15 hours, 50 years

By Mir
June 27, 2007

I do hereby recommend that everyone be required to take one really long-ass road trip with one’s new spouse within the first few months of getting married. This will be a perfect test of compatibility and tolerance for the long haul (as it were) of the union as a whole, right there in the microcosm where no matter where you go, there are a dozen McDonald’s and nothing decent to eat.

Otto and I seem to have cleared this hurdle without much trouble, although it was certainly an experience to remember.

* * * * *

When I commented to Otto that his car was getting really good mileage because I hadn’t seen the gas gauge needle move yet, he chuckled and said we’d only been on the road an hour. Actually, we’d been on the road for nearly two and a half hours, but it’s just THAT WONDERFUL being with me, apparently, that time flies.

* * * * *

Remember the cheesecake brownies I was so looking forward to? We had multiple conversations, yesterday, about how tragic it would be if we somehow forgot to bring them with us. Well, this morning my stepmom offered to swap ice packs with us because we’d forgotten to put ours in the freezer, and there was a flurry of activity around the cooler and then my dad offered to take it out to the car for us, and when the time came to say, “Hey, I think it’s time for brownies!” we opened up the cooler with much anticipation. We found… a bunch of ice packs. Somehow none of us had packed the actual brownies.

I may have teared up a little.

* * * * *

I pink puffy heart my EZ Pass because having to stop at tollbooths is a giant pain in the rear. In fact, I have absconded with my EZ Pass even though I was probably supposed to turn it back in before I left New England. OH WELL. Anyway, today in Pennsylvania, we were in an EZ Pass Only toll lane and some dude in a car with a Canadian plate (sorry, my Canadian pals… no reflection on your country, I’m sure) not only drove up without a Fast Pass, he then gave the wandering attendant a twenty dollar bill, waited for change, and then fed a dollar into the machine so slowly that I really began to believe we might die of old age right there in the toll lane.

* * * * *

We stopped for lunch around 1ish somewhere in Virginia, where there are apparently no child labor laws. I know this because the child who took our order appeared to be about twelve. Otto and I waited while he tried to figure it out and quietly discussed how old we thought he might be, with Otto noting that his standard-issue belt reached all the way to the back pocket of his pants because he was about the same size as Chickadee.

After this poor kid screwed up our order three times and had walked back and forth with various (single) pieces of our order four times and had charged us twice, he squeaked, “I’m really sorry, it’s only my second day.”

“It’s okay,” we said. “How old are you?” I couldn’t resist asking.

“I’m, uh, fifteen,” he answered.

“You’re not old enough to be working here,” I said, meaning that at 15 he should be doing meaningful things like crashing his skateboard into the railing out front rather than trying to figure out how much my chicken sandwich cost, or maybe I actually meant LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE, because if he was really 15 then I am probably only 25; but he took me very literally.

“Oh, I just made the cut-off,” he assured me. Well, thank goodness. Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

* * * * *

In Gaffney, South Carolina there is a water tower that looks exactly like a giant peach (stem, leaf, groove and all). By the time we made it there I was so punchy that I thought this was the most wondrous thing I’ve ever beheld in my entire life. It really is a very long drive.

* * * * *

We listened to the Red Sox game on Otto’s satellite radio for ten innings and pulled in to a stop for gas and food, and even though we were only out of the car for about 6 minutes we missed the end of the game. Neither of us really cared.

* * * * *

I started mishearing everything Otto said after we’d been in Virginia for about 6 hours. (Shut up. Approximately 8 hours of this trip is in Virginia.) I contend that this is because Otto mumbles, whereas he counters that I am just loopy when I’m tired. (To this I respond: You have hoopy hens on fire?)

At one point he asked me if I wanted something and I said “I’m fine.” Being a sweet and charming fellow, he responded, “You’re excellent!”

So it makes perfect sense that I countered with, “HAIR CREAM?” Because YOU’RE EXCELLENT sounds exactly like HAIR CREAM if you are me.

Later, he commented, “I think it rained here,” and I asked him WHERE he saw a reindeer. At least that time I was close. AND I was able to point out that I had just seen a really ginormous peach, so really, a reindeer wasn’t that far out of the realm of possibility.

It should be noted that both of these instances cracked me up for several miles while Otto found his amusement in my inability to stop laughing.

* * * * *

At least a dozen times during the trip, I was able to pat Otto on the leg and say, “50 more years of this, honey! You are SO LUCKY!” And he agreed with me every time, probably because I was feeding him Twizzlers.


  1. Kris

    So that’s the secret to the happy marriage. TWIZZLERS!

  2. becky

    I think the reason my husband & I do so well on road trips is because one of us is almost always sleeping while the other drives.

    Glad you had a (mostly) good trip. Tragic about the brownies, though.

  3. Busy Mom

    “Twizzlers”. Is that what you kids are calling those these days?

  4. Barb Cooper

    Oh, MAN! I was so waiting for the Brownie Review. It’s good that you had Peach Art to take your mind off of things.

