Leaving South Carolina going South on I-85 you run right into Atlanta, Georgia or should I say right back into it after our earlier trip to Six Flags, now we are passing right by Six Flags on I-20 again but this time during a thunderstorm that produced enough lightening for an amazing light show that I really enjoyed but was totally terrifying for a couple of kids and my wife, I have always enjoyed watching the light shows the Good Lord puts on for us and Tim sitting in the way back was enjoying it too, either that or he was too scared to say otherwise, he wouldn’t admit it either way as he pointed out the theme park we had already seen.
We drove hard trying to make up time lost during the storm, we had already promised the kids we would take them to Six Flags over Texas on the way home and we wanted to get as close as possible, we made it all the way to a Chili’s in Tuscaloosa, Alabama by suppertime I know we were in Alabama because we had already passed Talladega and being a Nascar Fan I had a really hard time not hitting the brakes, but you know how it is when you make promises to your kids, Talladega had to wait until next trip and we did stop then but as you have heard before that’s another post.
Cindy was not hungry but wanted to stop somewhere nice for us all to get out of the car for a while, Chili’s sounded good and all she wanted was a salad, we went over the menu with the kids and got them all lined out, Cindy ordered for she and the kids and I ordered the rack of Baby Back Ribs because I was hungry and thought Cindy may want a taste, the kids meals arrived along with Cindy’s salad, I was stirring my tea when my platter was placed on the table in front of me and like nothing I have ever seen before the rack of ribs were gone and there was BBQ sauce all over my wife’s face, she was flagging down the waiter saying “We need another Rack of these Ribs” at this point I had not even had a taste, the next rack came and I did get a few bites while fighting Cindy off of them, the kids were full and Cindy’s salad was gone when the waiter came by and asked if the kids were ready for their Root Beer Floats, the kids said they were full and Cindy asks “Do they come with their meals” the waiter said yes and Cindy tells him to bring the floats to the table, the kids are whining that they can’t drink them and after Cindy drank the third one I decided she must have really been hungry after all. After this meal a motel was in order and our trip had to resume the next morning.
Vicksburg, Mississippi was right on the way and being a Civil War buff I had to stop by even though it wasn’t actually a success for the Confederacy it is part of our history and the boys were always interested in military history so Randy, Tim and I enjoyed the visit even though the Girls were not too impressed, we made it all the way to Arlington, Texas after leaving here and checked into a motel right across the street from Six Flags, you could actually hear all the sounds of the park and watch the rides right from our door, the kids were so excited and happy that we were going next morning heck they wanted to go right then but Cindy and I needed a little rest before tackling the park. Sleep came quickly for us and during the night I was awakened by the sound of the door opening and closing and that quick flash of light across my face confirmed something was wrong, I was up and out the door going after whoever had been in our room, I see our Daughter going down the walkway towards the office area, I yell out for her and get no response, now I am running to catch her I grab her shoulders and turn her around to find she is sound asleep, I walk her back to the room and Cindy tucks her back into bed, I relock the door and place a chair in front of it, sleep that night was no more because I was not losing any kids and Cindy was on guard worse than I was, next morning when we mentioned this to our Daughter she tells us it’s not a funny story and to this day I think she believes we are pulling her leg about this, anyway we never lost her again after this.
We packed up the car and made our way for the long drive right across the street to a fun filled day that made our good time in Georgia look almost boring, I had never rode a roller coaster in which your legs swung below you and the seats were attached at the top, Tim and I rode the Batman ride and talk about a smooth, fast, loop filled package of fun this was it and it only made us want to ride again, I never got Cindy on this one as I don’t think she was over the Georgia Cyclone yet, she did ride the Runaway Mine Train which was actually a bit more than she expected also. Our fun filled day was done and the effects of a good vacation trip were beginning to hit us.
Believe it or not we were about beat by this time in the trip, we had gone through ten different states other than the one we were living in so thats eleven, nine of which Cindy and the kids had never been in, we stopped at all the typical tourist traps, a carnival which included an almost gang fight and a snake in our room, the swat team in Memphis, Graceland, Casey Jones Village and Railroad Museum, and Music Row in Nashville, the tunnel through the mountain (if you have traveled I-40 you know the one), Maggie Valley and Cherokee, NC both at night and during the day, South Carolina and all of my Family welcoming the love of my life into our fold, Six Flags over Georgia, and Texas with Talladega, Tuscaloosa, and Vicksburg in between, I know I have left out a bunch but we had a lot of good food, fun, and experiences that we would remember for a long time, we did all of this in less than two weeks time and I had to be back to work the very next morning after we arrived back home after midnight.
This concludes the first vacation trip we made together as a family, I am very proud to have shared all of this with you and want you to know if you ever want to make a trip like this with a car full of kids, my suggestion is to go for it and enjoy the ride, laugh as much as you can without worrying too much about anything other than having fun because it will not be long before that trip is a fantastic memory and the kids are all grown and starting memories of their own.