We did it! Our first big road trip with four kids. It wouldn't have been a huge deal to just add one more to our crew of seasoned travelers, except that this particular one more seemed to dislike car seats and car rides more than any of the older three ever had. As our departure date loomed on the calendar I braced myself for the worst while praying for it to maybe not be so bad.
We left after the girls got off the bus Friday afternoon before spring break. We drove to Charlotte, NC, four hours away. Tim had some recruiting event to do there the following day. That leg of the trip went really quickly. We spent two nights there and stayed at a hotel really close to the UNC Charlotte campus. I'd worried about how the kids and I were going to occupy ourselves all day Saturday while Tim was doing his recruiting thing; but fortunately the weather was decent if a little on the cool side, and we passed a chunk of time at a really nice nearby park that Lacey recommended. It had playgrounds and easy hiking trails that the kids loved.
On Sunday morning we packed up the car again and headed to Cincinnati, but first we had to drop off Tim in Lexington, KY, for the first part of his work portion of this trip. We continued on the final hour-and-a-half of the trip ourselves and got to my parents' house around 6 or 7, I think.
We had the best week there. The best weather too, for the second year in a row visiting in April! It was not so back in Beaufort, I would hear when we got back. It was a cold, wet, dreary week in the Lowcountry, and the disgruntled families who stuck around for it called it "Spring Broken." So yay for escaping a yucky week here besides getting to spend time with family.
In an effort to make this post not too long and boring, I'll just share my favorite photos and maybe there will be a story to go with one or two of them.
|My beautiful sister Grace holding Joey and her eight-month-old daughter Elise|
|The second night we were there, my grandma, two of my three sisters, and sister-in-law came over for dinner. It was a lot of fun; too bad Tim had to miss it.|
|Joey was happy as could be on Grandma's (my dad's mom) lap.|
|Sophie's son Damien (3), Anna's son John Paul (4) and Timmy. It was so beautiful at the zoo. It was hard to narrow it down to my favorite pictures. My kids look forward so much to zoo trips.|
|Mom loved this rope course so much she wants one of her own.|
|Annie cracks us up.|
|Timmy was mad that Delaney had taken the animal he wanted, so he sat with his cousins on this thing instead and made that face the entire time. We laughed and laughed every time he went by looking like that.|
I have to tell you about the peacock. There is no picture of the story that goes with it, just a picture of a peacock standing in front of the door of the gift shop that Annie wanted to go into to buy a souvenir. He proudly displayed his feathers and calmly allowed my kids and one or two others to ooh and ahh over him while I took pictures from different angles. The woman next to me warned her kids away and said to me, "Just so you know, I've seen a peacock like that attack a kid." Of course my kids were all up in his face and I was being Clark Griswold about it like, "Alright, back up, you guys, he might peck your eyes out." I can be so obnoxious sometimes. I wasn't even trying to be but sometimes it's effortless, especially missing my nap for the fourth day in a row and walking three plus hours around the hilly zoo with an infant strapped to my chest. I thought the woman was just being a worrywart, but she was about to witness my comeuppance.
When my kids got tired of looking at the peacock and wanted to go into the gift shop, they walked around the side of the peacock, or was it the back, I can't remember -- to try the door. It was locked, but they really wanted a souvenir so they kept trying. And I guess the peacock didn't like them being at the door or being in the area where they were, or clustering around. I was not paying attention at that moment, probably looking at my phone in a daze, when suddenly the most awful hissing sound filled my ears, and a flurry of movement came my way. I didn't even think; I just bolted. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Timmy dive to the ground as his legs failed to keep up with his head trying to escape. I didn't see the girls but they got away. Once we were a safe distance away and the peacock's show of force was over, lots of relieved and embarrassed laughter followed. I will never again look at a peacock the same way.
|Anna and Elise at the sand park|
|Sophie in her snapback|
|L-R: Scotty III (5), Roman (9), Jaden (7), Damien, Elise held by Aspen (10), and our kids|
|We walked about four miles along the riverfront the last night we were here. I wish we always walked so much.|
|Cincinnati has the best parks. Look at this playground with the ballpark right behind.|
We left at about 7 last Saturday morning, and arrived here about 7 in the evening. Then on Monday, Tim left on another work trip. Ugh.
There's my trip recap -- a lot of pictures and a story about a peacock. Now we just have to get through the next couple of months and we'll see them again in Florida in June. Can't wait!