Here is a list of things I learned on my SXSW road trip:
1. Just because a hotel room says it is non-smoking, it doesn't mean it won't smell like smoke.
2. The GPS woman (we named her Greta) gets easily annoyed when you stop for gas or lunch or whatever. I swear I heard her sigh after her 3rd "Recalculating."
3. Cabela's is not a store for me -- or really anyone who is not interested in either making things dead or moving dead things around.
4. Tennessee has a lot more to offer than is obvious from the highway. Like The Arcade restaurant -- I am still thinking about that French Toast!
5. Always take more audio books than you think you'll want.
6. Families on Thanksgiving are basically all the same -- it is just a lot less stressful when it isn't your family (or in-laws).
7. The highway between Dallas and Little Rock is so flat and straight that you could put the car on cruise control and get in the back seat for awhile.
8. Tex-Mex food eaten in Texas is so much better, but turkey is turkey no matter where you are.
9. Any trip that involves going through New Jersey will mean taking at least 2 wrong turns.
10. When you're doing your final hotel room check to make sure you have everything always, always, always check under the covers.
That's what I learned. What I knew going in was that we were going to have a great time both in the car and in Dallas, we were going to eat a lot, and that I am lucky to have a husband and kid who were as enthusiastic about this trip as I was. I also knew it was going to be absolutely fantastic to be with Karen and her family and that it would be really, really hard to say good-bye.