July 30, 2010

Atlanta Zoo

Last night we got in late to Lisa and Scott's house. The girls had patiently waited all day to see their cousins. They hit it off like old friends even though that haven't seen each other in 2 years. Amy and Noah are both going into 4th grade this year and Jake and Amber will both be in 1st. They played until we finally forced them to go to bed then first thing this morning they were busy. My boys quickly showed their cousins how you can play a fishing anywhere. Had we stayed longer I'm sure they would have started to make Amy and Amber play hunting as well. After a nice morning of waffles, visiting, coffee and Clint working on his beauty sleep we went to the zoo in Atlanta.

We had a great day at the zoo. It was a 102 degrees and we felt every last one of them.
Some of my favorite animals:
A new family picture. I always have a baby on my hip in these. The last one we took was at the Aquarium 2 years ago and Ethan was on my hip. If we take another one in 2 years I may have to stand all by myself.

This picture belongs to a previous post. I just wanted everyone to get a good look at the window ac unit cruising through Kentucky:

We had a great day. I took well over 400 pictures at the zoo. I have only taken a total of 501 on my camera this trip (I did take a few on our smaller camera but I won't count those in my total). Good thing most of our days will be hanging out my camera is itching to be used! Right now are a few hours out Savannah. Tomorrow we will drive down the coast to Jacksonville were the only agenda item is hanging out on the beach (and taking pictures of course)!

July 29, 2010


Before I start on today I would like to say we saw the Clint Cannon of truck drivers last night. We pulled into a truck stop and a trucker had a small charcoal grill on a little strip of grass and was grilling himself some dinner. If Clint was a truck driver I'm sure he would figure out someway to be able to smoke himself a brisket for dinner.

While we were in Kentucky this morning there was a very redneck vehicle. It was an older Chevy Blazer that had a window unit air conditioner (for a house) sticking out the back window. I took a picture and I will post it later.

Today we got up and headed out. Our final destination is Atlanta. We are going a few hundred miles out of our way to have BBQ in Alabama - Big Bob Gibson's BBQ to be exact. Clint has his cookbook and has made a few of his sauces and has since changed them (improved them). This restaurant has won tons of awards and is often on Food Network and other BBQ challenges. We drove to Decatur Alabama to try it for ourselves. It was good but I think that Clint's is better. I could spend a great deal of time writing about the bark on the brisket (or lack of), the temperature at which the meat was probably cooked to etc. all of these are topics we discussed during our lunch. It was good. I'm glad we went. We had a good lunch, got a few t-shirts and I am again convinced that Clint's BBQ is defiantly a marketable business.

I am so glad that my mom came with us. Not only has she been an amazing help she is good for some comic relief. She was very excited today because she finally found out where she was. Even exclaiming "now I know where I'm at". She was messing with her phone and got the navigator loaded. She would say "We are right by the water" Clint and I could see we were right by the water. She lost her phone somewhere in the Excursion I'm concerned she may be lost soon as well. (As I'm reading this aloud she is hitting me on the head, she is laughing so hard and saying "it hurts" and "oww", and some "memememe", but don't worry Clint is helping her figure out where she is he is saying "now we are by trees".)

We just crossed into Georgia. We will be in Atlanta soon (I hope). Tonight we are staying with Clint's cousin Lisa and her family. Tomorrow we are all going to the Zoo. I'm sure it will be hot but a lot of fun!

July 28, 2010

Six Flags for Six Cannons (and a Nana)

Today I woke the boys with "you haven't been very good so far this trip so we are going to cancel six flags" Noah rolled his eyes and said "when are we leaving the hotel".

We had a great day! It was so hot. We did a lot of the same rides multiple times. The log ride 3 times. Mason did great on the first, was good on the second until we went on the little drop and started sobbing so he did not go on the third. He also got a little scared on the scooby doo ride and so he snuggled me and I sang itsy bitsy spider (very quietly so that I didn't scare the other riders).

