Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Days 1, 2, and 3

This year, we took a really BIG family vacation over spring break.  It has literally been a couple years in the making (or at least the saving). In the end, we decided to drive to Florida, rather than fly, which added greatly to the adventure aspects, but went better than I'd anticipated.  I'm hoping to blog about each day of the trip before I forget so here goes the first few days.

Day 1 - 3/10/2017- We packed the car and left our house around 3:15pm.  We arrived in Memphis maybe a little before 11.  We only stopped once, I think. The kids did remarkably well, thanks largely to electronics and snacks. We stayed the night in a suite type room so M had her own fold out bed.  So far so good!
Day 2 - 3/11/2017 The plan was to leave by 8am as we had roughly 12-13 hours of driving ahead of us.  We had breakfast in the lobby, grabbed our belongings, and then the car wouldn't start..... We called AAA and they came more quickly than we had anticipated. In the meantime, we went back to the room and rested/watch cartoons.  The car had a loose wire/connection, which was quickly fixed and we managed to leave by 9:15 or so. 
The rest of the day looked a lot like this. E had a blast with his lions. He definitely spent much less time with electronics than the other kids. 
Who looked a lot like this.  M listened to many, many hours of Hamilton.  B played on his DS or one of the Kindles.  They each slept a little. Yes, our car had tons of stuff in it.  Some of it wasn't used, but a lot of it was. 
We drove through Mississippi, and then had lunch in Alabama.  After that, E's hamster rode around on this dragon from his kids meal for quite a long time.  M made the astonishing discovery that Burger King exists in Oklahoma too.... we just don't go there on a normal day.  Then on through the rest of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, all the way to the Palfreymans' house in the wee hours of the morning. I think it was maybe 12:30am  (eastern) when we arrived. Believe it or not Brent did all the driving both days.  I helped the kids with stuff, read 2 books, and watched a movie.  We also listened to Serial and some other podcasts.

When we arrived,   Gavin was awake to greet us and show us sleepily to our beds. The time change was that night as well so we lost a bit more sleep, but did manage to all sleep past 8am.

 Day 3: 3/12/2017 - Beach Day!  As kids of the Great Plains, our crew has never seen the ocean (at least that they remember).  They had a blast.  Jennie and Corwyn came along and we spent maybe 4-5 hours playing in the water, digging in the sand, collecting shells, having lunch, getting sand everywhere, and getting just a bit sunburned.

 This was one of the first moments at the ocean and I love their expressions. I grabbed my camera before we were even unpacked as I knew those first looks would be cool.
 Jennie has a great beach kit that we were lucky enough to borrow.  Corwyn showed our kids the ropes as he is a beach pro now.  He and E had a great time playing in the waves and digging in the sand.
 This one just loves the water. I was worried the salt water might bother his skin, but we had no problems, happily.
 M collected some sea shells with Brent's help.  They are fairly small, but lovely treasures.

We had a tough time prying M from the water. She kept wanting, just one more wave to ride.

Eventually, we and all our sand made it out and wound up the beach time with ice cream by the water before going back to the Palfreymans to watch Cinderella, play, and enjoy Chinese food and cake to celebrate Jennie's birthday!

We spent a second night with friends and M learned to love dogs (a minor miracle), before getting up early to make it to Universal Studios!

To be continued....

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