dog, buddy, puppy, art
Family, Humor, Travel

Thank You Alabama Rooster-Florida Spring Break Part One


Before I start our story, we need to address the traffic on the way to Florida by me telling you this: don’t drive to Florida.

Seriously. If you are even thinking about it, stop.

Stop now.

Because this is what awaits you:

Don't Drive to Florida-Traffic in Alabama

Lots and lots of that.

To be clear, I live in the Chicago area and experience traffic on the regular. It’s part of our culture; in fact, when referring to how far away something is, we commonly refer to how long IN TRAFFIC it will take.

Oh Skokie? Yeah, it’s about a 45 minute drive but with traffic? An hour.

I am no newbie as it pertains to vehicular congestion on roadways, but the traffic we experienced on the way to Florida was beyond my expectations.

In the worst possible way.

I mean, I get it.

After this year of killer flu’s, toxic news, and weather of epic proportions, people want to get THE HELL out of the northern regions of the United States.

But seriously, it’s like they were giving away something in the south.


I was already on edge because of how our spring break started.

Let me back up.

This was on day one:


Don't Drive to Florida- Pediatrician office

A hacking cough that started the night before we were to leave (a day early because 8 inches of snow that we had to bypass).

I need to tell you that the last time we traveled out of the state in January, I felt like I might be coming down with a cold but I powered through because we were heading to a dear framily member’s funeral.

After having to turn around the next day and head home because I took an ugly turn, it was discovered that I had Type A Influenza.

So when I hear a cough the night before we head anywhere from our four walls, I am now paranoid.

The morning we were to leave, I took Ellie to sick call at the pediatrician to find our fate.  Turns out she had a little upper respiratory thing going on and that we were all clear to go to Florida!


But as I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office waiting for Ella’s strep test results, my phone rang. Normally I wouldn’t answer it and send it to voicemail but it had a local number and just wanted to be safe.

It was the kennel calling.

Drawing of Buddy by Rebecca B.

We’ve been lucky enough to have never kenneled our Buddy in his almost two years of life.

Last spring break, my mom and dad were able to watch him in their home; this past summer while in Utah, our framily member Jake was able to stay in our home and watch him.

Long story, but my parents couldn’t watch him in their home because of health issues with their sweet doggie Dolly and Jake was going to be watching another dog at another home.

The kennel it was.

Let me tell you, the entire month of March I was having major anxiety about it.

After researching his kennel with more fervor and intensity than I did the girls’ preschool, I found a place that got great reviews.

The week before, we made the mistake of going to the kennel for a visit. When I saw the cold hard floors and narrow runs he would be in, I may have had to excuse myself.

People do this all the damn time, I reasoned! Pull yourself together Kari! I need to be calm for him or he will sense my impending doom.

It was decided that Mike would have to do the drop off because I would be a mess.

It was while I was having a minor panic attack at the pediatrician about our possible canceled spring break that my phone rang.

Umm yes, we have Buddy here but he won’t let anyone touch him. His fur is up and he is showing his teeth.



Buddy isn’t a mean dog; he goes to the dog park once a week and is very social with dogs AND people; we have lots of people come into our home on the regular.

BUT he is with us when those things occur.

And he might have a touch of his mommy’s anxiety. Which is why he and I get along so well.

So Mike headed back to the kennel to save our little Buddy and I scrambled to find an alternative.

Thank you, Jesus, for family and framily (friends who are family). Between my mom and dad, my dear friends Rebecca and Dawn, we had three shifts per day that could come to the house to let Buddy out, feed and water him, and play.


My dad played music on his phone for him while snuggling and reading the newspaper online; Rebecca made sure he had on music throughout the house so he wouldn’t feel lonely; Dawn fed him by hand because he had a little doggie depression going on and wasn’t eating at first. These people saved my little Buddy and my soul and for that, I am eternally grateful.

We finally got on the road and were an hour into the trip when Ella’s cough got so bad that we questioned if we were doing the right thing.

The doctor said it was fine to go but didn’t give us any medicine or suggestions for some.

Mike knew of a Walgreen’s that was just up the road as it used to be in his territory for work.

There’s a Walgreen’s just up at the next exit! We will get some cough medicine for her so she can rest!

We pulled off at the next exit when Mike started laughing. Maniacal laughing.


If you need a Walgreens in Matteson Illinois, you’re fu#$ed

It was at this point that I seriously wanted to go home.


But when things get kind of ugly, Mike and I like to play a game called “it could be shittier“.

