Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday is "The Best Road Trip EVER" Day.

Best Road Trip EVER: the time I went to Washington D.C. with my aunt and uncle, sister and Grannie and lived to tell the tale.

I'm gonna be straight and tell you that there is no point in telling this story other than I want to tell it.

Last week, I was at Subway eating lunch with my one of my pals from school and I was staring out the window while waiting to place my order. The way the street and trees were placed reminded me of the way the trees and roads looked in D.C. and I suddenly was thinking about what probably is the best road trip that I have EVER been on...

The summer after I graduated high school, I was generally enjoying myself. I was on my way out of my hometown and summer camps were one of the fun ways I was spending the time before I went on to the glory that is Norman.

It happened that about a week and a half before we went to one of said camps that my dad asked if my sister and I wanted to go with my Aunt Sheila and Uncle Hal to Washington D.C.

I was going to be a political science major at OU and a self-proclaimed history nerd/buff.

I'm more than sure that I gave my daddy a "I can't believe you're asking if I want to go. Of course I want to go. DUH!" looks.

This was at least three years before my Grannie started suffering from Alzheimer's. She was very lucid. Very fiery. Very sassy. VERY nosey. AND VERY lacking in the personal space department.

She was one of those ladies, God bless her, that would show up to our house unannounced any time of the day that pleased her. She didn't understand that a simple phone call before coming out to the house might have been the best way to go so she wouldn't spend more than half her time complaining about us never being home for her to visit, and how dare her son have the gaul to tell her that when the inevitable conversation occurred.


It happened that my daddy was talking to her on the phone in the kitchen. (back when people had phones in their know all of 8 years ago.) I wasn't really paying attention to the conversation until I heard him say, "Oh you are? Well I'm sure Aunt Babe will be happy to see you."

I went back to reading/watching tv/ being a teenager and not paying attention while in the back of my mind praying that what was mentioned had nothing to do with my trip to D.C. in a few weeks.

And that's when he lowered the boom-NAME THAT MOVIE!-  on me.

Dad got off the phone and said, "Well looks like Grannie's going on your trip with you."

I wanted to cry.

I know that it sounds like I'm giving my Grannie the harsh treatment, but y'all when you've been to Vegas and back with this woman, then you can complain about like I can.

On that trip, she brought so much stuff that she filled the entire floorboard and part of the back windows because she insisted on not listening to my dad and THEN proceeded to TALK the entire way there and back. And if we dare interrupted her, we got into trouble.

Needless to say, I was not aching to get back in the car with her for an extended period of time any time soon.

So I called in my sister because she was supposed to be my traveling companion. She also happens to have a way with getting her way with our daddy. So if there was any negotiating that needed to happen on our behalf, I was going to need her there to help.

I told Jessi what was happening and she was also less than pleased because while I had to deal with Grannie's crap being everywhere on the trip to Vegas, she had lost precious sleep time because Grannie "jacked her jaws" so much.

It seemed however, that before we could even get huffy puffy about it, my dad had some news. It happened that we were going through Ohio to drop Grannie off to see Aunt Babe, her sister. Then the four of us would head on to D.C. and then on our way back would pick her back up. He also said that we could plan stuff to take with us to drown her out.

A week and a half later, we were packed and ready to go. Things were relatively quiet for her part. Grannie had pushed a few buttons like she knew how to do so well, but other than that I was enjoying myself.

And then we got to my Aunt Babe's house.

It wound up that we were going to stay for a few days and then go on to D.C. This wasn't ideal and we knew it was going to happen, but we also hadn't seen this family in awhile.

How bad could it be?

Ha. If I only knew.

Aunt Babe's daughter, Myra happened to live with her because she had the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. Not that big of a deal except that Myra was a hoarder.

If you have ever been around anyone with this problem and you don't have this problem, it is a sight to behold for sure especially when you're as meticulous as my aunt is.

We wound up cleaning her back yard while my aunt pleaded with her 1st cousin to part with some of the junk that had accumulated.

By the time the day rolled around that we were to leave we ready to go.

Plus, our aunt and uncle were ready to see their kiddos who were in D.C. for some type of conference.

We drove on and when we started getting close to the city, things suddenly looked historical every which way we turned.

