Well for those of you who know my husband well, you know that his idea of a 'vacation' is having 7 to 10 days off of work with absolutely nothing planned for any of them. And I mean NOTHING! This drives me crazy, but knowing how hard he works, I try to work with him as much as possible, and therefore, we have not gone anywhere since our honeymoon. And yes, that has been 3 1/2 years. Well I had officially had enough and had been promising my cousin Kelley that we would come visit her and see her home for over 2 years and *TADA* we finally did it! :)
We headed out Thursday night around midnight and drove the first leg of the trip during the night so that Brookelynne would sleep through it, and arrived in Columbus, Ga around 5 am. We went through Columbus because I have another cousin who lives there that we don't get to see often, and wanted to spend a few hours with them. So Nickie got up and let us in when we got there and we just enjoyed a few hours of catching up while the kids and Philip woke up and got ready for the day. After Parker went to school, Philip made breakfast for everyone (which was delicious) and then Mitch (our over night driver) took a nap (along with Emma). Then Mom, Nickie, Brookelynne and I headed out to see some of Columbus and visit some of the stores that we had heard so much about! There was a consignment store that we stopped at where Grandma (my mom) bought some bows for Brookelynne as well as a umbrella stroller (for only $8), a Christmas dress and a play outfit. She also bought a couple of bows for Emma too! We visited some other stores and had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. Then we picked up Parker from school and headed back to the house.
Philip made us some sandwiches for the road (which were delicious) and we headed out around 4, just in time for Brookelynne to collapse into her only nap of the day! (just as we planned!). We drove for 5 hours (that only counted as 4 because of the time difference) and arrived around 8. It was a long drive, with more stops that we would have liked, but once we gave Brookelynne a 30 minute break and dinner, she was out again and the rest of the drive went by without incident! Aunt Betty and Uncle Alvin met us at the house (Everyone else was at the football game), where we unloaded the car and got ready for bed. Kelley, Glen, Becca and Lane got home around 9:30 and we stayed up for a little while talking with them, but we were worn out and in bed by 10:30 (11:30 our time!). Unfortunately Brookelynne didn't get the memo that we were in a different time zone or that she needed to sleep all night regardless of how many naps she had, because she woke up at 3. :( But we got her back to sleep pretty easily and made it until 5:45 before she woke for the day.
Saturday was a lot of fun, if for no other reason than that we spent it with everyone. We drove over to Aunt Betty and Uncle Alvin's property to see it, and it was very pretty. They bought 80 acres a few years ago and are working to get it cleared and such so that they can build a house and raise cattle on it. Uncle Alvin of course wanted to show us all of the property (a feat that requires a vehicle since unlike FL there are hills and hills and MORE hills!), so we loaded up in Kelley's chevy and my Mom rode with him in the little toyota truck. It was so sweet how much he enjoyed telling my mom about it. I love that they love each other so much and treat each other like siblings instead of cousins! Then we left Uncle Alvin and Lane to work while Aunt Betty, Kelley, Becca, Mom, Brookelynne, Mitch and I went to see the Amish and headed back to the house. The Amish community was very interesting with some of the homes and fields they had. We bought some peanut brittle and pickled okra from them (both of which were very good) and went to some of the homes that make furniture (all of which was very well made and some of which was very inventive, including a 'half picnic table' which literally looks like a picnic table cut in half, but you can also pull back the 'table top' and it makes a back for the bench- very cool!) Then we picked up McDonalds and headed back.
