I enjoyed the opportunity to join in on Friday Fragments last week, though I didn't get to visit people because of using up our friends internet time on their funky so-called 'broadband internet' connection that was more like dial-up without the phone line... Friday Fragments is the brain child of Mrs. 4444 from Half Past Kissin' Time. The fact that she uses a number code for her name (and it's much bigger than 007) speaks volumes of her coolness factor. So if you haven't scoped out her Blog yet, you really should...and while you're at it, join in the Fragmented Fun on Fridays!
While I had to be outside in the extreme heat to get whatever spotty internet connection I could get to stay connected to the 'outside world', at least I had a nice view. The grassy area used to be all trees, but Rob cleared it out to create a nice yard, and for a nice clear space to build their house:
They still have several acres of all trees, they have plans to thin them out some so the kids can play without worry of moccasins or black widow spiders (shudder!):
The future plans also include removing these last few stumps and putting an in-ground pool there:
So at least I had some nice scenery to look at as I was melting in the heat and playing that 'hurry-up-and-wait' game.
I didn't get a chance to make nice with the horse I scared with the flash from my camera, but at least they didn't run away when I snapped a picture of them munching:
The guys bought fireworks, so on the 4th we enjoyed a little of this:
Princess Nagger didn't like the loud noises, so she went to hide in the house. Luke was nice enough to keep her company and convinced her to watch from the door:
Yes, she's wearing vampire teeth. Aren't you scared?
We had a wonderful time - our friends are 'schedule people', meaning they're in bed by a certain time every night (read: early) so we felt bad about messing up their internal clocks by making them stay up late each night...hopefully they'll recover (and forget about how groggy they felt by the time we left) by next year when we'll go visit them again.
It is so good to be home. It's great to go on vacation, and even better to visit wonderful friends like we did, but you have that moment of relief when you get back home and can relax and get some actual sleep in your own comfy bed. Even Princess Nagger was glad to be home - in spite of her tearful protests on Sunday being our last day and attempting to negotiate an extra day. When she was brushing her teeth Tuesday night after the eternally long drive home, she looked around and said "I sure missed this place!" She spent all day Wednesday reacquainting herself with her toys while I got a bazillion loads of laundry done and the coolers unpacked and hubby mowed the jungle that our grass had become. I didn't get to ride the tractor in the Back 40 like I enjoy doing because apparently he still needs to buy some belt for it - or the blades will only do a half-a$$ job...and we can't have that. ;)
The 2-day drive home was fairly uneventful - except for Monday, when I was driving and Mother Nature decided it was the perfect time to send torrential downpours our way. It gets really unnerving driving on the freeway when you can barely see in front of you - particularly when Hovering Hubby is in the passenger seat proclaiming gloom and doom. I would have smacked him upside the head if I hadn't had a death grip on the steering wheel...or if I was that kind of person, which I'm not. :)
It was particularly harrowing when there was a 'wide-load' being hauled on the freeway - it took up 1-1/4 lanes of the 2-lane highway...hubby was freaking out when I got to a straight stretch and decided to floor it and move on past. I don't know about you, but being subjected to driving 45 miles per hour or less in a 65 or 70 mph area doesn't bode well with me. Sure, I had to go slower because of the rain, but not that slow. If I hadn't been driving, I would have taken pictures. ;)
The rain of course limited our rest area stops - we figured it'd be better to wait and see if we could drive out of the rain before stopping. Of course by the time we drove out of the rain, rest areas were few and far between. I ended up driving a full 350 miles of our 550 mile drive for Monday all in one non-stop shot. I didn't mind, though, I really don't like being a passenger in my own vehicle, and since there are no OMG bars to hang onto on the passenger side, I preferred to be a passenger for less of the trip than the driver. I'm just sayin'.
We did our usual stop at a pet-friendly Motel 6 in Tennessee - the halfway point between our friends' house and ours. Makes for a much better state of mind driving the remaining 600 miles home. We got there early enough on Monday to take advantage of Applebee's 'Carside To Go' option so we could have an excellent meal instead of engorging solely on fast foods for the two days of travel time. We couldn't do an 'eat-in' place because of the dogs - can't leave them in the car, nor can we leave them at the motel unattended, so options are limited. Thank goodness for Applebee's - that salmon never tasted so good! :)
Speaking of the dogs - they were excellent travelers. Travis didn't get carsick, even though he swiped a pizza slice from the garbage right before we left...ugh! He couldn't decide if he wanted to be in the second row seats with the Princess Nagger, or in the third row seats with Elvis - so he hung out for a while on the top of the seat looking at the world going by out the back window:
Yes, he is a dork. Fits right into our family unit with no problem. And yes, Princess Nagger is 6 and still sucking her thumb on occasion - I've tried everything to get her to stop, to no avail. If anyone has a great way of getting them to stop, please let me know. Whenever I bug her about it, she tells me that she'll have to stop when her top 2 teeth come out. Why? "Because then I won't have any teeth to prop my thumb on anymore!" Alrightythen!
I did get a few nice pictures of the beautiful landscape when I was playing the part of passenger and we were flying by at 80 mph:
It's a beautiful drive, but 18-22 hours (depending on the number of stops along the way for leg-stretching) is definitely tiring. I am definitely glad to be home.
Edited to add:
Hey! Sara over at Ordinary and Awesome has a Friday thing going on too: Friday's Freewrite. So you can join both Mrs. 4444 and Sara in what Mrs. 4444 described as fiber for your blog... ;)