We just had a grand vacation...Brandon wrote his version about it...only including some minor fictional points. The itinerary was Wed- drive to Ohio and stop to see Niagara Falls in the middle, Thursday- see the Creation museum and then drive 14 hours straight through the night to Oklahoma where Roy and Bekah were getting married. We arrived Friday morning. Rehersal was that evening and as Rachel was part of that, we went. Went to dinner afterwards and had some yummy catfish and saw my cousin Christine- which I haven't seen in ages! Saturday we went to a park in the morning where the kids played while I cleaned out the van of all the car food, then that evening was the wedding- it was beautiful and short!:-) reception followed as usual and we relaxed and visited with people. Saturday evening we packed up and then Sunday morning we drove to Dallas to drop Jane and Amy off at the airport and meet up with Melissa Brown for a lil' visit. We chanced to be there during the Texas state fair and walked around that a bit and checked out another "free" science museum (thanks to some cool membership pass we have) Had some good smokehouse BBQ for dinner and then drove to Longview and spent the night in a small hotel room. Monday we drove all day to Alabama and the highlight of that day was the gas station that we stopped at in some small town in Mississippi that had several men standing around "shootin' the breeze" and after listening to them for a least 5 minutes or so, I realized that their Southern Accent was so heavy that I couldn't really understand a word they were saying! Sorry Dixie...I've been away too long indeed! The beach was our home from Monday evening until Saturday morning. We had a blast- the waves were perfect for our inexperienced-in-the-water kids. The pool was 3-5 ft deep and that gave the boys the courage to try all sorts of things. We also took a trip to Mobile one day on an auto ferry, saw the USS Alabama battleship, and the USS Drum submarine and a smattering of planes.
Saturday we drove to Georgia and parked at "Dani's house" as Rachel declared it. Most people would consider it "Joe and Alouette's". That week was primarily to prepare for the Georgia reception for Bekah and Roy. I had lots of fun and was pretty exhausted by the end, but Fritha and I had a blast! We had a good time visiting with plenty of friends, family, and generally trying to relax in between cooking efforts. Saturday was the reception and went really well. I think we had almost 150 people come over the course of the day. That was really exciting! Sunday we packed up AGAIN and after church and a nice "covered dish dinner" and went to South Carolina where we stopped to see our new little Aldrich neices Aeralind and Bronwyn. Cute little girls! Rachel and Joseph had a grand time with them and we enjoyed visiting with Derek and Melissa for a bit. We stayed overnight in a hotel nearby and then drove the other 16 hours home on Monday. That was a long day, but my favorite part was the very end when it was after 9pm, the kids were all sleeping in the van, Brandon was driving, there was quiet music playing and I got out of my seat, scooted over onto the cooler and we had some quiet time talking and enjoying a couple of precious hours of time- just the two of us. We got home around 12:30am and went directly to bed.
Tuesday afternoon I went to a followup for kidney stone analysis and discovered that my whole problem in the past is that I've been basically dehydrated long term and that everything in all the tests points to the fact that if I just doubled my urine volume it would be almost impossible for me to create stones. Good to know, easy fix, inexpensive, and I think I'll try it. Wednesday we got unpacked, Thursday I had my back fixed at the chiropractor from all those long hours of driving.
There you go...that's it. For the first time in our family's life we had a completely uneventful trip! No disasters, to big car problems, no sick kids...I kept waiting for the bomb to drop and it didn't! Praise the Lord! we had TONS of happy moments, plenty of fun with the kids, and lots of relaxing time. Hooray.
And now for those of you who feel like you got jipped out of a good story...here's a top ten list to pacify your addiction.
Top Ten Favorite Memories from our Vacation
10. At the beach, Renna was asleep on a T-shirt and rolled over and did a face plant in the sand getting it in her eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. I rinsed her off for several minutes before I discovered that the entire time a jelly fish was bumping into my leg and I had almost rinsed her with it!
9. Trying to eat dinner at the condo- spaghetti- while watching Animal Planet- specifically a show on some giant stupid snake having eaten a crocodile and was now rupturing...I requested a channel change even though the kids (and Brandon) were completely fascinated.
8. Dani hearing Renna awake in our room and going to check on her. I found her leaned over Renna patting her back in her little bed. :-)
7. Eating the fish that the boys caught at the "Fishing Grandpa's" house and listening to fun stories which included such phrases as "that was so good I could eat it in my sleep"!
6. Having a chance to talk to Frank about his vision for work after school and being completely amazed at his goals and cool ideas and ideal job...I want a smart house! And I really LOVED seeing him.
5. Having plenty of late night talks, and early morning talks, and middle of the day talks with Fritha. And spending 30 minutes just explaining ourselves back and forth and no one was irritated about it...well no one who was involved in the conversaion. :-) My guess is that there was a bit of amused eye rolling behind our backs. :-)
4. The Andersons sleep number bed and awesome big cozy tub...ultimate comfort and relaxation.
3. James coming down in the middle of the night and the conversation went like this:
mama: James, what do you need?
James: Um...I'm...just looking...for...a bed.
Mama: Oh, well, ok. Do you need to go to the bathroom?
mama: DO you want me to walk you back to bed?
mama: Do you need anything else?
mama: Ok, well, goodnight again.
James: Mmhm. (and walked back to bed)
2. Listening to the children laugh while listening to Bill Cosby, then later hearing one of the kids quote him, "But Dad! We can't go to sleep unless we've had a good beating!"
1. Watching Brandon give the kids baths by sitting in the tub in his swimsuit and play with rubber sharks with them for a while before bathing them down. Super sweet!
So there you go.
The very small nutshell of the very huge, huge trip.