Wednesday, December 3, 2008

East of the Mississippi

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all scheduled posts,
because I had to go out of town.

My grandmother's husband died, so we got in the car and drove to Baton Rouge.
He was old and in declining health, so it was a blessing that he's in a better place now.
But, my grandmother, it's been tough on her,
and she needed family support.

My husband had to stay behind in Texas.
I took the boys with me and caravanned with my mom and stepfather.

It's a long drive from Dallas to Baton Rouge.
8 1/2 hours long.

I have lots of photos and posts-worth of stories to share, but for now...

Here are the boys posing east of The Mississippi Baton Rouge.

The Mississippi River, the second largest river in the United States.
It's 2,340 miles long.

What's the biggest river in the U.S.?

And here's us driving over the same bridge from the above picture, on our way back to Texas.

The Missouri River is the longest river in the U.S., 200 miles longer than the Mississippi.

I think this is one of the biggest bridges I've ever been on.
My boys were suitably impressed.

You also have to cross miles and miles of swampy area on bridges in Louisiana.
It's the Atchafalaya Basin.
Say that three times fast.
It's the largest swamp in the United States.

My boys imagined gators swimming below us.
Ready to eat us at any moment.

They're dramatic like that.

At least they weren't alien gators.

8 1/2 hours is a loooooong time to be in the car.
with two bickering boys.

They're so lucky I didn't leave them on the railroad tracks like I was tempted...

We played lots of car games.
Cow Counting.
I Spy.

I'm going to Louisiana and I'm going to bring with me...

20 questions.

And then there was plenty of reading, coloring, movies in the DVD player and handheld video games.

What car games did you used to play on road trips?
What do your kids play now?


Live.Love.Eat said...

Railroad pic = great Xmas card! Hah. Sorry about your Grandma's hubby! The longest we went with Tristan in a car was 6 hours and broke it up nicely. Portable DVD player, Leapster video game & naps was all we needed. And only about 20 are we there yets. Not bad for his 1st time. Hope all gets better for you.

Indy said...

I do all of the same tricks that you do. We eat A LOT! If my son is eating, he won't talk and that solves 1/2 of the problem. Long trips are hard. Sorry to hear about your grandma's husband.

Kori said...

Don't you know I hate bridges. Thanks for all the pictures of them. I almost wet my britches.

And I experienced one of the scariest things in my life as a Mother on that super long bridge in Louisiana. But that's another story for another time.

Loved all the pictures sorry about your families loss.

Kori said...

Oh and as far as games we play we play the alphabet game over and over until we can't think of anything else that starts with a particular letter. Also we play the money game. Like how many diffent ways can you make up a dollar. 4 quarters, 2 quarters and 5 dimes. Ok you get the picture. We use the brain.

KimmyJ said...

Glad you had a safe trip. Sorry for your families loss. I'm a Mississippi Girl, this post made me a little homesick.

scargosun said...

We had many a long drive between PA and MA growing up. We played lots of the alphabet game where you look for the letters in the alphabet in order on anything and everything. My mom made games in cigar boxes that kept all the parts in one place AND she took cookie sheets and letter magnets for us to play with. She was quite the creative Mom.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Sorry about your Grandpa-in-law!

We played name the states, punch bug, find the different license plates...

Now my son plays Gameboy and talks.

I miss the old days.

Glad you had a safe trip!

angie {the arthur clan} said...

So sorry to hear about your Grandma's husband...that would be hard on anyone!

My kids love to find the 50 states on license plates when we are driving somewhere. That might take up 30 minutes of our trip and then I just lose my mind during the other 8 million hours that are left.

Captain Dumbass said...

We grew up in cattle country so there were lots of cattle guards on the roads. My mom would tell us to lift our feet if we drove over one or if we drove over railroad tracks. To this day if I drive over railway tracks, even while I'm driving, I lift my feet. I don't even think about it.

Britt said...

Those pictures are great .. I love the boys on the tracks!

I'm with Kori .. those bridges freaked me out! =-)

Linda said...

My kids play the "let's-give-mom-an-aneurysm-before-we-even-make-it-out-of-town" game. My 3-year old and 12-year old cannot sit next to each other without fighting. But they're forced to sit next to each other because it's illegal to strap one of them to the top of the car. :::Sigh:::

We always played that ABC car game. Still do. I can't read or play video game or watch DVDs in the car because I'll puke. Sort of like I felt looking at your bridge photos! I do NOT like being on bridges. Coming from California I always think ... earthquake! And I'm on the bridge! Good grief it gives me nightmares.

Teri said...

So sorry about your loss.

Your pix are great, especially the train tracks one.

When I was a kid, we would play the license plate game - try to find plates from every state. We would also spend a lot of pestering each other and then getting in trouble. A lot.

