The Drive

"Chickens also travel well! When we moved from California to New Jersey just a few months ago, instead of giving away our favorite hens we decided to drive across the country with them, and our two rabbits. We had no idea how they would react to 5 days in a car. I had premonitions of being driven mad by continuous screeching and wondered if we would consider chicken salad somewhere around day 3." --From the transcript for the piece: Adventures with Chickens. (This person is like my new hero....chickens AND rabbits! Now THAT is the good life!)

As it turns out, there isn't a whole lot on the web about traveling with chickens. I am guessing that's because most people don't travel much with chickens in tow. Not so with children since it's not like you can just leave them in the coop by themselves and hope for the best. So, when it came time to make our annual pilgrimage to Florida this summer, my mom flew out, we packed up the four kids, and off we trekked, 1600 miles from Minnesota down to Florida, by car...I understand something about considering chicken salad around day 3...the chicks are lucky it only took us two days!

Actually, truth be told, the drive down was pretty non-eventful. The kids were fairly good; we had no major kid-fits until a certain dramatic child completely broke down in the very last few hours of the drive, and except for being bored out of our mind driving through Iowa (no offense to my Iowan friends) and not being able to find a hotel with vacancies for over an hour somewhere in Tennessee late Saturday night, it really went well.

Oh and there was that one lunch stop on Saturday that wasn't perfect as well. It was Lily's fourth birthday on Saturday and so I told her she could choose what she wanted for lunch. Quite unfortunately, she wanted cheesy noodles. (I suppose I should have been a little more specific in the options!)

So, because I am truly my father's child, I did what he would have done: stopped at McDonald's for the other kids, headed over to KFC in hopes that they would have mac-N-cheese as a side dish, in the drive over realized Aidan's burger wasn't cooked to order, arrived at KFC only to find that it had no power, thus no chicken (and mac-n-cheese wasn't even on the menu, doh!), headed to Jack-in-the-Box with fingers crossed that their menu would include cheesy noodles of any sort (nope) and ordered almost the identical order there that we had at our first stop. Lily then announced she needed to go potty while Aidan found that they had forgotten the cheese on his cheeseburgers...sent mom inside to work out both situations while I tried to eat as much of my salad as I could since, as it turns out, driving and salad eating are not so very compatible. And I wonder why it took us so long to get here!

One of the funniest moments of the trip was about half way through day two when Lily started crying, seemingly out of nowhere. After a few minutes Aidan turned around in his seat and said, "Lily, I told you not to join Madeline's club. She executes EVERYBODY!"

And apparently she does it very, very quietly.

And then there were the teaching moments. My favorite was upon finally reaching the south. You know you are in a southern state when you are looking for exit 4, so you start counting exits in the beginning of the state. We passed exit 1 and then exit 4 came next.

"Wait, there wasn't a 2 or 3," Aidan said. Yes son, they do things a little differently down south. Take counting for instance....(I know they have a reason, well, I am assuming there is a good explanation but it was funny nonetheless.)

It was also interesting to watch the different billboards in the differing regions of the country. In the mid-west, you have pro-life signs followed by those telling teens to prevent the stork from showing up unexpectedly through "waiting" to those telling you to give kids over 2 years of age fat-free milk instead of whole. You get to the southern states and you have just as many "life begins at conception" signs but they are followed by signs for the next adult superstore or "entertainment" club. Just an observation.

And personalities are very different between the midwestern states and the south as well. You go into a gas station in the midwest and you're lucky to make eye-contact with the clerk (although they are polite when they do address you.) In the south however, they start tellin' ya all about their family, asking abou'cher kids and where yer headed while making sure to let ya know to just holler if ya'll need anything now, ya hear?

I could go on but having just been on the road for two days straight, I'm in need of some serious shut-eye. Plus, the peacock next door keeps calling me to come see something....either that or it is just a highly annoying bird!

G'night ya'll!


  1. Actually us Southerners are really smart- the # of the exit in most of our states refers to the mile marker. So if y'all're at exit 4 and are headed to exit 60, you know you have 56 miles left. Pretty nifty, huh?

  2. Yeah, yeah, Whit. But it isn't nearly as funny that way now is it?! ;)

  3. I know I'm a bit late to the discussion, but Karen, it's that way up here, too. :)


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