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The Road to Alabama and Back

July 13, 2009

About some time in the morning on Friday (the 10th), Ricky Nugget and I decided to not wait to meet Thing 1 in St. Louis on Monday (today) and to drive all the way to Alabama to fetch him ourselves. So Ricky Nugget went to work and I went about getting ready to hit the road when he came home.

As it was, the mom who’d hosted our son (and works two jobs, including one on night shift) couldn’t leave to meet us in St. Louis until later on Monday, which would mean Ricky Nugget would have to take Monday and Tuesday off from work. This way he only had to take Monday off.

We got on the road at 4:30 in the afternoon on Friday (and arrived back home today at 4:30…72 hours, Minneapolis to the bottom of Alabama and back)

There’s not too much to tell you about about the journey. But I do need to share a few highlights.

We’d gotten just outside of Waterloo, Iowa, when I called my friend Dan to see how he and the girls were doing. They were doing as well as could be expected after the death of Allison.

Dan told us that his youngest would be taking her 4H sheep to the county fair for judging. Which later on turned in the following conversation snippet between me and Ricky Nugget.

Ricky Nugget (RN): “What do they judge the sheep on? Is it for the kid who can keep their sheep alive?”

Kitschin Logic (Kitsch): “Yeah. It didn’t go so well her first year. She showed up with a bucket of Lamb Stew and a sweater”.

Oh how we laughed.

RN: “The next year they survived, but they had baaaaad attitudes”.

Kitsch: “They showed up drunk.”

Ricky Nugget then went into an imaginary conversation between drunk sheep holding cigarettes between their hooves.

We laughed our asses off. But not literally. I’ve still got my ass. In case you were nuts and thought people could laugh their asses off.

Our second day on the road we made a little detour so we could take a look at Graceland. In Memphis. In case you didn’t know about Elvis and his house. Seriously, I worry about you people, that you might not know some important things.

We paid ten bucks to get into the Graceland parking lot, assuming we could just walk across the street where Graceland was. But no, you had to pay $18 to ride a shuttle bus across the street in order to get beyond the musical gates and see the Jungle Room. You also had to wait in line for the shuttle for at least 45 minutes. To ride for 45 seconds. We were on an self-imposed time crunch so we just visited the Graceland Gift Shop.

And began our idea to never visit tourist spots, only their gift shops.

We were both kind of surprised that the Graceland gift shop was so small. They might want to think about the fact that they’ve got a whole lot of people looking for tacky Elvis shit. Oh. Was that redundant? Elvis fans are the bestest tackiest vans ever!

I bought some Elvis postcards with recipes of Elvis’ favorite foods (I’ll share another day), some peanut butter & banana jelly beans and a young & pretty Elvis tote bag so that I’d have something to put my dirty underwear and socks in.

I stood next to Ricky Nugget and whispered “I’m not much of an Elvis fan”. “Neither am I” he replied. But heck, it’s not like we’re ever going to drive down to Alabama again so we wanted to see  Graceland.

From the street we could see it. It looks like a house.

We drove around the house and were surprised to see that it was just a regular neighborhood with neighbor’s houses backing right up to Elvis’ back yard. That’d be pretty impressive. “I live behind Elvis”. We were also surprised at how not-grand those neighbor’s houses were.

Our trip to the Graceland Gift Shop brought about the next conversation snippet:

Kitsch: “Why Graceland?”

RN: “He wanted to buy his mama a house” Keep in mind, Ricky Nugget never uses the word “mama” so that got us giggling and then Ricky Nugget went onto a fake-Elvis conversation in his Elvis voice…

“Mama. I’m gonna buy you a house”

“Oh Elvis. Thank you!”

“And I’m gonna live in the basement.”

“That’d be so nice!” *ring ring* (rings the phone in Gracelaned) Mama answers then opens the basement door. “Elvis! Are you down there?!”

“I’m in the Jungle Room Mama!” Elvis replies.

“You gotta a phone call, honey!”

“Okay Mama!” Elvis picks up the phone “I got it!”

“Hello? Yeah, Colonel. I’m just hanging out…Mama? Hang up the phone!…damn. I can’t get no privacy in here. Mama?! Mama!!!! Hang up!!!! Mama! Did you hang up?”

“Yes, honey. I hung up”.

Oh lordy. Ricky Nugget and I were in stitches. Elvis living in his mama’s basement…just like our returned son. Only Thing 1 didn’t buy his mama a house.

And hopefully we won’t find our son naked by the toilet.

We saw some interesting things on the way down, when we let the Garmin tell us how to get there. Which was pretty effed up for awhile there. We ended up on a very interesting two-lane Alabama back road, pretty much the only drivers on the road. But we got to see a bunch of people having smoked ribs and parties outside of their trailer homes and we got to swerve to avoid an armadillo. There was also an old woman parked on the side of the road, sitting on a lawn chair, with a display of women’s shoes for sale on the hood of her car.

We learned that when the sun sets, I am a crazy nutcase about getting lost and crashing; so it’s best that I’m not driving when the sun goes down and it’s even more best that I’m not navigating. I’m pretty much useless when the sun sets is what we really learned.

We saw that things are very slow paced in the south and we know that we would go crazy at that pace. These people made the Maul of America slow walkers look like Lance Armstrong.

It was amazing to see homes that looked condemned actually  have people living in them. I suppose it’s easier to live in a place that doesn’t have utilities in the south than one without them in the north as the winters would kill you.

I’ve got a new-found curiosity for bloggers Bitchypoo and Uncle Bob. That is some crazy hot down there. And just some crazy crazy.

I’m so glad to be home, as is our son.

More later. Including a random fact we found on a road map regarding Iowa.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. poolagirl permalink
    July 13, 2009 8:10 pm

    I loved the Graceland gift shop! Did you see the big plane? Did you see the wall where all the people write stuff? It is sooo cool! Thing #1 is home already? Wow! That didn’t last long.

  2. July 13, 2009 8:47 pm

    Next time I take a road trip, I want to bring you and Ricky Nugget with me. I wouldn’t need my XM — y’all would keep me in stitches the whole way!!

  3. July 13, 2009 8:59 pm

    Hey, you were close to my neck of the woods…I would have come out and waved at you on the front porch, (Actually, we live in N. Mississippi, five miles from the Alabama line, so you probably didn’t pass us. But I still would have waved in your direction.)

    Glad to see everyone made it home safe and sound.

  4. July 13, 2009 10:07 pm

    Hey Blue! I should start a Rent Ricky Nugget & Kitschinlogic for Car Rides business!

    Mel – I was in Mississippi for a bit, too!

  5. July 14, 2009 8:09 am

    Not real Elvis fans? Oh, you kids! He was past his prime by the time you found out who he was. In 1956 he was gorgeous! I’m just saying…

  6. July 14, 2009 9:01 am

    Sounds like you two had a fun-tastic road trip. Maybe making CD’s for car rides could be your next job. Bet they’d sell like hotcakes!

  7. robynanderson68 permalink
    July 14, 2009 4:49 pm

    Alabama is pretty insanely hot, but it’s actually been pretty damn mild lately. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! 🙂

    (Also, I’ve been inside Graceland. You’re not missing anything.)

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