we woke up on our last day of the trip, jan. 7th, and it was chilly!  not chilly enough to drag out the little space heater that we’d brought, but chilly enough.

of course it’s all relative.  right now here in lovely spfld it’s seven degrees with a wind chill of MINUS 11.

but kevin started a fire, and i really, really needed a s’more for breakfast.  all the chocolate we had left were a few hershey’s kisses, so i carefully cut them into piece.


i know i wrote about kevin obsessively washing the hubcaps of the car, but i was wrong about that – this was the morning he started in on this fun project.  after a while, i suggested that maybe we should take a canoe ride. a river flowed just a few yards from our campsite, and you could rent canoes at the ranger station, so we decided to do that for a little.

you might recall the “hike” we tried on our first morning there – i had the map to the trail, but it only ended up being about 10 minutes long!  the river ride was a little bit longer than that, but it kept getting more and more narrow, so we finally had to turn around.

you also might remember the NO FISHING – ALLIGATORS! sign, so we were a little hopeful that we might spot one.  a friendly alligator, not one that wanted to eat us.

as we paddled back, we did see a head peeking up above the surface of the water.  AN ALLIGATOR!  I hadn’t brought my camera because i was pretty sure if i did, i’d manage to capsize the canoe, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that we really saw it.  he quickly submerged again before we got too close.

it was a pretty relaxing end to our trip, and we were bittersweet about leaving – we didn’t want to go back to the cold and snow, but we did miss our kitties a lot.

we had decided to take three days to drive back instead of our harrowing two, and we took a different route this time, because we wanted to never, ever drive through atlanta or chattanooga again.

we hit the road at the crack of 9:00 on thursday, and it was a pretty good drive through the panhandle of florida; there was very little traffic and no road construction and no semis trying to kills us.

we got all the way to dothan, alabama.

it was COLD in dothan, in the low 30s, so we walked across the street to the mall so kevin could buy a winter hat.  one of his hats was buried deep in the van, but we didn’t feel like unloading the layers and layers of stuff in there.

it was a very nice mall, and we didn’t know how dothan could support something this nice, so i looked it up on my phone.

here’s what it said on wikipedia:  “Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is called “The Peanut Capital of the World.”

if you come and see the play i’m in, “the dixie swim club,” which opens FRIDAY NIGHT at the hoogland, you’ll know why this was a very interesting fact for me to hear.  also you’ll know why i found it very important to eat a biscuit at every hotel where we stopped along the way.

we had to bring the palm tree i’d bought into the hotel because it was gonna get so coooold that night.

and then the next day, drive drive drive, but not so bad, but it kept getting colder…and colder…and then we got all the way to paducah, KY (home of the national quilt museum, which we didn’t visit), and had a nice dinner and we were ridiculously close to home now but we just didn’t wanna push it.

so then, saturday, we got up and drove the short little drive home and were so happy to see our kitties!

chester was ecstatic to have a bag to lie on.

and lester…well, as always, so darn cute.

i feel that i’d like to go somewhere warm for a longer period of time next year, but couldn’t we rent a house and take the kitties?  it’d be a delightful car ride, I’m sure!

all right already, i have to get up off the couch and go do stuff now, including going OUTSIDE, which seems quite crazy, but there you go.

have a warm wednesday, if that’s even possible.

ok then,