Monday, June 15, 2009

There's No Place Like Home, Really Vacation

We'rrrrre hooooome. Of course coming home leads to moments of reflection.

Like these: When we walked down to the beach on Thursday morning our fine sand castle stood intact, which gave us fortuity to expand...until we decided a total makeover and reconstruction would allow our inner artists to dance. Passer-bys stopped to comment on her beauty, some even came to snap pictures, some came to ask how to build a castle of such proportion. Others said they watched from there balcony all day as we built her. A structure built of family fun and love. Is she not grander the second time around? Oh-yes-she-is!

Then we went to dinner at LuLu's. While we waited for our table we sipped "Marina Mama's" from plastic cups while peering around the marina at luscious boats and listening to the band play great tunes that coaxed a sing-along. Then we came back to the beach, hoping to see our spectacular castle glisten under the big bright moon light. Not this time. Either jealous marvelors or no-good teenage sand castle vandals came by and knocked her down. Her beautiful shell enhanced exterior, her perfectly sculpted cathedral staircases and her sea weed roofs were no more. How dare! But it is just sand which means our large pile, the building block, the base of many sand granules was there to offer pallet to a new group of artists to mold and form into a new sculpture of sand exquisiteness.

We are known for taking a day on the path to home and just stopping at an unplanned location...this time it was New Orleans-- a 3.5 hour jog over and across the Lake Pontchartrain bridge. It was actually fun being there, knowing M, D and I will be there again next month for the Youth gave us opportunity to find our hotel, it's correlation to the dome and map out a few dining choices. Of course New Orleans offered a few "oh brother" murmurs as we passed down Bourbon Street-- the whores all clad in there nightwear were hanging in the doorways peddling their stripper delights. Oh dear God! I needed a hurricane in a paper cup after that sight...come to think of it I had one in my hand already, I was in need of a second, as my mind drifted to the 36,000 Christian teenagers who would glance this sight next month. (And there will be no hurricane sipping for this role model on that trip--unfortunately).

The N'awlin's heat. The humidity. It was like Hell. I can only dare to allow myself to think about what it will be like next month. Water, water, water, we will all need to drink plenty. I mean gallons or I will be doling out Tylenol for the heat related head aches like a back door drug dealer. I have made a notation on the info sheet that the Gathering is not supplying water bottles like they have in the past. We need to bring our own, and not just small bottles but big a** bottles.

So while in NOLA we rode the Street Car (don't call it a trolley), ate a dozen yummy beignets at Cafe Du Monde, walked and gazed at architecture, ate a dinner of traditional Cajun and Creole goodness at The Market Cafe before heading back to our cool mod hotel sprinkled with fun art for a dip in the roof top pool.

The next day it was on the road to home. This is was another favorite restroom/gas stop:Jackson MS, Dixie Gas. Exiting the car we four girls bolt into the gas station where I let my eyes dart around looking for the restroom sign. I cannot locate so I ask the attendant, "where is the restroom?" She replies "we don't have any." "No restroom?" "No mam, no public ones." "What the hell kind of gas station is this?" "The old fashion kind" she responds. Then we hoofed it next door to the Shell station (and it's modern facilities) while King Ralph continued to pump that cheap $2.43 a gallon gas. As we all crammed in the single toilet restroom I looked at the girls and said "an old fashion gas station would have someone checking my oil, cleaning my windshield and motioning me to the restroom which requires a key on a large wood block style key chain followed by an ice cold Pepsi in a glass bottle from vending machine." What the hey, does this gal really get the pleasure of a restroom while at work or does she have to pee in the field behind the building? Then the girls tortured King Ralph with Patsy Cline's greatest hits by singing each word perfectly and in perfect harmony. A sign they can only take so many hours trapped down by a seat belt while feet are restrained by M's million over sized purses filled with sttttuff.

Eleven hours and a barrage of tunes and moans from Princess A that she can't handle a drive that long during her waking hours we pulled in the driveway to a happy pouch greeting, luggage to unload and reality that real life has to kick back into gear.


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