I am very keen to write up about our recent big Road Trip to Alabama and Tennessee, but as usual, I’m too bogged down in other stuff.
I am mindful of stress levels, because too much stress can lead to mental health problems. To the best of our knowledge, stress when it is overwhelming or unable to be managed, depletes our serotonin levels and this stops our brains functioning properly. Anyway, both of us find travelling with children to be pretty stressful, but these are the kinds of stresses which we are both able to manage reasonably well. One thing which helped, apart from having hired a big 12-seater van, which immediately improved matters, was that I sat in the back of the van with the kids. Mostly one of our older children sat up front. We have 4 boys and there were four rows of seating. It turned out that with the child restraints, we had things arranged so that each of the boys was in his own row. I recommend this!
The highlights of the trip were fantastic and more than compensated for the various discomforts of travel, but I will have to leave those for later commentary (with photos). It has to be said that the last and longest leg of the journey from Memphis to Houston was the worst. The first leg (Houston to Mobile) was not much better! I think 4 hours’ driving a day (with children) might be my happy limit.
Unlike some people, I am prejudiced in favour of the South. I’m not sure why, really. It’s a prejudice I have held since I was at least in my teens and was only cemented by my last seven years’ regular reading of Maclin’s blog. I have decided that the things in the South which I don’t like, are not usually because they are Southern. Mostly they tend to be general American things, but I will not bore you with my dislikes. After all, this is not my native land and no-one likes to hear their homeland being criticised by outsiders. I will say that as far as Southern things go, I do feel a bit suspicious of grits – but I’ve never tried them, so can’t tell you if I like them or not! Suffice it to say that no part of our travels served to harm my view of the South, but Nick tells me it increased his regard for the place.