I'm tired...really tired tonight. Not capable of forming good sentences into good paragraphs, so I'll just take a random approach to this update...
Coming here to my mom's house in Florida is oddly like coming home, even though she has lived here only two years and I have never lived here. Home is where the parent is, I suppose.
Having visited here six times before, I've developed some habits, little rituals of sorts. One of these is that I usually, shortly after arrival, find an excuse to get in a car and drive to the beach for the mere act of breathing in the ocean air, seeing the waves, and hearing them crash. It does not feel like a true beach vacation until I have done this. I'm not sure if it is because visiting here is becoming -- dare I say it? -- somewhat routine or what, but I did not get to the beach after arriving today! I thought of it, but it was 4:30...my mom was due home from work soon and I wanted to see her when she got here. Then we headed out to dinner. Then it was dark. And I was tired of driving, remember? So, I have to take my mom's word for it that the Atlantic Ocean has not left its shores. I'll verify it for myself tomorrow, as soon as possible.
I can only eat so much fast food on road trips. Aside from eating a few left over chicken nuggets from my daughter's lunch yesterday (I packed myself tuna salad for lunch yesterday) and a big cup of liquid crack (McD's Sweet Tea), I avoided fast food altogether. Dinner was at Chili's last night, and breakfast was of the continental variety at the hotel this morning. For lunch, I held out for a Cracker Barrel because we have none super close to us at home and thus it is always a treat to go. I love the store. Seriously kitchy stuff, mostly, but it's fun to look at. They're full-on ready for Christmas right now, which is irksome to me, but on the up side, all of their Halloween stuff was on sale half off. I'm not a big Halloween person, but I could not leave this at the store:
It's a (get ready for it) BATula! How freakin' cool is that? LOL Who wouldn't want to flip eggs or pancakes or grilled cheese sandwiches (er, sandWITCHES?) with a BATula? LOL Honestly, I bought it for the pun alone. It made me amazingly happy, and it provided much entertainment in the car as the kids made it dance to various road trip playlist tunes, and as I threatened them with, "Don't make me beat you with the BATula!" any time they got rowdy and annoying as kids can get in the back seat on a long road trip. It was great. (The check out girl said these were really big sellers this year, and they had also had pumpkin-shaped ones that were sold out, but really? A pumpkinula? Hardly has the same effect. Unless it was a carved pumpkin shape, then maybe it could be called a JACKula. Neh.)
(Just to clarify...BATula is entirely my name for it. The Cracker Barrel tag simply labels it as item number 610, made in China. Seriously? I think they need to boost morale in the creative advertising department or something.)
Lastly...heart burn. I used to get heart burn a lot. Really a lot. Then I changed my eating habits and I hardly ever get it now unless I eat something really spicy. Except. Except when I come to my mom's. I always get heart burn when I'm here. ALWAYS. I actually started getting pre-emptive heart burn a few days before leaving for the trip this time. What the heck? Maybe stress of getting ready for a trip short notice? Not that I really felt all that stressed over it. (Personally, I blame it on presidential campaign frustration...its their fault.)
All I do know is the combination of 16 hours in the car + Chili's food last night (spicy), more caffeine than usual + Pizza Hut pizza for dinner tonight = a big ol' case of nasty, miserable heart burn. I've got Tums and Pepto on hand in hopes of making its stay a short one and hopefully keeping it from spending this whole trip with me.
PS...the one thing I did do tonight, in lieu of a beach visit, was go to Wal-Mart and buy a wireless router so I can happily function from my MacBook instead of having to deal with the frustration of my mom's horribly slow computer. Because that would have been bad for my heart burn.