroom and food. I eliminated the need to stop for drinks by packing a cooler. Now, if I had only thought of that when I roadtripped when I was younger, I probably would have saved myself a lot of money. We arrived in Kentucky around 10:15PM (South Bend time), I unloaded the car and the two of us crashed for the night.

Thursday the plan was originally to drive down to GA and pick up my Hatori Hanzo sword, but after chatting with my friend Jen, I decided to stay in KY and hang out with her. However, I didn't count on her going into labor, so that plan was scrapped and Lily and I were on our way to Georgia by 8:30AM. The drive was absolutely gorgeous! I had forgotten how beautiful western Kentucky and Tennesee were. The drive down took us through Ft. Campbell, KY, Clarksville, TN, Nashville, Chattanooga and finally an hour and a piece into Georgia.

The weather was amazing! It was a balmy 82 degrees but there was a nice breeze blowing through the mountains. Half way through the trip I rolled the windows down and turned the stereo up and introduced Lily to the joy of a carefree, no need to hurry roadtrip. Although, I have to admit, driving through some of the mountains south of Chattanooga was a bit nerve-racking. There were several times that I noticed myself gripping the wheel rather tightly and conciously had to make myself relax. Lily's reaction to the mountains was awesome. We took her dragon book with her and she kept telling me that there are some dragons that live in mountains and the also kept telling me that she thought she saw one. I always think it's so neat to watch her experience something new for the first time. It's almost like you're experiencing it for the first time, too. I think I annoyed her, though, asking her all sorts of "What did you think of this... how was that??" questions. Right before we left, she picked up the phrase "Sheesh! Mom!"

I keep waiting for "Mom, take a chill pill!"

Marietta was beautiful. It also looked like a rather expensive place to live. I drove right through it on my way to the store. The houses were huge and new and everything seemed so busy! The store itself was tucked back into a small plaza and the owner was incredibly nice. He even went to their warehouse and picked up the poster for me so I wouldn't be charged shipping for the poster! It was a really nice thing to do. It was definitely a geek's haven and I found several things that Casey would have gotten a kick out of. If I had the cash, I would have gotten him an ax very similar to the one his EQ troll, Blazz, used. Maybe for his birthday???

The drive back was more annoying than on the way down. We were stuck on I-75 North for close to two hours due to an accident. We were stopped for about an hour and moving about 2 miles an hour after that. Thankfully, it appeared that no one was seriously injured (a truck had jackknifed with it's contents of clothes spilling, but nothing too bad) and we finally were on our way.

I took this awesome picture of Nashville on the way back. Casey and I are planning on taking a roadtrip down south just so he can experience some of the sights that I did. I can't get over how beautiful it was. Part of me feels bad about talking about it so much, but it was incredible! The trees were all starting to bloom and there were these gorgeous dogwoods that were purple blooming on the side of the road.

Next: Our trip to Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville and feeding a giraffe.

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