Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day One - Tennessee Travels

Our 11-hour trip from Baton Rouge to Tennessee yesterday was a routine event, and even a little bit fun. We left the house at about 8:50 a.m., the biggest impediment being getting all our luggage in the back of the CRV.

After only three more stops--at the bank, back at the house to pick up some left-behind items and ice for the cooler, and at Target to buy what we didn't have at home (most critically, Pepsi), we hit I-12 at about 9:45. Kallie programmed our new Tomtom GPS device, which we named Sacagawea, or "Sac".

Our first stop was the Dinner Bell Restaurant in McComb, MS, a popular stop with most of my family. Having grown up in middle Tennessee, my wife loves the country cooking, served on a big lazy susan. I'm not as enthralled. To me it's more like a competent Cracker Barrel without the gift shop, but the banana pudding is the best. We arrived just as the restaurant opened, and made the first seating. About 30 minutes later at 11:45 we were stuffed and back on the road.

The rest of the stops were more utilitarian. We decided that after the Dinner Bell we could make the rest of the trip without another sitdown meal. I don't recommend the Stuckey's/Dairy Queen in Blount Springs, AL off I-65, where it took me three tries to get a plain cheeseburger. First the clerk tried to sell me a large bacon burger. The $4.19 price tag got my attention and I talked him down to a plain cheeseburger for $1.79. Back in the car I bit into the burger and found it covered with ketchup, mustard and pickles. On the third try, I got what I'd ordered the first time.

Back seat met front seat about halfway through the trip when we played Arkansas-born folk singer Iris Dement on the CD player. Kallie moaned about her twang and begged us to turn it off. We responded by singing the the gospel song Higher Ground at top volume, accompanying Dement's mother, who is even twangier than her daughter.

As a peace offering I agreed to play Queen's Greatest Hits next. We sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race and Somebody to Love. I was pretty much alone (except for Freddie Mercury and the boys) on Fat Bottomed Girls.

The rest of the way we played a series of silly car games, the likes of which we haven't done in years--I usually sing along to CDs, Kay reads or sleeps and Kallie watches DVDs on her laptop. My favorite was "guess that animal"--I stumped the car with both vole and lemming, and got stumped by a cone jellyfish.

Just as Sac predicted, we pulled into the driveway in White House, TN at 8:20 p.m. This was not a great coup for her given that she updates predicted arrival times continuously.

Dinner was awaiting and appreciated, as was the end of the Phillies-Braves game on the big screen TV, won by the Phils, 6-2. I'd heard the pregame show on the radio hours earlier in Alabama, but the station was too weak to take us all the way to northern Tennessee.

No comments: