Monday, June 30, 2014

The Way Home

June 28-29

We hit three traffic jams...

By the third one you'd think I'd learned to go to the bathroom when I had a chance. No such luck. Then when we finally found a McDonald's it was packed with other people women who had also been stuck in the same traffic jam.

10 minutes after we left Rosemary Beach.

Our speed.

Traffic jam #2. Still in Florida.

Traffic jam #3. Louisiana.

And then we drove through this.

The highlight was our stop in Monroe, Louisiana...Duck Dynasty.

The rest of our trip was uneventful...we took some back roads through Texas and Oklahoma.


It was nice to get off the interstate and take in some back roads. But it's also weird when there's no other cars on the road. 

Back to reality...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rosemary Beach

How we got here.

June 23-27
A big storm came through on Monday.

But the rest of the week we had plenty of beach time.

We played with Papa's GoPro. See it on Zach's boogie board?


Here's what else we did: 

We took pictures...I mean...GOBS of pictures. It doesn't matter if you don't want you picture taken.

We even bring our own professional photographer...or "Dad/Papa" as we like to call him.

 We make the kids do this picture every year.

Here's the cousins' photo from 2006.

The traditional family photo.

And the annual funny one.

Crab hunting.

Breakfast in the square.

Got stuck on the side of the highway.
I don't have a photo of this, but on Friday, our van broke down and had to be towed. The closest place was 45 minutes away. Fun times. 

This photo is Scott and Zach. Steve and Jake rode together, Oma and Papa rode together and I rode with Katie and Adam. Sherry and Matthew stayed back at Rosemary Beach and checked out the swimming pools.

Took #selfies.

Hijacked other people's phones and took 147 #selfies.

Played on our electronics.

Sat out on the deck...

made sure we were "in the know..."

...and made friends with the squirrels.

We walked to town.
Some more interestingly than others.

Ate ice cream and bought candy from the Sugar Shack.

Watched soccer. The World Cup was going on, and you could hear the other families watching too. When the U.S. won one of their games, everyone came out on their decks and cheered. 

Then Uncle Steve brought out his portable soccer goals. We played (well, the boys and Katie) every night. 

Sometimes it became a community soccer game when other families joined in.

We wore our hair like Farrah Fawcett, which we found out that anyone under the age of 18 did not know who that was. 

We grilled out: Salmon, shrimp, steak.

We started the 18 hour trek home on Saturday. It didn't go as smoothly as we anticipated. Read what happened.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

1,080 miles and 18 hours to Florida

I originally started writing this as one post, but it was just too long. So I've divided it up into three posts: getting there, at the beach, and heading home.

Day one: June 20
After a hectic week of one child at Fun Factory, one child at Lego Robotics Camp, both children attending soccer tryouts and one with strep throat, we were finally on our way. We left at noon, after picking Adam up at Lego Robotics Camp.

Only 1,080 miles (18 hours of driving) to go! This is us, pulling out of the driveway. Group #selfie.

We stopped in Tulsa to eat and visit the Center of the Universe. When you stand in the middle of the concrete circle, your voice echoes in your head. The people standing on the outside of the circle can't hear the echo.

We ate dinner at Chaz's Chowhouse. Scott had a Cuban sandwich, Zach had chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes (which he said was the first time he had chicken fried steak at a restaurant), Adam had chicken strips with fries, and I had a salad, then part of everyone else's meal. Then, we were on our way to Conway, AR to spend the night. I had printed out maps to see how many license plates we could find, and that kept us busy for...a few minutes. But then you just need something to do.

Like put your feet up on your mom's headrest while you read a book.

Day 2: June 21
We headed to Memphis, TN. We ate lunch at Dyer's World Famous Burgers, of course.

The burgers were good...

...the root beer float was THE BEST (according to Adam), but the restrooms were a definite thumbs down.

We texted with Hilgers (who left Thursday) and Oma and Papa (who left Friday morning). Scott said "it's like we are all riding in the same car together." 

There was a lively discussion about whether paper or digital maps were better, and also updates on road conditions (we were ahead of Hilger's by about two hours). There was some confusion when both Scott and I's electronic navigation failed to load, and Sherry and Oma laughed because they had paper maps which didn't need satellites or cell service to work. At one point, we had a GPS telling us the way, plus I had two navigation apps open on my phone. We finally figured out which one was the most accurate.

Next stop: Birmingham. The boys had a couple of arguments...the most interesting about when the flute was invented and whose water bottle was leaking. But for the most part they watched movies, played on their iPods and Kindles, read books and found license plates.

We visited our old stomping ground where Scott and I lived way back when...See the 2627 over my shoulder? That was our part of the townhouse.

We had dinner with an old friend who still lives there, then met up with the Hilgers, who were staying at the same hotel.

Day 3: June 22
Homestretch to Rosemary Beach, FL! The boys rode in one van, the girls in another. Girls take the lead.

Made it! The view from our deck.

And out to the ocean. That's Jake, Adam and Zach.

Read next: What we did.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

El Dorado 3 v 3 Tournament

Zach's U10 team came in second. They played a U11 girl's team and learned quick that it wouldn't be an easy win.

This is what we do between games. What would we do without Kindles, iPhones or iPads?

Adam's team were tournament champs in their age division. They played an older boys U12 team twice, which turned out to be pretty rough games. Adam got plowed down at least twice.

U11 Tournament champs!