Tuesday, June 15, 2010

367 Homeward Bound

The time had finally come for The Great Kitchen Renovation of 2010 (those pics will come when it is totally complete) and I decided it would be best to take the kids as far away as possible ... or at least to Atlanta. So two Saturdays ago we loaded the van up and headed East. Thank goodness for in-car DVD players. I know we would survive a trip without it, but it would be three times as painful ... at the very least. I usually am making the trip alone so I need all the help I can get to insure harmony and my sanity. They watched Alice in Wonderland, which I have still only heard from the front seat (27 times). They watched My Fair Lady, Katie loves it and sings along. And some Barbie fairy movie. After a quick hug from Grammy, Katie took off and almost never came down from the old swing. Shedid periodically stop long enough to make me feel her muscles from all the "extracize". Connor never slept much when we were in Atlanta, but when he did sleep he slept soundly... and he was so CUTE! Dontcha just wanna kiss him until he wakes up! But don't! I would have serious problems with you and might cause you physical pain if you woke him up. And by "might" I mean I would .. and you would require medical attention or a morgue. But he sure is cute, huh?!On Sunday my brothers and their families came over for dinner. I just love watching the kids play with their cousins. Austin had foot surgery recently and he is stuck in his wheelchair for now, but I have a feeling he didn't miss having to try to keep up with our little hooligans. It was much cooler in the house (and no vampire mosquitoes to contend with). And as usual it is impossible to get kids to sit ad ALL smile at the same time. I am obviously planing to torture them later from the expressions on their faces.Mom does have some of the prettiest hydrangeas. I won't bore you with too many pics, but I had to share a few. These flowers remind me of my gradparents like no other.And you know I had to find a dandelion. It just wouldn't be complete without a few wishes.Monday I headed off to the art heaven known as Blick Art. I have only shopped online with them, but I just love their store. Looking for reasonably priced fine art supplies then you have to check them out! I should have gone alone though. I spent most of my time beating my head against a wall and trying to keep the kids from destroying the store. I couldn't look at what I wanted to look at because they would not stand still long enough. I gave up and decided to give myself a small online shopping spree soon. Katie got her first set of real watercolors, watercolor papers, and a few other little things. Connor got a 99 cent eraser and he was perfectly happy. We headed for the car, Katie running ahead. She jumped in and hit the button to roll the doors shut. One problem, Connor was right behind her and trying to get in. His little fingers got caught in the door. Luckily, there is a slight gap when the doors are shut and his fingers weren't broken. Of course in the first instant he was screaming and I was screaming. The language was quite colorful. If you were outside of Blick at that time I apologize. The sweet people of Blick brought a bag of ice for us to put on his fingers. He just needed some love and cuddling, and he was right as rain. I had forgotten to buy paintbrushes, which I hear are quite important for, you know ... painting, so we stopped into Hobby Lobby. Katie also got a paint box that she had to, you ... paint. It was a good little project though. Tuesday we managed to meet up with some friends. We usually meet at a Mexican restaurant so the kids can make as much noise as they want, but Julie suggested a little place called Stevie B'sthat has a pizza buffet and a blessedly small game area. It also has the much coveted prize counter. And even better than that there was a guy behind the counter who was ready to deal. Kyle got a big stuffed dragon for 400 tickets. The 12 inch Batmans were 1300, so I am just guessing the dragon would have been at least 2000. Katie chose the actually stick close to her 300 tickets and got a few little things. It all ends up in the trash within a few weeks, so I was fine with that. We also got to meet Kyle's little brother Kody for the first time. He is absolutely adorable!!As we were leaving dinner that night we had decided to have more of a staycation. To hit the cool places around Atlanta. Maybe head out to Lake Lanier for some water and sand. So, it was a bit of a surprise when Mom woke me up on Wednesday saying "if we want to go to the beach we need to load up and leave soon." Katie had talked her ear off the night before about the beach, and about collecting shells. Mom did not want to disappoint her. We planned on heading to South Carolina to visit my grandfather's family anyway, so we just combined them. About six hours later we cecking into our room at the Avista Resort. We had no reservations, but the lady at the rest stop had suggested this hotel/condo. Our room was on the 17th floor. Mom is terrified of heights! Everytime Connor went near a door or window Mom had a mini-heart attack. Especially because Connor had a penchant for playing against the window. I am sure the windows are built for hurricane force winds, but Mom did not think they could stand up to Captain Destructo.
