Thursday, September 8, 2011

Late Summer Road Trip

We've been homebodies all summer long--not a single family vacation. We hadn't planned on one, either, but when the babysitter fell through, we hopped in the car and made the Kansas to Kentucky haul.  Along the way, we stopped by one of the landmarks the kids have studied... any guesses?
 Washington Monument-meets-Leaning Tower of Pisa, from the looks of this picture.
 When I first saw the Gateway Arch, I was three years old and making a similar trip across the country to the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN with my parents, Grandma Helen and Grandpa Buster.  I mistook the Gateway Arch for the Golden Arches, and was rather grumpy about passing up a Happy Meal.
The Arch provided a wonderful lesson in gratitude--our Mazda 5 seemed spacious compared with the little pod that wobbled the whole way to the top with us crammed inside.
It was a wee bit creepy, actually.  Like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, except that the four minute journey was far from warp-speed.
The views of St. Louis were spectacular, except that we found ourselves rear-ended as we looked out the tiny windows.

We made it to Kentucky in good time despite our detour, and the kids did not whine ONCE on the ride.  NOT ONCE.  I'm telling you, that DVD player is worth its weight in gold!
As soon as we got to Chris and Stephanie's, the groom and bride's, house, I found myself immediately challenged to a WOF game on the Wii.  It was their shower gift from us.  They watch more Wheel of Fortune than the neighborhood old folk's home, but alas, I did have first hand experience.  "Bring it," said I.
Chris isn't looking too pleased... Am I gloating just a bit?
The day before the wedding, all the girls got pampered at the nail salon. We love our Grammy Great.
Bridezilla claws!
Bridesmaid Lindsy getting her French manicure (and soaking in a bit of extra attention from her doting manicurist). 
Steph's toes had to match her pretty hot pink shoes.  Every bride should wear hot pink shoes.
Lunch at Cheddars, in which the bride monitored very closely the salt and sugar intake of her bridesmaid and MOB.  (I don't think she was too pleased about my order of fried onion rings.)
We talked away the afternoon over napkin folding.
The Burgin family.
Lorelei loves her Daddy.

On the day of the wedding, we found a nearby spray park and let the kids get their wiggles out.
Lunch at Joe's Crab Shack is a favorite on vacations, and lo--they serve s'mores.
We huddled up for a family night Kumbya lesson about "Squash"ing Negative Thoughts with the help of our Ipad's farting Panda: We would make a statement, and if it was a positive thought, the kids would make Panda dance... if it was negative, well, we got some rather rude stares from nearby tables.  It was a hoot.  And we wrapped it all up with the traditional Camp Connelly Kumbya finger-lickin' fun dessert.  The kids really love this and BEG us to do family nights all the time, not just on Sundays.
I loved watching Aunt Cindy get teary-eyed.  Such a precious picture.
Cool dude Zach and his lollipop.
 Smooches for the Mr. and his Mrs.
 Aren't they a cute couple?
 Our kids love the dance floor.  They spin circles giggling around each other.  Gryffy's doing some modern interpretation dance moves here.

 Lorelei, go show your Daddy.  She was downright giddy about that rose she caught.  The dangerous thing is, tonight she admitted she has a kindergarten boyfriend.  At first she insisted his name was her secret, but eventually I pried it out... Tyler.  Yep, she has a kindergarten crush.  (If Tyler's family is reading this, consider yourselves on notice).
Congrats, Steph and Chris.  There's no greater blessing in life than a happy marriage and family. We stand with you, we believe in you, we love you.

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