-Buddy is in his home

-Ella doesn’t have strep or the flu

-We have GPS and can find another drug store. HOW DID OUR PARENTS DO THIS??

-It was sunny

-We were going to Florida. So shut the hell up.



We made it to Huntsville Alabama at 11 that night and woke up early the next day to get on the road to Florida.

We were excited! We only had to wear a sweatshirt instead of winter coats we were wearing at home! Things are looking up!

We got up extra early and stopped to get food on the road because DESTIN IN SIX HOURS!

To traffic again. And lots of it.

We realized at this point that this wasn’t normal traffic but rather the North invading the South.

We stopped at a McDonald’s along the highway that was also a gas station because the first McDonald’s we tried, you couldn’t even get into the parking lot because North invading South.

While Mike ran in to get our food and pump some gas, the girls and I started hearing this funny noise from outside of the car.





Roosters who were NOT havin’ the traffic party going on at the (I’m assuming) normally calm gas station across the street.
The girls and I started laughing so hard.
Then it made me smile.
And TRULY appreciate the trip for the first time.
Thank you Alabama Rooster.
Stay tuned for the second part next week because I wasn’t motivated enough to finish it before today.



22 thoughts on “Thank You Alabama Rooster-Florida Spring Break Part One”

  1. O.M.G. I love your family. I almost want to do spring break with you.

    Trust me, I know about the anxiety and the fur babies. The main reason we don’t go on vacation is that we don’t have anyone to be with our kitties 24/7! Especially our old guy – he is high needs and has medications that have to be administered twice/day. You are so lucky that you had a crew coming several times a day to take care of Buddy.

    See you in a few hours! Guess that means I’d better get in the shower and stop being lazy. 😉


  2. You crack me up. I spent spring break finishing a kitchen renovation and getting house ready to sell. Kind of a toss up as to which would be worse: that or invasion traffic. But your story is way funnier than mine. 🙂 Looking forward to the next installment.


  3. Be careful now…you’re talking about the good ole state of Alabama…my home sweet home LOL. I’m glad you’re able to get away on a vacation, leave all that cold weather & snow behind. You’re going to be peeling away more layers of clothes the deeper you get into the south. I’m not surprised to hear about the traffic. Are you going I-65?
    I’m sorry Buddy didn’t adjust well to the vet. Our cat was mad at us for 2 days for sending him there.


    1. 65 was awful but it’s awful in the Midwest too. Honestly, we loved Alabama the farther south we got. With each mile, we were peeling away the crummy weather and it was getting GREEN! Also, have you ever been to Daphne/Fairhope area? I felt like I was in Heaven. Just beautiful.

      Aww poor kitty! Buddy was a little disgusted at us for leaving him the first day home but he got over it real quick. 🙂


      1. Oh my, I know 65 was terrible! Oh yes, I have been to Daphne & Fairhope…they are lovely towns. So scenic. Hope you enjoy your time & can relax. It always took us 2 days to relax and realize, we’re on vacation! We’re in Florida!But it goes by so fast & then it’s time to go home.


  4. Aww, there’s nothing worse than starting out a trip on a somewhat ominous note(s) but I have a good feeling this will be the worst of it. (Stop laughing).

    Poor pup. Maybe an occasional visit for a “spa day” would help him adjust should you not be able to line up those great people to rotate in the future? I get it though, they’re our babies! Thank goodness you weren’t halfway there when they called!


  5. I have had this pulled up on my computer ever since it first published. FINALLY I get to read it. HAHAHAHAHA. You are a joy to read. How did Buddy do on your return? Framily is the BEST. Hmm, ya know…you could bring Buddy. My sister always stays at hotels that allow pets. I’ve been known to snuggle our puppy in a hotel room in an emergency pinch. SHHHHHHH

    And in other news…I just sent the BIG box of papers this morning. 🙂


    1. So we wanted to bring him but every place we wanted to stay was NO DOGS ALLOWEEDDDD. Side note- there is a Snoopy movie where they say that over and over, and that just rang in my ears.

      Where was I?

      Yes! He did great but was a little nervous the first few days back. Now he’s back to his title of baby of the family/king of the castle.



  6. Oh boy! That is quite a start to the trip. LOL. Reminds me of why we like to vacation in the off season. 😉 Can’t wait to read part 2!


  7. That’s definitely quite a start to the trip! We drove to Florida only once when I was a kid. I can relate to getting sick on vacation. It’s happened to me before and being the hypochondriac that I am, I worry before every vacation now! Thanks for linking up to Take Me Away this month!


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