Sunday, July 18, 2021

Trip Report

We are home. 
So far we've unloaded the car and I started a load of laundry and besides that we've mostly wandered around the yard a little, picked a few things in the garden, and wondered where Darla and her bebes are. No sign of them anywhere although Hank and Rachel saw them this morning so they must be around somewhere. I can't think of anything that would take out all of them without leaving a sign. 

It's good to be home although we had a great time and we've already been talking about the boys and the funny things they said and did. Levon has started saying, "Or not," in a completely appropriate way and that's our new catchphrase. 
"Maybe we should eat there for lunch."
"Or not."

The child said it to me at two in the morning when he got out of bed and I went to tuck him back in and I wanted to put his head in one place saying, "Lay down here, baby."
"Or not," he said, as he laid down with his head where he wanted it. 

Oh, it's good to be home. It's raining gently and I'm on my back porch and I do so love my old house. The house we stayed in on Black Mountain was a fine house but we never did feel comfortable there and I can't even tell you why. It was just odd somehow. I kept getting disoriented and it wasn't that big. The kitchen was adequate and the knives there were even sharp which is a big deal to me. I cooked a few fine meals in it. But Mr. Moon had trouble sleeping and I ended up sleeping in the basement bedroom a lot so that he didn't worry about waking me up and I wasn't snoring right in his face and I did enjoy sleeping in that cozy space but still- it didn't feel quite right.
But now we're back in the best nest. 
For us. 

We took two days to make our way home. We actually bought an atlas of the United States- a book of real paper maps- and Mr. Moon traced us out routes on the small roads and we just meandered. Last night wasn't great. We were tired and ready to get supper and go to bed and were in a small town in Georgia called Greensboro and ended up at a Quality Inn which was a huge misnomer if there ever was one. The room smelled of a strange mixture of tobacco, urine, and whatever horrible product they'd used to try and cover it all up with. We found detritus on the floors and a roach (the kind you smoke) on the bathroom counter and the bedside tables were filthy. 
I didn't even want to take my shoes off in that room but what can you do? 
I went online later to read reviews people had left for Quality Inns, all fired up about the review I was going to leave but after I'd read some of the ones posted I thought, "What the hell? No bloodstains on the walls here. I guess we're okay!" 
And there was a Waffle House right across the parking lot so there was that. 
We found a restaurant a few miles away where we had one of the best meals we had on the whole trip. Mr. Moon got a steak, I got an ahi tuna salad, and the bread came with an incredible smoked sun-dried tomato concoction that I must figure out how to make. Plus, the martinis we ordered were generous and delicious so we slept quite well in the nasty-ish room, got up, had breakfast at the Waffle House and got on our way. 
And there's an entire story about that Waffle House but I won't take the time to tell it now. I'll just say that the crew there affected me profoundly and I felt deeply that I would never be as good a human being as any of them were. 

I read "Streets of Laredo" out loud to my husband as he drove unless we were passing through the little towns where there were beautiful old houses, both plantation style, and cracker style that I wanted to see. There were miles of pasture and forest, miles of planted fields of cotton and corn. Pretty creeks and large lakes, little Southern towns with magnificent City Halls dating back to the 1890's, downtowns that bustled and downtowns that were swiftly dying. In Elberton, Georgia, we came across an old car show in the downtown square so we stopped and parked and walked around. A sweet surprise, especially for Mr. Moon of course. 

Today we drove through another town in Georgia called Fitzgerald. Never heard of it in my life. We passed a place downtown that I had to stop and take a picture of. An old theater? I do not know. It's filled with old stuff now. Building materials and old furniture. I have no idea but it's certainly not a going concern. 

Can you see the wasp nest and bird nest?

The little town was fascinating. All of the downtown architecture was amazing. 

We were hungry and looked online for a place to eat. We discovered a restaurant called something like "Soul Food" and followed the directions to find that the name of the restaurant had changed to "Flossie's Country Kitchen". The outside was not very fancy.

Neither was the inside. But we stayed and I'm glad we did. 

Don't Worry Bout It. Pray Bout It.

That lady behind the steam table was serving up delicious food. I suppose she was Flossie. 

That's a pork chop, cabbage, and (be still my heart) cornbread dressing with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. 

And then on we drove through more fields and forests until we finally got to Lloyd. 

OH! We stopped again in another tiny Georgia town called Barney (I am not making this up) where we stood in line to get peach ice cream and Mr. Moon bought this. 

"Honey!" I wailed. What am I going to do with all of those peaches? 
"Don't worry," he said. "We'll freeze them."
Oh Lord. We'll give a bunch away. Lily and I can both make preserves and maybe I can make some pickled peaches. 

Maurice and Jack seem to be extremely glad we're back. Maurice won't quit meowing at us and I feel certain she's expressing deep unhappiness that we left her. Dottie is brooding. She's sitting flat as a pancake on five eggs. I just went and checked and Darla and the young'uns haven't showed up. I'm beginning to worry a bit. I suppose I better go unpack some stuff. My mind is so full of so many images and so many emotions and so many thoughts. Travel is good for us that way. 

