Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Two Well-Traveled Babies

Peter and I have made it a tradition to take very long road trips with very small children. When John was two weeks old we moved from Salt Lake City to Houston driving through the west, and seeing sights along the way. This time we took a tour of Dixie from Houston to Savannah. I had never spent much time in the southeast, but from what I saw on our trip, I am charmed, I'm sure!

Unfortunately we took precious few pictures to indicate that we actually left Texas, so  you'll have to take my word for it.

Here's one of them, New Orleans, Jackson Square:

We stayed in New Orleans the first night, and went to the aquarium the next morning. The aquarium, while interesting, was over priced. John had just as much, if not more, fun looking at the ships traveling the Mississippi just outside. We headed to Destin that afternoon where we visited its lovely beaches. We didn't get any pictures there. My appalling grasp of geography was on display the whole time. I continued to be amazed at the geographic surprises that our trip yielded. Did you know that Mississippi and Alabama both have coastlines? You did? Oh.

We stayed in Destin one night and then continued onto Birmingham, Alabama where we stayed with some good friends that we knew in medical school. Here we are on a little hike:

Birmingham was a big surprise for me. I don't know what I thought it would be like, but it's a big city! And it's gorgeous! It's green and hilly. It's in the foothills of the Appalachians. Did you know that the Appalachians run through Alabama? This was news to me, as was the fact that Alabama is just south of Tennessee.  I was trying to understand how the Appalachian mountains, which I know run through Tennessee, were all they way down in Alabama. This was all explained when I realized that Tennessee is Alabama's  northern neighbor. All of these mysteries would have been solved by simply looking at a map. But, I don't know how to work an iPhone. And, do paper maps even exist any more?

Finally we arrived in Savannah which, I was shocked to learn is practically on the East Coast! Yes, we'd been driving for 4 days at that point and I only vaguely knew where we were going. What can I say? My job was preparing snacks and crying control not navigation. We stayed in Savannah for three nights for a Christian Ophthalmology Conference that Peter attended. They had spouses' and children's programming as well, which was nice.

On Saturday we high-tailed it back to Houston in two days. Over the course of this journey our standards for how many movies John was allowed to watch fell considerably (we borrowed a portable dvd player from Peter's parents.) On the way there we would only pull it out towards the end of the drives when everyone was tired and some among us were prone to screaming. On the way home we tolerated considerably more movie-induced brain rottage:

Can you see his IQ dropping? 
(Luckily he's so smart to begin with, I'm pretty sure his IQ is at least 1,893, that he should still have plenty of  points left over.)

What with all the sitting and TV watching and snacks we let him have, you'd think we really want him to have type two diabetes. But we tolerated a lot of things that we normally wouldn't normally tolerate. We were in the car for 10 ish hours each day for two days straight. There were some stressful moments which drove me to eat a (small) box of fudge, but overall it was a great trip! The kids actually did really well. Isla was a veritable ray of sunshine at every stop. But she morphed into a dark thundercloud each time she was strapped back in her car seat. And who can blame her? Starting at the backseat for 20 hours of driving is not my idea of fun either! 

I had planned to blog while we were gone but free time was scarce. We were all staying in the same room which meant that we had to shut things down when John went to bed. This was all very fun and yet something I really don't want to do again for a long time. 

It was a great opportunity for Peter to network with other like-minded doctors who are doing really great work in the states and abroad. Next year the conference is in the Woodlands. I think we can make that trip, no problem. 

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