Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Chronicles of Babbit: Day Two

Our day began at 5:00 A.M. with Bub howling in the hotel bathroom. He wasn't howling in pain, but rather in appreciation of the great acoustics. Not being a morning person myself, you can imagine just how thrilled all the noise-making made me. Fruitlessly, I tried for a half-hour to help him return to sleep, but when my efforts proved futile, we began our day. We dressed and packed and partook of the continental breakfast.

Our day's journey began before the sun rose, and I was excited by the thought of arriving in Missouri before we even planned to get on the road.

Go East, Young Babbit

With plenty of time in our day, we stopped by my old high school for Babbit (and the kids) to have a look-see. Notice anything weird about ECHS (besides the giant blue rabbit taking over the building)?

With the exception of a few in the hallways, East Central has no windows.

Something else weird about East Central is the fact that the Cardinal is the school mascot. The Cardinal -- as in the small, red bird that represents the state of Indiana. I drove away from the school distracted by the peculiarity of that mascot choice.

Before attending ECHS, I went to another school where the Wildcat was our mascot. Now, that's a bad mascot (and I mean bad as in GREAT). Seriously, mess with a feral cat and you're pretty much assured to have your jugular sliced right open. In a town near where we live now, the mascot is the Fighting Farmer. At first I thought that was a ridiculous mascot, but a Fighting Farmer could stab you with a pitchfork, or at the very least, cut you with some angry words. What about a cardinal intimidates an opposing team? What in the world could a cardinal even do to an opponent -- flap it with its brittle bird wings or challenge it to a whistle off?

I was so distracted by this mascot debate that I missed my turn once again. This time, though, I didn't realize I missed my turn until I'd gone about 50 miles in the wrong direction and was literally halfway to Arkansas. I knew I was in trouble when I saw this:

Who knew there was such a thing as an actual scenic route? Not me.

After referring to a little map on my cell phone, I found a highway that would get me from where I was to where I needed to be. Unfortunately, though, the time and mileage on my teeny-tiny Mapquest reflected that though we'd been driving for over an hour already, we were the same distance away from where we needed to be as we were when our day began. Not good news for someone who prefers to fly. At this point, we were thankful for our early waking because it would allow us to arrive before our originally anticipated time. We decided to view this mishap as an adventure, turned North towards I-44, and promptly stumbled across this:

As a fan of both the Amish and cheese, how could I not stop in? Plus, who doesn't appreciate shopping in a store that gives away samples of The Truth for free?

The kids and I enjoyed browsing around, but Babbit was quite irritated by the lack of fresh produce. The store was full of all varieties of homemade cheese, fudge, jam, soup mixes, pastry fillings, and dry goods. We bought some strawberry rhubarb jam, some pear honey, a book of Amish Recipes, two activity books, and a container of sour neon jelly worms (because nothing says Amish like sour neon jelly worms).

We continued on towards the interstate, and as we approached Big Cabin, Oklahoma, I ran across the GROSSEST thing I've ever seen in my life. You may have to enlarge the picture to see what I'm talking about. Yes, that is a meat processing plant sharing property with a cemetery. I wonder who didn't think that one through?

After a very long morning, Babbit finally made it to Missouri.
Once again, he got a boost from the blond kid while the girl kid slept in the car.

We spent several hours talking and catching up,
then the children kidded with Katie and wrestled with Russell.

Babbit checks out a chicken farm, the smelliest place in the state

We attended a fundraising carnival at the school, where we did a cake walk, bid in a pie auction, and played ten rounds of Bingo. (It was strictly for educational purposes.)

Babbit observes a BINGO!

The big winners -- Gracie and Bub

Loads of fun in the MO, but it's back to the OK in the A.M. Yippee!


  • The Dukes Family

    How fun! I'm laughing so much at your adventures. I LOVE that you came across the Amish Cheese place ... how perfect for you. I'm so sad you spent high school in a place with no windows ... I wonder what studies today would say about that. Not healthy. And I can only offer my sympathies about the Cardinal. Very poor mascot choice, indeed. The meat processing plant and cemetery is a very unfortunate oversight on the part of planners. Can't wait for the next installment of your journey!

  • Lisa

    Amusing post! At least your mascot was a grown bird, though. We were the Chix! (Yes, as in "immature chicken!")

  • Kim

    Hehe I'm loving all the pictures! Keep them coming :)

  • Amy

    Super-great post! I was laughing...

  • Elizabeth

    You are cracking me up! Love the missed turns, the amish and the cheese, the howling for the pleasure of acoustics. What a day!

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