Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'll Have One For The Road--Make That A Double

The Rogue Speak:
The pilgrimage begins on Saturday morning.. It is our annual trek to Hotlanta to see Rod’s mum, and it just may be our last. My sweet MIL is not doing well. Her 95 year-old body is starting to wind down, and we want to spend some time with her while we can..

My BFA’s birthday is on the 21st of this month, so since I will be gone, we
celebrated yesterday. We had lunch at Amarsi, a new Italian restaurant in Oro Valley. The food was wonderful, and Julie Vlahakis, the new owner stopped and chatted with us. She is a delightful YOUNG woman, and we hope we see a lot more of her. Our waiter was named Thomas. He is a really cool guy, and catered to our every need (well, ALMOST!) If you go there to eat, please ask for Thomas. You will know him by his striking good looks, and his evil wit. We really pigged out, and I may not eat again until Sunday morning. The lunch menu has some really yummy stuff from sandwiches to pasta. I got the Italian sausage sandwich, and Di got the Italian beef, then we shared! Mine came with an excellent salad. I don’t know what hers came with because I was too busy eating. We are happy that we finally have a real restaurant in that spot, with real chefs and real waiters, and an owner who actually cares that we love the place enought to come back again and again. Thanks, Julie! Welcome!

I know you are thinking that I said I was never going to make any more cross-country trips because of my developing case of agoraphobia. Rod knows that too, and he offered to let me fly part of the trip, but I dragged my feet so long that we missed out on the good prices. I never was much of an early bird, so I lost THAT worm!

In my duffle bag I have packed all the essentials I need for the trip. I read over 20 books on last year’s trip, and I have 10 packed, and plan to get more along the way. I’ve packed tranquillizers. Then I have to have my music. I love jazz, so I’ve packed my Sai Ghose CD’s. If you have never heard Sai play, and you love jazz, you had better get on it, and check this guy out! I packed a few more CD’s as well. I’ve packed tranquillizers. I’ve packed my knitting ( I showed some restraint, though, and did not fill my duffle bag to the brim with yarn.), so I can get ahead making scarves for the winter shows. I’ve packed tranquillizers. I threw in my swim suit, in case we decide to stop at Gulf Shores, and we can beat the oil spill. I threw in some tranquillizers. I bought some asparagus, because I read recently that if you eat lots of it, and frequently, it cleanses your liver of the harmful effects of alcohol, which I know I will be exposed to on a regular basis once we get to Mum’s. I remembered the tranquillizers, thank goodness.

Our first major stop will be NOLA, to see our daughter. Once we get there, I will be fine, and hopefully recovered from holding my breath while driving through Las Cruses, NM, and the stock yards along the interstate. We have all our favorite local spots to eat in NOLA (not the touristy ones—been there, done that). I will spend some family time with my great big granddogs, and the grandcats. The dogs are always glad to see us, and try to dig us out of bed every morning. One of the cats likes to sleep with me, but last time she threw up on my pillow, so I think she had better sleep with her mom this trip.

Rod and I grew up in Atlanta, so we know how to get around that city pretty well. We will surely stop at the Varsity, billed as the largest drive-in restaurant in the world. It was THE hangout when we were in high school. We always order the same thing—two all-the-way dogs and an order of rings. SOOOOO bad for us now that we have to watch our sodium intake, but what the hell—we only eat there once a year.

Rod always loves to drive around our old neighborhood, see our old school, and the golf course he used to play when he was a kid. I know I should be sentimental about that stuff, but frankly I am not. Nothing ever changes—it just gets more decrepit every year, and that is depressing to me. “Oh, look! The bushes in front of the living room window are gone! The paper boy used to throw the paper in those bushes every morning. Dad cursed that boy every day! Good thing Dad had such long arms!”

After Rod has had his nostalgia fix, we will go to Mum’s. She’s been in that house for over 50 years now. Rod is the only one of his siblings who never returned to live there temporarily. Mum’s door has always been open to anyone who needed a place to stay. Our niece and her husband have lived there for a while, in “the basement,” while she was finishing up her college and working on her Master’s degree. It has been a blessing for Mum to have them there, but they want and need their own place—all young married couples do—so they will be moving out this year.

