Mouths of Babes #5

While praising the kids for their recent great report cards…

Amanda: I got all S’s Daddy.
Me: I know. I’m so proud of of you.
Amanda: Mommy, does ‘S’ stand for ‘Superstar’?

* Kindergartners don’t get letter grades. They S, N, U. S is for Satisfactory.

Vacation ’08: Day 6

Today was a great day. We decided to head out to Lake Lure for a boat tour. It’s about a 40 minute drive through the mountains. Lots of winding roads and acceleration and deceleration. Not a ride for those who get motion sick easily. But the scenery was amazing and it is a really nice drive. We arrived at Lake Lure but we were too late for the 2pm tour. So we booked the 3pm tour.

Then we drove back up the road a bit to Chimney Rock and looked at one one of Becky’s favorite little shops. We also decided to grab a bite to eat. We went to Laura’s House and had a light bite. Problem is it took too long to get our meal and we had to push our tour back till 4pm. We snapped some quick pics and got a couple of small things at the store and headed back out to the lake for the tour. It’s about an hour on the lake in a pontoon boat with a guide. There is a ton of history surrounding the lake and the homes that are along the banks are amazing.

After the tour we headed back to Black Mountain. We decided to go ahead and go to My Father’s Pizza & Pasta. Probably one of the best pizza joints ever. The pizza is amazing. We always visit when we are here. Since my birthday is this Friday we decided to make it my birthday dinner. We all had a great meal and actually a great time even though the kids were tired from the boat ride. They get up so early in the mountains and by the time the adults rise up they’ve been up for about three hours. Don’t worry, they don’t go outside for fear of the bears. LOL

Outside My Father’s there was a little coy pond and some more flowers with more butterflies. You know me, I can’t resist a good butterfly shot so I snapped a couple. We all headed back to the house for baths and bed for the kids. Since it was my birthday night I picked the movie. My choice… testosterone-filled choice of the night… The Condemned. Needless to say the ladies didn’t watch it because it is really a pretty violent movie. But is was a good way to end the night for me after a week of kids movies and chick flicks.

There’s a bunch of photos so feel free to check out the album on my Facebook.

Day 6 ends…

Vacation ’08: Day 3

Another lazy day. We got up and went out for breakfast at a little place in Cheshire Village called the Morning Glory Cafe. It’s a little artsy type cafe with great food and good sized portions. Nice local art on the walls and lots of sunshine. It was a very relaxing breakfast and we even got some photos as well. We then drove through Cheshire Village. We hadn’t been there in a couple of years and they were just starting to build it last time we were here. It is nearly complete now. It is really nice and kind of a chalet style layout of the houses. REALLY nice houses too.

Oh on our way to the cafe we passed a man on the side of the road. He was an African-American gentleman, looked to be in his 50’s or 60’s. We was wearing a Civil War style hat and was holding a large Confederate flag on a pole and waving to traffic as they passed by. At first I thought nothing of it, then it hit me how funny that was. I knew I had to get a picture but I thought he’d be there after breakfast. Sadly he wasn’t. That would be a classic photo. Just shows you need your camera out and ready at all times when on vacation. Becky even thought of a title for the photo, “No hard feelings.” I nearly spit out my Cheerwine at breakfast at that. I hope he is back out there sometime before we go home. I really want a photo of him.

As we headed back to the cabin to await the arrival of Nana & Grandpa Randy, the day was so perfect we drove slowly through town. There’s a big ‘Sourwood Festival‘ this weekend or something so we thought we’d check that out. As we drove back I snapped a few pics from the van of downtown Black Mountain… enjoy.

After a quick straighten up of the house we waited for Nana to arrive. Finally they got here safe and sound. They have a Prius rental and they had the funky key thing as well. Anyway, the girls all decided to run off to the local shops for some ‘shopping’ while the Y chromosomes stayed back at the cabin to chillax. Randy and I played our computer games LOL. Shows the difference in what vacations are to people. While chillaxin’ I popped on SciFi and watched a little X-files. Still one of the best shows ever. I slowly dozed off. The realized I was very uncomfortable on the couch and moved to the bed for a comfy nap.

