For the past four summers, Christie and I have made the trek to the great city of Adel, Georgia, located in sunny and smoldering south Georgia to visit our good friends, Chad and Tracy. This year, we had an addition to our trip, Allison, the newest member of the Todd family. It's hard to sum up the trips, but Tracy always looks forward to my blog post recap. Our first visit I was enamoured by the small town wonder. Being a city girl, the slow pace of a small town for a few days was refreshing. The second trip was like going home again and we began a yearly tradition. Last year, I noted all the funny things overheard during our stay. This year, straight from the home office in Sparks/Lenox/Adel, Georgia....somewhere between Harvey's, Peebles and the Piggly Wiggly is tonight's top ten list...
10. "The best travel days are Wednesdays and Sundays." - Every prior trip had us leaving on Thursday and returning on Monday. Last year we had quite a few traffic challenges. But, this year, due to vacation schedules, we had to shift up a day. Although we hated missing attending FBC Adel on Sunday, the drive was a breeze. I think it was the easiest travel we've ever had heading south.
9. "A large Bearno's Pizza can travel 10 hours in a cooler and still be edible at arrival." - Bearno's is a Louisville delicacy. Chad had asked us if we could surprise Tracy and bring Bearno's pizza. I ordered it the night before, let it cool, then packaged it up for the journey. Christie was able to get it all in a small cooler and insulated bag. Even with the heat of the summer, the pizza was delicious and Tracy was one happy girl.
8. "When acting out in charades and your partner guesses 'Driving Indian', that won't be easily translated as Jeep Cherokee." - Chad and I were partners during the visit for all team games. We played a game called Name Dropper that requires one round of Charades. I thought I was so ingenious to act out an Indian driving a car for a win! Unfortunately, my vibes with Chad were off and we missed that one...and ultimately lost the game. Tracy, of course, being the competitive spirit, was thrilled for her and Christie's victory.
7. "Avent baby bottles are better than Dr. Brown's" - This revelation by new Mom, Tracy. And she can give you three reasons why they are better. First, the Avent spout is wide enough that the formula scoop can easily dump the measurement in without spillage. Second, Dr. Brown's bottles come with way too many moving parts. And, third, the light blue logo and bottle decor of Dr. Brown's bottles clashes with her red kitchen. All valid and logical reasons, don't you think?
6. "Even with a bullet, I still come in 12th when playing Mario Kart." - I love video games. But loving them and being good at them are two very different things. And, I'm so competitive that I would probably play 24 hours by myself to get better to truly win but I'm trying to shake my obsessive tendencies. My favorite part of Mario Kart was when I'd get a "bullet". For you non-Wii players, that's when your vehicle hits a box and unlocks a way to get ahead. Bullets were my favorite because I'd speed past my competition...until I missed that curve in DK Summit and ended up in the red and white snow....or, over a cliff in Mushroom Gorge. Sigh.
5. "Bath time is my favorite time with Allison" - It's hard to pick just one Allison moment, but I loved bath time. Allison loves getting a bath and once she's all clean and cuddly we get to slather her up with that sweet smelling pink Johnson's baby lotion...I love the smell of that stuff! Then we'd get her all diapered up, in her pajamas and snuggle time for her final bottle. She is just too cute for words. I miss her already....and her parents too, of course.
4. "Bidding in Rook would be easier if we just knew what was in the widow." - This was our second year to play Rook. Almost every round, someone would say "I wish I knew what was in there" referring to the 5 cards in the middle of the table that the high bidder gets to achieve their team's bid. There has to be a spiritual application in there....if only we knew what the future held, we would know how to bid exactly right and not have to take that risk. But, in life as in Rook, we must have faith. I'd like to proudly state that Chad and I won the Rook tournament. Tracy would claim it was tainted because of a round we had to toss out due to a missing card...but I called that providential....
3. "When you invest money, it hatches interest!" - One of Tracy's activities with 4-month old Allison is reading to her. Yes, to you that may seem early, but you see, Tracy is raising a genius, so we need to get started early. Allison's favorite book is The Berenstein Bears. But, not "The Berenstein Bears Safe and Sound" or "The Berenstein Bears Give Thanks"...oh no, it's "The Berenstein Bears Trouble with Money." The book teaches the principles of earning money, saving money and...hatching interest. Only Tracy...and that's why I love her and she's a great Mommy. Allison is going to be diagramming sentences at six months.
2. "Never hire a criminal to work at your restaurant or you'll be short a cook." - One night we headed to Valdosta to eat at the Smok'n Pig Barbeque Restaurant. While we were enjoying our dinner, we look out the window and see policemen handcuffing and taking one of the cooks away in the squad car. Thankfully we had our food already. Priceless.
1. "The best of friends can be honest, loving and endure the good, bad and ugly, and come out loving each other even more." - Tracy (and Chad as honorary) is part of my group of friends known as the OPCs. We are like the women from Steel Magnolias...we've been through birth, death, marriages, heartaches, trials...you name it. And no matter what we face, we weather the storm. I'm always reminded of that kind of precious friendship when I get to spend uninterrupted time with Chad and Tracy and realize how much I do miss them....but know that we have a friendship that endures the tests of life and time.