We will sit in Mum’s living room, in those worn chairs dating back to the 50’s, and try to engage her in conversation. In years past, we heard all about her life as a young girl growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They were fascinating stories! And we heard about her life as a young bride. We heard stories about Dad going up to the Northwest Territories with a bush pilot to fix the teeth of the Indians while sitting in a flat boat, with his dental chair nailed to the bottom of the boat, and his drill run by a foot pedal (ouch!).

Those conversations will be different now. Mum’s hearing is very bad, so we have to constantly repeat ourselves, and her memory is failing to the point where she is asking us the same questions over and over again. It will be very sad.

She is still beautiful, though. Her hair is snow white, and even though her blue eyes are beginning to fade, there is still that same sweet countenance that we have treasured all these years.

We will stay there for a few days and then head up to Nashville to have “dinner on the grounds” with our oldest son, our middle daughter, and all their kids. For those of you who are not from the south, all that means is we will have an afternoon picnic outside.

Then we are going to Lexington, Kentucky ( actually to a suburb—Wilmore) to visit with our middle son and his wife and their TWINS who will be a year old in June.. Aimee and I are planning on playing Bunco one night as a charity event for cancer research.

When I finally get home, spring will be all but over here in Tucson, and the weather will be bloody hot. I don’t really care as long as I am in my own bed and have my very own bathroom back again.

I know this is not an especially humorous post, and it is certainly not particularly profound. I kind of drained myself with last Sunday’s post. Maybe when I get back to Arizona in June, I will be so wildly ecstatic that I will write something so funny you will wet your pants, and shoot coffee out your nose.
I'll miss you all, but I will be checking in from time to time. Don't forget about me! Later!!


Joann Mannix said...

Safe Travels, Judie! Even though part of your trip will be bittersweet, it sounds like you will have a fabulous time.

And you're doing it right. Driving is the way to go. I HATE flying. I would most prefer the car. Cause you've got your tranquilizers and your books. Oh, and by the way. Ipad is the way to go. You can load as many books as you want to on that thing, and it's so cute and petite. I love mine.

Have a great trip. We'll miss you.

Judie said...

Thanks, sweetie! I hate flying, too. But what I really hate is leaving the safety of my home!! I have a lot of support, and that is comforting, but what I really want is to stay here and let everyone else tell me what is going on! In a couple of days, Mum won't even remember that we were there!!

art4allofu said...

I thought the lunch at Amarsi was quite tasty. Judie has no clue how good the food was since she was focusing on overloading on Vitamin C from her many Margaritas....she has a phobia of contracting scurvy.

Elisa said...

Judie, I'm wishing you a scurvy-free, tranquil, wonderful trip! Did you pack those tranquilizers? LOL. I hope you've got something like...oh hell I forgot what they're called now. I've had a couple through the years and they take the EDGE out of everything but don't knock you out. Serax? Worked to get me through court (ugh) and flying (shudder).

Buffi Neal said...

I am new to your blog and love the collection of art! Hey- we have a few things in common - I play golf and I'm reading the book "Running with Scissors". Have a nice trip. Looking forward to reading more posts.
My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

nothingprofound said...

Okay, I WON'T remind you to bring your tranquillizers-you seem to be on top of that one. I love good Italian restaurants (does Leonardo's still exist?), so next time I'm in Tucson I'll know where to go. But I think I'll ask for Thomasina rather than Thomas, as even at my advanced age I still swing that way. Have a wonderful trip, don't worry too much, your home will still be there when you return. Car rides can be fun!

Judie said...

Yes, Di, I do have a fear of scurvy. I also have a fear of driving, flying,and being outside at night alone!! I also have a fear of the house burning down while I am away.

Elisa, thanks for the comforting remarks. My tranquilizers have been in my bag for a week! I'll probably get to our first stop and realize that I forgot my toothbrush! HAHAHAHA!
Stay calm and steady, Elisa--I have begun to worry about you sometimes!

Buffi, thanks for coming on board! Running with Scissors was one funny book! I am picking up more books for my trip this morning from a golfing friend. Yesterday's round was less than stellar, but I think my mind was the long drive that starts in the morning.

I am going now to check out your blog!
Glad you like the art.

Marty, Michelangelo's is one place we go, and the food there is superb.

