I woke up at 1:30 AM on Sunday morning and groaned inwardly. Why? Because I knew it would be next to impossible to go back to sleep. You see, in my brain I had already planned on getting up early so whether that was at 3:30 (which is what it I had planned for - didn't even have my alarm clock on) or 1:30 I knew I would BE awake at whatever absurd hour I woke up at. 1:30 it was. I forced myself to just lay there for two more hours and I did doze for a couple of minutes here and there, but in the end I finally got up at 3:30 to take a shower and get ready for the day. The kids all got up relatively easily (they are my children, after all) and we ate breakfast, packed up the car, and were on the road at 5:30. Great!
The first half of the trip was pretty uneventful. When the kids were awake, they would ask how many hours until we get there. Every 10 minutes or so. Starting at Pell City. At about Anniston, I told Corin to watch for the little green signs that had the cities and mileage to get there on them. He loved that. We'll probably learn how to read a map while we're here. I think I was about Corin's age when Mom taught me how to read a map. I was obsessed (still am) with knowing how far we were away from our destination when we traveled. Atlanta was a breeze. I took everybody's advice and avoided I-285, which was fantastic. So I am just sailing along, really hoping to see a Starbucks sign because, by now (9:00 AM), 1:30AM is starting to catch up with me. I keep on plugging, stopping at a rest area just north of Macon to go to the bathroom and get Cheezits and a juice box. This was at 10:00 and I am pleased because this was our first stop! Man, are we gonna make good time or what! I am sure I have passed a Starbucks at this time, but decide to just keep driving on to Tifton which is a little more than halfway to our destination. And there's a Starbucks. My estimated time of arrival to Tifton is 11:30, which is perfect because we can get some lunch while we're there. Bam!
At about 10:50, I hear Silas calling me. I couldn't hear him so I turned down the radio and asked him to say again. "Momma, I think Felix is throwing up."
I frantically turned the rear-view mirror on to Felix and, sure enough, throwing up is what he is doing. NO, NO, NO! Why must my children have the most excellent gag reflexes known to mankind? Felix starts asking me for a napkin, when what he needs is a good hosing. So, like a good mother, I keep driving on to Tifton. It's not going to hurt him to sit there for 25 more minutes. And I'm just a little bit mad at him for throwing up. Rational thinking is not one of my strong points when I'm sleepy. We do get to Tifton, where I pull into the Starbucks parking lot and strip and clean up my baby, who is very hungry and happy by this point. "Eat, Momma?" Did I mention that I parked right next to the drive- thru where a big truckload of men are watching me strip and clean up my child? Oh, and laughing. Thanks. We trudge inside, I order my triple-shot of espresso- capuccino and ask for a garbage bag from the guy with mo hawk, go to the bathroom, and then head back to the car to go to Sonic for lunch. It's noon now. We eat lunch and then head back on the road at about 12:20. And then Felix throws up again. Grrrrrrrr..... Stop at Adel and clean up second puke mess, which is a LOT more messy and causes the car to really smell bad, fill up car with gas and get the kids back in the car. I'm irritated because we're behind schedule and I hate cleaning up puke (surprise, surprise). I'm also mad because somehow we manage to bring a stomach virus or some other disgusting disease to my family when we come down to Florida. I'm tearing up a little (serious self-pity going on) when Quinn calls me to see how I'm doing. Now, I haven't spoken to him for a few hours and the last time I had talked to him I was ahead of schedule and looking for a Starbucks. I'm crying on the phone and he is being sweet and sympathetic because he's a good man. We hang up and then my mom calls and is sweet and sympathetic, telling me Felix is probably just fine, just a little carsick. He IS congested and he always throws up when he's congested. So, we keep on trekking and the rest of the drive is uneventful, except for my nervous habit of watching Felix in the rear-view mirror which is now permanently fixed on him. He's fine for the rest of the trip.
We get to my parents house at 4:30 in the afternoon, which is an hour past the time I thought we'd get there, but I'm so relieved to be there that I don't care. I am greeted with love and hugs and my children start immediately running around the yard. There is a birthday party for two of my cousins' babies and my uncle, who live next door to my parents and the evening passes with laughter and good times. It is good to be with my family, despite the drive down. Looking forward to a good time!