Thursday, January 7, 2010
Road trip to end holidays
Christmas wrapped up on New Year’s weekend.
We stretched it out, with Saturday, Jan. 2, being the best day for us to get together and celebrate with Pam’s family in Tennessee.
This year the plan was for us to meet in Clarksville, at the “new” home of one of her sisters. She and her husband recently moved back to the South from Colorado. It was our first trip there. Another sister also lives in Clarksville, and her brother and mother live in Nashville, just down Interstate 24 from Clarksville.
We left North Pontotoc High School Saturday morning, after a basketball game, and headed north on Highway 15.
We had already decided to pretty much avoid Interstate 40 and take the scenic, less-crowded, slower-paced route.
Sometimes I want the interstate because I can drive faster. But more times than not, I find myself wanting to take the different path – going through small towns and seeing sites not seen.
It had been probably 13 years or so since Pam and I had been to Paris – and that’s the Tennessee version. We’ve never been to France.
Once while living in Aberdeen, we made a trip to Murray, Ky., for a wedding and managed to spend some time in Paris and other nearby towns antique shopping. We then lived in a historic home.
We drove I-40 East briefly (it was very crowded) from Jackson, Tenn., to Parker’s Cross Road and then took Highway 22 North to McKenzie where we took Highway 79 through Paris and Dover to Clarksville.
We passed Paris Landing State Park and the area of the Land Between the Lakes – beautiful country no doubt.
It was great to see family in Clarksville – most who we had not visited with in a year.
We cut down a bit on the gifts and enjoyed some “Dirty Santa.” Sixteen of us played the gift-picking, gift-swapping game. I drew number 15, which means I had a good choice of already-opened gifts. But instead I went for one not yet unwrapped and ended up with a much-needed flash drive, plus some camouflage cream.
The “hottest” gifts of the evening proved to be a lamp, a loaf of homemade bread and some grilling utensils. We brought home the bread.
Erin ended up with the most gifts. That’s because we also celebrated her 8th birthday, which was January 1.
It was cold in Clarksville – colder than Holly Springs. There was no snow.
We drove home Sunday and decided to take the same route with a minor change or two.
This time we actually drove through Paris Landing State Park to see the cabins and other features. We might be planning a relaxation trip there soon.
We stopped in Paris for lunch, and this time we did not get on I-40 at all. At Parker’s Cross Road, we stayed on 22 until we reached Highway 100 and then drove through Henderson, Tenn., en route to Mississippi.
Thanks to modern technology, Pam was checking the Internet on our way home because of the possibility of snow.
We woke up Monday to find a small dose of the white stuff on our vehicles.
Depending on which TV weather forecast you watch, it appears more likely or definite for later this week – particularly Thursday.
I know this much – winter has barely started and I’m already tired of cold weather.
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