I really do get tense when I get out of my comfort zone in the car. I know the house will still be here, but I still worry!

See ya, pal!

The Guy's Perspective said...

You are going to have a wonderful time. I'm jealous of your freedom, and your itinerary sounds awesome. I've always wanted to go to Atlanta. One of my very closest friends from high school lived there for a while, but now he's in Tallahassee.

I don't like traveling much either but I still make myself do it. I think I'm just out of practice since I've only been on a plane once in ten years!

Have a great time!! We'll miss you. And how could we possibly forget you!!??? :)

Enjoy. And thanks by the way. I'll leave you another message.

Judie said...

To THE GUY: WAAAAAAA!!!! I don't wanna go!!!
O.k., now that's out of the way, I can go on packing. Over the years, and many long trips, I have learned how to consolidate. Plus, I wear the same clothes on the road every day until they can stand up in the hotel room by themselves. Then I look for a washateria, and if I can't find one, I just throw the dirty clothes away and buy new ones.

I'll be checking in, and I have even come up with a new post I can publish on the road when I get to a computer.


Tommyboy said...

Thanks Toots. We can use all the support we can get.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Tranquilizers sound like a happy place - are you sure you have enough? I hate flying and avoid it at all costs. Something about fear of heights and wanting to get out whenever I want to.... I hear they frown upon that.

But I love a good road trip.

It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful time. I won't forget you I promise!!!!

Judie said...

To Thomas: An email went out as well. I want Amarsi to live long and prosper!

To the GIRL: Rod is in the car, honking the horn! He's SO IMPATIENT! Uh oh, he's in the office, grabbing my arm, and pulling me out of the chair. I guess I'd better.............

Sarah said...

lol! i don't think you've brought enough tranquillizers for this trip.

what a blessing to have so many loved ones in your life and be able to visit each of them. happy mother's day!

The Guy's Perspective said...

How's it going out there on the lonely road?

Just kidding. I'm sure you're having fun!

Judie said...

Well, actually I have read three books since Sunday. Rod gave me Isabelle Allende's new book for Mother's Day, The Island Beneath The Sea, and I couldn't put it down. I love her writing and always have! Then I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which was EXCELLENT! I'm not sure I spelled that right since I don't have one, but no matter! Then today I read a Jodi Picault book that was interesting. We are in NOLA now and are going to one of our favorite spots for dinner tonight.
I will be o.k. as long as I don't run out of books.
How is everyone? I miss you all!!!

Angelia Sims said...

Did I miss the bonvoyage party? I'm waving!! Godspeed, travel mercies, and great, great fulfillment and peace to you and Rod. I hope all your adventures are wonderful.
Can't wait for your return. Happy Trials!!

Judie said...

Yep, you missed it. I am so depressed! I miss my home and my friends. No one here has a computer here so I am at the library. Rod's mum is so frail, and she's modest, so I have to help her in the bathroom. I feel so sad for her! I will try to write more later.
Much love to you all!.

The Guy's Perspective said...

How's it going?

Judie said...

It is so sad and stressful. I am doing the best I can, and I know she appreciates it, so that makes it worthwhile. We are leaving on Thursday to see the twins in Lexington. They will be 1 in June. Then we are coming back on Sunday. So much to tell you--much sadness.

I am much stronger than I thought.

The Guy's Perspective said...

How's it going?

Judie said...

We are back in NOLA for the weekend and will be back in Tucson on Wednesday. It is going to take me a while to get over all that has happened, and continues to happen. It will also take me a while to gather my thoughts about this trip and sort things out. The tears are right behind my eyes all the time, and my stomach stays in knots. This shit just never ends!

The Guy's Perspective said...

Well we missed you here in the blogosphere. I look forward to catching up, if and when you're ready to share.

Take care. And enjoy the last few days of the trip.

Judie said...

Once I get back to the safety of my own nest, I will be able to collect my thoughts and open up a little. Thanks for missing me. I missed me too.

nothingprofound said...

Sounds like your journey had its ups and downs. Glad to hear you'll be back home soon.

Judie said...

Only one up and the rest downs. If anything else bad happens, I don't want anyone to tell me.

Elisa said...

*pats your hand*

It's ok, you made it this far. You have tranquilizers, alcohol, good food, good friends, and probably a book you haven't read yet.