After we got home from B’ham and had Amanda’s birthday party we decided to go with my mom to see my grandpa. It had been several years since I visited and he’d never met Travis or the younger two girls. So, our life for the past couple of months has been:
Painting, de-cluttering, patching, repairing, bathroom remodel, trip to Birmingham, cleaning up the chaos from the bathroom remodel, 21st birthday party and a trip to Arkansas. I’m not including the day-to-day things like homeschool and such. So, I’ve been a bit frazzled.
We decided to take my mom with us so that dad could stay home and work. And the drive was uneventful until we hit a detour. We really, really should have checked the news first. I hadn’t paid much attention to the flooding in Memphis and Arkansas. I should have. We took the mother of all detours, it was miserable and our 9 hour drive took 12. Thankfully everybody stayed in good spirits until the end of the day. We’d been on back roads in Arkansas, there was flooding everywhere and there wasn’t a restaurant in sight. Just rice fields and flooding. So, we decided to stop at Ruby Tuesday’s to get some real food. That’s when Chloe completely lost it and had a total meltdown in the bathroom. I can’t say that I blame her, I felt like having a meltdown myself. We got it together and mac-n-cheese helped.
My grandpa is in a nursing home and his wife, Lucille was waiting for us at home. She’s my step-grandmother. I don’t like to use “step” because she’s been married to my grandpa for several years (my grandma died when I was 16) and she’s as sweet as she could possibly be. A friend of mine summed it up well when she said “Cinderella ruined it for everybody.” Anyway, we visited for a bit and then we crashed.
The next morning we visited with my grandpa for a while and then made the trip to Booneville (really) to visit my grandma and aunt’s graves. We took pictures and I was unexpectedly emotional about the whole thing. Then we took the kids to Sonic to blow off some steam. The restaurant was brand new and had a playground. The girls had been so patient to be in the car for so many hours and they really appreciated the time to play. They also appreciated the banana splits we got them.
Then we raced back to Paris to meet my Grandma Lucille, Mom and Uncle Paul for dinner at *the* local restaurant. Really, everybody goes there. And I see why. The food was great. Then it was back to see my grandpa, who really doesn’t stay awake for long, and then we raced to the top of Mt. Magazine to watch the sunset. Whew! Our trip up was so rewarding though. I was expecting it to be beautiful and I knew that a resort had been built in the last few years but I wasn’t really expecting it to be as beautiful as it was.
This was our little oasis in the midst of chaos. The week we left, Travis hadn’t gotten home before 1 am from work. He was so tired. But he was so sweet to take me to the places I wanted to see without a second of hesitation or complaining.
Trav and me…after hours of driving and visiting and…
The lodge. It’s actually a state owned resort. Tennessee has several lodges at several state parks but none of them look like this.
Um, the toads or frogs, I’m not sure. I should be sure but I’m not. They were *so* loud and they were everywhere on the front side of the resort. Not on the back side though. Weird.
I love my kids for so many reasons…and I’m just so surprised that they even thought to pick these guys up.
We left about 8:15 the next morning and the flood waters hadn’t receded enough for I-40 to be open yet. So we had to take a shorter but still really long detour. I had no idea that Arkansas grew so.much.rice. I really wish that I hadn’t missed my cousins by one week. I haven’t seen them since I was 17 and I’d really like to catch up with them. I’m not sure when we’ll go back again. But I’m really glad we went.