1. Always call and check ahead at your hotel. They may only have shower stalls instead of bathtubs, and so you may have to a) shower with a slippery, screamy one-year-old or b) bathe a slippery, screamy one-year-old in the tiny sink. Neither is very fun.
2. It is motherfucking HOT as a motherfucker in Arkansas. I lost five pounds by sweating profusely.
3. At a gas station in Marion, Arkansas, there were a half-dozen redneck men, gassing up their huge trucks for a huntin' or fishin' trip. They were smoking. As they pumped gas. It was some awe-inspiring brilliance.
4. Despite all the warnings that it would be a suck-ass experience, Little Rock Zoo was pretty damn neat. And we were there early enough that we didn't melt as we walked around, and all the animals were out to greet us. Also? Camel rides.
5. Even after eleven or so years, Blackwood's Gyros and Grill is still delicious. The husband recommends The Blackwood, while I'll go ahead and vouch for anything that isn't nailed down. Yum.
6. We got to hang out with my 15-year-old niece and 11-year-old nephew. They're really tall now and make me feel really old.
7. The in-laws managed to not make us too crazy. They were actually very hospitable and friendly, and I wasn't called any names. The mother-in-law also loaded us up with bags and bags of cack. Like toothbrushes from dentist visits, an animated Santa, and bibles. We never visit them and leave with fewer than four bibles. Is she trying to tell me something?
8. Speaking of the godless heathen that I am, would you like to see the biggest, holiest cross this side of the Mississippi?
It makes you feel like screaming amen. Or snickering wildly. Whatever. And huh, there's a freaking website about it.9. All in all, we had fun. The kids got to see gorillas and where the husband grew up. I got to feel completely out of place with my very northern accent. The husband got to visit with his parents, siblings, and friends he hasn't seen in a few years. The kids mostly behaved, but I don't plan on driving more than 20 minutes with them any time soon. And ohmigawd, people, I MISSED MY BED.
10. One last one. Perhaps the most unfortunate place on Earth to live.
(Many apologies to the fine folks of Cooter, Missouri. I'm sure I'll be able to pass by one day without guffawing immaturely.)