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Liberty Bowl Travelogue (Day One): Making Our Way to Memphis to See the Georgia Bulldogs Play

(Author’s Note: As you probably figured by now, there will be no instantaneous ill-informed roundball wrapup regarding last evening’s basketball game; honestly, you don’t need me to tell you that the Hoop Hounds hammered Chuck Southern. Yesterday was a travel day for the King family, so this morning features the first installment of my Liberty Bowl travelogue.)

Tuesday was a busy day in my household, as we took down the Christmas tree, packed for our trip, and headed to the airport. The plane ride to Memphis represented my two-year-old daughter’s first flight, and my seven-year-old son’s first flight since he was too young to remember, so my wife, Susan, and I tried to make a big deal out of the adventure of winging our way to an unfamiliar land.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a challenge explaining air travel to children under ten using points of reference other than the daring rescue at the end of "Toy Story 2." Susan’s and my daughter, Elizabeth, was interested primarily in the artwork on display at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, from the metallic penguin to the ants marching on the ceiling to the dinosaur skeleton. (We made the mistake of approaching the skeleton from the tail end, prompting expressions of concern by Elizabeth that an unsuspecting traveler might encounter a load of dinosaur poop.)

We gave the kids the window seats, but our son, Thomas, probably was less fascinated by watching us take off than by the complimentary in-flight wi-fi, which reminded him of the airplane episode of Nickelodeon’s "Victorious." For her part, Elizabeth was amazed at the variety of vehicles in which she rode in the space of a single day: our car going to the airport, escalators and a train in the airport, the airplane, a bus going to the off-site car rental location, the rental car, and an elevator at the hotel.

The adjustment from Eastern to central time took some explaining; when I told Thomas we were an hour off from the time to which we were accustomed, he asked whether that meant there were 25 hours in a day here. Unfortunately, there were not, so the King family called it an early night after catching a short interview with George O’Leary on the local news and grabbing a late dinner at the nearby IHOP. (In the future, we will have to remember not to order Elizabeth a pancake with a face, because she befriended it rather than eating it.)

Today, we begin the adventure of our first trip to Memphis!

Go ‘Dawgs!