    The hoopy hens on fire made me laugh out loud. Gosh, Mir after reading this and the dentist one, I hope I don’t run into anyone with a speech impediment. Apparently, I cannot control myself.

  5. Girl con Queso

    Okay, the way you tell it, you make this car trip sound really fun. Except for the brownies. Sigh.

  6. Heather

    Haha sounds like a pretty fun road trip! I’ve had some of the most ridiculous misunderstandings of what people have said – and I swear I’m not even remotely deaf :-/

  7. Angel

    BAHAHAHAHAHA I have laughed and snorted out loud reading this post.

    I’m so glad you’re with your hubby now :)

    Sorry about the brownies though :(

  8. Cele

    I onced asked one our DJ’s if he watched The West Wing with his wife.

    He replied, “As if I could get Linda to watch wrestling.”

    I would have cried over the brownies. Then demanded to stop at a Dairy Queen/Sonic/A&W anywhere to make up for it.

  9. LadyBug Crossing

    OMG!! No brownies?!?!?!

    We have good genes here in VA. No one ages… ever… LOL!!!

  10. Chrissy

    Hey, you got to see the giant peach. Hubs and I drove from upstate NY to SC on Memorial day to visit in-laws for a few days and we saw the peach too. I thought it was a bit strange to have it in SC instead of, say, Georgia? But it was a nice distraction for a few miles. All the signs “Come visit us, under the giant peach”
    Be glad you didn’t have a cranky toddler in tow. Glad you made it safe and sound.

  11. Sheryl

    Hair cream, oh man, thanks for the morning giggle. So you’re there right? Or are you blogging from a hotel?

  12. Judy.

    I know that peach well! It’s one of the landmarks we looked to when driving home from NC to let us know that we really WERE progressing in our trip!!!

    If you come a bit further south on I-75, you can also see a giant peanut. I know… you just can’t wait to make that road trip now, can you?

  13. Monica

    I have always thought that giant peach looks like a giant butt! I’m sure that is not what the folks in Gaffney were going for.

    Welcome to the South!!

  14. dcfullest

    Monica isn’t the only one who thinks it looks like a giant butt– everyone does. And the bottom stem is a really unfortunate color.
    Someone told me that Sc now grows more peaches than Georgia, but who knows?

  15. Mimipz5wjj

    Oh that is too funny because it is JUST like my DH and me! Only he has a funny London accent thing goin’ for him… still, I’m convinced that 1/2 the reason we’re still together is because I don’t understand 1/2 of what he says! LOL! When we first met, he told me he had to go to Portugal in the morning … I thought he said he had to go “pork a girl.” Hmmm….. I still married him!

  16. Jenny

    Yay! Welcome to the sunny, hot, sunny, hot, humid and hot South! Is the casino ready for some serious relaxation?

    Ah, the Mighty Peachoid. The ol’ gluteus peachimus. It does look, unfortunately, like a giant butt. We like to think of it as part of our wacky southern charm. Come see us! Under the Giant ASS!

    I’m usually a lurker, but I wish I’d realized (duh?) that you’d be coming south on 85. Except for the fact that you don’t actually know me at all, you could have pulled off in Greenville and I’d have plied you guys with substitute cream cheese brownies.

    As for why the Peachoid is in SC and not GA, well, I’ll just leave you with this:


  17. Julie

    Welcome to Georgia! I look forward to local shopping tips and bargains from now on. It’s always a wonderful idea to move to Georgia (as I did) in mid-summer…

  18. Teggin

    Hi, Mir! First time commenter here. I live in Virginia but teach at the University of Georgia, so I have made that drive countless times. I agree with the above commenters that the peach looks like a giant butt; in fact, whenever I drive by it I like to yell out “Butt Peach!!” It helps me stay alert.

    By the way, I’ve really enjoyed hearing about all of your Athens trips, and I’ve also gotten a kick out of looking at Otto’s pictures from around Athens. I’m looking forward to reading about this next wonderful stage in your lives.

  19. Randi

    And Mir exits mild humidity and enters majory humidity with a touch fo southern hospitality…

  20. Ben

    I’ve seen that peach!!!

    Yes, they let us out of Texas, once in a while.

    Happy matrimonial bliss, hope you find brownies soon.

  21. Megan

    Long road trip p’shaw. Earn your stripes the hard way woman, like I did – three kids (ages 7 – 3), 2 adults (ages unreleased), driving in November from San Angelo, TX to Anchorage, Alaska in a Saturn sedan. AND still talking to each other when we got there. I will not divulge the nature of the talk… However we liked the trip so much we drove from Anchorage to Virginia three years later! Yup! Can’t be taught.

  22. Daisy

    Surviving a road trip together is almost like sharing a kitchen and cooking together.
    And now, of course, I have the urge to take a road trip to see the giant peach/butt. It’ll take me a few days to get there from the midwest, though.

