Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Great Douglass East Coast Tour 2009

O.K., Internets. Here it is.


We woke up early and we (and by we I mean Will) drove for 12 hours. I slept for a lot O.K. all of it. Around 5:00 (or 17:00 for you military and non-American types) we made it to our former home--Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

This is the place we've lived the longest since we got married 12 years ago. How sad is it that four and a half years is the longest we've stayed in the same place? And technically it's only the place I and the kids have lived longest. Will lived in the Middle East and Afghanistan for a year of that time.

Anyway, it felt like coming home when we drove on post. It had changed some--a lot of construction has been going on the past year--but it was home. The only bad part? Remember when I waxed sentimental about the tulips I planted there? Yeah. The new occupants totally dug them up and planted ugly stuff in their place.

We checked into the guest house (which, by the way, was disgustingly dirty and run down) and then we went our separate ways for the evening. Will took the kids to eat dinner and burn off some energy and I went out to dinner with some friends I hadn't seen in more than a year. I'm just going to be honest here. The night out with my friends was probably the only reason I thought driving for four days with my kids was a good idea.

We went to TGI Fridays, not because the food is spectacular but because that's where we always went. Then after we'd taken up a table there for more than three hours, we went across the street and closed down Dave & Busters. I got to hear some new gossip, they got to hear me rant about things I can't always rant about. I definitely got the better end of that deal. Finally, it was late and we had to go. It's O.K., though. I'll see them all again in January.

I know, you've seen this one already.


We (again, Will) drove for nine more hours.

There are crazy people out there, and they own cars. What's the deal with putting 900 stuffed animals in your rear window? You know, besides completely blocking your view? If you do this, you need to stop.

We met up with my parents in Keene, New Hampshire to eat dinner at the best restaurant ever. I have mentioned this before, but the Nam Sod at Thai Garden is like a spicy scoop of heaven on a bed of lettuce. And luckily it's something I can eat (not that it mattered last week. I ate a 300 pound woman).

After dinner we drove one last hour to my parents' house. Guess what? New Hampshire is cold. Georgia has completely sissified me. I was freezing all week. We stayed in a camper in my parents' back yard, and Thursday night I really thought I'd freeze to death.

Chez Douglass


This was a lazy day. Ben hung out with my parents, who were busy making gallons and gallons of chili and clearing out their dining room. Will and the little kids and I headed a few towns over for some sight seeing and a little necessary shopping (mainly a pound and a half of Lindt Truffles for Sylwia from the Lindt Outlet). The drive there is one of the prettiest, especially in Autumn.

No. As a matter of fact I don't know what I'm doing with my hands. Maybe the robot?


This was the day of the big chili cook off. My mother always enters her "Cowgirl Tilly's Meatball Chili." She's won quite a few times. Anyway, it's a huge event and a lot of our family comes from all over for the weekend. So, I got to see relatives I don't get see very often. Unfortunately, it rained. Hard. So, while Ben was in the dry, semi-warm tent helping serve chili, Will and the little kids and I took off to eat lunch where it was even warmer and drier. After lunch the rain got worse. We were miserable so we all left before judging. Mom got robbed this year--she didn't even place. Rumors of voting scandals abounded.

There was supposed to be a huge after-party at my mother's house, including a DJ, but the rain forced a cancellation. Instead we all crammed into my sister's house. It was pretty much like all our family gatherings: Lots of beer and swearing and my sister's boobs made an appearance.

These boobs. Not her real ones, perverts. I have photographic evidence of nearly every member of my family wearing and/or fondling these, but I'll refrain from posting those pictures. I'll save them for blackmail at a later date. I have to say, there's something really disturbing about your 46 year old, executive-type uncle wearing fake boobs.

Every family picture we've ever taken--and I mean ever--looks like this.


Another lazy day. No, we didn't watch general conference. It would have entailed driving to the neighboring state (sure, it's only 12 miles away, but still...). Why don't you go ahead and write me a nice long e-mail about how I'm going to hell? I love those!


Lots of driving. We headed for home and took the scenic route through Vermont, Western New York and across Pennsylvania. The drive across Vermont was gorgeous and I've decided I want to live in Bennington. We finished up the day in Hagerstown, MD.


Even more driving. We drove down the western side of Virginia through the Blue Ridge mountains. We probably would have taken the Blue Ridge Parkway directly through the mountains, but there was a lot of fog and rain. So, we stuck to the main highway.

We finally got home around 6:00 last night. As much as I don't love Georgia, I was so happy to finally get here. I missed my stuff. I missed my shower. I missed the crazies at the Y. I even missed all of you! Not having reliable internet was rough.

And now? Now I'll spend the next 6 months trying to clean up random dog hair and pine needles stuck to everything.

It's good to be home.

(Sorry, no pictures from the last two days. I was busy sleeping.)

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