Friday, July 27, 2007



The number of diamonds we unearthed at the mine. You know the old phrase, finding a needle in a haystack? Well, finding a diamond in a mine is now a more meaningful metaphor to me.

Here's the mine:

Here's the diamond Brad found. Note its pre-cut state and plastic appearance.

I have new respect for the prospectors--those stalwart souls that embarked on the route I've just taken, but for months or years instead of weeks, without Best Westerns or restaurants or even travel fridges.

Back in Yosemite, we made two failed attemps to ride a stagecoach--after an hour of travel from our campsite the first afternoon, we arrived to find the Wells Fargo office completely shut down. Upon our return the next morning, we purchased tickets and sat on a bench to wait. We waited for almost an hour before we were finally told that the stage coach just wasn't going to show that day, which lended an authentic feel of historical realism to the entire experience. While waiting, however, we had the opportunity to look over some old coaches on display. I gave the children one of those reflective, just-think-children type missives similar to the one above. When I got to the part about the prospectors possibly never seeing their families again, I said: "Imagine your cousins and aunt waving goodbye from the driveway as we left, and knowing you might never see them again.
To which my daughter replied, "We still don't know that we'll see them again."


The number of flavors we sampled at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta yesterday. Allison and I like Simba, from Latin America. It has a bubble-gummy type edge--pretty tasty in a sample, but I'm guessing in full-sized form, it would get too sweet really fast. Over at the European station, I encountered Fanta Magic--probably the worst beverage I've ever encountered in my life. It was situated right next to Beverly, a beverage that the Coke people say is uniformly rejected by visitors. I didn't think it was that bad, but it's an Italian beverage, so I suppose I'm genetically predisposed to at least tolerate it. My daughter likened the experience to a wine tasting and we systematically went around taking little sips of all seventy selections. After becoming woosy and sluggish, I now understand why wine tasters have adopted the swish-and-spit format.

And my son? I just turned him loose with a cup. It was the last day of vacation. after all.

Allison's Trip Mix CD #2, Track 5

Daughtry's Home--I'm going to crank it when we hit I-64 late this afternoon.

After an incredible 25 days, we'll be sleeping in our own beds tonight. But just for tonight. Saturday morning, we have to head full circle back to PA to get out dogs.

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