The rest of the FriedOkras and I are all just fine and dandy.
We slipped out the back, Jack.
Made a new plan, Stan.
Hopped on the bus, Gus.
Dropped off the key, Lee.
Yeah. All that Paul Simon-ish stuff. Also, ta-na-naa. Ta-nana-naaa. I've got diamonds on the soles of my shoes.
But I'll tell y'all about that part later.
Anyway, what I mean is, we've been on a little junket down to the homeland, and my-O-MY does it feel good to be down here in the sunshine. It's a wee might nippy, but the blue skies and brilliant sun make up for a few chill bumps and the need for light windbreakers. And well, hello? Chicago got eight (MORE) inches of snow within 24 hours of our hasty departure. Tomorrow we should see the mid-60s here. No snow in THIS forecast.
So we're down at the beach in South Carolina after days and days of drivin'. We stopped off in the Upstate to pay a long overdue visit to my parents (Oh the mother and child reunion is only a motion away) and see my Mom's fantastic new house, of which Al said this as we backed out of her driveway to come on down to the beach, (and you KNOW my mother, a Southern woman to her epicenter, is going to to shriek with laughter and pride when she reads it):
Man, your Mom's house is so beautiful. It looks like somebody set off a Southern Living bomb in there.
Yep. It appears Nana grabbed her up a box of ACME Freeze-Dried Perfect Southern Charm & Hospitality™, and per the instructions, Just Added Sweet Tea.
I will be SURE to take some pictures on the way back through later this week. (If Mama don't take my Kodachrome away.)
Lemme see, what else did I think of I wanted to tell y'all as I rode along in the car for 16 hours?
Oh, here's something.
Want a little sampling of what goes through the mind of a six-month-old who's been ridin' in the car for 13 hours and is now bein' put back into his carseat for the final leg of the journey?
Peabody's Brain: Here we go outside into the sun. Oh, this is nice! Mama's carrying me, smilin' and cooin' at me, it's all good, man. Nice necklace, Mama. Mind if I have a closer look? Maybe a taste?
Peabody's Brain: Wow! I made Mama make a neato noise. I wonder if I can make 'er do it again?
Peabody's Brain: Yep! I CAN make 'er do it again. One more time! Hey Ma--
What? WAITAMINUTE. Oh, I do not like the looks of this! Here's this sliding black door again. It's opening. OH NO! The dreaded car seat! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! NO! Not the car seat. Wheeeeeeee up we go and ... OH NO! I'm in the car seat! Get me outta here! OUT! OUT! I want OUT! Mama? Mama do you hear me? OUT!
I still like your necklace, though. Wow, it's shiny. Mesmerizing, really. Can I -- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! NO! Not the straps! Don't strap me in! You're killing me. I'm dying here! NOT THE STRAPS! OW! MY ARM! You're breaking my arm! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! I can't believe you're doing this to me again. LOOK AT THIS FACE! Check out these gigantic blue eyes crying REAL TEARS here! Do you see these tears? These are the tears of a boy betrayed! I thought we were just going for a walk, Mama! Why? Why are you doing this to me? What? Oh. A toy! Wheeeeeeeeeee! It rattles! Let me have it let me have it let me have it.
Aha! Got it. I'll give it a go myself! YES! I made it rattle! Again! Again! Rattlerattlerattlerattle. Wheeeeeee that's fun. Hey, let's see how it tastes. Come to Peabody. Oops, that's my eye. OW! MY EYE. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah. My eye!
Okay! Okay we're moving now! We're moving. Backwards! DAD? DAD? You do you know you're barreling down the interstate backwards, right? Hey Dad? DAD-DEEEEEEEEE! BACKWARDS, DADDY! Turn around! Bean? Tell Daddy we're going backwards, okay?
(This is why they call me Baby Driver.)
Okay. Okay. I DO NOT LIKE THIS. Stop the car and let me out. LET ME OUT! I've been in this car for TWO DAYS NOW and enough is enough. LEMME OUTTA HERE. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I said WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Wait. I feel a little sleepy. Waaaaaaaah. Wah. Yawn. Wah? Yawn. Blink blink.
Actually the car ride went amazingly smoothly for all of us. Peabody napped off and on and only cried when we were due a stop to eat anyway. And Bean? Well, despite the fact that she literally started askin' "Are we there yet?" BEFORE WE WERE EVEN OUT OF OUR SUBDIVISION, she did remarkably well. She's a kid, right? All it takes is a "new" vehicle with a full complement of child-friendly features including ARM RESTS! THAT MOVE UP AND DOWN LIKE THIS MAMA!, the promise of the occasional stop at the Golden Arches and a daily dip in a (F-F-F-FREEZING) hotel swimming pool and this kid?
Would gladly make a vacation of just drivin' circles around Chicago in the rental van for ten days.
So we're all good.
We'll let you know when we're Homeward Bound.
(You know I had to say that.)
*Random quotes from Paul Simon song titles and lyrics. I know it's all a bit weird, but the rental van came equipped with satellite radio, and I've been singin' my heart out since we pulled down the driveway leavin' FriedOkra Manor. Gosh, I love me some (ahem) oldies.