Holiday travel

I write today from a pick-up truck traveling down the Interstate, loaded down with bags, goodies and family. We are Nashville-bound so my husband can get back to drive bus tomorrow night. (Its OK! It was our decision he do so, since we celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday.)

This 800+ mile trip is one we are familiar with, though this time we took a slightly different route to avoid a big backup on I-35N in Central Texas. This time, also, we face the potential of winter weather in Middle Tennessee.

All that being said, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned through the last few years making this trek between Texas and Tennessee…

1. Know alternate routes or have a GPS you trust. Knowing how to read maps helps here. I feel thankful all the time that that is a skill I have. (I even was on a map reading team in Junior High and, if I remember correctly, I got a perfect score at contest. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.)

But seriously… accidents happen and you can either take a detour and keep moving, or you can park it and sit for potentially hours. A good GPS will hip you to upcoming traffic tie-ups. (I recommend Waze on your smartphone.) An awesome GPS, however, won’t necessarily give you a detour, but if you can read a map that’s no big deal. Look around and plot it yourself.

GPS seems to mean “Getting Pretty Stupid” in some cases…don’t be that person. Let the GPS be your safety net to your own common sense, not your excuse to drive blind.

2. Don’t be an asshat driver. Everyone has somewhere to be and short of it being life or death, you’re no more important than everyone else. Cutting people off, tailgating, changing lanes without a turn signal, squeezing between vehicles so close you couldn’t put a pack of cigarettes between the two bumpers, driving slow then fast then slow then fast, etc. makes you look like an asshat. Look, its the holidays. Let’s all get where we are going alive and without road rage.

3. Check your weather. Don’t be oblivious to changing weather conditions. Unless you want to be featured on the Weather Channel for driving right into a tornado or blizzard or haboob or a flood. Then by all means, ignore the skies and drive with reckless abandon. May Jim Cantore be with you.

4. Snacks are important. Hey, when we stop for gas or a potty break, I love getting something to eat or drink from the store. Its fun to me. I’m weird like that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t leave on a trip without plenty of food and drinks ahead of time. It saves money, but it also means if we get stranded we have atleast one day before we turn to canablism canibleism cannibalism.

5. Phone chargers are essential. How else will you power your GPS and make sure you can use your phone to Google how to spell words like cannibalism.

6. You can’t change geography. I’ve been trying to figure out how to move Arkansas out of the way for over 7 years. I’m resigned to the fact its not happening.

7. Sleep. Just don’t sleep while you’re driving. That’s bad. But get plenty of rest so you can have good reflexes while driving when you deal with asshats. See #2. If you get tired on your trip, pull over and rest awhile.

8. Don’t text and drive. I’d like to be able to go, “Do I even need to say this?” But then drinking and driving is still an issue so that provea to me that this needs to be said. Let your passengers do the texting. If you don’t have passengers, just ignore the phone until you reach your destination.

9. Enjoy yourself. Take in the scenery. Listen to good music. Make it fun. Don’t look at a trip as a daunting task. Look at it as an adventure.

10. Be careful. This goes without saying. Look out for wildlife crossing.  Slow down in wintery weather. Turn on your headlights in the fog. Your most basic driving techniques and lessons can be the things that get you there safely.

Safe and happy travels everyone!!

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One month until Christmas

ChristmasImageIts one month until Christmas, and I have been trying REALLY HARD to fight falling into it before Thanksgiving. I hate how Christmas has so diminished Thanksgiving… especially with Black Friday commercialism. (But that’s another post later this week.)  However, its being made extra hard to keep Thanksgiving first when its as late as it is this year…

My family celebrated “turkey day” yesterday, and it was amazing. An extra bonus to be thankful for this year was the fact that my husband got to join us… much to the surprise of everyone. The original plan had been to celebrate Thanksgiving with my brother’s family, then my parents and I would make our way to Nashville to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband on Thursday. However, due to how my husband’s show’s landed and other details not worth going into here, he instead joined us in Texas to celebrate with my brother’s family…

My WHOLE family together. I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I was on Sunday to look around and see the faces of all these people I love so much… these people I hold so dear. THANKSGIVING it was!!!

So now… I don’t feel quite so guilty starting to turn my focus to Christmas. My husband I took our pictures for our Christmas cards tonight. (The photo in this post is one that didn’t make the cut… ) I got those ordered along with my Christmas stamps. My nephew gave me his Christmas list, and my niece gave me some ideas. I’ll be ready to go Christmas shopping soon. Oh and I already know what I am doing (and have half the stuff purchased) for co-worker gifts.

I suppose… I suppose I am more ready for Christmas than I thought! Maybe we’ll decorate my house later this week, and I must get a trip to Opryland Hotel in soon to take in the lights. Last year, I only went for a photoshoot. This year, I want to go strictly to enjoy myself.

The countdown has begun… One month to Christmas. Let the cheer begin!

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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