Monday, August 9, 2010

The Legend of Otto

Day 24: Monday, August 9, 2010
The Legend of Otto

Morning found us searching for two things - a roadside veggie stand and the home of the Otto Family.

We were driving along the back roads of Sardis, Mississippi when Mark suddenly brought the RV to a screeching halt after spotting this empty fruit stand and the attached sign instructing, "Honk Horn for Service."

Certain that we were about to be murdered and wondering why her husband would choose to stop at an obviously empty stand, April held back in the RV with phone and baby in hand - ready to call someone at a moment's notice to defend her family. She's not really sure what she would have done with the baby in the case of such an emergency - though he could be wielded as a weapon of sorts after eating the proper combination of berries and peppers? Of course, Mark was right after all and trotted gloatingly back to the RV with fresh produce in hand. The total price: $1.50. When Mark handed over two dollars the man replied, "I'm alright with it if you are."

We had worked up quite an appetite after our morning produce stand project, so we pulled into a local favorite of Winona, Mississippi called Woody's Old Town Grill. The reviews we had read were both mouth-watering and enticing, however we most easily identified with their credo...

While Mark and April were on the same page, Andrew was somewhere else entirely. He had been right in the middle of his morning nap when we abruptly woke him for this lunch stop. Apparently during a month on vacation the simple basics of parenting had escaped us. What were we thinking!?! A toddler train wreck proceeded to unfold before us as our little man went from happy to all out meltdown mode. Andrew was dedicated to screaming hysterically and sobbing from the minute he was taken out of his carseat. Once in the restaurant, heads turned and eyes rolled. "That child is fit to be tied", muttered a Dom DeLuise look-a-like who was obviously dining with his grandmother and her bridge club friends. As we settled in to our seats, Andrew decided to hurl a full iced tea across the table into Dad's lap. Shattered glass and sweet tea flew everywhere. Mark and April met each other's gaze with a quiet intensity reserved only for two people who have no idea what to do but know that what is happening is totally their fault somehow. Things get fuzzy here - but we basically ate and packed up as fast as possible amidst comments from the house peanut gallery like "Lordy, Lordy, that baby there is upset."

Needless to say, Andrew received one stearn "talkin' to" from Dad and we got back on the road. Soon we arrived in fabulous Jackson, Mississippi - home to the Otto Family and fellow blonde baby, Ever Otto.

Musician and stay-at-home dad Casey Otto not only bakes homemade banana bread - he also cooks, cleans, and cuts the grass. Easy ladies, he's married to a hot doctor. In his spare time he rocks out with his many bands all around Jackson AND attaches this gadget to aluminum cans to create a drinking-friendly "handle." This guy has it all figured out...

Casey is also a genius decorator of HGTV proportions. He anchored the playroom with a five foot bean bag chair that creates a great look and a lounging utopia. Mark wasted no time settling in...

Andrew and Ever got down to the business of playing together, eating together, and even bathing together (now we have pictures to embarrass them with in twenty years). Thanks to Ever and his many baby secrets, Andrew was once again happy and playful. Look out Spring Break 2030 - these two are a gruesome twosome.

Exhausted from hours of toddling, the boys went to bed as Mama Otto (Dr. Otto) arrived home from surgery just in time to hang out over bottles of wine and Mark's steaks hot off the grill. Love hanging out with the Otto Fam - wish we could do it more often! Thanks Ottos!

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