We are on vacation. Pictures will follow when we are back in faster internet world.
It has nothing to do with this post whatsoever, but just as an update, we have only spent$97 on this entire vacation so far. I am pretty sure that we are going to make it in budget. HOORAH!
All of our activities have been free. Our lodging is free thanks to wonderful family with a wonderful trailer at the wonderful river in the wonderful mountains, which I love so much that I would marry if I were either a.) single or b.) able to marry geological formations.
We arrived on Friday and went straight to bed, negating the need for any activities that day.
Saturday we boated in the river here at the campground and swam in the pool. Ate at the trailer. Kids adjusted to campground life. Baby even had naps.
Sunday, we went into Cherokee and visited Oconoluftee Islands Park and the fountain plaza near the visitor center. We had a picnic lunch. We also went to the National Park Farm museum. Stopped at a grocery store in Cherokee (I will not confirm or deny that it was a store that I formerly divorced, but was forced to shop at. I will say that this particular store only served to confirm my ardent love and affection for Harris Teeter.) Yummy dinner at trailer. J and I watched movie on the deck looking over the river.
Lest you think that I am glossing over reality . . .
Today we drove an hour to Graham county to hike in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest (which I am using for a possible setting for my novel for those of you who care). The roads were windy. Addie vomitted on the way. The car stunk. J and I got into an argument, the substance of which was whose fault it was that Addie vomitted— since clearly one of us should really apologize and be sorry for having a child prone to carsickness.
We arrived at the forest and had our picnic lunch. The kids were whining horrifically, so as a precautionary measure, we decided to make some rules for the hike.
Rule 1: No running into anything. (Dylan failed to observed this rule several times and skinned his nose.)
Rule 2: Stay together as a family. (Because of Rule 2, Rule 1 was broken and D skinned his nose.)
Rule 3: Make observations. (This was mine. I am a huge nerd and was trying to get them to make the walk educational. They chose their own way to do this, having nothing whatsoever to do with nature. Addie did find a tree that looked like an elephant, which she named Johnny the Elephant. I will post pictures later.)
Rule 4: Don’t get your feet wet. (This one just in the nick of time before they stepped into the creek with sneakers on.)
Rule 5: Don’t eat anything that mommy doesn’t give you. (I was feeding them blackberries that we picked along the way and realized that I might have been setting a bad precident.)
Rule 6: Drink lots of water
Rule 7: No whining. (Rule 7 was made because Dylan gave up on walking approximately0.01 miles into the hike, which was about a mile. He persistently begged, moaned, and wailed to be carried. J had Anika in the backpack and I refused to pick up Dylan because I KNEW that from that point, I would have to carry him for the remainder of the way. The rule did not really help. The minute J said, no whining, Dylan said . . .
“Wule Sewen: Eat Gum and Watch a Movie in the Car”
So that pretty much sums up the hike.
We returned to the RV just in time for the the disappointment of thunder and rain (no river or pool). Then, since it was raining, I drove to the laundry room (to wash vomited carseat cover) and upon my return, I ran into the trailer hitch of the RV and dented our car.
J laughed at me. And made several jokes about my driving. And continues to do so. (I have never been in an accident–FYI.)
The kids kicked and punched each other while watching Little Einsteins inside. We put them in time out and they cried.
On the flipside, we had delicious grilled barbecue chicken for dinner on the covered deck. We had ice cream for dessert. We put the kids in jammies, I nursed baby, and then, while it thundered, we played shadow puppets with the kids using flashlights. You know, give a kid a Leapster, you entertain him for a day, give a kid a flashlight and you entertain him for a lifetime.
Now they are fast asleep inside and I’m out on the deck listening to the rain plink on the metal roof of the deck covering. I’ve pulled the deck chair cushion over to the edge of the porch where the internet connection works and I’m leaning up against the RV, smelling the delicious rain and campfire smoke smell in the air. And it really is just lovely.
Also free, did I mention?
Tomorrow is our last full day, the waterfalls. Last year the waterfalls were a huge hit. I’m really banking on that.