So, long day (8 AM - 11 PM), fun, long periods of sitting still, excitement & emotions from winning awards, eating at a fun restaurant-- it all adds up to this: These kids are not falling asleep any time soon.
We ate dinner in Odessa (My apologies to Texas Roadhouse for starting a mini-riot at our table. My apologies to future Bible bowlers if you aren't allowed back to Texas Roadhouse. My apologies to parents for getting your daughters all riled up. If anyone else would like an apology, let me know.), then headed for Lubbock.
Let me put it this way: Our bus was LOUD. Riled up, indeed. They swapped stories, they played Truth or Dare (until I ordered them to stop; it was getting a bit out of hand), they sang, they poked each other, they bounced out of their seats until Chad asked me to enforce the wearing of seat belts. But finally, after a final load-up of sugar in Seminole, the noise level dropped down, and the kids (and I!) fell asleep. I think one of them stayed awake, but she wasn't making any noise, so I didn't notice.
Lest you think I am-- or was-- upset with the kids in any way, I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. I have a hard time being on my best behaviour for 15 hours (as those who are regularly around me will probably tell you), and I'm nearly 31 years old. How much harder is it for 9- to 12-year-olds? All that pent-up energy; we probably needed to drive to the nearest running track and let them work off some steam for 20 minutes before heading home. (Hey, we were late anyway; why not?)
So, tire drama notwithstanding, the trip was great. I bet I sleep good tonight.