We were all very excited about our road trip.
Here's Evan enjoying his ride...
The kids watched movies as we drove across what seemed to be the two widest states in America...we are tired of driving!! The young'uns are tired of riding. I won't be surprised if they flip out the next time we put them in the car....then again, maybe they've ridden so much lately that it feels like a second home. Food, drinks, movies...what else do you need, right? Maybe Ella should've told everyone that we moved into our van and became nomads. Donald and I agree that they did a fantastic job handling all the traveling. They didn't lose their minds until we were within a mile of our house. It was late and they were half asleep...and sleeping sitting up in their carseats just wasn't cuttin' it anymore!
A few things we did on the trip:
--- In Pigeon Forge, TN - we went to the Dixie Stampede. If you've never been, you should put it on your 'to-do' list. There's nothing like eating an entire meal without utensils like a caveman. Typically the Stampede is a series of competitions between the Yankees and the Rebels...but lucky us, beginning October 31st, they started their Christmas Stampede. I think it was probably better for the kids...it was the North Pole against the South Pole. They have beautiful horses that Ella just LOVED and her favorite treat was the live Nativity. They had the 3 wise men ride in on real camels. Ella was THRILLED!! Evan seemed to like the show...but he mostly liked my strawberry slushy drink...that was his treat!
--- Indoor swimming - we stayed in a $45/room hotel with an indoor pool. After the Stampede we were able to swim. These little fish of ours jumped right in and had a blast! What fun!
--- To the movies - I think Ella has been anticipating the release of Bee Movie since she starting seeing the previews on TV two months ago. It's a good little movie. The story line is over their heads, but they liked seeing the bees...and getting the toys at McDonald's.
--- To an aquarium - The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores was pretty cool. We were able to pet stingrays and horseshoe crabs. They had a really awesome tank with beautiful jellyfish - that was my favorite. It was sort of a small place...but not near as expensive as the Ripley's aquarium.
--- To the beach - YAY!! Mommy's most favorite thing!! I could sit near the ocean for hours just to listen to the waves...and my fair-skinned self would be 'lobsterfied' in no time. The weather was great...not quite bathing suit weather, but we were certainly able to roll up our pants and walk through the waves. Evan wasn't satisfied with walking...he did a belly flop...actually, I think a wave knocked him over. He ended up all wet and had to ride home in only his diaper. I absolutely LOVE these pictures!
--- Bowling! - We've never taken the kids bowling, they loved it! They had bumpers for the gutters and a ramp for them to 'bowl' down. We decided that it would take forever to get a game in if they had to push the ball down the lane under their own power...they did it a few times and we've never seen a ball roll so s-l-o-w-l-y.
--- The Cow Cafe - a cool little diner in New Bern, NC. I saw a commercial one day for this restaurant and thought it looked fun. I had no idea that it even had a little play area in the back for the kids. It was a popular little spot for all the preschool moms to bring their little ones after they picked them up at noon. All these kids started coming in and they all knew each other. I got to talking to one of the moms...turned out that she had a 7 year old named Ella...she told me that they come there often. The Cow Cafe makes their own ice cream. Do you have to ask? Of COURSE I had some!! It was delish! :) Oh and leave it to my 'animal-enthusiast' daughter to know just what to do with udders...
Bull-riding at Wal-mart. WMs at home don't have bulls. :(
We also found the library on base, played at the park and attended a few basketball games with Daddy. That's his job you know...his 'business' trips are to watch a tournament for whatever sport is up...this time it was basketball. In January...he has to go to Hawaii to watch bowling!...hmm...think mama can tag along on this one??? ( I'm SO hoping so!!)