Our Family Vacation

We’ve made it nearly 1,500 miles through five states in five days, and so far the family vacation has been a blast, ticks notwithstanding. I was worried about pulling off this itinerary with two relatively little kids, but they have been awesome. I mean really, truly, exceptional. I’m bragging on them while I can because the trip home — 18 hours of driving in two days — will be brutal.

Interesting moments of the last few days include:

  • Getting a Turkish-style bath in Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • Eating at an awesome dive bar/burger joint in Hot Springs where the regulars greeted us as welcome guests
  • Watching my 8-year-old son battle wits with a docent at The Hermitage in Tennessee (Guide: How do you think they made this color of paint for the walls? Son: They used materials from the plantation grounds. Guide, amazed: That’s correct.)
  • Seeing Trisha Yearwood perform at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville
  • Missing the last third of Trisha’s set because my daughter had a nosebleed
  • Watching Corvettes roll off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Hiking through a section of Mammoth Cave, and checking off a second national park for the trip
  • Holding my daughter during the extended lights-out portion of the cave tour, a time that was really, freakily, utterly black
  • Realizing after the black-out portion of the tour that a middle-aged woman had had a particularly smelly accident in her pants
  • Feeling gratitude that I was not said middle-aged woman
  • Resisting the urge to mention this commercial after said accident
  • Trying White Castle sliders for the first time after our cave tour
  • Throwing away White Castle sliders after two bites
  • Wondering if lady on cave tour had eaten White Castle sliders prior to tour
  • Checking into a very ritzy, posh, chic hotel in, of all places, Evansville, Indiana
  • Paying about a third of what one would expect to pay at an equivalent hotel in a major city
  • Realizing that said hotel was probably so ritzy because it is attached to a casino
  • Lounging in plushy white bathrobe after showering in fancy four-head shower and watching my precious children sleep in the bed next to mine while their daddy checks out the casino
  • Having no urge to gamble because I suck at it. Example: I would have bet money that the Canadian sorority girl whining about needing to pee before our two-hour cave tour with no bathroom stops would have had an accident before anyone else. And I would have been wrong.
  • And finally, an interesting moment that occurred while I was writing this post: watching my husband recount how he lost $200 at the craps table in his hour at the casino only to follow up by nailing quad deuces at video poker and cashing out a $2,000 jackpot. Woo-hoo! Free trip!

Even before that last point we were having an awesome trip. I’m looking forward to posting pictures once we get home.

Categories: The Kids, Travel

12 replies

  1. Awesome! And great job, oh hubby of yours!!!

  2. Excellent! I’ve never won anything at a casino. Winning enough to pay for your trip is just amazing!

    I just got back from the Oregon coast and it was pretty uneventful, except I was the middle aged woman puking her brains (pun intended) on the halibut fishing expedition…



  3. I think I took this trip as a kid. Minus the astronaut sitting behind us at Mammoth Cave.

    Oddly enough, last time we were in the Opry together, Trisha Yearwood’s now husband performed (cue Twilight Zone music)…

  4. In re: White Castle.

    There are certain places to eat that fall under the “Avoid until amnesia” category. These foods are of questionable ingredients and cooking methods, but, if you’re into the overwhelming-grease-and-cheese thing, you scarf them down without thinking. About an hour or two later, your stomach reminds you of the mortal sin you have committed on its person, and you find yourself swearing up and down that you will never darken the place’s door ever again. This lasts until you forget that such a crime against your innards has ever been committed, you find yourself watching some advertisement for the place, and the not-thinking-clearly part of your mind says, “Hey, that sounds kinda good right now!” In other words, you refuse to go there until you forget about your last experience there, then fall victim to insidious marketing. Taco Bell is the most notorious member of this club; White Castle, however, is a charter member.

    Ask The Big M about trips to Pancho’s. He’ll probably smile, nod, and agree that it definitely falls in this category.

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