Epic Road Trip (Day 24: September 16, 2016)

We just love hotel sleeping. Graham was coughing this morning and Robby asked me what time it was. I squinted at the clock and guessed that it was 4 but the next minute when I got up to go to the bathroom, I saw that the clock really said 6. I thought Robby was about to cry when I told him that! He quickly went back to sleep and all was well. We woke around our usual waking time and soon were all downstairs eating breakfast. We weren’t really in a hurry this morning and ended up closing up breakfast.

Robby had loaded up the room and he met us downstairs in the breakfast area. We all followed him out and Whitman turned and ran back towards our table. He shouted “I forgot about my food.” I had not forgotten about his food and when he had stopped eating, I had thrown it all away. I had no idea that he would run screaming back through the hotel searching for his food. Once he saw it was gone, he said “but I’m so hungry.” By now people were staring at me and my hungry boy so I whisked him up and promised him ‘colorfuls’ (Fruit Loops) in the car. Seconds later, we were loading the car and Whitman had his bowl of colorfuls and was happily eating.

The ride to Charlotte was uneventful. The kids worked on their school work and our hour drive really seems like nothing now. Robby briefly tried to figure out how we can travel for an entire year-he is beginning to get a tad bit depressed. We usually plan our big road trips on the way home so maybe that will cheer him up some.

Our first stop this morning was at the Billy Graham Library. It was a very neat little place and one of the highlights of the trip. The grounds were so peaceful-Reagan even commented on that. First you went through the house that he had grown up which had been moved at least twice by the family (deconstructed, numbered and moved) and then you went into the museum part.

They gave the kids a list of questions to answer so they stayed engaged the entire time. The tour started out with a talking cow so Whitman was immediately interested. Then we moved from gallery to gallery learning about Billy Graham and his life. The museum wasn’t entirely about him because the overall theme was Billy’s message, Jesus Christ. If you haven’t visited the Billy Graham Library, you need to put it on your list.

We picked up a few things at the gift shop and walked around on the grounds for a bit. George Beverly Shae is buried there as is Ruth Graham. When we climbed back in the car, we passed out snacks and headed towards South Carolina, our 16th state to visit on this trip.

We had barely entered South Carolina when we pulled off the road and headed to King’s Mountain National Military Park. The state park was down the road and they had signs for a picnic area so that is where we headed first. It was already after 2 when we found the picnic spots with a playground and had our lunch. Whitman immediately knew we were in a campground. He picked up a stick and asked if we were going to have marshmallows and tell stories. I told him that we wouldn’t do that today but maybe when it was cooler.

The weather was pretty perfect and the kids played for a while. We then headed to the National Park area. They had a film about the battles there during the American Revolution which was great-so I am told. Then we walked through their little visitor’s center before deciding to walk on a trail out back. It was just a mile and a half. We weren’t accounting for the hills but the weather was pretty nice and even though we were sweating, it was a neat little trail. We weren’t moving very quickly on the trail until Robby looked and saw that it was nearing 5 and the bathrooms closed at 5. That definitely sped things up!

When we reached the second monument on our trail, Anderson and Reagan were in the front of the rest of us. They came walking back tell us that the trail ended and that we would have to walk back the same way we had come. We really had thought the trail was a loop and Robby pulled out the map-we were a bit panicked since we had already come up lots of hill areas. Then they burst out laughing-the rest of the trail was on the other side of the monument.

We made it before the bathrooms closed and it was a good thing because we had a 3 hour drive in front of us-nothing like waiting until the last minute (on the bathrooms and the drive.) We did stop for 7-11 drinks since we figured that would probably be our last 7-11 for at least a year to see. We stopped at Arbys to pick up supper, to potty and for me to drive some.

I ended up driving the rest of the way here and goodness gracious, I think I would rather drive in NYC than Atlanta-these people be crazy! We made it to our hotel just on the outskirts of town and quickly unloaded. The kids 7-11 drinks and Arby’s meals had caught up with them. They almost had a fist fight over who would get to go to the bathroom first. Once everyone had used the facilities, we started our shower and laundry routines.

I told Keaton that tomorrow would be our last night in a hotel and she looked at me incredibly puzzled and said, “where will we go?” Robby told her that we would go home and she just looked so disappointed. Whitman will be the Dennie most excited about coming home-but he will probably call our house our “hotel” for awhile.

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