The ladies had returned from shopping at the shops then decided to go shopping for food. Don’t ask me why there were two trips made. I was asleep and happy to not be part of the decision for once. I don’t really care how the cookies get in the pantry, just that they are there at all is fine. While they went to the local Ingles I decided to snap some photos of the butterflies at the front of the neighborhood. They were all over the place. I braved the honey bees (allergic thank you very much) and snapped some pics in macro mode on the little Kodak. I really need a Nikon D40 or some kind of decent SLR. Butterflies move to fast for a non-SLR camera for sure. Anyway enjoy the pics.

After a yummy dinner at the house we did our nightly gauntlet with the kids of baths, teeth brushing, hair combing, etc. and settled in for a movie. Bee Movie ironically. I love that movie. Seinfeld is still one of the best. There are so many subtle jokes in it I catch something new each time. Anyway, after the movie it was time to put the kids down (non-lethal of course) and relax. I, of course, tackled the task of blogging the day’s events.

It is all quiet here now. I can hear a train off in the distance.

Day 3 ends…

Vacation ’08: Day 2

Addendum to Day 1: I forgot to mention that in the midst of all that was going on yesterday, my oldest child decides that putting 4 strong magnet pebbles on the screen of my 30″ HD TUBE television was a good idea. The lovely green/blue/black circle they made was quite lovely. Luckily for her Murphy had me distracted and I couldn’t get my hands on her. I had her throw away the magnets and made her pray that the TV healed itself by the time we got back. Luckily it healed before we left. Lucky for her. Note to self: kids + magnets = bad. Now back to today…

Nothing very eventful today. Slept in a bit… 10am. Thats when the sound of three little kids bounding through the house on a floor with a crawlspace became unbearable.  It was like being at a high school basketball game. A bad one with a lot of turnovers and a ton of dribbling. Pass it man… pass it!

So I got up and started breakfast. Eggs, bacon, cinamon rolls, toast… yummmmmmmm.

After that we all got sleepy again so Beck went back to sleep. I of course stayed up and made sure the kids didn’t destroy the cabin. You do not leave all three of our kids together unattended. They could tear a hole in the fabric of time given the chance.

Just got back from dinner at the Okie Dokie Smokehouse…. mmmm great mac n’ cheese and BBQ chicken. So full. Gonna put the spawn to bed soon. I’m sitting on the front porch listening to wind chimes and birds typing this post. In the distance I can hear the howl of a couple of hounds.

That’s probably it for the day other than TV. I love vacation…

I’ll try and get some pics tomorrow once we’ve recovered from drive-lag.

…and Day 2 is done.

Vacation ’08: Day 1

Well this day was one for the books. Where do I start? From the beginning I guess.

Murphy lives in my house. He’s usually very quiet and keeps to himself. Honestly I never really pay him much attention until he decides to mess with me. Yesterday he decided to make up for all the times he’s ignored me.

First let’s start with the night before we left. We were doing laundry, getting last minute things washed for the trip. This meant the pair of jeans I was wearing. I had a hamper with just my clothes ready to go. Problem was, I had my debit card in my front pocket. Now this is nothing unusual for me. It is either in my wallet or in my pocket if I had to get gas (which I did). Normally I would take it out and put it on my dresser so I know where it is. I thought I did that but got distracted by the list of things TODO before we left. So anyway I did laundry. Wash, Dry, Fold. Till 3am. Keep in mind we were supposed to get our rental van at 8am in Sanford and hit the road from there.

Fast forward to 7am the next day… or 4 hours later. We all get up. Becky checks her email and discovers and interested party in our old double stroller on Craig’s List. Suddenly we have someone coming over at 9am to look at it. Long story short we sold the stroller. We thought WOOT God giving us a little extra cash for the trip. Awesome! But then as I was getting all my stuff together Murphy decided to visit. I couldn’t find my debit card. The hunt begins.

Looked in my car, the clothes on the floor, the washing machine, the dryer, the clothes in the dryer, the clothes I folded before the load in the dryer, under the bed, in my computer bag, my wallet, the couch, etc etc etc. No luck. The card literally went POOF and vanished.

