We are halfway through this summer’s epic road trip vacation–9 states in 18 days.
1. One of our first stops was to visit my 91-year-old grandma. She lives in an assisted living facility near Oklahoma City and hadn’t seen us for several years. I knew she probably wouldn’t recognize us, and I was a little worried she would be overwhelmed by all our kids. When we arrived, everyone was a little tense–even though we tried not to be, I think we were all nervous that we would upset her or be too much or something like that. There was one of us, however, who wasn’t the slightest bit self-conscious. As soon as Teddy saw his great-grandma, he grinned and babbled and lunged out of my arms to crawl over and grab her shoes. She was completely delighted with him, and all of us relaxed. We had a really special time with her.
2. We also got to visit my aunt and godmother, who is a lot of fun. The kids agreed with her that Freddy’s has the best french fries in the whole world.
William was soooo happy because, thanks to his newly expanded diet, he got to have the french fries too!
3. Before we visited our family, we had to tour the National Weather Center at the University of Oklahoma. No pictures because the brand new Iphone died as we arrived, and at the same time as the camera batteries. Of course William and really everyone loved it. Meteorology has to have the most exciting field work of the sciences, and probably some of the most expensive–for example, flying up into a thundercloud and dropping 10 $10,000 cameras in hopes of gathering a few minutes’ worth of information about a hailstorm. There was a family on our tour who were there with their teenage daughter scoping out the university. Only five or six more years and we will be doing the same! I think the theme of my blog is going to be my children are growing up way too fast.
4. We stayed in a hotel suite in OKC that had two bedrooms, so the kids could take one and we could set up the baby in our room. As soon as we arrived, we set up the crib and put the exhausted baby down for a nap. As I swung the door shut behind me I realized a second before it closed that there was no doorknob on this side, and the security lock was latched on the door to the hallway. Teddy was locked in.
I immediately freaked out and started planning how I’d climb out the window of the kids’ room onto the roof and break in the window of our room, while the boys were hoping a fireman would have to come and break down the door. The one sensible person in the family went down to the lobby and came back a few minutes later with the “security latch opener.” Apparently kids lock themselves in hotel rooms all the time, and that “security latch” is not so secure as you thought!
5. After all this excitement we left Oklahoma and drove straight to lovely Chattanooga, Tennessee. Everyone was thrilled to cross the Mississippi.
We stayed with very dear friends from college & dating days, and our kids hit it off so well with theirs.
They have the best driveway in the whole world
and took us to the best slide in the whole world.
The kids played non-stop for three days while we caught up, and now we miss them terribly.
6. But, we had a great place to head to…Nathaniel’s mom and stepdad’s new home in beautiful northern Georgia. I took this picture and the header picture this morning in Dahlonega, just a few miles from the start of the Appalachian Trail.
Five minutes later those thunderclouds rolled in and gave William a terrific downpour.
Before the rain, Marie got to ride a horse called Frodo. She frowned when she heard his name. The little ones have been very patient with the big people listening to Lord of the Rings, so they get to pick the next few audiobooks.
We had a little too much nature exposure today though, and the twins got into some poison ivy. They have been bathed thoroughly and given a homeopathic remedy but I would appreciate any prayers you can send that they will not get a rash right before we head to the beach!
7. The one other downer on this vacation has been that I left my swimsuit in Chattanooga. Swimsuit shopping on the fly—so not what I wanted to do this trip! I headed out to the mall this morning and even though it’s not swimsuit season, I did find one that fit me on the clearance rack at the Gap. But while maybe I could have worn it ten or fifteen years ago, now I would be embarrassed to put something like that on in front of, well, anyone. I was about to give up and ask my friend to overnight my tired old Costco swimsuit to me that is so stretched it doubled as a maternity swimsuit until the very end of my last pregnancy. That reminded me I’d seen a sign for Motherhood Maternity and I thought, maybe? “Oh, we have women who aren’t pregnant coming in here all the time for swimsuits!” the saleslady assured me. That was nice of her. So I did find one, and it is modest, and it fits, and oh well.