Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day Twelve: Vacation

Started: Savannah, GA
Ended: HOME!

Breakfast (muffins for them) and we were off! We stopped at the Florida welcome station for a little running around and a snack. Changed diapers. Then we piled them into the car and put in a DVD and were on the last leg of our trip.

We stopped at a rest stop in Gainesville that overlooks Payne's Prairie. Granddaughter decided to get down in the dirt (see photo). We ended up having to wash her in a spigot and changing her clothes! Amazingly, Grandson stayed out of it. He was busy chasing birds. We fed them some crushed up Goldfish crackers.

We had some more whining about "No night-night" when Grandson got sleepy again. I turned off the DVD player and put on a CD with some of their favorite songs. He eventually fell asleep. After about an hour, his sister followed suit. He woke up about 40 minutes from home. She stayed asleep until we pulled into our driveway.

Got home and called their parents. Daddy came and picked them up. They were happy to see him and he was likewise happy. Missed them a lot. We were afraid there would be more crying when it came time to go home (all the way home, I'd say, "you're going home" and Granddaughter would say, "But I want to see you!") but they were just as cheerful to get in that car as I've ever seen them.

I'm going to miss seeing their first smile of the morning! It was a great adventure. Too bad they are so young, they won't remember it (or much of it).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day Eleven: Vacation

Started: Boone's Mill, VA
Ended: Savannah, GA

A quick breakfast and we were on our way home! The Grandkids watched DVDs almost all day and didn't nap until late in the afternoon. Needless to say, they were quite cranky by that time. Grandson insists "No sleep" even as his eyes are shut. We lunched at rest stop in S.C. on I-26. Let the kids run a bit.

We were very glad to pull into the hotel at Savannah. And, lucky us, there was a Cracker Barrel just up the road. So after we got settled in, we headed out to dinner. It was touch and go for a minute there; we almost decided to go fast food and bring it in. But when I explained to the Grandkids that their crying and whining might not let us go to Cracker Barrel, they sweetened up real fast. It's amazing how well they understood. I ordered them fries, (again) and mac and cheese: all the starches. They ate pretty well, though. However, sweetness didn't last through the whole meal. Boppa ended up taking them out a little early so I could finish my meal.

Back at the room, Grandson fell immediately to sleep. This is the only day I didn't give them a bath. Granddaughter didn't seem sleepy. She asked if she could sleep in our bed and I said, "Sure." She said, "Oh, thank you Nee Nee!" with such enthusiasm. I told her 3 stories, and she was sound asleep.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day 10: Vacation

Day spent in Boone's Mill/Rocky Mount, VA

The morning proved to be a bit cooler than it had been, so we sat out on the porch and watched Grandkids play in the yard. Grandson was fascinated with sticks and rocks. Granddaughter went around looking at the flora and the household animals, who were also outside with us.

We took a quick trip to Wal-Mart in Rocky Mount to get some chocolate milk (the only thing they ask for) and a few other snacks for the trip home. Both fell asleep on the way "home", but woke up when we got there.

The afternoon proved to be a great one! Three "cousins" came over to visit: ages 3, 6 and 13. They rode the Tyke car in the house, chased the pets, played Candyland (with some sort of new rules!), and in general got along great! We ended up going to their house a few miles up the road to see the addition that Boppa's niece had put on her house. So they got to go upstairs, and to the basement, and play the piano, and in general cavort on wood floors.

We then headed out for dinner at a seafood place. Both Grandkids started being very whiny and cranky while we waited. I finally got up and told them to follow me. We went outside ... they were startled and wanted to know "Why?" I told them that they were too noisy and were making me sad; we would have to wait outside until the food came. They both calmed right down. I asked them if they wanted to go back in and they said they did. I told them, "You have to be good or we have to come out again." There was little trouble after that. They ate a big helping of fries but, again, that was about it!