It was wonderful to see the Weatherfords and experience a little of what their life is like on the mountain. To get to read books to the boys and chat with them. They'll be back to Florida soon. School will be starting up. August will be in kindergarten, Levon in preschool. I told August that he might learn to read this year and then I asked Levon what he thought he might learn in school. 
"How to drive a track-hoe," he said with all the solemnity that a three-year old can muster. Which is far more than you would think. 
I fear that he is going to be vastly disappointed to find that Temple Israel does not offer track-hoe operating instructions in their preschool program. 

Mr. Moon and I are going to keep that atlas and plan the road trip across the US that we've been talking about forever. We are good traveling buddies and we make each other laugh a lot. There are so many things to see and to do and so many stories to hear. And Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series is long enough for many, many thousands of miles of reading and listening. 

We will not, however, be staying at any Quality Inns. Trust me. 

I've missed you all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. You've certainly had a wonderful trip. Welcome home. I hope the chickens return and wish you a sweet night.

  2. Welcome home! I can hear your deep sigh of contentment to be in YOUR home again. Your meandering journey southward sounds like an adventure: meals, small towns, peaches, and Quality Inn - or not.

    I too suspect that track-hoe lessons may not be in preschool curricula. Poor Levon...

    Chris from Boise

  3. I missed you a lot and I am glad you are home.My husband and I stayed at a motel in Virginia where the floor squished it was so damp. We still talk about it and it was easily 30 years ago. I never took my shoes off either!

  4. Welcome home. I still have a big paper atlas of the US that I planned all my trips. There was no using the internet, right up until I retired in 03. I showed it to my granddaughters before we went to DC. They really could no make head nor tail of it.

  5. The best thing about holidays is that they make you miss home. I hope your chickens all make it home safe and sound.

    I was in a hotel room in Dawson Creek with my exhusband and kids. The room was so filthy. On the TV a cockroach crawled across the screen. Turns out it was a TV ad at the time for Orkin but the room was so disgusting I thought it was real.

    We went to another hotel.

    Sweet dreams.

  6. Glad you had such a nice time and that you got home safely. Good to hear all of your stories about the places and people you saw and the things you ate!

  7. I've missed you so much! My nightly read of your blog has become a touchstone in my life. I'm glad you had a good trip but I'm more glad you're BACK. ❤

  8. Good to have you and Mr Moon safely home. I hope that those chickens have turned up !

  9. What lovely produce you seem to have. Like you say, good to be home.

  10. I'm glad you're back in Lloyd. The best part of traveling is coming home, as they say!

    I looked up your Quality Inn on Google Maps and it looks nice enough from the outside, but of course, that doesn't mean anything. I think a joint on the counter might have killed it for me. It would suck to get mixed up with the cops through no fault of your own! (But yeah, bloodstains would be worse!)

    That building in Fitzgerald is wild. It looks like an old-time "opera house" or theater. Those marble figures are quite impressive. (I've just taken a Google Street View tour of Fitzgerald and it definitely looks like a place I could go crazy with my camera.)

    I hope Darla and the bebes turn up. As you said, it seems unlikely they'd all vanish simultaneously unless they voluntarily went somewhere else.

  11. Holy cow. I would have had to walk out of the Quality Inn and demand my money back. And then found an inn of less quality. (Side note: Are you sure it wasn't the Den of Iniquity. I've heard about the Den of Iniquity all my through my life, but have yet to find it.

    Hope you've found Darla and her chicks.

  12. Welcome home. Now if I could just say the same to Darla and her brood, all would be well.

  13. Welcome back. I love the idea of your meandering journey home, uncovering some of America's southern secrets. It's a good way to travel. Like Simon and Garfunkel sang:-
    Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together
    I've got some real estate here in my bag"
    So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
    And walked off to look for America

  14. Your trip home sounds just my cup of tea. How lovely to take the "back roads" rather than belting along the highway in such a hurry to get home - if you have the luxury of time, that is! And however beautiful the place you're leaving, there really is no place like home is there!

  15. Welcome home. travel is fun but coming home is always good.

  16. The trip home sounds like an adventure in itself! It's lovely to go away and it's lovely to come back home and sleep in your own bed. It never feels more comfortable than the first night back after sleeping in a bed that is not your own. Welcome home, Moons. I hope Darla and the babies have shown up by now.

  17. Glad to hear all of this! A road trip with a swell partner can be a memorable adventure, You are proof. The chop makes me hungry, Quality Inn sounds like a novel, at least a chapter. Glad you are back at home- go to the post office and let me know if you got the boxes.

  18. Welcome home! Hope Darla and the bebes turn up soon. Aside from the quality inn, it sounds like a very fine road trip indeed. There’s no place as comfortable as ones own bed, hope Mr Moon gets caught up on his sleep.

  19. Welcome home and welcome back! We missed you too!

  20. That seemed so fast! I hope the chickens come home. Mmm, peaches. Peach crisp!

  21. Glad you're back. U think you are too, peaches and all!

    1. I not u! Dang autocorrect changes after I post.


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