Since it was such a nice, warm, humid day we spent a great deal of time in the water park. My mom spent a lot of time with Mason on the lazy river. For the first little bit Noah joined her and Clint and I took Jake and Ethan on the "Big Kahuna" ride. The wait was 45 minutes, but they really wanted to go on a "big person" water ride and this was the only one they were tall enough to ride. 45 minutes of listening to the group ahead of us talk about skin tags and the group behind talk about prom dresses and "no he didn't" comments was a little much (as I'm typing the "no he didn't" I am trying to shake my neck like the girls behind me were doing and I think I just pulled something). You get in the raft and then you ride down a huge slide and it is very fast and some scary parts (it is rated moderate). I told the boys I might be scared and Ethan assured me that he would scream for me. I screamed and laughed, Clint smiled, we both reassured the two boys there would be ok. They had the most terrified looks on their faces. Once we got out they both smiled, laughed and said "let's do that again". Jake then also said his shoulder hurt because of how tight he was holding on.

We then traded Jake and Ethan for Noah. We told Noah he could do any waterslide ride he wanted since he was tall enough for all of them. He chose the super slide (we think this was the name). It is similar to the big slide at the fair that you sit on your bottom on the sack and go down, except it is MUCH bigger and you lay on your belly. You wait in line and get your mat (think thin blue camping foam with handles) from the person coming off the slide. Clint and Noah got one and then it was my turn to get one from the next rider. After one look at him I made Noah give me his so he could take the next one (it was from a weird looking guy with no shirt I didn't want his belly juices...ewww). We then waited for a short time (10ish) minutes to go down. When we got to the top this mom was trying to force her 5 or 6 year old son down. He was sobbing his name was Ethan (she kept screaming it). She then put the mat down at the top of the slide and tried putting him on it and pushing him down. He wouldn't grab the handles and finally the lifeguard stepped in and stood on the mat so this crazy lady couldn't push her kid down this water slide. I'm glad she did this because I was about 2 seconds away from stepping in. I'm not sure what I would have either - "excuse me ma'am I'm a pediatric nurse and I think that the potential psychological and or physical injuries you may be causing your child far outweigh the frustration you will have if you walked him down the stairs....or excuse me ma'am and then I would push her down the slide. I'm really glad that poor 16 year old lifeguard stepped in because I don't know which one I would have chosen.

We then left the water park to have funnel cake, go on a few more rides, and get a souvenir. Ethan was devastated to find out that The Hulk is not a part of the Justice League. He thinks that you should be able to find Hulk gear everywhere, and if they don't carry it he is devastated. He settled on a superman cape, Jake got a Joker cape, Noah got dog tags and Mason got a batman onesie. Out in the main stage area there was a group of kids that were the cast of some show at six flags. The boys were playing the drums on large metal garbage cans. Mason loved it! he loves the drums and garbage cans. He was in heaven! He was dancing and clapping and sad when it was over. Very cute!

We had a short drive to Mt Vernon Illinois after we were done. Mason was asleep before we were done fueling the Excursion up. Jake and Ethan were asleep shortly after. Right before they feel asleep Ethan was thrilled to see what was in his happy meal, I finally snagged a hulk toy from a McDonalds! Yay for Mama! (We have been looking for one all across the country). Noah looked at his atlas to watch where we were going. Right around dusk we saw a 1 antlered deer crossing the road. (Always exciting to see a deer, especially a crazy 1 antlered deer).

My family is all now asleep and I am just waiting for the 3rd load of laundry to finish drying. Gotta love vacation I don't have to do dishes, or vacuum, or mop but I always have my dear friend...laundry.

July 27, 2010

Our 3rd day on the road

First I would like to say that time changes really mess me up. I thought I was waking up at 6:45 so we could get showered, have breakfast and then on the road....but no dang central time zone had me waking up at 7:45 and by the time 7 of us showered (we didn't get in until after 11 Mountain time last night), had breakfast, got me a coffee fuled up we got on the road right before 10. It was only 77 miles to Iowa. About 50 miles into Iowa we saw a Bass Pro shop. We saw it, I said quietly to Clint we can stop if you want he said ok and went a little further up until the exit. Once were getting off the interstate we hear "where are my shoes" "I have mine on"... Bass Pro was not the only store in this area. There were a ton of places to stop. When we asked the boys were we were going they said "bass pro" at this time Clint or I hadn't even mentioned the stores name. We asked how they knew we were going there Noah said "I saw it and we started to get off on the exit so of course we were going there".

We had an extended break in Bass Pro then had lunch at Red Lobster. Once we got back on the road we called Clint's parents to find out where there were. They had told us the day before that they would also be headed to St Louis today. They were only a few minutes ahead of us and we met at a Wendys. The boys got to enjoy a frosty with Papa Jimmy for his birthday before they had to get back on the road.

