We take road trip traditions very seriously in my family.


In twelve hours, I'll be lounging in the back seat of the still nameless van, inhaling the new car smell and pausing to ask, "Are we there yet?" in my most annoying voice every five minutes.

In twelve hours, my family and I will head off to the kennel to board our dog and two cats. We will tote several bags of food, several more bags of medication, and one lone frisbee from the car to the lobby of the kennel, where I will immediately break down sobbing as I part ways with my beloved kitties.

In a little over twelve hours, I will have finally finished sobbing, and I will begin settling in for nine hours of being hurtled down the highway at breakneck speeds yelling at my dad to drive faster. I will open my box of chocolate Teddy Grahams, prop open my resealable bag of peanut M&M's, and warily try one of these new Go-Tart things. (Weren't Pop-Tarts already fairly portable?) I'll hoist my book onto my lap, along with my iPod, my cell phone, and a spiral-bound notebook with a pen attached. I'll adjust the air vents, arrange my blanket, pillow, and teddy bear, and throw in an obligatory remark to my mother to turn down the volume on her audio book.

In around fourteen hours, I will be wishing that I had money to replace the headphones that I lost. The iPod ear buds will have started boring their way into my skull, but taking them out will mean exposing myself to the incessant chatter of my still-very-caffeinated mother.

In fifteen or more hours, my family will finally pull off at a McDonald's or some other such fine establishment to stereotype the people of Indiana unfairly. We'll most likely eat in the car so as to fully enjoy the stench of stale french fries for the remainder of the trip.

In twenty-one hours, we will be pulling into the parking lot of our hotel, exhausted and yet unreasonably excited about watching some awful show or movie from the comfort of a germ-infested bed. We will order pizza for dinner, looking to the gods of the vending machines for dessert.

In twenty-four hours, there will be a great squabble regarding what time we need to wake up the next morning, and then shower times will be decided. Invariably, my dad will begin to snore loudly five minutes after the television has been turned off. I will plot ways to push him out the window.

Thus will end the first day of our biennial journey to Tennessee for the family reunion with my mother's relatives. Hopefully, I'll be back on Thursday with most of my sanity in tow (and several hundred pictures, as well). Anywho, farewell for now! Have a good week, y'all!

P.S. I'll have a laptop with me to keep track of all the ridiculousness that is bound to go down, but I'll be lucky to score five minutes of time on my grandparents' dial-up internet connection for checking my email. I'll probably have to upload all my posts when I get back, and I definitely won't be getting to catch up on anyone else's blogs until many moons from now when the BlogHer Conference is over. Expect lots of comment-lovin' when I get back, though.