Sunday, August 28, 2011

4 Nights, 3 a car...with 2 KIDS

So here's the thing.  I flew home with my two lovely children last Thanksgiving...ALONE.  I got off that plane and swore to my mother that I loved her but that I would not be doing that again...ever.  Honestly, I have to say it really had more to do with everyone else, not my children, but I am not going to even get worked up about that now.  So, when it was time to go for our summer visit Mom offered to help drive us on one leg of the trip.  So I enlisted her on the first leg to get us to NC.  I told you all about that adventure here.

Well, 6 weeks flew by and it was Man's turn to ride with the three girls back to Texas.  I have to tell you that I was worried about this...a little.  You see, Man, he loves us, but we are girls.  We have to stop and potty, we need snacks, entertainment, you get the point.  He is generally calm and laid back but he works with men.  They don't potty much, they don't get snack breaks, they listen the first time he tells them, and let's just say their idea of entertainment is not the same as ours.  So, I put Man behind the wheel.  He drove, and drove, and drove....four hours the first day.  Oh yes, I planned some stops.  And oh yes, he was calculating that we could be home by "X" if we just traveled so much further each day.  But, as I explained to him, we would have missed the greatest adventures.

Our first stop, just four hours from my mom's, was Pigeon Forge, TN.  We arrived right after lunch and got straight to the fun...DOLLYWOOD!
Oh they were so excited!  We were so excited to surprise them!  We got right to business...having FUN of course!

Here is my youngest...not a care in the world.  Yes, that is Addison.
And here is studious Olivia...she doesn't hear me calling her AT.ALL. from twenty feet away.
Oh yes...she was finally able to ride the BIG KID rides.
While Addison rode her rides...
And then there were the rides they could ride together...Now that was a hoot!

After closing down the park we got a good night of rest and headed out early the next morning.  We drove to Memphis...a familiar stopping point for us.  How could we stop here and not see our favorite ducks?  Oh we couldn' here we are at the Peabody Hotel...YOU MUST GO THERE IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE!
This is where the ducks that magnificent fountain.  And when they are told they march down a set of steps, a red carpet, and onto the elevator.  They have an apartment on the top of the hotel.  The kids get front row seats for this and they all love it!

The man of the hour rolling out the red carpet!
 Here they come!
There they go...onto the elevator!
It's over in a flash but you have to get there early to get a good seat!

The next morning we headed to our final stop on the way to Texas...after Nate reminded me that we could be home that night by 6pm (we had two days left on my itinerary).  I gave him the sweetest smile and told him what a great time we were going to have in the Ozarks!

We landed in Eureka Springs, Arkansas...after the tire pressure light wouldn't go off and the gas gauge stopped working.  That is why we have Man.  He has no fear.  This Mama would not have continued into nowhere with those problems.  But, we forged ahead and I am so glad we did...after I made him call Nissan and verify I wouldn't be walking this pregnant body up any hills.   We got into town and had some dinner.  Then we stopped off at the location for the Passion Play that we would go to the next night.   We got to see this...Christ of the Ozarks...This picture captures their amazement when they "topped" the hill.
The next morning we planned an adventure to some caverns.  This was a hit!  First we had to Olivia took our picture.  Only a Big Sister could get that great laugh!
Then we toured the caverns.  I highly suggest this experience!  My kids loved it and praise the Lord that my belly was no bigger at that time.  I might not have fit through some of the tight spots.

Then we went back to town and walked around.  It is truly a quaint and very welcoming place with cute shops and winding roads.  We bought the inspiration for Baby Girl's room there.  Our first purchase for her room.

Here we let the girls eat fudge ice cream cones.  Not sure what I was thinking.  Nate thought I lost my mind.
Oh yeah, that was solid fudge and it filled the cone!  Maybe I was just planning ahead for the long night we had ahead of us.  Nate was worried about wearing off that sugar induced energy.  So, he had us climb this...
There were more steps, I promise.  I should have counted.  Then you could feel sorry for me.  After we I took a rest we went to the main reason we took this detour....The Christ Passion Play.  What a magnificent location settled down in the mountains and a wonderful performance.

The set...
And our final view of daylight...
All-in-all I would say we had an awesome adventure with lots of great memories for our family.  

And that is what it is all about.

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