Last week while in Atlanta, we did some reminiscing about previous trips. My brother moved there almost 21 years ago, and I have been visiting every since--by myself, with my parents, and with my family. This post really has no point, other than to share some memories of trips to visit my brother. Here's some of my memories from these trips:
My brother used to work for the airlines, so I would fly down there on free passes. The only catch was I was flying standby. I had to look presentable since I was "representing" the airline. (can actually remember the first time I flew in non-presentable clothes and was so happy to be comfortable!) One trip took me from KC to Wichita to St.Louis to Atlanta.
Another trip I got stuck in St. Louis for hours, getting bumped from one flight to the next. I sat there reading a book, and calling my mom on a pay phone. Looking back now, I think that could have been a scary situation. I was 16 or 17 years old, before the days of cell phones, alone in St. Louis. What if I hadn't made that last flight out?
When I was in high school, I would fly down to visit every fall and spring, missing a day or two of school. I thought that was pretty cool, and still do. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for letting me do that.
The summer I graduated from high school, Mom, Dad and I drove down. We stayed in Nashville a day or two, Chattanooga a day or two, then moving on to Atlanta. I remember Dad sitting in the hotel room watching OJ Simpson's trial while Mom and I went to the outlet malls.
When I was 19 and Bobby and I first started dating, we drove down for spring break. Our first trip together!
Several times we've used Atlanta as our overnight stopping place, to continue driving to Florida the next day. Once I was pregnant with Macy when we stopped, and my sister-in-law loaded me up with baby blankets and some of Lauren's old clothes.
We were laughing this week about two trips in particular...Rod remembers a trip when we drove my Jeep (pre-kids) and when we got there, we said we couldn't hear anything because the road noise had been so loud.
And I remember a trip where Bobby and I thought we could drive through the night--with a 4-month-old Macy. I remember stopping at a gas station somewhere, sleeping under the streetlights, hand on Macy's carseat in case someone tried to take her. And I remember stumbling into their house, handing Macy, still strapped in her carseat, to Julie and saying "Here. Take her" and falling asleep on the bed.
When my niece graduated from high school, we went with my sister and her newly-adopted daughter, Hannah. Hannah was not used to car rides, and had to stop every hour (it seemed) to go to the bathroom.
There was the trip when Josh was born, when Lauren got married...such wonderful memories.
Since the girls have been doing this trip their whole lives, they don't think twice about driving 12 hours to see their aunt and uncle and cousins. Other families I know couldn't fathom driving that far with their kids, and we've done since they were babies.
We have a certain pattern--gas in Warrenton, MO, look for the arch, look for the Superman water tower in Metropolis, IL, Paduch, KY is a good half-way spot when spending the night, look for the Batman building in Nashville, love to look at the lakes in the beautiful Land Between the Lakes area in KY, count how many Rock City billboards there are leading up to Chattanooga, TN... all just part of the trip.
Like I said...this is a long rambling post that really has no point, other than for me to get some thoughts and memories out. Thanks for bearing with me. :)