Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Odyssey 2012

This has been a long and stressful week. We shipped my Marine husband off for a few weeks and then the Things and I traveled from Baton Rouge to Pennsylvania in our van, picking up their pop pop along the way.

The trip was nothing I imagined it to be. The kids didn't squall and fuss the whole time, they hardly even fought. They didn't play with most of the toys we brought or use the neck pillows they were so excited about. They did spend hours using their Crayola Color Wonder markers, which must be handed down from God himself!

We hardly ate at McDonald's the whole trip! I knew I didn't WANT to eat there every day (two or three times) but had no idea how that would work out. I packed TONS of food and sandwich stuff and we stopped at national parks or nice rest areas, so instead of feasting on Mickey D's, we ate wholesome, homemade food and got real exercise along the way! I think we ate under the golden arches just once in the whole 5 days, which is pretty much our average for a non travel week (don't judge me)!

One major stop was at the Georgia Aquarium before picking up my dad in Atlanta. That part went as expected, actually. I didn't enjoy it. We've been there twice now and I can't shake the impression that it's the Mall of America of aquariums. It's too much flash and not enough fish. That feeling is worse after seeing their dolphin show. My kids liked it well enough, but it was so much about the special effects, you barely noticed the dolphins. I should move on now, because I could go on for a whole post about the serious lack of dolphin in their uber fancy dolphin exhibition.

beluga whale tail

Fetching my dad from the Atlanta airport was harder than anticipated (he would say "SEE!?"), but we soon found him and got on our way. It was really fantastic of my dad to fly down so I would have company and help for the rest of the trip, but I had no idea how it would work (again). We didn't bicker or grouse, neither complained about the others' driving, and whoever was in the passenger seat kept track of directions and entertained the kids. Amazing.

The one part of the trip that I didn't expect trouble or find any was in North Carolina. We spent a day with some family, which was a wonderful break from the road and chance to see a much missed part of our lives! Love you, NC!

Then on to Pittsburgh for a night before our final destination Monday. It could not have gone smoother! It may have been an invasion of the body snatchers because things never go that well for me! Other than Thing 2 letting go of me just as I got on an escalator and staying at the bottom as I was carried ever upward, the drama we saw was on the periphery and gave the kids much to discuss along the way. (Thanks SO much to that family at the bottom of the Dolphin stairs who took my 3yo by the hand and safely planted him on the escalator!)

Now to settle in and see if the adventure of living with Nana and Pop for six weeks goes the way I expect! 


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