We arrived in Croatia at 2pm local time after a layover at Heathrow. The boys did great, and Keegan was offered beer in flight because the attendant thought he was 16 (he’s only 14).
Upon arriving at the spacious apartment we’re renting in Zagreb (Airbnb is THE BEST), we dumped out stuff and ventured out into the main square where everyone was watching the Croatia v Turkey soccer game. We grabbed a table, got some drinks, and joined in. Keegan and David, being huge soccer fans, were in heaven. Boone and Finn took picture of pigeons.
If you care, Croatia won 1-0. And the crowd went wild!
It’s now 5:30pm and we’re going to venture out to eat. Should be interesting since we know nothing about Croatian food.
It’s strange, but as we crossed the Tennessee-Virginia border, all the heaviness that has pressed on my heart for the past year lifted. And when I felt Bug’s hand in mine, I turned toward him and smiled. Really smiled.
Another late start today. What has happened to my family? We’ve always been early risers – like 5:30am early – but now, no one can drag themselves out of bed before nine. This, I fear, doesn’t bode well for when they start traditional school next week. Or for when Bug actually has to start going into an office.
Screw that, this doesn’t bode well for when I have to get everyone ready for school and out the door.
Remind me again why I’m putting everyone back into regular school?
Anyway, today we drove from Memphis to Knoxville. Once again, it was absolutely stunning. Mountains, trees, rivers – big and small – lakes. I loved it all, even in the rain.
But the best part had to be the food. Our first spontaneous stop was to the Casey Jones Museum in Jackson, which just happened to have a wonderful restaurant next to it called Old Country Store & Restaurant. Normally, I’m not a buffet person but this was an impressive spread: fish, pulled brisket, chicken, hush puppies, salad bar, slaw, whole potatoes, greens, beans, BANANA PUDDING (side note: I have an unhealthy obsession with all things banana), corn cakes, etc. Even better: there were plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options (not the banana pudding, and I paid for that – boo)
After stuffing ourselves, we ventured over to the museum. Bug knew nothing about Casey Jones, but The Colonel quickly filled him in. The museum also had a little Civil War history and overall, it was a nice side-trip for the boys.
Now this is where everyone laughs at me, but I ate at a Cracker Barrel for the first time ever and LOVED it. We ended up there because neither Bug nor I could resist the “Half-shop, Half-restaurant” signs. I mean, come on, doesn’t that sound like a shop-a-holic’s dream? And imagine my overwhelming glee when the server told me it was Fish Fry Night. I didn’t even give him time to finish before placing my order right then – even though we’d literally just sat down and no one had opened a menu yet. Seriously. Fish Fry. How can anyone resist that?
Due to the hurricane, we’re cutting our drive short by a day and will be arriving in Northern Virginia tomorrow. I know at some point, this will stop feeling like another vacation and the realization that we are now home will set in, but for now, I’m going to keep enjoying the scenery out my window and dreaming about all the good things that are coming our way.