The drive down…

12/26/08…
…the presents were opened, the supplies packed in suitcases…we went out to dinner with Wendy and her mom. The plan was for her to come home with us and we would leave after she and I packed everything into the car. Unfortunately, she packed all of her stuff except she couldn’t find her license – and we needed that – to get into the hotel and for her to do the rental car! Ugh! so she spent 20 minutes on hold with the Mechanicsville Wal-mart where she had taken it out to return something earlier in the day but no luck – then did the 30 minute drive back to her house with her mom worrying about all of our plans going to pot – and then she texted me that it was in her pants pocket from earlier in the day – wrapped in the Wal-mart receipt.

…one disaster averted!

…meanwhile at the ranch, Riley and I packed the truck and strapped it onto the trailer I have for it. She arrived at our house around 8:45 and we did some final adjustments and off we went.

…The kids were so excited they couldn’t sleep. Riley was awake most of the night consistently and kept asking us what state we were in now. It brought back memories of my childhood when we would stuff 7 kids and 2 parents into a station wagon and drive 4 hours from our home in Massachusetts to our previous home in NY. “Are we there yet” was a much hated question and like the cartoons, I can remember us asking it repeatedly! Of course, I was taking pride in what I thought was his burgeoning geography knowledge until the ride home when he asked if we were back in America yet? dunno where he thought we left the country (or continent) during the trip but he clearly didn’t realize that all of the states were in “America” (LOL).

…Logan and Addison slept pretty consistently and Matthew also was asleep between 11 and 4 or 5 in the morning.

…By 4:00 there was no containing Riley anymore and – by extension the others because he cannot modulate his volume well – so we decided to put in a video. It gave us the extra hour of driving we wanted to get to a good stopping place for breakfast and to fill up the gas tank.

…10:00 am we arrive …the hotel/condo is right behind SeaWorld and even though we didn’t plan on going there, the kids recognized roller coasters when they saw them and knew we were “THERE”. They wanted to go to the park right away!

…We used Wendy’s GPS to find the local Wal-mart and went there to buy food …after a shopping trip that was complicated by a lot of touchy hands (I wants, can I haves?, and gimmes?) we arrived back to the hotel and Wendy tried to check in. Even though she had called earlier in the week and asked for an early check in (which they assured her we would get!)…they had allowed the people in our room to have a late check out – huh??…so here we had frozen, refridgerated and other food in the car and the possibility of no check in for 4 hours. We were tired, frustrated and neither Wendy nor I were good at concealing it – especially with 4 tired kids and luggage for a week to unpack! Ultimately, one of the bell man came and took our food to their restaurant refrig and freezer, and took all of our luggage so we could go to the pool. At 2:00 (instead of the 4 we were told), Wendy got a call that our room was ready. So up we all went. They delivered our food and luggage a few minutes later

…The hotel had 2 main large pools and sprinkled around the area was a playground, a life sized chess game, ping pong table, pool table and 5 hot tubs and 2 children’s pools (one a 1 foot pool and 1 a splash pool with spouting water!)

…After a dinner of (yum) spagettios…the kids were ready for bed and so was mom…
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