Whew, that saying “you need a vacation to recover from your vacation” is so cliche, I know – but so true. I love to travel and see new places and things. But, I really really despise long car trips. I am so not a good traveler in that respect. I am surprised sometimes that Todd doesn’t just put me out at some gas station along the interstate. At least all of the clothes we packed were clean when we returned home. We stopped over at my parent’s house on the way home and took care of that. So, it was easy to just unpack and put the clothes back in the drawers.

Todd had a business trip to Baton Rouge. I thought – Hey perfect time for a little trip, with hardly any cost involved. The hotel was paid for – and BONUS – Homewood Suites offers a free breakfast and dinner. I’m not talking about a continental or hors d’oeuvre thing – this was a full meal! Sweet! Anyway, we just had to figure out how to get down there since Todd was taking a rental car Saturday, and we couldn’t leave til Wed at the earliest. So, of course Todd comes up with the idea of riding the train. The kids are immediately onboard. I am skeptical – it doesn’t even go into Baton Rouge, the closest is New Orleans, which means Todd will have to drive an hour to come pick us up. That doesn’t faze him. Anyway, by this time the kids have already decided it is a done deal – so we make our plans to leave on the train from Bham on Wed at 12:00.

We leave Madison at about 9:15, giving us plenty of time and arrive at the train station a little bit before 11:00. I go to the ticket window and notice a cryptic sign – #19 ETA 1:30 Oh no, I vaguely remember that the #19 is our train! I ask the guy and he confirms that yes the train is running late. Not even close to being a surprise for me, every single experience I have had with the train, it has been late. And there have been many train trips over the past few years. Every chance Todd gets he takes the train! We rode it from Albany to NYC, from Bham to Atlanta, from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa. He and/or Chace together have ridden it from New Orleans to Bham, from Bham to Charlotte, and from Bham to Washington DC. And yes, each trip the train has been late. Anyway, now I am thinking what in the heck am I going to do with 3 kids in downtown Birmingham for 2.5 hours????? We decide to go have lunch, so we take off to try to find a restaurant I have been to a handful of times, but never actually driven myself – Niki’s. It is really fabulous food, smack in the middle of downtown Bham, on 1st Ave N. The kids devoured their food, I was shocked, but pleased. After that, we go on an expedition to the public library. I haven’t been there in many years – and am not great at driving downtown, too many pedestrians and one way streets! We drive down street after street, circle many blocks, and finally find it after I spot the pointy glass front from two blocks away. Finally, I find a parking place, a block away and dig for change to put in the meter. I fish out some dimes and nickels which will give us about 1.5 hours, plenty of time to browse! Chace puts the money in, and the nickels go in great, – the first dime gets stuck, so he shoves another dime in to try to dislodge the stuck one, now they are both stuck – and the meter starts flashing OUT OF ORDER! really great now – I figure we will prob have a parking ticket when we come back. We head off to the library and have an enjoyable time inside.

Finally, it is time for the train, so we head back to the station, and arrive in less than 5 minutes, which Chace find hilarious b/c we had driven around for nearly 20 minutes trying to find the library in the first place! We board the train and everything is fantabulous. The kids are enjoying everything and I am loving the fact that I don’t have to drive or ride in the car for 6 hours or so. Maybe Todd is on to something……

Baton Rouge was great too. The twins thought the pool was the best thing about the trip, but I enjoyed going downtown and seeing all of that cool stuff. We toured the Old State Capitol which was really neat and the USS Kidd. It is a decommissioned boat from the Navy, so Todd was totally in his element telling what everything was and reminding us that his sub was much smaller!!

Saturday arrived and with it fever and a headache for Caeden. Totally pleasant for the trip home. We had to stop at a gas station and buy some Tylenol b/c I forgot to pack meds. We got to MiMi and Poppy’s early Saturday evening, so it wasn’t a terribly long trip. Todd came on back to Madison Sunday, but the kids and I stayed an extra day so that we could go to the movies with MiMi and Poppy. We saw Nim’s Island at the $1 Movie. I thought it was pretty good, but Dad only gave it a 4. He is hard to please!

Here is one of my fave pictures, the sunset over Lake Pontchartrain.

Long story, but happy to be home!Sunset over Lake Pontchartrain

Say what?