life

A trip for the record books

Last week my family began a little adventure…well three of us did anyway! We were going to travel across country to watch the youngest graduate from AIT from the ARMY.

Our adventures began at 12:05 am…in the midst of the darkest hours we set out to overtake the roadways from Central Texas to Central West Georgia. With few stops in between and very little traffic to really aggravate us we arrived at our destination in 14.5 hours. No animals were harmed in this or any portion of our adventure although the brief death of the cellular signal did occur.

50766858078__63adf75a-bef2-433f-b6e4-cf3248970218One one stop an ultimate find occurred! Nehi Peach! This elusive soda is not found in Central Texas nor many other places so when its appearance was noted it became captured and consumed… just after posting a teasing photo on social media, which led to the need of recapturing more to bring and deliver to others. I obliged of course!

Once we arrive we were graciously greeted by the beautiful girlfriend who had traveled no less than 4 hours to see achievements of her favorite Cav Scout! Since the evening was open to us and we were all starving we took a stroll over to Zaxby’s and to devour some chicken wings in varying flavors and styles. Never having been to this establishment prior we were slightly impressed with the food although less impressed with the fact that two of the orders were delivered with only half the food…therefore the process of waiting began.

The day of the graduation dinner was a relaxing one as we all slept in to recover from the previous days long drive. With a quick trip to the Exchange to get a few needed items and we set to getting ready. This whole getting ready meant I’d been donning heals for the first time in 1.5 years…okay not the normal 4 inches I used to wear but a meager 2 inch heal that tortured me the entire night. The dinner was nice but the highlight was when my son and a few others were acknowledged for receiving rank and high PT scores. Apparently, Rachelle knew this surprise was happening and is very good keeping secrets. We got to spend approximately 3.5 hours with him and that was more than worth all the pain from those not so high-heels.

The next morning we were all up bright and early – breakfast, checking out and heading over to the field where graduation would take place. (And if anyone truly knows me … early is not something I care to do ever!) Upon arrival we instantly see the tent setup that has our preordered tees and commence to stand in line, once we picked them up and a few other souvenirs the hunt for a seat was on. The ceremony was breathtaking and left me in awe. I was highly impressed and proud of each and every new Cav Scout on that field.

We got a few minutes, and I mean few, to find our soldier – get pics and hand over some personal belongings to him before he was off to the air port for his first duty station.

There are no brief words to describe the amount of pride a parent has when she sees her child achieve something so great! Back in the parking lot, we part ways with Rachelle as we go in separate directions but first we had to go in search of the Nehi Peach we were to wrangle and deliver to others in need of its refreshing flavor!

Early evening we arrive at our second stop! This stop involved trying to round-up family and friends and see them within the few hours we planned on being there. First stop though… Baldino’s! That is a must eat place overtime I go home! Yes, home. Hinesville is my home at heart.

At Baldino’s we were able to visit with Amanda (My eldest daughter) and her little family. What does that mean? Well…. I got to finally meet my son-in-law and grandson. It had been 4 very long years since we have seen my daughter and her family has grown by leaps and bounds. The moment they walked in the door my granddaughter ran for me calling out my name “Nana”… my heart melted. **hmmm, not so tough when a 6 y/o wants to hug and love on you** I won the baby boy over by bribing him with pieces of my sub! That boy loves to eat.

We gave them their handmade gifts – The grand girls (even though one was missing) each got Valentines bags filled with goodies, while Zion got a Minion and the soon-to-be addition, Harmony, has her baby blanket.

Amanda had just turned 25 and we wanted to hand deliver her present to her. With such a momentous birthday I wanted something sentimental and meaningful to give her. She tried as hard as she could to guess but to no avail she had to open the bag and see what was inside. I had passed on to her my mothers bible…the one she used until the day she left this world back in 2004. It had patiently waited 12.5 years to be read again. With my mothers notes scribbled throughout and each book properly and neatly tagged, Amanda received it with love.

Before leaving the next day, we were able to see Amanda some more and then we were off to the next stop. This stop was not so far away but a necessary stop…. We were greeted by their dog first and he instantly remembered us as he smothered us in kisses. Our short 3.5 hour visit was full of chit-chat and reminiscing and promises to see them soon again.

The sun was not yet down and we still had another 6.5 hours to go to the fourth stop. Navarre, Fl. I took the wheel and we arrived safely. Visiting my cousin and her family is always a treasure and never boring! We got to meet their newest fur baby. Even the sick cousin came out to be with us even if only briefly. I’m sure the youngest will never want me doing her hair again as her head is tender and I’m not. 🙂 Love you Emma!

The long drive home started off a little later than we wanted but definitely did not regret the extra time we got with our family. Arriving home at 1:05am on Sunday morning we ended the longest portion of the trip…

9 hours later, my husband and I got into two vehicles and drove to my son’s duty station to deliver his car and belongings to him. What a blast we had – road runners, mountain goats and even fuzzy caterpillars were on the more rare wild life we saw… the typical goats, sheep, cows and of course horses were around every bend. We took our time coming back on Monday and was able to stop and “site” see the surrounding area and made mental notes of places we would like to go back to see.

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A quick wrap up of this trip…

1 trip
2 vehicles
3 time zones
4 family branches visited
5 stops
6 states
7 days
tons of photos
3520 miles
and countless memories! On to the next!
Hope you enjoyed the wrap up of our journey as much as we enjoyed it.