There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working. -Robert Half

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Vacation Begins.

Last night, I got home from a mini-vacation with some friends from college down at our cabin on Tablerock Lake.  Since I had a lot of packing to do, I asked Papa what time we were leaving in the morning.  He told me: 
Papa: We’re leaving early so we can eat breakfast in Rolla. 
Julie: Where are we going to eat? Zino’s?  
Papa: No, we’re going to eat at that sticky place. 
Grammy: What sticky place? 
Papa: You know, the one with the sticky counters. 
Grammy: Oh, you mean the Waffle House.  
So, we got up at 5am so we could get to Rolla to eat at the sticky Waffle House on our way.  Apparently the Waffle House in Rolla has changed locations, so this was all of our first experience.  When we walked in, I told them we wanted non-smoking, and they pointed us toward the far end of the restaurant, though I was very confused because there were people smoking on both sides of the restaurant. Turns out, the “non-smoking section” consists of the 3 booths on the farthest edge of the restaurant. I guess I didn’t see the invisible smoke barrier.  We were, however, impressed with the new location. Though the coffee tasted like water and the hashbrowns gave me heartburn, the tables were not sticky and the food was fast.  Papa started telling us how some people are just sticky: 
Papa: Some people are sticky. They just smear syrup all over everything. 
At this point, Papa spilled Sweet ‘N Low all over the table 
Julie: Papa! You’re one of the sticky people! You’re the reason the tables are sticky! 
He just laughed and wiped it off onto the seat, until Grammy and I gave him a hard time about sticky seats and he wiped it onto the floor.

So Papa had to get another Sweet ‘N Low to put in his coffee because the coffee was only good if you put enough sugar in it. When Grammy complained about the watery coffee he told her: “You must not have put enough sugar in it.”

Our next stop was 2 hours later in Thayer, MO.  Like I said, the hashbrowns gave me heartburn so we stopped at the Country Mart Dollar Store to get some Tums. Papa didn’t believe that I had heartburn. He said that young people don’t have problems like that. They can eat whatever they want because they’re young. I told him the hashbrowns gave me heartburn.  He said: 

Papa: Maybe you should go to the doctor and get something stuck down your throat to check out your stomach. 
Julie: Papa, if you eat greasy food, you get heartburn! 
Papa: I don’t have that problem. 
Julie: Well other people do. Haven’t you seen the Tums commercials where they’re eating a greasy burger and then need to eat a Tums? 
Papa: I don’t know. I never had stomach problems until I got married. 
Julie: Did you go to the doctor and get something stuck down your throat to check it out.
Papa: Yes, I did. And there was something wrong with me. I can’t remember what it was though.

Along with my Tums, Papa found the bakery section of the store and found a huge pizza-sized pecan pastry. He bought it (I mean, we hadn’t had our breakfast dessert yet) and we headed over to McDonald’s to get some coffee. Grammy wouldn’t let us take our pastry into McDonald’s to eat it, so Papa and I got the coffee and then we went and sat in the parking lot and watched a lumber truck unload machinery while we ate.

From Thayer, we headed south through Tennessee. And as if this trip couldn’t get any better (or more retired) we stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel in Lebanon, Tennessee for lunch. The Lincoln doesn’t have a CD player so we listened to two tapes repeatedly for the seven-hour span between Thayer, Missouri and Jackson, Mississippi.  

The Tapes: 

1) Sleepless in Seattle Soundtrack.  Grammy and I love this soundtrack. We also have the CD.

2)    Show tunes.  And not just any show tunes, these were show tune remakes, and were all played with weird, unknown instruments and sung by people who were not actually in the stage productions.

3)    John Denver. When Papa put this one in, he looked at me and said: “I bet that West Virginia song is on here.”  Papa is from Mullins, West Virginia.  

Once we arrived in Jackson, we passed by all the hotels, got lost, asked for directions, and finally found a Quality Inn to stay at. Papa made our hotel choice by checking out the breakfast menu. We get free: biscuits and gravy, waffles, pancakes, toast, bagels, cereal, juice, oatmeal (though we know Papa isn’t going to choose that), fruit, and coffee. I can’t wait until the sun rises!


  1. Despite the fact that I'm in New Zealand right now and am going to swim with dolphins this weekend, I still wish I could be with Gram and Papa on a road trip! Maybe I'll call you and imagine I'm with you :)

  2. I'm so glad we're getting updates!!! Sounds like it is going to be a GREAT retired vacation!