Sunday June 7
Good morning…wait I can hardly say that as I have nearly gone to bed, and I count the minutes till I wake King Ralph to a packed and snack stocked car to begin the drive for our very last minute vacation—so not the Avery style. I am a planner. I like to research, map, and calculate everything about a destination before we venture out. No, not this time…this time we waited and waited for word if King Ralph’s momma would be having a quite delicate surgery. Once we got word that her surgery was scheduled for July we went into vacation mode on Friday afternoon and booked a condo on the beach. (Our window of opportunity is so meek with all the girls’ high school activities. This week was our open window.) No camping, no mountain trekking trip this year—I know and we all seem to miss it, but we followed the sun and the sun was not shining anywhere else except where we are going.
At 3am away we rolled…towards Gulf Shores, Alabama-- the beach and the sun.
There is something about being together in the car that gets us all laughing—especially at rest stops. We stopped for gas and potty break; we stomped into the ladies rooms like a pack of sorority girls and stood waiting our turn. I went first (as the girls unaware that we taking the age before beauty line up for our much needed relief), testing the toilet seat for safety (the toilet seat was about 5 inches smaller than the toilet bowl)…finished with my turn I stood checking out the options from the vending machine (such delightful exotic options), then proceeding to the “Magic Scale” that would not only tell me a fortune for a quarter but also announce my weight—which by the read of the suggested height/weight ratio it would have read me as--tractor ass. Then I turned to tell D something when we hear an odd pained groan and moan coming from the other occupied stall, with intermittent courtesy flushes. I looked at D with a very queer and scared looked on my face, she looked back in the same fashion and then…my baby lacking all public restroom manners laughed, hard…and I bolted out of there. Thanking the good Lord above that travel makes me constipated.
So onto the next gas and restroom stop, where laughing before we got through the door…the sign on the front door read, “pants must be pulled up and a shirt must be worn for service.” Oh brother, I guess here in Chicora, Mississippi they like their ass hanging out of the pants. Never mind they had boys running around the joint with feet as black as coal [from ground dirt]…but their pants where pulled up and there were on well enough to get those icy beverages. We laughed all the way back to the car with M snapping a picture of the sign like the paparazzi.
We kept on driving...me trying to figure out how I could find comfort for my weary I-never-really-went-to-bed-left-the-house-at-3am-body anywhere in the car. I never managed much more than 20 minutes here and there. M on the other hand took her bad crocked back to the “way back” seat of the mini-van and stretched out like a queen while the rest of us cocooned in our micro space. After doling out our on-the-move breakfast and lunch of buttered slices of homemade banana bread, croissants, Mike-n-Ikes, DOTS, Fritos and mozzarella dip, sub sandwiches, carrots and dip, diet cokes, juices and coffee from the backseat kitchen—we arrived at our destination.