So, anyway .. we got all our crap (and we packed way too much for a three daytrip) up to the room and immediately changed into swimsuits for our first trip to the beach. It was slightly windy. In fact, the beach was red flagged, but since were mainly wanting to get our toes in the sand we decided to head on out anyway.This was Connor's first time to see the ocean. I ran ahead to try to capture the look on his face. I just love the excitement! Katie hasn't been to the ocean in about five years, so she was every bit as excited. The beach was wonderful. It was more crowded during the day, but not by too much. The sand was pretty, but the shells were few. Mostly just shell chips, but Katie didn't care. She managed to bring home about ten pounds of shell chips. The Avista also had indoor and outdoor pools. On the way in that first night we hit the indoor pool. Both areas had a Lazy River, and we floated around a bit. The water on the inside was WARM! Thursday morning we were up fairly bright and early. Mom and I insisted on enjoying a cup of coffee before we hit the beach again for the day.We hit the beach for a few hours before we went inside for lunch. Mom came down for the first round. We managed to secure our beach umbrella to the rolling cart by tying it with a towel. HINT: buy one of the corkscrew umbrella things and boogie boards on the first day. Connor LOVED the sand. No seriously, he loved the sand. He would roll around until he was completely covered. Quite annoying as he usually did it just as we were headed inside.Thursday night we got out, and Mom bought the kids boogie boards. We had to leave pretty early on Friday, so I took the kids to the beach while Mom got ready. Katie loved her board, Connor not so much. I put him on it and held him in place while a few waves went by, but he was competely untrustworthy of the sea without his feet in the sand. Katie would have stayed out there all day. ... but we needed to head out to spend some time with the family. We sat around gabbing and laughing. My cousin Patricia took the kids out to see the chickens. By the time I had grabbed my camera and headed out Katie was walking back to the house with a prize.And we HAD to make the trek out to the pond. I love this walk. Even in the blistering heat it is beautiful. You walk back through the years. At least six generations of my family have walked these grounds. My grandfather and his brothers and sisters were raised here. The boys dug a pond with just shovels and wheelbarrows. This land is going to be sold. My uncle passed and his will specified it was to be sold. The idea of this land not being in our family makes me so sad. The history that will be lost. Bulldozed under more than likely. So, if anyone reading this would like to give me a million or so to purchase this land, please let me know. A few hours with family and we were headed home. The kids amused themselves by harrassing each other. You would think being in separate rows of the van they would have a hard time driving each other (and us) insane, but they managed.Mom was allowed to choose two quilts made by our family to bring back from South Carolina, which put us on a quilt kick. We pulled out the old quilts around the house. I won't bore you with all of the pics, but a few of my favorites.Did I mention that Connor hates to sleep when we travel? He literally ran himself until he fell. I was in the shower, but Mom said he had bumped his arm and tried to come find me. He tripped and decided to lay his head down and sleep instead of continuing on. Mom grabbed an old sheet and covered him. Sweet little man.Sadly, I eventually had to wake him up so we could go to my brother's house for a quick visit. The kids had a blast playing with each other, as usual. It just makes me wish we lived closer. They all just play so well together!
It is practically a requirement to have a picture taken on the bench. The kids were not very cooperative, and I was ready to hit the road. It took longer than expected to load the van, and then I manged to misplace my keys. It was a very stressful departure on top of us all being sad to wave goodbye to Grammy. Hopefully we can head home again before the end of summer. I hate being away from home for so long, and the older I get the more I hate it.
Soon we will be back Atlanta, and hopefully with more time to spend with friends and family.
Promise :)


Anonymous said...

Look like you had a great time!!