When Mama and Papa got back the morning of Day 6, it was time to pack everything up and leave. I was still a bit grumpy about being left out of Mama and Papa's evening, but Mama told me to adjust my attitude and get everything packed.
I searched in vain one more time for Aragorn's sword. Hopefully the S family will be able to find it and send it to me sometime. For now, hopefully there are no Ringwraiths around, or poor Aragorn is doomed with no way to defend himself. :(
Once the car was all packed up, Mama took a moment to take some pics of Rachel and I together on the front porch and in the S's yard. Rachel was wearing her "Humboldt Hat", as she called it, that she had made herself. I couldn't help thinking that it would be a long time before she would have the need to wear it again.
Ready to go home!
On the way out of town, we stopped at Pierson's so that Mama could show me the lion statue that's been there since she was in high school. She figured I'd like it since I'm as much into Narnia as she is. Oh. My. Goodness. How awesome is this? We totally need this for our backyard.
I tried to convince Mama that we could fit him in the trunk, but she said there's no way we could get over the mountains. Plus, we'd have to leave all of our stuff here. I didn't see a problem with that plan, but Mama and Papa didn't go for it.
So for now, I'll just have to be content with pics. Someday, though, I think Aslan needs to come to our house. ;)
After our Pierson's stop, we went through the Burger King drive-thru and picked up lunch. We drove to a car dealership at the edge of town and ate in the car. I wasn't sure why we were stopping there until we finished and all got out. In the parking lot, there was a huge carousel. Mama said that she and Papa and the girls stopped here last year and the girls really loved it. The carousel runs from 12-4 pm every week day and is free to ride.
Rachel, Josefina and I climbed on this daring orange charger.
Molly and Polly rode the chocolate brown horse next door.
Then, for the next couple of turns, we all piled on the yellow benches and rode around. It was so fun!
We didn't want to leave (and neither did the human girls), but Mama and Papa said we needed to go if we wanted to get home at a decent time.
Once we'd found another bathroom for one last potty stop, we all settled in for the long car ride home. I found it rather awkward to be stuck alone with Rachel. Jess had stayed behind since she was going home with Grandmama. I hadn't realized until that moment that most of our conversations had been between Jess and I, with Rachel interjecting only every so often. I wondered what on earth we'd find to talk about on the way home.
Rachel reminded me a lot of Tess. She was quiet and almost painfully shy. I realized that I'd kind of assumed what she'd be interested in. I was sure she was another Jane Austen lover, a dreamy reader and a romantic. Not much I had in common with her then. Of course, Tess and I didn't really seem to have much in common either, but we'd been best friends for years.
Mama kept shooting pics right and left. Everything was so green, she couldn't help herself.
Rachel and I watched the road quietly for a lot of the trip.
For part of it, we even fell asleep!
Here's a pretty picture Mama took at a rest stop.
As we traveled along, I happened to mention to Rachel how disappointed I was to miss out on "Thor". Her usually shy demeanor lit up.
"I love that movie!" she exclaimed. "It's my absolute favorite!!"
I blinked in surprise. "Really? Because I totally had you figured for the Jane Austen type."
Rachel made a face. "Only if I want to fall asleep. I love superhero movies, especially Thor and Iron Man...I haven't gotten to see Iron Man 2 yet, though. And I'm TOTALLY excited about Captain America and then The Avengers next year!"
I looked at her, a bemused smile on my face. "Wow, so you do know how to talk, when it's about something you like. And I so did not think you'd be the superhero type!"
Rachel blushed. "Not very many people do. Just because I'm shy around people I don't know, everyone thinks I'm into frilly, girly stuff. I'm not."
I grinned. "You know, I think you and I are going to get along just fine. So, is there anything else I should know about you?"
Rachel thought for a moment. "Well, I love the beach, as you already know. I'm a big fan of the Muppets. My favorite is Kermit. Oh, and my favorite food is fish 'n chips from Trinidad Eatery!"
"Well, we don't have a Trinidad Eatery, but we do have a few places in town that make decent fish 'n chips." I shook my head. "Hmmm, Muppets and Superheroes. Who'da thunk it?"
By this time, we'd reached our next stop: the Tops Sentry market. The humans got out, took another potty break and picked up some snacks. Rachel and I stayed in the car, and Rachel went over most of the plot points of Iron Man and Thor. I couldn't wait to see the movies.
"So, do you read all the Marvel comic books too?" I asked.
Rachel shook her head. "I basically found out about the Marvel stories from the movies. I've looked over some of the info on the comic books, but there are so many of them, and the stories are really different...it was just too overwhelming. I'm sure the Marvel purists wouldn't be impressed, but I just stick with the movies, myself. And I try to go for the ones that aren't as...racy...if you know what I mean. That's why I liked Thor so much. It was violent, but it wasn't too sensual."
I nodded. "It's always so annoying when they ruin a movie with that."
Mama, Papa and the kiddos came back to the car, ending our conversation for the moment.
We kept on driving. We were really surprised to be met with misty weather as we got closer to home. It seemed like we'd accidentally turned around and headed back to Eureka!
When we got to our hometown, Mama and Papa decided to go to their favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner (so that Mama didn't have to cook). We all enjoyed our meal before heading home.
Tess was so excited to see me when I got there. She almost knocked me over with her hug!
"Girls, this is Rachel, the newest member of our family. Mama found her in Eureka." Everyone smiled at her. Charlie stood on her tippy toes on the chair so she could get a better look.
Tess gave Rachel a special smile. She had a knack for recognizing another shy doll that might need a bit of encouragement before coming out of her shell.
Within moments, everyone was surrounding Rachel, introducing themselves and asking her about herself. She seemed a little overwhelmed, but happy.
Tess gave me another big hug. "I'm so glad you're home!" she said excitedly.
I grinned as I looked around the familiar room, my home for the past 3 years. I watched my friends as they worked hard to make my newest friend feel accepted and welcome.
I turned back to Tess. "Me too. I had a great time, but it's good to be back!"