They played for awhile with the cousins back at Uncle B.'s house. Then I whisked them into a bubble bath and tucked them in. It took 5 stories, but Grandson finally fell asleep (Granddaughter was out after 1 story). I was able to sneak back into the guest bedroom and get some real sleep.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day Nine: Vacation

Started: Cookeville, TN
Ended: Boone's Mill, VA

Another pretty early start. Followed I-40 to I-75 and then to I-81. That is such a pretty interestate: too bad you can't enjoy the scenery because of the TRUCKS! They are in front of you, behind you, next to you. Wow! You need nerves of steel.

This is the only day we actually stopped and ate fast food lunch -- McDonald's. We stopped just outside of Wytheville, Va. The kids needed a break (and so did we). We even got ice cream after we ate. Granddaughter showed Boppa that she knows how to eat an ice-cream cone. We actually bought a sundae for them, but she wanted the cone.

We got into Uncle B's house around 5:00. Aunt and Uncle had never met the our grandkids, so it was a real treat to show them off! About an hour after we got there, we took the kids out to see the cows down the road. Grandson decided to pick up his rock throwing again! Granddaughter picked wildflowers to take back to her great aunt.

Aunt and Uncle had 2 big dogs and 3 cats to play with. The kids were thrilled.

Aunt S. made dinner for us, but they only ate bread. Strangely, they didn't eat but a couple bites of the ice cream Uncle B. offered them. They had to be starved.

We put them on a pull out couch. I thought I had them asleep, but Grandson heard me try to sneak back into my bed, so I ended up sleeping with the two of them all night. Boppa had the bed in the bedroom all to himself.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Day Eight: Vacation

Started: Fayetteville, AR
Ended: Cookeville, TN

Got a pretty early start and drove about 40 minutes before stopping for breakfast. It was a long day ... we hit rain in Little Rock and in Memphis. Thought we were going to get rain in Nashville, too, but luckily it just looked ugly and didn't rain.

We decided to stay in a suite again to give us a little breathing room. And AGAIN the stupid indoor pool was FREEZING. I refused to get in. Boppa swam for about 15 minutes with the little ones.

We went to Cracker Barrel to eat, but they didn't have much. I ordered pancakes for both and a breakfast for myself. I was starving.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day Seven: Vacation

Day 7: Fayetteville & Brentwood, AR

We started the day with breakfast with my cousin, his wife, and teenage daughter. While sitting at the table, a young boy brushed by an artificial tree and it fell over and hit me! Grandson had just been sitting there, so I'm glad it was me. No injuries.

We took them swimming for a little while...all the while they were getting braver and braver. But the pool was so cold (so much for heated indoor swimming!) that Grandson started turning purple and his teeth were chattering. So we took them out, gave them a bubble bath, then dressed them and went out to the farm. Stayed for lunch, then headed back to the room.

Boppa went out to KFC and brought back dinner. They scarfed it up.

And the long road home starts tomorrow.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Day Six: Vacation

All day: Brentwood, AR

Got up and got dressed for the big family reunion. It took place on my uncle and aunt's farm. The kids were charmed. They saw the chicken house, met the farm dogs, took mule rides, saw cows, threw rocks in the creek, chased minnows, caught fireflies, bounced on the inflatable castle, played croquet, and basically ran around free as the breeze barefoot.

We ate lunch and dinner out there (they nibbled). The weather was nice; just a bit warm but under the tent with the big fan, it was fine. There were other children to play with and everyone got along. I got to visit with most of my family (some more than others). Everyone pronounced Grandkids "adorable." They were actually quite well behaved, with the exception of when they took Grandson's photo with Great Grand Uncle (youngest - oldest). He immediately fell asleep afterwards, so he was probably just tired.

We didn't get back until almost 10:00. Granddaughter had fallen asleep, but Grandson was awake. However, he went right to sleep.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Day Five: Vacation

Started: Hot Springs, AR
Ended: Fayetteville, AR

Well, we reached our destination today. Got in around 3:15. Found the family sitting around the pool area, talking (what else).

