I am wondering if Bennett is coming down with something. Kaitlyn started with a green oozy nose on Thursday before we left and Bennett woke up with the same thing yesterday morning. Today it is clear but running fierce. He also took a nap this morning from 9:00 am - 11:50 am and is now back down for another one and it is only 2:15 pm. I am hoping for the best since Ryan's wedding is this weekend. Life goes on, but not without a little drama!
As if we didn't have enough water to deal with in Des Moines, Harrison and Bennett got a new water table today. I have been thinking about getting one and then they got to play with James and Kaitlyn's this past week and it was a hit. I am still unsure about this one. It is a Little Tykes brand and has a lot of high parts where the water doesn't go. It does have these cool push buttons that make water squirt up, but it is going to take Bennett another year to figure that one out. Harrison took very little time to figure it out and I was wet within minutes. Go figure. I might take it back and get a different brand. We will see what dad says when he gets home.
Back to our wonderful trip - Day five was very relaxing. We were up and at it and took off for the beach. Now, you are saying to yourself - self, why is this woman putting her children back in the car? Well, I'm not. Meredith's parents are very nice to let us stay at their condo on the Atlantic shore. It is on the 8th (top) floor and has fabulous views of a never ending ocean. We simply ride the elevator and 'Wa La' we are on the beach. Harrison ran down the sand towards the ocean and then realized he didn't have any toys so he came running back for a shovel. He loved digging, but didn't like staying in one place for very long. He and James and Nathan built a couple of sand castles but while Nathan was excited to build a compound of little castles, the boys were just excited to knock them down. Ahh, to be 3! Bennett was the most natural beach comber I've ever seen. He just sat down with his shovel and bucket and nobody saw him move for about 25 minutes. We sat him close to the water so every once in a while it would come up over his lap and he would splash, splash, splash. Too cute! Kaitlyn is adorable. She holds onto your finger and starts off toward the water. And just when you think she's going to go all the way in, she stops and pulls you to a stop. Then she is content to watch the water lap over her feet for a few minutes before going in a little deeper. No fear there.
We ate at JB's that night and that was fun. I had wonderful crab cakes, although I really haven't found a crab cake that I don't like! Bennett showed his piggy self by starting to eat before anyone else and finishing after everyone else. We got the cutest pictures of James and Harrison 'sitting at the dock on the bay. Wasting time...' The dock was outside of JB's and while we were taking pictures of the boys we saw a dolphin. Very cool!
Day six was almost as relaxing. Mom and I took James, Harrison and Bennett to the beach before everybody else got up. Dad was reading a good book. James has a little trouble with the ocean. He likes the sand ok once he is down there. But he does not like the water. We are sure that he will be some sort of surfer or ocean diver someday, but for now he does not get close to that water! James and Harrison set off to find 'treasures' and Bennett took his place on the sand with his shovel and bucket. Eventually we went back for breakfast and then everybody came back down to the beach. Nathan got to build his sand castle fortress and we all had a great time. Then it was off to the pool. The condo has an outdoor pool. Harrison was a fish. he liked to jump in and go under water. I guess those swimming lessons paid off. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, doing laundry and going back in the ocean. We left for Nathan and Meredith's house around 4:30 pm.
Day seven was our biggest day yet. Meredith and I decided to take James and Harrison to Sea World. They had a blast! We fed dolphins and touched the sting rays. We watched the sea lion show and topped it off with a visit to Shamu Stadium. Harrison couldn't wait to see the orkas (no killer whales in this family) but it was James who was super amazed by the whole thing. He really got into the show! A little whining was done by all but overall, the boys held up great. (The moms enjoyed a cold Budwiser during the Shamu show!)
Day eight was filled with pool time and great BBQ ribs! Mom and Meredith went to get their hair done while Dad and I took all 4 kids into the pool. (not sure where Nathan was all this time!) It was a blast. Nathan and Meredith have little float rides and the kids had a blast. We ended the evening with 3 racks of BBQ ribs that were to die for! Great recipe from Meredith's aunt. I should get her number!
Day nine was Friday and it was time to go. Tears were minimal as we will see everybody coming up in July for Marc's wedding, but none-the-less, it was hard to leave. Meredith keeps telling me I need to move to Florida but for now, I was just happy to be home on Saturday. We stayed outside of Nashville Friday night and that was not as far as we wanted to make it. Bennett was just not having a good time sleeping in the car so we ended up calling it quits a good 3 hours before we wanted to.
All-in-all, it was a great trip. Chris was sorely missed but he will come along next time. (Every time Harrison got in trouble or was really sad about something, he would cry out 'Daddy, daddy, I want my daddy.' A little over the top, but enough to pull at the heart strings!) Gas was expensive but we saved money on airfare because there were so many of us. I will do the trip again someday - or something like it - but I will stop at every place and fruit stand that I want to. There is so much history in America and I have so much to see and learn. It is almost a shame to go places like Daniel Boone National Forest and not stop and walk in his steps. We went through Georgia and didn't eat any pecans! (peaches aren't in season) But, when you travel with 2 young children and a man with an agenda you are just happy that you remember all the fabulous moments that make you want to do it again.