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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Vacation The End

I'm doing this backward in hopes that when it posts, they will be in easy reading order on the blog.

On our way home from NY, we stopped at our dear friends' home. We had just seen them in FL (see my beach post HERE), but their schedule was so booked that our time was very short, so it was nice to have some one on one time. We arrived there Saturday just after lunch. At four, their town was having a 4th of July parade (on the 3rd...but hey, it works). It was definitely a small town parade, which is my favorite kind. Their church was handing out blow pops, cookies, and lemonade, so that made it even better, LOL.

Afterward we went back to their house for dinner and an amazing view. This is really the view off their back porch. Just breathtaking. ( And just a disclaimer, but I did NO touch up to the sun set pics-that's all God's handy work with no adjustments by little ole' me.) The kids suited up for air soft battles, baby E ate his weight in sand form the sand box, and the girls chased fireflies to their hearts content.

Yes, I know it's hard to see, but the little yellow things are fireflies, and the colored blurs are the girls...that's what happens with slow shutter speeds (to capture the fireflies) and moving objects.

Sunday the 4th, we went to church where Ben was leading worship. Then Jennie and I went back to her house with the little girls and baby E to gather a picnic lunch, and once Ben was done with the second service, we headed down the Blue Ridge Parkway for several scenic adventures. First, lunch at Cumberland Knob. No pictures of lunch, but people eating really isn't earth shattering photography. (There was, however, a boy wear a pith helmet with antlers superglued to them, and I REALLY tried to get a picture without being too obvious, but it didn't work out.) At the Knob, we combined into one car. All my friends know I am a car seat FANATIC, so this was a big deal for me, but we let all the big kids pile in the back-unrestrained- so we could all ride together. After all, the Parkway is NOT a fast road - it's too mountainous and curvy for that, and if you end up driving over a cliff, a seat belt really isn't going to change anything anyway. As you can see, the kids were relaxed and excited about the prospect...all except my worrier Mimi and Scott who lacks excitement about almost anything if his picture is being taken ;-).

Then a stop with a gorgeous rock wall and amazing view.

A rare picture of me and the kids :-)

Then down the road a little more for a chance to sit on the edge of a mountain-complements of Ben the fearless. Jennie and I wisely kept both feet on the ground, and on the RIGHT side of the retaining wall, but the kids loved it.

We went for ice cream at a little place on the BRP, and the waitresses looked like she would rather we NOT give them our business. But the kids, all 9 of them, were good as gold, and while she never commented positively on their behavior, she did seem to warm slightly. (I would have gotten a picture of her to preserve her scorn for posterity, but that seemed wrong.)

After that, we headed home and the Ben humored the kids by getting their tent out of storage and setting it up for them to stay the night in. So after some more air soft and sand eating, the three sets of older kids bedded down for the night outdoors. The house was VERY quiet!

The next morning (Monday the 5th), Jennie made an amazing breakfast of sausage biscuits with gravy (with a twist of adding hard cooked eggs to the gravy which sounds disturbing, but was really good). Well fed, the kids and I began the 11 hour trek home. It should have been more like 10, but every time we stopped, it took FOREVER. But we got back safe, sound, and tired. I slept a good part of Tuesday away to make up for all the sleep I missed on the trip, but I'm glad we went, as I am every year, and we can't wait to go back!
Next year holds the promise of my youngest cousin's high school graduation, maybe a kid or two getting some private time with Uncle Craig and Aunt Sheila, and hopefully a bunch more stops in the way home to see Jennie AND our friends the H's that we missed this trip, the B's, and hopefully our friends in TN who had just adopted two boys from Ethiopia this year and the boys are still adjusting, so visiting them was out this year. Still a year away, but already busy, busy!
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Melissa said...

Wow, what a whopper of posts! Thanks! I think I could be quite happy living in Virginia - soooo beautiful!

Julie said...

I had seen a couple times where your posts had popped up on my dashboard and then they were gone, so I knew these were coming. Great pics of all the trips!!!

Tiffany said...

Wow--the sunsets at Marissa's are beautiful! I'm with Melissa, I think I could live there! We visited that rock wall too when we were there. They really have found a beautiful place to live.