Saturday, June 07, 2008

On the Road - the long-lost cousin's surprise visit

On the third morning of our trip, using Google Maps, a road atlas, a pen, and several napkins, we revamped our route and decided to, instead of heading south to I-10, take the route every sensible person takes when going out West and get on I-40 in Knoxville. (Eventually, I'm going to write a post, with diagrams, of the many routes we've PLANNED and the ones we've actually taken.) With this route, we'd pass through Nashville and Memphis (and therefore Graceland) and, I realized from the map, Sparta, Tennessee.
It is a funny coincidence that I grew up in Sparta, NJ, and my dad's family is from Sparta, TN. From what I understand, most of the family is there, and the family I know is a small branch that moved to New Jersey. (Like how my mom's family is all in France, and we are just the small long-lost American cousins.)
I called my parents and asked them, "Should I stop in Sparta?" I didn't know if it would be rude to just drop in on people who have never met me with less than a day's notice.
My parents said, of course we should stop in, and my dad called my grandfather and several hours of phone tag ensued, as we drove from Bristol (where the giant guitar was) to Knoxville to Sparta.
But finally we made it there.
Apparently, Sparta is the county seat.
And finally, the family:
Next stop: Memphis!

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