Apparently long days of driving, eating, and repeating, tend to expand ones ass at an abnormally fast rate. After our gravel hundy on the 24th I was weighing in at a relatively svelte 157 and change. I noticed after our road trip, my gut seemed to have a bit more hang than usual so I hopped on the scale to double check. Yup, I put on 8 pounds in roughly 8 days. Ouch... Long days at work and eating out multiple meals a day probably don't help out much either. Thankfully I'm nearing a break in the action with only another 6 or so weeks left to go.
The road trip was in all a pretty good time. Or at least as good a time as can be had when you pile 1550 miles of driving into 5 days with most of it coming over 2 days. I left early on Thursday morning and pointed southwest until I hit St Louis.
I made just over an hour stop to have some lunch with one of my car buddies I hadn't seen forever. We had a nice time catching up over some food and beverages and I had to hit the road again. I hit a few oddball back roads around Memphis as mapquest took me down some interesting roads to get to where the ladies were staying. I arrived about 4:45 and was ecstatic to see the girls. Aside from being overly joyed to see them, both Miranda and I's hormones were raging away as soon as we touched. Amazing what nearly two weeks away will do for needing some intimacy with the one you love.
We put our affection on ice as much as possible and headed down to Beale Street for some dinner and sightseeing. We grabbed some great barbecue at BB King's place on Beale. They had some live blues going on and we all had a great time with Corley bopping along in her seat to the music. We took a stroll up and down Beale and briefly contemplated a horse drawn carriage ride, but it took a half hour and we were pushing bedtime for Corley as it were. We hit the sack relatively early for some well earned nooky time along with an early morning wake up that had us out the door at 7:30 Friday.
We hit Little Rock around 1 on Friday and made our way over to visit our friends. This is the same friend that was recently diagnosed with brain tumors/cancer. It was their little one's nap time as well by the time we arrived so we headed on over to his parent's place where we'd be staying for a few days and put Corley down for a nap as well. We made sure to put our time to good use as well and that even included some napping...
Friday night we were treated to a visit to see their daughter perform at her church both in a band and in a short drama. Now most of you know I'm not a particularly religious person, but the drama they put on was about the typical trials the teens deal with today and was pretty powerful. It was very well put on by the kids. We crashed pretty hard Friday night and got up on Saturday ready to attack the day. Saturday morning we actually just hung around mostly and let Corley play with some of the cousins who came to visit. Just a quick side note about this family- we stayed with the parents and our friend is married to one of the sons. In total they have 3 kids and 2 of the 3 live within a half mile and the 3rd isn't much past that so all the kids, grandkids, etc are always getting together and it's just an awesome show of what a family can be.
Saturday afternoon we partied. It was for our friend's son celebrating his 2nd birthday and on top of that it turned into a surprise party for our friend as well. She was completely caught off guard, but enjoyed everyone's company. We all had a blast and though it thoroughly wore her out, our friend was in great spirits. On Sunday we headed over to visit the Little Rock Zoo.
Both our friends work there, but she wasn't feeling well enough to visit with us. It's too bad as we get basically an all access pass when they go with and we can into certain pens with the animals. The zoo was still fun and they've done a ton of work to make it better since we had last visited 3 years ago. We dropped by their house in the afternoon for dinner and to let Corley play with their son. We hung out and said our goodbyes so we could get packed and ready to roll back home.
Monday was just a long as slog all the way home. The scenery was much nicer through northern Arkansas and southern Missouri than anything rolling down to Memphis, but it was still a long haul. Corley did relatively well considering she had to spend over 9 hours strapped into a car seat. I'm sure that's pretty torturous when you're two and a half and full of energy. We made the best of it by stopping and letting her get out as we filled up for gas or grabbed a meal.