The Dregs of Vacation

Ah.  Home.  We pulled in at the end of last week after two weeks on the road hopping through the south.  Some random vacation thoughts collected for you.  By the way, as I tried to find a way to upload the photos for this in a simpler way, WordPress published them without my wanting too.  Oops.  Sorry about that.

An early roadside stopover at a cave. I'm a sucker for a cave. It's impossible to take a good picture in them though.

Thursday, July 21, noonish
The kids start going at each other in the backseat as we wind around some really curvy roads, so I teach them how to play “Cow Count,” which was a staple from my rural childhood.  In the first twenty minutes, Mushroom counts forty-two cows and a white horse bonus.  BalletBoy counts one.  Then he passes a graveyard and his single cow dies.  “I’m not playing!” he announces.

Twenty minutes later, they are still half playing and add a new rule.  When they pass a church, two cows get married and have a baby cow to add to the count.  I’m greatly amused.

Friday, July 22, late afternoon
It is an ungodly 101 degrees at home, but it’s not even 80 in the mountains.  I feel joyfully old fashioned retreating to milder summer climes.

Sunday, July 24, lunch
Shrimp and grits, prime rib, three desserts.  I’m in heaven.

Monday, July 25, morning
BalletBoy, to the tubing guy: “But how do I steer?” The answer?  Not very well, apparently.  Also, why in the world did I forget to sunscreen my legs?

Tuesday, July 26, morning
Whee!  Sliding Rock!

Wednesday, July 27th, morning
Whee!  Another rock slide!

Just a tiny few of the books I kept lugging from one destination to the next.

Sick kid on vacation sucks.  Thank goodness my father was nice about the sick destruction of his home.

BalletBoy is so sick as I walk him to bed, he begins crying for his brother.  He doesn’t even want me anymore, he wants his twin, who worriedly obliges.  Really, Mushroom was so patient.

Thursday, July 28th, wee hours of the morning
I’m so freaked out, I turn to the Well-Trained Mind Forums for medical advice.  People oblige.  Thank you, people!  I probably should have taken the poor child to the hospital, but my father and his wife live in the middle of nowhere and my pediatrician said not to.  Is this really how I’m spending my summer trip?  I’ve seriously never seen this kid in so much pain.

Hallelujah!  BalletBoy is in recovery!

I still don’t understand why they made a movie version of Avatar: The Last Airbender.  They just sullied the good name of Aang and company.  Hey, when does Legend of Korra come out?

The fish Mushroom caught. Being held by his fabulous Papa.

Saturday, July 30, morning
A morning that sums up the contradictions of the south.  First, I am floored by some really racist folk art painted on rocks being sold.  Second, we go to a restaurant run by a transplanted gay couple from Hollywood and I partake in some of the creamiest cheese grits I have ever had in my life.  Truly, great grits.

The classic "science museum" image. BalletBoy at Fernbank in Atlanta.
Blowing giant bubbles at Fernbank.

Monday, August 1, morning
My grandmother and I have a discussion about what constitutes expensive for an entire box filled with fresh tomatoes.  She’s not willing to go over $10.  Suffice it to say, coming from urban prices, I’ll go higher.  Then I announce I’m going to make savory pea cakes from a large part of the several pounds of pink eye peas I bought.  I’m shaking things up in the culinary world of small town Georgia.

Mushroom playing the "Plus And Minus" game from the book Less Than Nothing Is Really Something on my grandmother's counter. See those tomatoes? I canned them!

Wednesday, August 3, dusk
After having been in the car all day, listened to two whole audio books, read a whole book on his own and decoded some secret codes, BalletBoy suddenly announces he would like to do some math.  He rummages around, finds his Math Mammoth book and promptly does two pages.  “What are you doing?” Mushroom asks.  “Math!” BalletBoy says.  “Why?” Mushroom asks, baffled.  “For fun!” BalletBoy says brightly.  “Leave him alone,” I say.  “He’s doing recreational maths.”

A final roadside stopover at the Greenville Children's Museum, where the kids make a sound pinball machine. This is so perfect. Ever since going to the Pinball Museum, they've been obsessed with pinball.

Friday, August 5, afternoon
The kids wonder where in the world we will fit the food we just bought at Costco in the car packed full of all our stuff.  We pile bags of random vegetables on top of our laundry.

4:00 exactly
We roll back in at the house.  When I try to tell the kids to grab some of the groceries or bags before running off they reason with me.  “But, Mama, I need to see Daddy right now!” Mushroom says.  Oh, all right.  I guess that’s okay then.

2 thoughts on “The Dregs of Vacation

    1. “On his own” might be too strong a statement when you consider the number of over the counter medical interventions I used on him. But it did all happen without the hospital.

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