My eyes were about to pop out of my head. I felt so at home. Reading all the history books were coming alive before my very eyes and I just couldn't get over it.

My aunt found this great hotel that was within walking distance of everything. And if it wasn't in walking distance, the metro was just around the corner.

We saw the Capitol, the White House from afar, the Smithsonian, marched on Washington Mall, saw a Holocaust museum, the Vietnam Memorial, Ford Theatre and spent all day at Arlington.

when we went to the Capitol, I lost my mind for a momentary basis when I almost didn't leave my lotion behind. It was my first experience with a post 9-11 world and I was about to lose it over losing my Coconut Lime Verbena lotion. Thankfully, my aunt pointed me to reason as she said, "You can see the Capitol and lose your lotion. Or not see the Capitol of the United STates and keep your lotion."

Obviously, I saw the Capitol. I saw the first house of Congress. Saw the Declaration of Independence and saw many senators on their way to Senate hearings. I was in my element.

When we were at the Smithsonian, I saw a replica of the West Wing of the White House which kinda made up for not being able to go inside the actual White House and was moved when I saw the flag that had been at the Pentagon after 9-11.

I thought of my dad when we were on Washington Mall because he was just out of high school himself when the protests for the Vietnam War occurred there. I peered up at President Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial and spotted the Masonic symbol on the Washington Monument.

I was blown away when we visited the National Holocaust Museum as we stood in a room of shoes that were taken from Holocaust victims upon their arrival to internment camps. It seemed like the room went for days.

I saw the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. Saw Jack, Jackie, and Bobby Kennedy's graves and the Eternal Flame. My feet hurt so bad at the end of this day because we walked so much.

On our last night, we stumbled upon the Ford Theater where President Lincoln was shot. It is way smaller than I expected it to be. We didn't get to go in because it was closed for the day, but it was still cool to see.

While we were in D.C., I found out that my aunt had a copy of Hillary's Rodham Clinton's recently released, autobiography. I will say that I was shocked to see she had this. I tore through it at night and thought about it during the day.

We ate at this really swanky restaurant and then also ate at McDonald's. After we ate at McDonald's I found a copy of the newly released Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

And then just as soon as we were there, it was time to leave.

We spent the next day traveling back to Ohio talking about all the sights we saw.

And then it was time to pick up Grannie who wanted to recount every minor detail about how sick her sister was, how dirty the house was, how the food was, how many times she went poo, and what the weather was like. She did take a breath on occasion I am here to say.

Then miracle of miracles, SHE FELL ASLEEP!

So we rode along and continued to talk about our trip and I read HP and the Goblet of Fire.

And suddenly she woke up and was super hungry and wanted some chicken from KFC. She said she'd buy.

Now when my Grannie said she was gonna buy, you took her up on it. She was very thrifty.

We found our KFC, went through the drive-thru and rolled on down the road.

It was getting dark outside and then we heard a sound like a cow crying in the pasture. "OOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh. OOOOOOOOoooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhh."

Except that sound was my Grannie...."OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoohhhhhh. Oooooooohhh my gut hurts!"

This went on for hours because we were on a stretch of road that stops were sparse and when we found one to stop. She didn't want to stop.

It was so hard not to laugh. She was in pain, but y'all the sound she was making was hilarious.

Finally, my aunt told my uncle to pull over and that my Grannie was gonna get out whether she liked it or not. We pulled in at a stop in Joplin Missouri.

When she finally got out and the door closed, we just kinda sat there. We waited until she walked in the door and then all the same time busted up laughing.

30 minutes later she came back to the car and said, "Woooo-ee. That was awful."

We busted up again. She laughed at herself too...especially when she realized she went into the men's bathroom.

It definitely was quite the trip.

Happy Wednesday y'all!


Katherine said...

This is one of my favorites posts. ever. I read ALL of your posts and am terrible because I never comment.

#1 I LOVE D.C. I going back in late July to see all the monuments and this only helped build my excitement.

#2 I also stayed up late to read HRC autobiography and it left an impression on me. I LOVE her!

#3 I can picture Jessi's face during this trip and it makes me giggle.


Lil' Woman said...

Loved reading your story...your grandma sounded like a hoot, God rest her soul :)

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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