I left home last Saturday with the kids to husband's childhood home. And I found that even in small town Alabama, they are mourning the loss of Micheal Jackson. I did not ask Papa or Meme if they listen to Thriller while they eat supper but here is the evidence. We left out early Sunday morning for a full day of driving. I drove husband's little compact car and left my BIG OLE SUV at home. (LOL moment number 1) I had borrowed walkie-talkie's to talk to Papa Roach on the drive down. Mainly, to let him know when daughter needed to visit gas stations. Papa Roach really enjoyed the walkie-talkie's. It took him awhile to learn how to press the button and talk but he got the hang of it! 30 minutes into the trip, he asks me if I know what a SMOKEY is? This was his code for "the man with the radar." Every time he told me,"smokey behind you," I would laugh hysterically. Daughter asked me why Papa did not just call them the po-po? There is a whole other story about Papa Roach driving 90 mph in a severe thunderstorm and me trying to keep up with a broken windshield wiper (LOL moment 2) but we won't talk about that!
Meeting us at Ormond Beach would be husband's 2 sisters and their husbands and their sons and a girlfriend of a nephew. We would total 14. Did I tell you husband did not go on this trip?
Upon arrival, Uncle T notices Hotel Baghdad next door. I don't know if you can tell in the picture but it has a leopard print shower curtain hanging out the window. When nephew AC asked what was the building next door, Uncle T stated, a meth lab. (LOL moment 3) After further discussion it was determined a Hurricane had not hit this place in a long time and therefore was very little new construction.
The Atlantic Ocean is so much different then the Gulf. We all thought the waves were better! Crazy brother-in-law, Uncle M, convinces me to ride the waves with him, nephew J and girlfriend. I felt 12 again. We had a lot of fun. Meme rode the waves too but her bathing suite did not...we won't talk about that! Fun facts about the Atlantic. No boats, no oil rigs, no jellyfish, 100 times the salt and no jet skis. You can drive on the beach just not in the ocean! Try telling your children to watch out for cars while they are digging for sand fleas.
Daughter takes forever to warm up to people and is happiest in my lap. But yell, hula contest and she is first to sign up!
I love this child. He drives me crazy on most days and has a temper like a red head but when I see this ...I still melt. He is growing up too fast.
Nephew W. He will be a professional fisherman before too long. He towers over me and is only 14. He loves my kids and would give anything if daughter would play with him!
More nephews. Husband and I have 7 nephews. NO GIRLS on both either side. Do you wonder why she is so spoiled? Nephew AC is on the left. Husband and I started dating when he was 6 months old. His birthday is a reminder of how long I have been apart of the ROACH family. In the middle is my oldest nephew, J and girlfriend. J is as sweet as the day is long but he is his daddy made over. I tried for 30 minutes to flip him over in the ocean. He is as strong as an ox! J and his girlfriend are big hits with my little ones!
This is us on our Gilligan Island cruise. This is me, daughter, Aunt K, nephew A and Aunt P. Aunt P is the oldest and the leader of the group. When we had poop in the pool (LOL moment 4) it was determined we needed to plan another activity. Aunt K was elected to call and rent a boat. Boat man explained 12 was the limit on the boat. Aunt K being sweet and soft spoken says well we have 14 and 3 are little and none of us are overweight! Then I tell her, just tell them we have poop in our pool and we need something to do! She told him and he put us all on one boat. (LOL moment 5)
Uncle M lets son do safe activities. Like drive a pontoon boat after 5 min of being in the boat. Would it surprise you if I told you we got stuck twice? (LOL moment 6)
Papa Roach held daughter for her turn driving the boat. These two have a funny relationship. Everyone is scared of him and especially the grandkids. When he talks, they listen! Not daughter! She called him Papa Joe the whole trip. He tries to get her to love on him and once she obliged with a hug only to wipe Doritos on him.
Safe activity number 2 with Uncle M. Fishing off the back of the boat while cruising down the swamp river full of alligators. I now know why they call it the swamp...and I still don't like the FL gators!!!
Acting like they like each other. Don't let this fool you...they don't get along!
Uncle M has patience. Daughter has a lot of words. They work well together. Here she is telling him about the worms.
Look I found a worm!
The highlight of the trip, 2nd lost tooth pulled by Papa Joe!
This trip has a lot more memories and stories not all for the blog! This was the longest I have been away from husband since we married. SAD but true. I was homesick. I got up Thursday and packed my car in the dark at 4 am. I strapped 2 kids in their car seats and left by myself. 160 miles into the 540 mile trip the air on husband's car went out. I really almost had a nervous breakdown. Then it began to rain. No air, no defrost. The kids stripped off their shirts and I was wiping the inside of the window with daughter's shirt so I could see. Remember I had a broken windshield wiper. At that moment I was so glad the kids were with me. Because if I had been by myself I would have wallowed in self pity but because I had them...I had to roll with it. I had to make it fun. I had to play the cards that had been dealt.
Let me just say I have learned a lot about myself this summer and the miles I have traveled.
536 miles to Orlando and back.
279 miles to Ft. Morgan and back...twice.
544 miles to Ormond Beach and back.
And countless miles ran in my neighborhood with new friends this summer.
I have been constantly reminded that life is not about the destination, it is about the journey. As summer comes to the end I can say I am stronger then I was when it began and I look forward to the journey ahead...