Sunday, March 25, 2012

Headed Down to Happy

(Photo Courtesy of AOL Travel)

You all know by now that my sweet family left bright and early yesterday morning for a little week long adventure. Our destination? Disney World! To some, the Happiest Place on Earth. So I kept telling my children that we were headed down to happy. Children, stop fighting! We are headed down to happy! Emma, quit making gas noises with your silly putty! No gas noises on the way to happy! Kate, no, you may not continue to ask if we are there yet! Does it look like we are there yet? Happy is very far away! And Jack.....! Well, there really are no words for Jack. Because he's two. Enough said. But you get the idea. We were headed down to happy and Mama wanted to be happy! But with seven people trapped in a van together for eighteen plus hours, happy is not always what you get. Sometimes you get moody, or grumpy, or irritated. But instead of dwelling on those emotions, instead I decided to compile for you a list of ten things I thought about/noticed/discovered on our way down to happy. So here goes nothing.

1) I really do love road trips! Even with the Boss man, my three children, and my parents along for the ride. Especially with them along for the ride. We don't really even need books, or movies, or other random things to numb our minds as we drive. I always bring a whole stack of things with me to do, but I never use anything that I bring! I just talk and laugh (and sometimes yell at, if we are being perfectly honest here) with my family the entire way. We play the alphabet game and search for license plates and make up other games along the way. We have never let having small children keep us from our love of traveling. We just load them all up and go for it! And it is super great fun!

2)I have a really big crush on my twelve passenger van. Like, really big. I have been her Mama for four years, and I heart her. I even named her Old Faithful, because she has been our faithful travel companion, always giving us her best. Never tiring out. Never shunning us when we leave goldfish and fruit loop crumbs all over her floors. My favorite thing about her are her four super HUGE cup holders up front. Perfect for holding large diet vanilla cokes from Sonic. And really large cups of any pop for that matter. Or if you are one of my healthy friends, I suppose she could hold a nice bottle of water, too. Not sure, though. I will have to ask her about that one. My second favorite thing about her is that when we take out her back row, we can still hold seven people comfortably while carrying just about anything! Seriously! Even a bathtub would fit back there. Not that we have ever tried that, but if we ever wanted to try that I am positive that one would fit (ahem). I am pretty sure that one day Old Faithful and I will have to part ways. Because she guzzles gasoline like I guzzle diet coke. That will be a very, very sad day.

3) Road trips are super great for sharing thoughts with your husband. I love when the Boss man is strapped in next to me. One, because he is way cute, and two, because it forces him to listen to everything that I have been wanting to talk to him about! For hours on end, he is forced to be my captive audience! Sometimes though, his eyes glaze over and I have to see if he is still listening. So I say something clever like, Hey Babe, let's sell everything we own, even the children, and buy Harley's! You can become a biker dude and I will be your biker chick. What do you think about that, babe? And then if he agrees, I know he has not been listening to a thing I have said, and we have to start all over again. On this trip down to happy, I shared with him my most recent dream and vision. The best part? He actually seemed to like what I shared with him! He might have even been a tiny bit excited about it! We will see. But the fact that his eyes never glazed over made me a very happy Mama.

4) I love living in the Midwest, but I always feel at home while back in the south. Right about Tennessee I could feel things begin to change. The air got humid, the sweet tea started pumping through my veins (because you must drink sweet tea when in the south), and the accents! The southern accents were everywhere! And what can I say? It feels good to be back amongst my people, y'all.

5) Do not give your children noise putty in the car if you do not want to hear bodily function noises followed by uncontrollable laughter for eighteen plus hours. Especially if bodily function noises do not make you feel happy. See above.

6) While dining in Georgia this afternoon, I experienced a soda fountain with over 100 choices! Seriously! There were your basic choices of soda (naturally, I went with diet coke), but then you could add in most any flavor. I chose raspberry. Diet raspberry coke over ice equals divine. I knew after one sip that happy had arrived a few hours earlier for me than anyone else.

7) I bought new sunglasses at a truck stop. I don't know why that is significant, but it felt a little bit adventurous, so I thought that I should share that with you here. I might wear them on the Dumbo ride should I decide to get really wild. Time will tell.

8) Florida is not a very beautiful state unless you are looking at the ocean. The marshlands do nothing for me. You, of course, are free to disagree.

9) People at rest stops are very interesting. That is all I have to say about that.

10) When traveling with many people (several of whom happen to be smaller(ish), it is best to be flexible. Our after arrival plans tonight started with changing and heading to Downtown Disney for a night on the town. Once a few people began melting though, we quickly switched our plans to include supper at Sweet Tomatoes (another really great thing that the Midwest is lacking!), followed by a shopping excursion at Super Wal-Mart for the one million things that we forgot to pack. But that didn't work out either. We ended up picking up a few things at the local Winn Dixie and getting Chinese take out for supper. And by nine pm all were bathed and in bed. Except for me. That is when I decided that being flexible was a good thing.

But the happiest news of all is that we have arrived safely, and we all still like each other. (Mostly. The two year old is still questionable. Thank goodness he is cute and gives good smooches!) After a good nights rest we will wake up tomorrow, head to Magic Kingdom, introduce Jack to Mickey Mouse, and get our happy on! I am feeling happier just thinking about it!