The ladies all headed to Walmart to pick up groceries and the Glen and Mitch headed over to Uncle Alvin's and spent some time over there while we settled back in at the house. We cooked dinner and the guys came home after which we watched a movie, picked out by Becca. She had seen it at a youth group thing and INSISTED that we see it. :) It was a very good movie, called "To Save A Life", that dealt with the way a young man handled the suicide of his childhood friend. Needless to say, this made for a late night! :) And Brookelynne, of course, was still unsure about this time change thing, and decided to wake up at 4. :(
Kelley made us pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning (a job that was supposed to belong to Rebecca, but she decided to sleep in!). We were going to go to church but then Kelley remembered that it was not at 11 like usual, so we wouldn't have made it. (They have 2 services at their church each week, but every 5th week they combine services so that they can keep the solidarity of the church. Since it was the 5th Sunday, they had a 10 am service instead of a 9 am and 11 am) Aunt Betty and Uncle Alvin stopped by to say goodbye again before they got on the road to head home. Then we proceeded to spend most of the day relaxing. We went to Walmart to get something for Lane and Aunt Frances decided to get Becca a shirt and buy the pellets for Lane, which made both of them pretty happy! lol. Shortly after getting back from Walmart, Becca started talking about getting her hair done and what she wanted to do to it. Well Kelley was not very confident about dyeing it at home because they've had orange and green issues in the past and she also was worried about getting the bottom too dark or the top too light. So we talked about it and Becca decided that she trusted me and her momma enough to dye her hair. We went back to Walmart (in the rain for the second time) and picked up dye in addition to several other things we had forgotten earlier!
When we got home we all loaded up in the trucks (guys in one and girls in the other) and went down to Davy Crockett Park, which is just down the road. We drove around behind the boys, and Glen and Lane were spotting deer and turkeys and pointing them out to us. They were able to do this because Glen had pulled out the walkie talkies and given one to Lane and one to Rebecca. This is notable because of how much Lane enjoyed bugging Becca on it, and how little patience Kelley had for this! haha (There is a good chance that those things will be 'lost' for a while! haha). Anyway, we saw several packs of deer and turkeys and then went through the visitors center. Inside the visitors center they had the stories of Davy Crockett with life size replicas of his home and some of the animals he was known for killing. One of those animals was a deer (big surprise), and I said "Brookelynne, do you see the deer?" and she said "Deer?" and then proceeded to repeat herself like 100 times! :) The 'r' wasn't very strong, but you could definitely tell that that was what she was trying to say! :) Then we went around to the creek and the boys pulled out their reels and started fishing, and we walked around and looked at the little waterfall and got our feet wet. Brooke LOVED seeing the water and really wanted to get in it, but when I let her feet touch the water (which was very cold to the touch) she didn't want to be in it anymore! lol. She wanted us to get in, and to hold her while we walked in, but she didn't want to actually touch it herself! haha.
When we got back home it was time to dye Becca's hair. She wanted the bottom half to be dark and the top to be blonde, but darker than it currently was. So, I went to work! lol Kelley helped a lot and Mom did a great job of distracting Brookelynne for me! haha It turned out very well and Becca loved it, so that made me happy. We had dinner and hung out for a few more hours before saying our goodbyes and getting to bed. I packed the car with as much as possible and set out everything so that we could get up and head out at 4.
When we got up and packed everything else, we started to leave and the car wouldn't start. And no, I'm not kidding! lol. We woke Glen and he came out and jumped us, and we were off. I drove the first stretch and we made it through Birmingham before rush hour. Brookelynne slept until about 8 and with another bottle was back out until almost 11. But she was in such a good mood that we were able to get all the way to Auburn before stopping for lunch (around 1). We ate at Cracker Barrel and then headed toward Tifton and down US 1. About an hour from home Brookelynne started screaming and freaking out. She was really upset to a point where I couldn't just let her sit there, so I pulled her out of her car seat and within a minute or so she was asleep in my arms, but Mitch refused to drive at all while she was out of her car seat, so I tried putting her back in it. She was freaking out all over again, so he got into the back with her to entertain her and I started driving. She would be happy and then scream, so we stopped again and changed her diaper. When Mitch opened up her diaper, her little butt was bleeding. :(. Poor baby girl! So we cleaned her up as best we could and put a really soft pair of pjs in her seat and let her ride the rest of the way without a diaper. Once we were home she went commando for a couple hours and then into the cloth diapers she went! (She loved the commando though, it was SOOO funny, because when she did go to the bathroom, she would look down between her legs like "What in the world is that?!?!?" lol)
Anyway, while it was a quick trip, we really did enjoy ourselves and loved our time in the mountains! :)
And don't worry about Brooke, we have it under control and her little bottom is almost back to 100%!