Lessons Learned on the Road

1) Never drive through Houston during rush hour. In the rain. In the metro section. Where the I-10 branches off to the I-45 and Downtown exits. You're liable to wind up driving in circles for 3 hours, just to get back on course. Really. This could happen to you. This message could, in fact, save your life.

2) When purchasing disposable cat litter boxes, make sure the box you purchase is big enough for your cat. Poor Solomon. Or should I say, poor Zoey. Or should I say, poor us. Which leads me to a sub-lesson of Lesson Number 2: I really, really, really don't like cleaning out a crate carrier that's been mussed by a cat. Or cleaning up said kitty after the fact. Ick.

3) In the same amount of time it takes you to drive through Texas, you can drive through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and STILL have time to catch a few winks of sleep in your new home in Winter Park. Sheesh.

4) A new bed is one of the most luxurious inventions in the world. Especially when you've been sleeping on the couch and floor for the past 12 months of your life. And a twin bed for the previous year before that. Ah, the wonder of soft blue sheets. White down comforters. Billowy mattresses. I could sleep forever on the bed in our new place. I'm not kidding, either.

5) Even if your cats are sane (and it's questionable whether ours are, in fact, sane), they likely still wouldn't appreciate being cooped up in a crate carrier in the back seat of a Volkswagen Jetta for much more than 12 hours. And we ran 14 hour days on that I-10 road. After four of those days, I can still hear Diva's pathetic mew ringing in my ears. And, of course, Solomon's signature chirp.

So, we leave for Europe this afternoon on a 3-week expedition through Ireland and "that other place." The travels begin with a wedding ceremony on the Aran Islandsat 1pm this Friday afternoon. (That's 5am on the West Coast for all you California folk out there.) And then we're off for a 10-day foray in the Emerald Isle and a mysterious 8-day stint in some other as-of-yet-undisclosed location.

My latest guess on that "other place"? Italy.

I'll keep you posted.