1. When it comes to family, you can have too much of a good thing.
2. People in southern Alabama are the nicest most polite people I've ever met.
3. Other tourists are annoying.
4. People drink way too much.
5. If I ask my kids to not talk to me and not hang out with me for 24 hours, they will not follow this request.
6. My husband should go on vacation with me, if only to help me hang on to my sanity.
7. Some things take longer to forgive than others.
8. I love Cajun food.
9. I love boats. And history.
10. I can manage to get bronchitis absolutely anywhere, without even trying.
I had never been to Alabama before or the Gulf Coast for that matter. I was pleasantly surprised. For real, folks down there are super friendly and polite. If you're waiting to cross the road, they will stop for you. I wasn't even half in the road, I was on the sidewalk and traffic (both directions) stopped to let me cross. I felt like a celebrity. Around here, they speed up to hit you. And in their Walmart (because what vacation would be complete without a trip to Wally World?) you can actually find the workers! They come up to you to ask if you need help! And they actually know the answer when you ask a question!! It was like the Twilight Zone. Or maybe Stepford.
We only really got to spend three days at the beach due to rainy, colder weather. But two of those days we managed to get sunburned, so it was probably a good thing. I did have to spend one day in bed, hacking up a lung, but at least I finished a good book. We shopped at the Outlet malls one day and baby Dylan already has quite a collection of clothes waiting on him. And we went sightseeing two days. They have two historic forts in the area and the kids and I visited both. Sean being the Civil War buff that he is was in heaven. I thought they were pretty nifty too. And we visited the Estruariam, much like an aquarium only it included the marshes and wetlands as well. Who knew baby alligators were so adorable?!
I have a boatload of interesting conversations to relate from the trip:
In the hotel on the way home, we were getting ready for bed and there were people making a lot of noise in the hallway:
Me: (loudly) If you people don't settle down out there I'm going to come out and stab you.
Lu: Mom! You can't say that!
Sean: You can't go around stabbing people either.
Me: I wasn't really going to stab them, I'm just trying to scare them a little.
Sean: Did you say you were only going to stab them a little? WTH? Is that what you'll tell the cops? "I only stabbed them a little officer"
Me: NO! I said scare them.
Lu: It must have worked, they shut up. That or their downstairs telling the front desk the crazy lady in 216 threatened to stab them. But just a little.
Sean bought a captain's hat our last day and proclaimed himself "Captain of this vessel", vessel being my SUV. He kept putting it on and yelling "I have made my decision..." So once we stopped for gas in this little town and there were two choices for gas stations. The kids picked BP and we went there. It was awful. Dirty and the people were rather suspicious looking:
Me: (safely back in the car) You two are fired from gas station picking. Next time it's the Texaco for sure.
Sean: (in his captain's voice) I have made my decision...next time we visit the Texaco!
we pass the Texaco and it's not even a functioning gas station, the pumps are gone and the building is deserted.
Sean: I have made a new decision! I've decided to stick by my original decision!
Yes, he continued in this manner for the next 4 hours. I think I'm deaf in my right ear now.
Driving through Mississippi we saw many many religious billboards. One was for abstinence, many were anti abortion and many were just about finding Jesus. And no offense intended to any one's beliefs...but we began to joke about it:
Sean: There's another "Have you found Jesus" billboard. They just keep losing him.
Me: You'd better watch your mouth. This is the heart of Bible country and they still burn people at the stake. We're traveling with Jezebel back there so we've already got one strike against us.
Sean: Wait. What? Who's Jezebel?
Me: She's in the Bible. She was a whore and she got ripped apart by wild dogs.
Sean: You know an insult doesn't really work as well if neither of the other people in the car know what you're talking about...
All in all, we had a great time. Now I'm back and I have an absolute ton of things to get done before Lu's baby arrives. Carpets to shampoo, rooms to paint and rearrange, showers to plan and blogs to write. I expect to be busy busy busy. Sean quit his job so he can get ready for his summer travels and finish his Eagle Scout project. Little does he know, that now he can help me with all the painting and shampooing. Mike is neck deep in getting things ready for summer camp at both camps since the other ranger retired and they haven't found a replacement yet. I'm back to seeing him at supper and bedtime mostly. Lu is doing well. She's now an assistant manager at the Quincy DEB store. The pregnancy is still going well, she's six months along now and we all got to feel the baby kicking last week. He's an active little guy! She and Luke, the baby's father, are officially back together. He's been coming down on weekends and for appointments and plans to move back here the first of July. They hope to have their own place by Thanksgiving.
I'll leave you with a couple of pics:
There's no place like home...