Like the Boy Scouts, we hoped to be prepared. Last night we planned to get up first thing this morning, survey the storm’s progress, and make a decision. We met in Janey and Patty’s room at 7:45 am even before we’d had coffee. Our flight was scheduled to leave New Orleans airport at 1:55pm. The tropical storm winds were due to arrive in the city at 2:00pm. The storm was expected to arrive as a Category Two when it hit land east of New Orleans. Dennis Phillips, one of our trusted Florida meteorologists, described this storm as the fastest moving storm he has ever followed…we decided that it was likely that New Orleans Airport would close due to winds PRIOR to our flight, and we decided to drive home in Sparky II.
Marcia Ball was already on her way to her gig in Daytona tonight. We were so touched by her lovely gesture and gift of her time. We organized a THANK YOU PIC…
Hopefully she appreciated the gesture. These pix of us NOT in matching shirts are rare and will probably be worth something some day.
We were on the road at 9:05am. Raindrops fell lightly on us as we drove out of town, but within two or three miles we were in full sunshine and there was almost no wind.
We had our first stop within two hours. Restrooms and Gas.
We sang songs and ate snacks. We quizzed each other on TRIP TRIVIA:
- who was the tray performer at O’Brien’s in New Orleans? Alvin Babineau
- What kid of soup did Julie have at Yacky Shack back in Muscatine? cracklin’ rice soup.
- What were our room numbers at the Peabody hotel in Memphis? 539, 1039, 1139
- What date was Martin Luther King Assassinated? April 4, 1968
- What year did Elvis die? 1977
- What year did Danny Thomas die? 1991
- Who founded the button industry in Muscatine, Iowa? Boeppel
- What’s the name of the New Orleans newspaper? Times-Picayune
- What kind of wine did Marcia Ball have at dinner last night? Tempranillo
- Who owns last night’s Tableau restaurant (home of those fabulous shrimp and grits)? Dickie Brennan
We had our second stop at 1:00pm. Subway subs and Restrooms and Gas.
- we quizzed each other on state abbreviations
- we quizzed each other on world capitals
- we quizzed each other on countries found in Africa
We held a “Regular vs. Reduced Fat” Cape Cod Potato Chip Contest. No difference. We swear.
We had our third stop. Restrooms.
Our next stop was highly anticipated. Janey is a big fan of Busy B’s which is a rest stop/gift shop/convenience store. We couldn’t miss it. Their branding is relentless. You’d bee impressed. It’s all the buzz, and I’m not kidding honey. She promised we’d all bee happy so we bumbled in the door and buzzed around…I’m starting to drone on, I’m sorry. I’ll stop.
Patty and I were more impressed when we found out that B.B’s had a D.D’s. Omg!
and they had HER FAVORITE flavor…the ever elusive Dunkin Donut chocolate cream flavored ones! (We’re thinking of initiating a letter writing campaign to the corporate offices for goodness sake! What’s so hard about providing this flavor at all the stores nationwide?)
Trudi and Janey and Patty and I waited for Jean and Patti to finish up in the gift shop and dozed off for a time…
but soon Jean emerged so we…obviously…hid the car from Patti…AGAIN.
As it got dark we drove into rain, but were still able to stream Wingate University’s football game against University of North Carolina -Pembrook. Patty’s son Alex plays for Wingate University. Wingate pulled out the win and remains undefeated this season!
We had our fifth and final stop for gasoline and finally made it home. As we pulled up at Trudi’s house our Patty broke out in song…
I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh and sing a song
Seems we just get started
and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say
(From the Carol Burnett Show – written by Joe Hamilton)
Trudi wasn’t the only one to shed a tear in her driveway. As we pulled away the Sara Bareilles song “Brave” played on the radio just for us.
On the way to my driveway Patty showed us family videos of her cute niece and of her son…and then Patty and Jean and I were treated to the incredible story of the military funeral that was held for the Callaghan Tire Pet Goldfish recently. As Patty said, “he was a soldier, you know.” Video evidence exists. As usual, each Callaghan Family story is better than. the last. This one was a doozie.
We pulled into my driveway, and it was my turn to hug everyone…we love each other. We are the perfect collection of crazy. My husband waited patiently for me knowing that a part of me drove out of the driveway with the gals in the Suburban when they left….but he was laughing too…because they were crooning our song, “On the Wings of Love” and they sounded just terrible.
It’s good to be home.
Mama B and Papa D surprised us by meeting us in Trudi’s driveway when we first pulled into town. Mama B awarded us Certificates of Completion and we earned Steamboat Charms for our charm bracelets. It was so great seeing mom and dad! ❤