If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 4 dogs, and a whole lot of love.





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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Redneck road trip

On the heels of the NHS scandal of 2011, amidst my email and voice mail being flooded with contact from local media outlets seeking our comment, it seemed like a really good time to leave the state. (God's timing? Probably.) Although we felt bad for the poor souls who were in charge of keeping an eye on our house while we were gone. Nothing like pissing a bunch of people off right before we hand over our keys to our friends. (Good luck!)

So last Friday afternoon we squealed calmly pulled out of our driveway and headed south. It was a treat to finally be able to turn off the van heater in Tennessee and by Georgia it was necessary to turn on the air conditioner. But we noticed an odd smell that went away when we turned the air conditioner off. We turned it on again. Bad smell. Turned it off again. Smell goes away. We repeated this cycle several times until we finally pulled into a McDonalds in Georgia to investigate. I'll spare you the gory details and the dramatic scene that accompanied the moment we all looked over the edge of the hood to discover our barn cat who'd been missing for a few days. (Please insert moment of silence on behalf of 'Willis' here.)

Well so far we were off to a great start. Besides a mangled barn cat who'd now joined us on our trip, our 4-year old stayed wide awake and chatting the first 12 hours of the drive, there was massive amounts of construction in Georgia and an idiot trying to take our order at the McDonalds on exit 18 who should drop to her knees and give thanks that my husband physically blocked me from climbing through her drive-thru window to kick her a** at 5am on March 19th. I'd reached my breaking point. I'm only human.

After a mere 18 hours in the van, we arrived at our destination. We had now descended on the retirement community where my in-laws spend their winters. Wow, was that community of retirees in for a treat, or what? We passed through the gate and were greeted by the speed limit sign. (14.9 mph, people.) We no sooner passed the sign when a woman driving an SUV ran into a gentleman riding his bike. (She must have been going 15. See why there are rules?) He was okay, but by the looks of things when he rode away, his bike had seen better days.

After settling in, the first stop was the community pool. Having never stayed in a retirement community before, we were slightly stunned to find the pool dotted with retirees who simply floated on noodles. No movement. No swimming. No waves. I felt like I'd just stumbled onto the set of "Cocoon." But by the looks on their faces, they were equally as stunned to see my large freshly sun blocked and bathing suit clad family heading their direction. (Go ahead, babe....show em your famous cannon ball.)

All in all, it was a really wonderful week. Everyone was friendly and welcomed our crazy family with open arms. They even tolerated us at the pool.....huddled together at the opposite end of wherever we were, but tolerated us nonetheless. Several of my in-laws neighbors loaned us their bikes to use while we were there. (We were careful to abide by the 14.9 mph rule, lest we end up with another scandal on our hands.) When I tried out my roller blades and my ankles got tired and I ended up having to be pulled on the back of Z's bike for 2 miles, everyone politely got out of our way as quickly as they could without complaint.

They'd recently voted to allow the hot tub to remain open 24 hours. Our family utilized that new luxury a lot. Probably not too surprising to hear that we were the only ones ever up there after midnight. Could be because you have to brave the dark alligator infested lake to get to the hot tub or it could have been because the first night C stepped into that hot water, she abruptly squatted and peed in it. Either way, we had the place to ourselves.

Too bad the pee trick didn't work at the ocean. Three of my family members openly peed in those waters, but the spring breakers were undeterred. Thankfully we had a high bouncing water ball as back-up and people quickly realized they didn't want to be anywhere near my family at the beach.

But the beaches were beautiful and we spent an amazing week with lots of extended family and it was awesome. We did lots of fun activities, ate tons of great food and came away with unbelievable tans.

The drive back home went much smoother than the drive down there. And thanks to my husband's rage while listening to the Buckeyes get beat on the radio, we made it through Georgia in record time.

And when we returned, we found our house intact and everything exactly as we left it.....minus one barn cat, of course.

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