Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nashville--day 2

Much better today.  I spent considerable time studying the map, wandering around, asking questions, and getting a little lost, but not completely lost like yesterday.   It helped a lot to realize that this place is similar to Methodist hospital (except this is way bigger) where there are different elevators for Hamilton and Crescent.   This place has different elevators for Cascades, Garden, Magnolia, and Delta.  We have to take the Magnolia 1 elevator down to the second floor and then switch to the Garden elevators.  Today I found out that the Magnolia 2 & 3 elevators don't go all the way through to where our room is.  This is our journey to the pool.

Our room is all the way down at the end of this hall.  We have to go down several of these before we get to the more exciting part: the Garden Conservatory.

 After walking through the whole Garden Conservatory (which has a river!), then we walk a long time down this curving hallway,

 down some stairs,

 and finally, there's the pool.  It's a nice pool.  Worth the trip.

 The lifeguard gave them some goggles and water noodles.


There was a rainbow around the sun.

 Noah tried out his new handfins that he bought at a garage sale for a quarter.

Looks like Sarah is kicking that kid in the face, but she really isn't.

 Foamstache in the hot tub.

 We stayed in the pool all day until Mike got there. 

We finally got out of the pool and ate at a pizza place in the hotel.  Noah spent some of his Nana&Papa money to buy a jaw harp.  He's been twanging on it all day.  All this southern honky tonk music must be getting to him.  I'm already slipping into my southern accent.  Y'all come back tomorrow, y'hear?

Nashville--day 1

This is how Sarah packed for the trip.  She grabbed the clothes off her floor and stuffed them into a suitcase. There are about 4 pairs of pajamas, lots of underwear, and a flashlight.  I added a swimsuit and left it alone.

Stopped at Green Creek Rest Area somewhere near southern Illinois.  It was a beautiful day, and we were tired of sitting, so we played for awhile. Sarah danced, of course.

Noah found a bug and made a habitat for it out of his empty snack bag.

We stumbled upon a geocache totally by accident!  We've purposely searched for them before and not been able to find them, so this was pretty exciting!  We took a couple beads and left a feather and a card with Bible verse on it, then Mike put it back in its hiding spot.

It was at the base of a very tall tree.

 This is the picture I wanted.  The following two are the outtakes from the effort of getting the picture I wanted....

 Back on the road, we saw this amazing cross near the intersection of I57 and I70.  Looked it up online and discovered that it's the largest cross in the world (198 feet tall)!  It was dedicated and illuminated for the first time just 5 days after September 11, 2001. It turned out to be the first of three unusual crosses I saw on the way.  I knew God was blessing our trip.   

Can this be the same child we used to have a pack a potty for when we travelled?  Now we have to pack electronics.  Lots of them.  Here he is listening to an mp3 player while playing on the ipad.

Sarah reading in the back.  They needed a little separation.

 I checked out a bunch of new videos for them to watch, but they spotted an old favorite in the DVD case and wanted to watch that instead.  I couldn't believe it.  The tweens STILL love the old Baby Genius video "Trip to the San Diego Zoo".
 When we got to Nashville, things went downhill.  The hotel is more like a small city.  We got lost on the grounds on the way to check in and ended up having to exit the whole place, do a u-turn and try again.  Got checked in, drove to the parking lot, listened to an automated voice tell us repeatedly to swipe our room key to get access to the parking lot.  After much swiping, flipping, pushing buttons, reswiping, backing up, pulling into the other lane, more swiping...we finally got parked.  Couldn't find a luggage cart, so hauled our luggage all around this massive place, got lost too many times to count, asked several people for directions.  At one point Sarah dropped the one bag she was carrying and just refused to go on.  Noah added it to the 3 bags he was already carrying.  Finally found our room, which is small and unimpressive compared to the rest of the compound.  Mike and Noah made another trip to the van for the last of the luggage while Sarah got lost looking for the ice machine.   All day, Sarah had been wanting to swim as soon as we got here.  Mike and I went on a recon mission to find the pool (seriously needed a break from the little people by this time).  The outdoor pool pictured above is lovely but closed for the season.  The other pool is literally at least a mile from our room.  By the time we got back to get the kids and walk all the way back to the pool, it would have been closed.  Went to bed.  Overall, a very good day with a not very good ending.  Will pack up and make the trek to the pool tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spidey Gansta

Sarah and I were folding laundry.  I had bought Noah a pair of Spiderman underwear at a garage sale earlier in the day.  I said to Sarah, "I wonder where Noah's new Spideys are.  They should be in the laundry pile..." and Sarah said, "He's wearing them."  I asked her how she knew what underwear he was wearing, and she said, "Because we were playing baseball in the garage, and he was batting gansta style."   What?!  What is that, I wondered.  She said, "It's when you pull your pants down to your knees and your underwear shows."  Where do they get this stuff?

Annual pilgrimage to Tanners

Running the pumpkin maze

Every year I think, "Surely they're too big for the train this year."  But they always make a beeline for it.

The outhouse makes them laugh EVERY time!

Funhouse mirror

They always climb Mt. Tanner....

...and roll down.

Noah said, "Take a picture of me, Mom.  It's probably the last year I'll ride the tire horse."

I make him hang out of the porthole of The Mayapple to see how much he's grown since the first pilgrimage.

9 years ago.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fashion show

While the boys were busy with the snake, Sarah and neighbor girls were having a fashion show.