Ok, the title doesn't rhyme, but work with me here.
We had a lovely time in Alabama. After all the craziness and "go go go" of Florida, we did a lot of sitting around watching the kids play. My sister (http://www.zsquarednews.blogspot.com) has three kids, all three and under (twins!) so even sitting around watching the kids gets tiring!
The kids and I drove all day from Orlando to Tuscaloosa. I was really proud of them. We had put John on the plane the night before, and they had gotten packed up and we were on the road by 8:30 am. And they behaved themselves in the car. The GPS gives us the mileage remaining and the estimated time of arrival, so instead of "are we there yet?", I got "what time are we supposed to get there?" and "how many more miles?". Frankly, those questions are far less annoying, especially since I always answer "are we there yet" with "does it LOOK like we're there?"
But we arrived safely late in the day (but still daylight!) and proceeded to take over my sister's basement. We brought three boxes of toys and books and videos for the kids. Yeah! They're out of MY house! It worked out well - whenever children weren't getting along, we had a new distraction. Andy melted me the first night. He found a book on construction equipment (his love), and, in that adorable 3-yr old way, asked me to read to him. Awwwww......
There was also some sight-seeing. We took the kids on a bus ride around the U of Alabama campus. We went to a hands-on museum for children (a hit with all ages!). We went to Krispy Kreme - yes, that counts as sight-seeing. We don't have Krispy Kreme where we are in NJ. Rachel is still rhapsodizing about her hot donut experience.
We also saw barges and tugboats on the river, and did lots of hanging out. I would have loved to stay and hang out more, but I was getting worried about doing the drive home to NJ in two days by myself, so we ended up leaving late Sunday afternoon. The kids didn't want to leave, even though William was having the occasional "difference of opinion" with the twins. It's tough not to be the youngest, when that's what you're used to.
I did, however, come home with an excellent souvenir. They have a fig bush in their backyard, and when we arrived, Jim was canning fig jam, and the next day I observed the canning of fig pickles. So he sent me home with a jar of each, and I am looking forward to having friends over in the cold of winter and having these lovely figs to open. The fig pickles taste much like spiced apples (or pears). John decided that fig pickles was an awkward name, how about ... Fickles!
Yeah, this is the sense of humour I live with. Pity me.
Anyway, we got ourselves all packed up (only forgot my shampoo and razor, both replaceable), and left by 4pm. Drove to Chattanooga, then the next morning made it to Chambersburg, PA. We could have made it home, but it would have been close to midnight and I was already tired. So we were home by noon on Tuesday, and now we are readjusting to life at home.
Two weeks is a long vacation. It's nice to be home.