  23. Sara

    Three things:
    1. Crying, CRYING I say, over the loss of the cheescake brownies. I am grieving for you!
    2. I am more amazed by the fact that the giant peach is called a “peachoid” than by the fact that you saw a water tower painted that way. (I have one like a hot air balloon, complete with people in the basket down the road from me.)
    3. “You’re excellent”=hair cream. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

  24. tammy

    I have driven past that peach more times than I care to recall, and I did not know it was called “The Peachoid.”

    I am not sure how I feel about it now that I do know.

  25. Stephanie C


    You have to come to the peach park. They have the best ice cream.

  26. jenn

    Okay the giant peach is totally bitchin’. Your trip reminds me of driving to South Dakota the summer after Mr. Clairol and I got married. In a Vanagon, naturally. With Drama Queen. Five years later, those are some of my best memories.

  27. Aimee

    I think long road trips are an excellent indicator of compatibility. Ours was a little longer than 15 hours (try seven days) and we still liked each other at the end of it. Oh! And we saw a smiley-face water tower in Iowa in a little town so friendly that the smiley-face seemed like the town’s mascot. With no irony. What are the chances?

  28. Sophie

    Welcome to Georgia! Glad you’ve finally made it.

    I’ve seen that peach a million times. You are right; it does look like a giant butt. What a beacon.

    Jenny’s link to that video is TOO FUNNY. Peaches and fireworks, baby — now that’s a volatile combination.

  29. Genevieve

    We got totally loopy and giggly over the giant peach on our first giant road trip together, too (TX to VA). And I agree about it as a test of marital happiness!

    What is it about Twizzlers that makes them the perfect road-trip food?

  30. Lulu

    Mir – I’m delurking because I have to tell you that your conversations with Otto in the car are hillarious! I’m glad that you’re on your way to my beautiful home state of pine trees and blinding heat.

    I normally don’t reference any of my posts in a comment, but if you want to know what your life could be like in 50 years, you must take a gander at my post about the conversation that my grandparents had on a recent road trip back from Florida….very similar to your conversation…


  31. Kristen

    you forgot the earplugs? and what about the “are we there yet”s?

    you have arrived. now for the fun part.

  32. Cassie

    Oh my god! I drove from NYC to Austin (TX) last year in a day and a half with a good friend of mine. I TOTALLY remember driving past the giant Peach water tower and almost loosing it, I was so excited.
    I puffy pink heart peach water towers. :)

  33. ScottsdaleGirl

    Uncontrollable giggling is the only way to travel.

  34. Heidi

    Cele and Mimipz5wjj are cracking me up big time! Here’s one of my favorite jokes along the same line:

    A 92 year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm.

    At his follow up visit, the doctor talked to the man and said, “You’re really doing great, aren’t you?”

    The man replied, “Just doing what you said Doc: ‘Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'”

    The Doctor said, “I didn’t say that. I said you got a heart murmur. Be careful.”

  35. patty

    So now I started READING things wrong when I went to the Peachoid site. I read “…then Peter Freudenburg, an artist specializing in super-graphics, was hired to paint the tank” as “then Peter Freudenburg, an artist specializing in super-graphics, was LURED to paint the tank.” That led to a few seconds of wondering how exactly one would lure an artist to a Southern town to paint a giant peach. What would be the bait? Twizzlers?

  36. Christina

    I waved to you as you drove my way :) Congratulations on making it without killing each other, better than dh and I did 11 years ago on our long drive to our honeymoon.

  37. bellevelma

    Regular Twizzlers or Chocolate Twizzlers? It makes a difference. On long trips like that I find it helps to have both flavors with you.

  38. Frannie

    You should have stopped by to say hi here in North Charlotte on your way down. Yes, I know that giant peach. Gaffney has great shopping!!! Glad you’re home with your husband and happy!!!! :)

  39. BOSSY

    EZ Pass makes Bossy want to have another baby, since Bossy’s kids always woke up like firemen every time the car slowed for a toll booth. Anyway, dear – have fun, there will be other Cheesecake Brownie days for you and Otto…

  40. Jan in Norman OK

    No giant fruit facsimiles in Oklahoma that I know of. But we do have The Golden Driller — a 76 foot tall, 43,500 pound statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa. According to “reliable sources”, it’s the “largest free standing statue in the world.”

  41. MzAriez

    I really liked your story of your adventure. I travel from Minnesota to Ohio a couple times a year and always get stuck in the toll booth lanes. Glad you could cruise thru.

    Keep smiling.


  42. Dawn



    I knew I’d forgotten something.

    That would explain the divorce, then.

    And apologies for my annoying countryman.

  43. dad

    I was seriously disappointed that you didn’t take the brownies with you.
    For the sole purpose of keeping our freezer uncluttered, I feel compelled to report that I have eaten them. They were really, really, really, really goood! Post consumption, I am now the sweetest thing north of the Mason-Dixon line.
    I will thank you as soon as I come out of sugar shock and come down off the ceiling.
    Stop by anytime. I’ll buy you some more.


  44. Carolie

    My hometown is an hour or so from the giant peach watertower. My father calls it the “giant diaper rash display.” For obvious reasons.

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