The highs and lows of a travel weekend…

Left early Wednesday morning (on the road by 2:30) and arrived in LI by 9:30.  the kids were pretty good most of the way (meaning they slept a good portion of it!).  Wednesday we spent with Jean and her youngest daughter.  The kids were a little disappointed that Jean’s older kids had a full day of school but it gave me a change to rest a little.  Then I went to Chuck-E-Cheese with 6 kids under the age of 8.  $30, an hour and 15 minutes, and 160 tokens later, we had 6 kids fighting over 500 tickets and the crappy toys and candy you can buy with it!).  My kids and I were in bed by 9 PM.

Thursday, we had a wonderful day with Jean.  She went overboard with the food (as usual).  Super french toast for breakfast; then…shrimp cocktail and baked brie for snack and then a full Turkey dinner complete with stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, broccoli / cauliflower cheese casserole, cranberry sauce.  Later…dessert was chocholate/peanut butter pie, apple pie, and pecan pie.  The kids ate the chocholate/peanut butter pie (even Matthew had 2 pieces!) before any of the adults could even think about it.

Uncle Matt took all of the younger kids to the park to play baseball for about 2 hours in the morning.  It was good because it was clear (though cloudy) for the morning.

Since Jean was getting up to go shopping at 4 am, we decided to get up and start driving.  We made excellent time to Massachusetts and arrived at Denise’s house at 9:30.  The kids enjoyed playing taking out every toy she owns with her toys and with Nina and Elena.  In the afternoon, I took the kids bowling to try and get some of their energy out.  It was raining on/off the entire weekend thus far!   

Then it was off to Uncle Steve’s house – there was a lot of dismay on the drive over since it was raining again and that was going to put a damper on the go-kart riding!  Amazingly, the rain stopped and Riley and Logan were able to go out on it for a few laps before dinner.  The “hit” of the trip was a little dog named “tasha” at Steve’s house.  Unfortunately, I think she will never be the same.  My kids chased her and bugged the hell out of her played with her the entire time we were there.  It re-kindled Matthew’s desire for a dog which I am sure I will hear about the next several months.

Addison was entertaining in her fear of all things animal.  Yes, she would chase the dog and then run away screaming at  the top of her lungs if it came toward her and (god forbid) one time jumped on her.  She got under the table to pet the cat and ran away so hard she hit her head on the wall (in response to the cat biting her!).  So, now we have heard for the last 3 days.  “I don’t like cats”.

Saturday was my dad’s “surprise” 80th birthday party.  There were about 100 friends and family members from all sides of the family at a local restaurant complete with DJ and dancing.  I kept a low profile Friday cuz my kids are not that good about not telling secrets.  Saturday my dad called and asked to take me and the kids out to dinner cuz he had to work all day.  I said “okay” knowing that instead we would have lunch!  It ended up being a complete surprise and a fun time. 

Riley was a little distracted with a DS that one of the other kids brought.  He couldn’t be coaxed to do anything – although he let me hug him and “pretend” to dance at the back of the room.  Logan chased an 8 year old grand nephew-in-law (the DS owner) around the room the entire afternoon.  Addison and Nina danced the entire time.  Matthew danced with me for a while and enjoyed all of the commotion. 

Saturday evening we started back home.  Plans were to make it to the end of the New Jersey Turnpike and then stop at a hotel.  Around 1/2 way through at exit 8A I could see that there was a big back up on the highway and so we scooted over and found a hotel.  Turns out it was completely stopped at exit 5 because of a big accident.  We would have been in it for hours! 

Sunday we got up, ate breakfast and then I let the kids swim in the hotel pool in their underwear!  (we didn’t bring suits but will remember to do so next year! – we ended up in the same hotel last year on the drive home too!

It took us another 6 hours to get home …dang Rte 95 in DC/Northern VA!  But we got home in time to put some laundry in the machine and eat dinner and go to bed early to be ready for Monday. 

All-in-All, it was a good few days.  I wish many of them weren’t spent driving but there really is no alternative – unless I win the lottery and …well, I’m not holding my breath!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

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