Saturday, August 8, 2009

Days 4 & 5: Pure Joy

St. Louis is a magical place. Forget the sightseeing. Forget the arch. Forget the Cardinals. This stop was all about cousin love. Seeing my kids play so wholeheartedly and joyously with my brother's kids brought tears to my eyes.
The two days we spent with our favorite Missourians were definitely the highlight of this trip. I won't even attempt to describe the deliciousness of Stie's homecooking, the charm of their lovely home, or the fun I had kidding around with my closest (geographically and birthorder) little sib.
Here are a few key words to spark my memories of our mini-reunion:
  • weapons/firearms
  • sleeping under the stairs
  • photo shoot
  • the Smashing Girls
  • up-all-night
  • and, of course, "The Hurt Machine"

Thanks, J & C! In the words of your hammy little nephew, "This was the best day ever. I'll never ever ever forget..."

Our next stop was Nauvoo, IL about 2 1/2 hours away. I'd never been and always wanted to visit this historical town since it is an important Mormon landmark.
We were lucky. The weather was dry and the crowds were thin. My kids got lots of attention from all the volunteers as they made ropes, rode in a covered wagon and toured the Browning gun display.

(Let me just insert here the fact that Jake has fully embraced Midwestern sensibilities regarding the right to bear arms. The kid has seen/held/shot more guns in this brief vacation than his entire sheltered ten years in our peace-lovin' home. He spent his hard-earned souvenir money on some huge Nerf semi-automatic shooter and has already requested his next birthday party be held at a gun club. Yikes!)

We loved Nauvoo and then spent the remainder of the day driving through cornfields. I thought my GPS was messing with me. Seriously, we drove for three hours on a little two-lane highway with nothing but scarecrows for company. No McD's. No gas stations. No ATM machines. I was so relieved to see sprawl and development. I am a suburban girl.

I have enjoyed the billboards out here in farmland, though. Lots of patriotic messages and love for the troops. Pro-life slogans. I even saw a huge sign stating the fact that "HELL IS REAL." (Of course this is NOT news to a mom solo-driving a bug-spattered Honda filled with four sugar-hyped kids, Jonas Brothers music and a strange "roadtrip odor" which refuses to be identified or located.) Still, I enjoy being in America's bread basket.

Today's itinerary: seven hours driving bug-spattered Honda.

Any suggestions for dealing with elusive roadtrip odor?


Anonymous said...

The "Queen of Clean" (Linda Cobb) would suggest OderzOut at 1-800-stink! It is a great product we've used it many times for mysterious smells! Your trip sounds so fun, thanks for sharing it!

Holly said...

I've enjoyed your road trip play-by-play--what an adventure y'all are having. So glad to see you back in Blogland too.

I don't know about the illusive odor, but your plight does bring to mind the Seinfeld episode with the valet attendant with noxious BO. Maybe lemon (slices and juice) and baking soda? Good luck!

Christie said...

I will forever have fondness in my heart for the Hurt Machine and his twin, the Love Machine. Not to mention the REAL Hurt Machine and the super-spending twin sistas, Em and H. Thanks for the funnest two days with cousins yet. You guys are the best.

Good luck with the mystery odor. Can't really help you there.

missy said...

Okay, I know you really don't know me personally (we share a mutual friend in Marci is all), but I would have loved to have you and your troops stop in! We're in East Central IL, about 20 min. from I-70. And yes, driving East from Nauvoo is a bunch of corn and not much else. There are 3 routes we know of from our house to Nauvoo and all three are pretty much the same scenery and mostly side roads. Obviously, Brigham Young did not develop Illinois. Fun trip! It's nice to have you in our little corner!

Lauren in GA said...

I guess you can Febreeze the daylights out of your van? My van often smells like big buisness, road trip, or not.

I loved reading about this. I know what you mean about firearms/weapons. My boys are obsessed...Lincoln Logs, Legos, Kinex...all of it...all becomes weaponry.

I love your writing.

Living in the deep south I get to read lots of amazing signs that call it's readers to repentance.

Travelin'Oma said...

Little boys never run out of gas. I think just getting out of the car for a few days will eliminate the odor!
I'm so glad it's been a fun, safe trip.

Lisa-Marie said...

I'm so glad to hear that your road trip is still a success and you are sane and happy.

I'm totally jealous of you that Christie is your s.i.l. and totally jealous of Christie that you are hers!

You know Uncle Sam has that cash for clunkers plan right now. That'd be a quick fix to your smelly problem. Not that your car is a clunker but that new car smell.....mmmmmmm.

Rochelleht said...

Ha ha! Car smells. It reminds me of this last year when we were on our way home from Nauvoo and Grace asked to watch a movie, "Passing gas car", instead of "Madagascar".

Ilene said...

I would love to be a Nauvoo missionary. Dan would not. Something about mandatory particiaption in the nightly musical turns him off...

The church is true for him, just not that true.

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