Saturday, November 29, 2014

We Went Down To Georgia

 All times are Central despite our crossing over the time line to Eastern.

On Wednesday, we left left at 9 a.m. going down to Georgia. It was a cold day and the weather gloomy. We expected to arrive by 5 p.m. However, the expected 7 hour trip became something much longer. We didn't get there until nearly 8 p.m. We hit construction at the junction of I-65 and I-24 in Nashville, as we always have for the last four years. That slowed us about half an hour. Then, we were 34 miles from Chattanooga when traffic came to a virtual stop. If we moved at all it was between 10 and 30 miles an hour. It took us 2 hours to move 34 miles. As we rounded the last curve we saw the cause of the delay.

On the left hand side of the east bound highway the median was a large grassy section that slopped up to the interstate going in the opposite direction. An east-bound trailer hauling apples had turned over. I guess his load shifted as he rounded the curve too fast on the mountainous road. At any rate, there were thousands of applies lying in a pile next to the road. They'd managed to take all the empty boxes and pile them up on the incline of the median. I've never seen so many apples and was very tempted to roll down the window and ask for a sack full. I resisted. We continued on our way and made pretty good time from that point on. But then, it was already after 5 p.m.

We arrived without further incident. I did have a couple of hours where it felt as if I was riding with two five year olds, rather than a 35 year old and an 8 year old. Their voices were beginning to take on a similar whine. I had no cheese and wished again for apples.

Checking out the dolls.
Our Thanksgiving holiday was a lot of fun. Sarah was so excited to be there that she went from one to the other hugging and kissing them for some time. Poppy and Uncle Dale (who is actually Aunt Phillis) had a grand time with Sarah during the morning. A few times Poppy and Sarah appeared to be about the same age and they were having the best time of all. 

This actually worked in my favor. I was able to sit and relax and watch. They had decorated the house for Christmas and Sarah had presents under the tree. She got to open one gift a day and she loved that. 

Giving Amy a little attention
Sarah found my cousin's dolls and my aunt pulled them all out for Sarah to enjoy. Generally she doesn't care for dolls but these seem to captivate her and she played with them the whole time she was there. 

We celebrated communion at my Aunt and Uncle's house Thanksgiving morning. That was nice. I'd never seen that done before but I would encourage anyone to start that tradition.

Dinner was to be at 5 p.m. at my cousin, Dan's house. My aunt and I went early to help out, although, as it turned out, I was more of a referee than anything else. I sat at the bar and watched as the bout progressed.

Cousins: Janie, Me,
& Alexis
Dan and my aunt did all the cooking. Please do not ask them who did more or who the best cook is. I listened to the debate for about two hours. The argument was never settled to either of their satisfaction. I remain neural, although I felt a bit like I was back in the car with the 5 year olds.

I can vouch that both are excellent cooks . All the food was good... except the green beans and that is another argument that was not settled but rather depends on who you ask. Nothing was burned and there was tons of smoked turkey, ham, pork chops resembled steaks, dressing, Ford hook beans, potato salad, broccoli rice in a cheese sauce, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, and dessert. 
L-R: Uncle Dale, Garrett,
Aunt Phillis, Alexis, Me, Mike.
Front: L-R: Harper, Sarah

I may have forgotten something  but no one went away hungry. We took food home, except for green beans, and ate it the next day. It was still good.

There were probably a dozen of us at dinner. I didn't count but someone did take photos and I'm sure I'll get some more of those later. There are a couple here. I have no idea why Dan wasn't in the family photo. Probably cooking. Which segues into our next item of interest.

Friday we just spent time back at my aunt and uncle's house. No shopping for me. I don't do Black Friday anyway so wasn't disappointed. Sarah was able to play more and we even braved the outside. It had warmed up and was a beautiful sunny day in the back yard.

We debated coming home on Friday but I was concerned about the traffic issues on Black Friday. After Wednesday's problems, I wasn't in a hurry to deal with that again so soon. We waited and it was a good decision.

The traffic was not a problem except around Chattanooga and Nashville and even that was so tame Mike was able to navigate without any help at all. He's doing much better at it with each trip. 

We're always a bit nervous coming over the mountains. Not because the roads are bad, but the diesel trucks are problematic. They move too slow or too fast and you don't want to be in front of or behind them. But there isn't any place to go, so you bite your nails and stay as clear as possible. However, this time, there were not nearly as many as I've seen on weekdays.

Sarah slept for a couple of hours in the early morning, which made her trip less stressful. We stopped at Cracker Barrel at Clarksville, TN around 11 a.m. for lunch. This is about two hours from home. Sarah likes to shop there. She got a Ty Baby owl named Owlivier. He's rather cute but we now have a fairly well rounded zoo. She brought a whale back from Uncle Dale's garden. I bought another cape, a red one trimmed in black faux fur. Sarah said I look like Big Red Riding Hood. We are not amused... very much.

We finally were on the last leg of our journey. After we left we more or less counted the miles. I slipped the camera over the back seat to see if Sarah was excited about getting close to home. I'm not sure....

We made it back to Evansville from Atlanta around 2 p.m. Considering we got up at 5 a.m. and were on the road by 6 a.m. , we made relatively good time. Now, I'm going to bed. I hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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