So we thought we’ll transfer money to our joint account and use that debit card. So we go to my bank and order a new debit card and cancel my lost one just in case it fell out somewhere. Then we go to the other bank and move cash. Then it was off to the Sanford airport to get our rental van. We get there and I go to rent the vehicle. Hand over my debit card… DECLINED! WHAT!? Try it again please. DECLINED! Now it’s locked out for 24 hours for fraud protection per Thrifty Car Rental policy. Oh and they do not accept cash… ever. Great.

We drop the hamster (Hammy) off at Becky’s brother’s house. Then head home to look for the card some more and basically just try and accept that we may not be able to leave until Friday now, very disappointing. Beck’s mom calls to see where we are on our trip. We relate the events thus far and just about when we were ready to give up and go to bed for a nap, Mom comes to the rescue and gives us a blank signed check and tells us to cash it for enough money to cover the van rental. Okay off to the bank again for Beck and the girls.

As Beck returns from the bank Chad and I looked for my card again one piece of clothing at a time. Then Murphy cut me a break. There was my card! In a spot we had all looked in at least 5-6 times. Okay cool so now I have my card again, but it’s been deactivated!

So we get all in the van again and set off for my bank to reactivate my debit card. Okay that’s done then we head off to the airport again. We get there and this time Becky has to rent it using her debit card because mine is locked for fraud for 24 hours.

She waits in line behind a family of Brits with 3 kids and a houseload of luggage and no reservation. She gets to the counter and rents the van. Luckily we had called and extended our reservation, 4 times actually. Anyway she goes to get the van while the kids and I circle the airport waiting for her. She calls me and tells me the van won’t start. Great. She goes back in to ask how the heck to start the van. They tell her it’s a new ‘keyless’ key. What the…? Anyway it looks like a toy and you just stick the peg in the ignition and turn it. Okay, so she gets it started. We head to her Aunt’s house to drop off our van and transfer all our stuff to the rental for the trip.

I open our back hatch and the cooler with ice, Cokes, juices, milk and eggs dumps out, spilling all the ice out and cracking every single egg we had slated for breakfast the next morning in North Carolina. Great. We repack the cooler and figure we’ll get more ice later. We pack the rental van up, park ours and seal it up.

FINALLY! WE ARE ON THE ROAD! It is now 4pm and 10 hours of driving still to go.

The drive was great and uneventful. Then we hit Columbia, SC around 10pm. A TON of lightning in the sky. Very weird lightning. The wind started to pick up. Then small showers. Then suddenly the sky turned this weird blue/green/teal-ish light and it glowed like that for about 20 seconds. It was very freaky. Becky says’ “Well at least the rain isn’t too bad.”

Murphy had hitched a ride and was listening. Seriously, as soon as she finished the sentence it was like one of the 4 horsemen was released. The rain hit like a wall, the wind was blowing us back and forth, hail hit, lightning, etc. We actually thought maybe a tornado was moving through or something. It was just that kind of weather. We pushed on.

We made it through the storm and then about 30 minutes after that I started to nod off. I had been driving for like 8 hours on 4 hours of sleep. So it was time to turn the wheel over to Becky to finish the trip. So we switched. I immediately fell asleep. Some time later Becky stopped for gas. We fill up and head off again. But the A/C in the van wouldn’t turn on. Weird. So we turn off the van and restart it. Then the A/C works. Hrmm. Then on the dash the Change Oil message flashes. The hits just keep on coming.

We are driving and I’m in a half-sleep state. I hear Becky sighing and grunting under her breath which of course wakes me up. It is pitch black outside and she has no idea where she is. She thinks she turned right when she should have gone left. So I wake up and get her turned around and sure enough she went the wrong way. So we now finally arrive at the house… at 2am!

We do a quick unload and just throw the kids into bed. At last peace an quiet. A quick shower to rinse off the day and try to relax. Then the nap I had kicks in and I’m wide awake. So I finally dozed off around 4am again. So that is 9 hours of sleep in two days. Fun.

What a trip. Life is an adventure for sure.

Okay that was Day 1. I think Murphy had even had enough and jumped out somewhere outside Spartanburg, SC.