Now my kids have a lot of electronic games and movies. But we all still take turns playing the Mad Libs stuff.

Jen said...

I am sorry for the family loss. I am glad that you are back safe and sound. I am sorry that you had to miss SITSmas. It just wasn't the same with out you. I love the photos and thanks for the geography lesson. I am sure I learned it once but had totally forgotten. Right now all the kids do in the car in watch movies or sleep. Thank God!

Sprite's Keeper said...

My sister and I just used to hit each other. Does that count as a game? :-)

Shannon said...

"At least they weren't alien gators"... LOL!!!

I'm sorry for your loss and glad you're back home.

I can remember playing I Spy and the license plate game (where you try to make a word with the letters in the license plate... the letters have to be in order and whoever makes the longest word wins... like if the plate has the letters DMR you could use the word DreaMeR)

We've gone on a few long trips with the girls... down to FL or up to PA. Having lots of snacks helps. And I'll pack each girl a bag of things to do. They both love to color so I'll get them those Crayola Color Wonder books and markers (no mess). They also have lots of magnetic "paper" dolls they like to play with. Or they'll watch a DVD. We haven't really played any car games... except for when we went to Disney World and did the alphabet game where we took turns thinking of a character that began with each letter.

Anonymous said...

We used to play Slug Bug a lot. We didn't travel too much though! Glad to hear you got back safe!

Amy said...

You passed thru my neck of the woods. I travel that bridge (both of them actually) often, as my boyfriend lives in Baton Rouge. So you were in the same town as me this past weekend.

My kids either play video games or watch dvd's on the portable player on long trips. It actually keeps them quiet.

Valarie Lea said...

The one on the tracks is to cute!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's husband!!

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Welcome home! I don't know how you all can schedule all those posts. I still have no idea as to what to blog about this week. Much less a whole bunch of posts for next week.

And for games. We did state plates. Finding things in billboards. Reading.

And my girls love to do those things too. We did a scavenger hunt one year - find: a cow, a plate from California, a Mickey D's, a yellow butterfly...things like that. But mostly the girls watch movies, read, and fight.

Anonymous said...

My condolences.

This is my first time here, what a lively blog you have here. So glad to have stumbled into it.

Louisiana is such a great state. I just love Baton Rouge.

I'll be back for more reading.


Kellan said...

So sorry about the dath in your family!

Great pictures! I've been on the stretch with the bridges and that low stretch of bridge crossing the water - it scares me of gators too!! Cute picture of the kids on the railroad tracks!

Nice to see you today, Rhea - take care - Kellan

PS Did you get my tweet about the tampon angels - tee hee? Now you got me thinking way too much about tampon ornaments! LOL!

Beth said...

"Atchafalaya Basin"
I can't even say that ONCE.

I was all ready to answer your question about the river, then you beat me to it. Dadgum.

So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Glad to have you back. :)

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.

We always play the alphabet game. And we used to play slug bug!

Susie said...

We used to play the alphabet game and the license plate game and listen to the walkman (remember those?). My kids still play the alphabet game and license plate game but now it is Ipods and DVD's.

lynette355 said...

ispy, slug bug, alphabet game and the license plate game
My condolances for the loss in your family. But you did good in making a long harrowing trip into a memory for your boys. Good Mom!

Heather said...

I'm so sorry, Rhea. My thoughts are with your grandmother.

Ah, Baton Rouge. My grandparents lived there for 40 years. I love Baton Rouge. I miss La.

I'm so glad you made it back safely!!

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

That picture of the kids on the train tracks made my heart lurch!
I'm glad you're back and that trip is over.

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm glad you didn't leave your kids on the tracks. :)

I'm sorry for your loss.

KG said...

I echo the sentiments of many and say that I'm sorry for your loss ...

Rudee said...

I don't mind the driving on a long trip but would rather sit and knit as a passenger for 8 1/2 hours. My trick with kids was to pack little treats in the trunk. Presents. Every 100 miles, they were allowed 1 gift to open up. Nothing expensive but something to make them look forward to miles clicking away on the odometer.

Anna Lefler said...

Great pics! I love a road trip, but sorry it was for a sad reason. Your photos made me homesick...I was born in New Orleans, although I haven't been there in decades...

Nothing looks like Louisiana 'cept Louisiana.

:^) Anna

Mama Dawg said...

I totally know where you are in all of those pictures! So cool.

We always played 20 questions and I spy.

We still play those plus the alphabet game (My name is Alice, I'm from Alabama and I'm going to buy some asphalt).

Mariah said...

We do the alphabet game too, actually I'd play anything to keep the kids from fighting

Claremont First Ward said...

I'm sorry for your loss.