Beach Trip: August 12, 2011

One last dip in the pool...
before heading home.
Highlights from today: (Click here for pictures)
Before I forget, yesterday while we were playing at McDonalds, Anderson looked at the shoe caddy and said “wow, somebody has big shoes.”  We turned to look and saw a pair of Ronald McDonald’s shoes on top of the shoe caddy-he really thought one of the kids he was playing with had feet that big.  Okay, back to today…
We again slept late this morning but Robby and I were pretty quick to get up when the kids started stirring-we had lots to do and lots to pack.  I had packed quite a bit the evening before but there are always lots of last minute things to load up into the bags and suitcases.  The kids were happy to eat breakfast again at the condo after missing it yesterday.  Campbell would get so excited whenever she would see Laynie and this morning was no different.  All she wanted to do was lead her around by the hand even though Laynie had no interest in this at all.  Campbell is going to be a great big sister because whenever she heard Laynie or Hayley she would get so happy and squeal “baby.”
It didn’t take too long for us to head out for the swimming pool today.  It probably didn’t take that long because we skipped sunscreen in our haste out the door.  We did remember when we stepped outside and felt the sun beating down on us.  But we knew we weren’t going to stay out too long so we didn’t return for it.  Reagan was so excited because today we went down to the other swimming pool-it was pretty much the same as the other one that we had been hanging out at but this one was a bit bigger, deeper and new.  Graham could have cared less about swimming, all he wanted to do was wear his goggles.  He would have worn them in the bath if we would have let him or even slept in them. 
The kids were all about jumping in, going under the water and trying to touch the bottom today.  Campbell continued jumping in and really enjoyed the pool today-probably because she was fresh today and not worn out from the beach.  I did have to change a messy diaper and when we returned to the pool area, she discovered the kiddie pool.  She thought she was something else getting into that pool and soon the other 3 migrated over our way.  They all spent the last few minutes of our swim time bouncing from big pool to little pool.
When we said it was time to leave, they didn’t really bat an eye and followed us back to the condo for showers.  The big kids have really gotten good at helping us out when we are packing-the look in the drawers, under the beds and behind the curtains for anything we have left-though they end up finding things that aren’t ours.  We grabbed a few bags of chips and headed down luggage in tow to pack up the car.
I stopped at the trash chute on the way out and man, that was one spooky place.  A person could fall down that hole.  Eeek, I never want to live in a place that has a trash chute.  Gives me the chills just thinking about it.
The kids sat in the car while we loaded up.  The trunk and car stuff was easy to put in but we didn’t know how reloading and reattaching the on top of the car bag would work but it was just fine.  It didn’t really take us too long to strap it all back down and then fill it up.  The kids munched on their chips and watched a movie while they waited.  We were on the road by 12:30-about an hour and a half ahead of schedule. 
We just followed the gps and were surprised when we realized that we were going home through Montgomery.  We were on the other side of Sandestin and if we had been in Destin it would have taken us home through Mobile.  Either way, the time said it was about the same even though the way we went seemed longer.  Oh, well at least some of it was new roads to us and some of it was fairly familiar since we were there in May.  We had our first bit of a rain storm about an hour after leaving Destin.   
Our first stop was a potty stop for Graham-he enjoys watering the grass from the side of the van.  We stopped to potty again and grab lunch at McDonalds and then another stop for gas.  Since I am writing this a day late, I can’t really remember the exact order of stops but we did stop again for gas and then once for a supper drive through at Fazollis (good but they forgot my breadsticks).  So we had a total of 5-6 stops costing us an hour and a half on the gps.  But when you consider at each potty stop we have one diaper to change, 3 pottiers plus Robby and I, that is probably not too incredibly bad. 
In Memphis, we came upon a pretty bad wreck that had just happened-one car pretty smashed and one car on fire.  We were probably a minute or two after it had happened but thankfully, we were able to skirt across a few lanes of traffic and exit before we were stuck or rear ended.  Of course, seeing that bothered Robby and I but not nearly as much as it bothered the kids.  All they wanted to do was talk about it and since the fire trucks and all weren’t there yet this caused even more concern for the cars.  We said a prayer for the folks involved and then I thought I would turn on a happy movie to get their minds off of it.  I picked a cheery looking Disney movie but it ended up being so scary that Anderson asked to turn it off. 
Something else that was scary once we made it into Arkansas was the lightening.  The lightening was wild, bright, continuous until we made it home.  The wind was pretty wild too-I had actually never felt the wind on the van like that.  We were very fortunate because we never hit rain until Carlisle even though we thought the bottom was going to fall out from West Memphis on.  By now the kids were snoozing and didn’t really see the lightening show. 
At Carlisle, it started pouring.  It was bad enough that we were both having to watch the lines to make sure we stayed on the road.  We were about to take the next exit and get off the road for a bit when it started to slack off.  Soon it was back to a drizzle and all was well.  I tell you though, we had two vehicles (i.e. idiots) fly by us during the rain.  They were going at least the speed limit if not more even though we were crawling at 40ish since we couldn’t see a thing.  This was a true test for our roof bag and Robby was pretty delighted to see that all was well and dry when we made it home.
We made it home around 12 and Graham was the first one in the house and grabbed his guitar and started singing “Oh, Arkansas, oh, Arkansas” while Anderson held his ears, laid on the couch and cried because his brother’s music was too loud.  Everyone woke up pretty well and while they wandered into the house, Robby and I unloaded the car, found the sleeping bags and started a load of laundry.  The kids were all delighted to learn that they would get to sleep in our room since it was just easier and quicker than getting everyone in their beds. 
It was a very good trip and lots of fun.  The kids are already ready to go back to the beach.  Reagan wants to go back to find more seashells, Anderson wants to return to dig more in the sand, Graham is going to go parasailing with me next time and Campbell, well I think she enjoyed the naps!

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