We pack up and leave that morning for Lagoon. A little over an hour from our house. Although we live fairly close to this amusement park, it's been about five years since we've all gone together.
Slow and easy morning. The boys gather for a quick game of their favorite Settlers. After a drawn out meeting, all of the kids trying to decide on what we should do, and seeing that some of the things like the little hike we planned just weren't going to work with the way the girls were feeling, we finally agreed that we'd head to the aquarium. A place we'd never been to.
First, a stop for lunch at Whole Foods. Oh, I love this place.
(Note to self: Having the kids all spread out in ages- college, teens, and a seven year old- it's a lot harder than it used to be to try to find activities that will make everyone happy, suit everyone's personality, interests, and energy levels. Sad, but true. Learning to "go with the flow", accept what is, and lower my expectations of the perfect vacation. Maybe a different setting? Seems like something nature-centered probably is our best bet for a vacation, these days. And it may take me a while to get the courage for another long road trip.)
Now, back to the aquarium.We especially enjoy petting the sting rays, seeing the octopus getting fed, and watching the playful otters.
Go to Tutoring Toy where Paula's cute new husband Dexter works and see his creatively designed and over-the- top cool "Newlywed and Honeymoon" Playmobile window display.
(Note to self: I get a little teary-eyed thinking about Gary. Wishing he was with us to see the Arab man Playmobile guy. I take a picture of it to send to him. This whole thing just isn't the same without him. First time we've been on a trip without him being with us. Well, not counting the cabin/Canyonland trip while he was studying in Jordan.)
Dinner at Rumbi Island Grill. Eliza has a fever.
Isaac and Sam swim in the hotel pool. Nice to see this smile right here.
Early to bed. Can't believe I'm sucked into Diners, Drive-Inns, and Dives, The Best Thing I Ate: Totally Fried, and Swamp People (the later in honor of our Louisiana Cajun heritage.) So not vegan. Cable TV a novelty to us, as we've never had it.
(Note to self: having us in two separate rooms made for a little less unity. Especially each room on two ends of the long hotel hallway. I prefer the times when we've stayed in rental homes when we traveled in Portugal and the east coast, the time we rented a cabin, or when we have at stayed in relative's homes. We still have a need and a way for quiet seclusion, but it seems like there's more of a feeling of "together-ness". )
Keith and I head (solo) a block north to the Downtown Farmer's Market. His first time. I come away with three kale plants, a bar of peppermint soap, and two bags of sugar snap peas. Which I happily munch on as we stroll.
We pack up and leave the hotel and say goodbye to the city. Realize that our Dim-Sum lunch outing will have to wait for another day. The girls are ready to go home.
All-in-all, despite a few quiet, end of the day moments in bed where a few tears were shed because:
A. I'm hormonal.
B. My kids are growing up.
C.The majority of them teenagers/young adults and all that goes with that.
D. Me trying to adapt/relate to it all.
E. Heart searching reflection on my vision, my desires for this family.
F. All of the above.
I felt glad we were able:
1. To have these few days to be together. For Keith having some vacation time.
2. To be able to do this.
3. To have something to look forward to.
4. To leave town. Change things up a little.
5. To build some memories.
6. To have some fun.
I think we accomplished what we set out to do.