Early rising...time for Adventure!!
Gregg woke at 4:00am and started with breakfast; everyone else is up by 4:30am.
(I'm grumpy, but I realize that sometimes it's better for me to just be quiet for a while. I tend to be a little short with my words and tone. I very much wish I was a morning person, but if I ain't one by now...chances are I'm just going to have to accept the fact! Gregg, on the other hand, has the radio going and is "chipper"! He's bouncing around preparing much of the last minute packing. I'm thankful for him...even if I don't smile at him to let him know...)
Everyone is up and ready and excited! Everyone's clothes were put out the night before and big buddies helped dress the little buddies. This helped A LOT!
Breakfast at 5:00am - sausage, grits, gravy, juice.
Dishes, clean-up, hands and faces washed, teeth brushed.
Packing everything into the van. Includes the following:
- Suitcases (8 in all, various sizes)
- Diapers and Training pants
- LOTS of baby wipes
- Boxes filled with food for meals and snacking along the way
- Cooking pots, utensils, dish towels, potholders, seasonings
- Coolers filled with gatorade, water, juice, cheese, margarine, fruit, puddings, chocolate, and other misc items to be kept cold
- Extra water, juice, and gatorades to add to coolers later
- Games, mp3 players, toys, and craft items to occupy kids
- Pillows and blankets
- Coats and sweatshirts
- Extra shoes
- Toiletry items in separate bags
- Camera and camera bag w/ extra lenses, batteries, and SD cards
- Money, checkbook, debit card, keys
- Box of AAA tourbooks, maps, and handwritten notes
- Diaper bag
- Small cooler for front of van with drinks
- Phones and chargers
- 2 backpack carriers
- Portable child seat
Everybody goes to the potty, toilets are flushed, trash is taken to the shed, animals are tended, and I make a final run through the house to straighten everything so we come home to neatness..WHEW!!
It's a beautiful morning...
And we're in the van, ready to leave by 7:15am. I assign seats to ward off arguing, and promise to change up the seating along the way...
|first thing Eva does - takes off her socks and shoes!|
|the three muskateers on the back seat|
|Caleb and Silas ready for the ride|
|Eva, Nathan, and Kedesh ready to go|
|"I've got my toy...let's ride!"|
|Me - riding shotgun|
|Gregg giving everyone last minute directions such as:|
"Keep your hands to yourself...
If you need to use the bathroom, speak up now...
If we can hear your music up here, it's too loud in your earbuds..."
Destination...Paradise, Pennsylvania. Mapquest says it's going to take us 10 hours and 15 minutes to get there. We must also account for rest stops and eating along the way...
First stop for gas and bathrooms @ 8:19am. Isaiah wants to know, "How many hours have we been riding?" "Uh...just ONE, little man!"
|North Carolina state line|
Stop at Walmart for items we forgot...tablecloths, chewing gum, and sunglasses for Gregg. Of course, we also have to go potty - AGAIN.
10:45am - We make a stop at the Virginia Welcome Center to stretch legs and potty - AGAIN. By this time, several of us have had a little nap, so we're a little slow moving...
|"Wake up, Caleb!"|
|Desh-Desh with bedhead|
12:00-1:30 pm ...We decide to eat sandwich wraps at a rest area. It was a beautiful little spot where we were able to observe the oldest metal bridge in Virginia...and we had plenty of room to run and romp. The only downside was that the wind was blowing really hard while we were trying to eat, and our paper plates and napkins kept wanting to fly away!
|First meal on the road - picnic with sandwich wraps|
|Silas with a gatorade as big as he is|
|Silly Samuel taking advantage of the open space|
|taking a walk|
|Row String Arch Truss - the oldest metal bridge in Virginia|
|exploring the bridge and what is underneath|
|stopping just long enough to pose for a pic|
|sweet times loving each other|
After getting everyone's tummies full, it was more riding and naptime for everybody...well, almost everybody - Gregg had to drive. :)
The rest of our day was mostly traveling on the interstate.
|Entering West Virginia|
We saw lots of pretty landscapes, though, and the kids were fantastic.
|Kedesh is chillin'|
They did ask 100+ times how much longer it was going to be...and we finally threatened to make them get out and walk if they asked again - lol!
About 2 hours from Paradise, PA, we decided to take a "short cut" that we were hoping would be more scenic. It turned out to go through tons of little not-so-scenic towns, lots of construction, and traffic lights. By the time we began looking for the house we were renting, it was dark and everybody was hungry and tired.
We spotted the road to the house at the last minute, and I thought Gregg might wreck us in that 15 passenger, but he didn't! I was spastic about the turn and almost hitting a cement block wall...the kids...well, they loved it!
We arrived at our destination in Paradise, PA at 8:20pm - just over 13 hours after we began.
|Our rental home for the next 4 days|
The house was built in the 1920's and had recently been renovated and updated. It had plenty of room at a great price. And, being a woman, I had to check out all of the decor. Here were a few of my favorites things about the house:
|the girls' room where they could look out the window at the head of the bed |
and see the Amish buggies going by
|Nathan and Silas' room with traveling decor|
|the master bath|
|canvas covered in vintage sheet music|
|vintage cradle used for holding towels and washcloths|
|hodgepodge of misc chair styles and colors|
|vintage high chair|
|glass bottles arranged in the kitchen windowsill|
|coatrack made using antique doorknobs|
|"He will cover you..."|
|vintage books in the windowsill of the kids' room|
|the wall above the master bed|
We all got baths (before I knew it, there were 4 little naked boys in the jacuzzi upstairs, and they were looking for the bubble bath!), cooked a supper of homemade chili and beans, and watched the Clemson v. Florida State football game.
Then it was to bed...just before midnight. Can you say "exhausted"??
|precious baby girl|
Stay tuned for Day 2 as God leads us to worship in a new place and we explore the famous battlefield at GETTYSBURG...