The road between Hot Springs and Russellville (where we got on the interstate) was designated a scenic highway. But unfortunately, I only saw about 15-20 minutes of it because it was real "wiggly" and I started to get motion sick. So I pretended to go to sleep so the kids wouldn't be yelling "Nee Nee" every two minutes (and make it worse). Paul handled them pretty well.

The interstate up to Fayetteville (540 I think) is a beautiful ride.

Grandson was being a real pill all afternoon. I tried to get him to swim in the pool when we got there, but all he could do was cry and whine. Finally, I took him up to the room where Boppa was resting and asked him to get him to sleep. Apparently, it took over an hour! And then he only slept 1/2 hr. because Granddaughter needed to use the potty, and although she was quiet when we came in, she let the toilet seat drop and that woke him up. He remained cranky for about an hour. Once he saw he could run around without shoes on, he was a bit better. Boppa stayed in his room and rested all evening. I ended up taking them up early to go to bed, so I missed out on all the "fun" stuff that evening. But it was okay. I was tired, too.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Day Four: Vacation

Began: Vicksburg, MS
Ended: Hot Springs, AR

We got up extra early (4:30 a.m.). Ate a good breakfast and headed off to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We decided to splurge and stay at an Embassy Suites since we were getting in early and could enjoy it. We got a suite so there was a lot of room for the kids to roam. They loved the glass elevator. They said they were flying.

After we checked in, we did a short ride through the town and onto the west mountain of the park. A nice view of the town.

We swam a little in the evening (indoor pool). Went to Bennigan's for dinner. The kids started to act up, so I told them we were not going to go eat out, and they settled right down. They fell straight asleep when we got back.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Day Three: Vacation

July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day.

Began: Natchez, MS
Ended: Vicksburg, MS

We took 20 miles of the Natchez Trace up to Vicksburg. We first headed to the Vicksburg Battlefield. We drove around and saw almost all the monuments and stopped at a few. The coolest was the U.S.S. Cairo museum -- the first battleship to ever be sunk by a torpedo. They recovered it and restored part of it. Very impressive. We picnicked beside the museum. A red headed woodpecker came over and ate some of Alex's discarded bread, the highlight of his day, I'm sure.

We stayed at the Battlefield Inn and went swimming again. Boppa ended up going out to McDonald's and bringing back our dinner because Granddaughter and Grandson fell asleep around 4:30 p.m. and never woke up. So we missed the Art Park, the Beatles tribute, and the fireworks. But at least the kids got rest. (And so did we).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Day Two: Vacation

July 3, 2007

Began: Gulfport, MS
Ended: Natchez, MS

We came to Natchez to check out the antebellum homes, but their distance and the lack of safe walking paths (some road work was also a problem). There was not much to do (mostly gambling). We stopped at a museum and saw some exhibits on early navigation and Southern life. Then we headed to the nearest McDonald's and let the kids play and ate sundaes. Then we headed back to the motel and swam in the pool.

After our swim, we walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant. There was a mariachi band playing, which fascinated Grandson and Granddaughter. They were dancing in the booth to the music. The band finally came up to us and played "The Frito Bandito" song (ay- yi-yi-yi). After they left, the kids got down and danced on the floor with each other. Too bad I didn't have the camera!

See the photo of Granddaughter at the mighty Mississippi.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Day One: Vacation

Day One of our vacation: July 2, 2007

Departed: Home
Arrived: Gulfport, MS

We left at 4 a.m. and headed northward. Granddaughter wanted to know if we were going to Tallahassee, so we did so. I don't know what she was expecting, but we took them by the university (see photo).

Then we headed out I-10 and got all the way to Gulfport, MS. Kiddies were pretty good, although they got cranky as the day wore on. But we were in the car about 12 hours (with a picnic near Mariana, FL).

We got to the hotel and the kids went nuts jumping on the very plush beds. Then we spent a little time swimming in the pool -- but a thunderstorm came up and when I heard thunder, I made them leave.