Poor Mason has a problem with constipation and today it the day he finally has to go. It has been rough. The prunes, juice etc obviously isn't working so next stop I'm going to walgreens to get some Miralax.

We are now in Missouri this is the last state for the day. Tomorrow we go to Six Flags. Yay I love roller coasters!

July 26, 2010

Day 2

Today has kinda been a long day. We got up at 8 had a very good continental breakfast (I didn't know they could be so good) had to re-pack some of our things so it would be easier tonight and we won't have to bring in so many bags, fueled up and found me a latte we left Billings at 10.

We have since left Montana, Traveled though Wyoming and are trying to get across South Dakota. South Dakota has a lot of road construction so it is taking a little longer then planned. The crazy thing is that there seems to be a lot of orange cones and slower speed zones but rarely have we actually seen any construction occurring. Clint did get to visit with a very nice police officer in one of these areas. There was a sign that the left lane was going to close then a 55 speed limit sign. (Previously 75). Clint slowed and was right above 60 (right on the other side of the sign) and got pulled over. We owe the great state of S. Dakota $85. I'm sure they will use it to buy more orange cones. There are a few miles of interstate that all of the lanes are open and I'm sure they would like to make some sort of fun diversion......

Anyway fun things we did : Wall Drug. Always something fun to see there. We drove almost 700 miles. It will be one of our longer days (thank goodness it is over). Mason was very good and is turning into a decent traveler. The other boys spent the entire day watching movies, playing the ds and even took a nap. Clint and I played the "I'm going on a trip and I'm going to bring..." game. I started with an acorn and he decided to bring a bra (maybe to hold the acorns? no sure).

It was a long, but good day!

Day 1

Yesterday was Day 1 of our trip. I got home from work at 7:30 and we left our house at 8:10. We then drove to Billings. It was after midnight when we checked into our room. Noah, Jake and Ethan watched racing stripes on the way to Billings and giggled throughout the movie. (I LOVE giggles). Mason was tired since we left after his bedtime and when I came home from work he wanted me to put him night-night. He cried for a good portion of the drive. He finally got to sleep but would wake up crying whenever a car would pass up going in the opposite direction.

Since Mason kinda took a nap when we got into our hotel room he didn't love the idea of sleeping. Day 1 is done!

July 20, 2010

Almost There!

The summer has just flown by! We are getting ready for our very big trip to Georgia. I have tomorrow off, then work 12 hour shifts Thursday-Sunday and then we leave Sunday. I am hoping that each of those shifts really is only 12.5 hours long and not a minute longer, you never know with nursing what is going to happen. A girl can only hope...

Saturday my mom is coming over to help with last minute things. She is crazy enough to be excited about coming along with us. Sunday when I get off of work we are going to drive to Billings, MT and spend the night. Then Monday we will cross South Dakota. Most days we will go about 600 miles.

When we took this trip 2 years ago I took notes each day of what we did and everyone told me what they loved about the day. It is still sitting in a notebook waiting for me to compile it into some sort of scrapbook. This year I am hoping to blog as we go. If not everyday then hopefully every other day.

A few of the many things I am looking forward to: making wonderful memories, taking TONS of pictures (I'm guessing I will take close to 1,000. Clint thinks it will be closer to 1,500), going to Six Flags in St Louis, the zoo in Atlanta (the boys are already excited to see the monkey exhibit I told them Nana lives there. Clint thinks she lives in the warthog exhibit). I am excited to see family, play at the beach, the unplanned stops to "check something out". Going a few hundred miles out of our way to sample some yummy BBQ. Yay!

A few things I am not looking forward to: scary bathrooms in gas stations, scary bathrooms at rest stops, scary bathrooms at restaurants. Jacob and Mason getting car sick (at least Jake will warn us, Mason will sometimes cry then puke, sometimes just puke...a lot). Not being able to read in the car because I get car sick (I think about this often while we are driving I would LOVE to be able to read!). Listening to Mason cry he HATES being restrained in the car seat and I am a crazy woman when it comes to being buckled in the car.

The excited part of me definitely out weighs the bad listed above. I am thankful that I have boys who can stand and pee and don't have to touch a dirty toilet seat. I have lots of Dramamine and the safe dose memorized for my kids by how much they weigh (in kilograms). I am covering the car seat with towels and the seats with sheets, lots of walmart bags will be packed for potential puke. For Mason's severe hatred of car seats we will stop...a lot.

Keep checking back for updates of our trip! We are almost there!