About Me

I am the mother to 6 children and former foster mother to 2. I am passionate about whatever it is I am passionate about, until I change my mind. I dream big, plan big, and once in a while I even make it big. We are planning to take our freak show on the road. Join us as we embark on a new adventure!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Our vacation is over.

Well, we’re home. {Sigh}.

We had a great time on our vacation and loved the weather. It was wonderful to go to the beach whenever we were able. We were so lucky to have perfect weather. At the beach the favorite activity was feeding the seagulls. Thankfully the beach was empty or we might have been killed by angry locals.

We spent one day at Fort De Soto Park, which claims to have the nicest beaches in the country, and I can’t argue with that. Even the seagulls must agree because there were thousands of them spending time there. It actually freaked me out when they came at us for the bread. While in the park we rented these super cool bikes. The boys each got a four-wheeled racecar like bike, and Gary and I drove a “deuce coop” that had a basket in the back for Katherine and Matthew. It was amazingly fun, but what a workout! Then Matthew fell in the ocean and that was less fun because we were so totally unprepared. A nice family on the beach gave us a towel to dry him off with and Gary gave up his shirt to keep him warm. We really should have spent a few full days in the park, because we didn’t even get to see the forts or piers. Maybe we will go back sometime and camp for a week.

The only place we ate while we were in Florida was Sonny’s. We couldn’t get enough of the barbecue. It was amazing, as was the service there. Every night Gary had pulled pork, and I had the ribs. Every meal came with corn or garlic bread, baked potato, sweet potato, or fries, and cole slaw or beans. The wait staff was so accommodating. I overheard the order of another child who didn’t like any of her choices and they offered to bring her all bread, or all fries. Then Katherine (who never gets enough mac and cheese at a restaurant and always want another order) didn’t want any fries so they offered her double macaroni and bread. Usually restaurants are so filled with rules but not Sonny’s. Whatever we wanted we could have. It was great. And on every table were two bottles of ketchup, and four different types of barbecue sauce. I miss Sonny’s.

The other thing we did a lot of In Florida was visit thrift stores. The furniture for sale in these places was nicer that the stuff in my own home. It was crazy! Next time I am bringing a trailer with me! We did find a lot of nice clothes for next to nothing, and even a bike trailer that I am so totally psyched about. The guy let us have it for $15, then took some crap from the other employees for selling it so low, and refused to price anything else! While loading it into the car we had several people offer to buy it from us!

We left Florida on Friday morning, stopping by the beach to let the birds know that they would need to search elsewhere for their bread for a while. We drove though Georgia, and the nicest thing I can say is eww. We will not be moving to Georgia. South Carolina on the other hand… Anyway, we arrived at Jen’s (after 15 hours of driving) at 11:30 pm. She lives in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain. We were pretty sure that we were at her house, but getting up to her house involved traveling up the steepest driveway I have ever seen, with a drop off to one side. We tried calling her to confirm that this was indeed her driveway but of course there wasn’t a signal in Nowhere Ville, so we opened the windows and yelled “JEN!” That wasn’t effective either so we finally bit the bullet and drove up the driveway, and we lived to tell about it.

Jen’s place was really nice and had very pretty views from up on her mountain. It was so cute to see the boys playing near one another. On the second night we (of course) stayed up waaaay too late visiting and didn’t get into bed until 2 am. Yikes. Our early start was delayed by lack of brain function on very little sleep but we finally got on the road again and headed to CT to the casino.

15 hours later we arrived. I sent Gary in to register us and the valet came out to park the car. I told him that we preferred to self park because the kids like to go to the top of the garage. We drove to the garage before realizing that the van wouldn’t fit into the garage, so we had to drive all the way around the property, getting a little lost and turned around, and desperately trying to figure out how the valet tipping system worked before arriving back at the valet. We have always heard that you tip for the retrieval, but that doesn’t make any sense to me because by that point it’s over and you haven’t influenced them to take good care of you vehicle, so we decided to tip on the way in and gave him $5, for which he upgraded us to VIP status and it even said so on our little card. This alone made me so happy it was pathetic. The M family, VIP’s! He said that would get us out faster in the morning, and he was right. The people who were waiting when we arrived to get our van looked like they had given up hope of ever seeing their car again, and they were still there looking that way after we loaded up and drove away.

Some of you may recall how on the last trip to Mohegan Sun Joshua locked everyone’s shoes inside the safe and we needed security (three huge guys!) to come crack it open. Never a dull moment! This visit, around 2 am, Gary went down to the gaming floor and the kids were all asleep so I went to take my bath. I had been looking forward to the huge bathtub (and yummy bubble bath) since we made the reservations, and as I wiped the tub down I noticed that there was some soap scum. I tried every product I found in the room but nothing worked. I decided that I could use it as it was, or not use it at all. I tried to get into bed but it was just too important to me so I called the front desk to ask for some Comet. They said they would send housekeeping to clean it and I told them I really just wanted some comet, but minutes later the crew arrived and would not hand over the cleaning supplies. They spayed half a bottle of cleaner in the tub and scrubbed and scrubbed, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. Then I went into panic mode realizing that Gary had all of our money and I couldn’t tip the man who was clearly working much harder than someone who parked my van. I was able to dig up some change from the bottom of my wallet so I felt somewhat better, and I had my tub and felt great. The next morning I sent Gary to the floor and I took the kids to the Krispy Kreme store for our last binge. They didn’t have hot original so they gave us hot shells instead and they are better than the original. Can you believe it? Some people have said to me that they have tried KK donuts and don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s the heat people. If you aren’t going to eat them hot don’t bother. It’s like taking, well any hot product and cooling it off and letting it sit all day. You must eat Krispy Kreme’s while the neon sign glows!

Anyway, the store was filled with older men who were in awe at the size of my family. One asked it they were all mine and I was finally able to use the line that I have been saving and I said “What? I thought some of them were yours!” This caused them all to erupt with laughter and I was one of the regulars. I could have chatted with them longer but the kids were anxious to get to Kid’s Quest to play. Gary and I gambled a bit, and no we didn’t win.

We arrived at my mother’s house after a short 2 ½ hour trip. Katherine said, “It only took us 5 minutes to get here.” We visited with Karen and Mom, and made a run over to Trader Joe’s to stock up on some food for Gary, who has just figured out that he is allergic to wheat and dairy. The dark chocolate covered espresso beans were a great snack for me while I drove home. Gary slept the whole way and when he awoke in Gardner he was unprepared for all the caffeine-induced plans I had made for our lives while he was asleep!

I am pleased to say that our house looked nicer than we remembered, so that was a special treat, but there is so much work to do to recover from our trip that them house is trashed. Maybe the problem is us. It looked great when we were gone, not so great with us back. Oh well, no solution for that, unless of course we spend more time away…hmm…
Oh, and the reason that my father had pepper spray is 1.) He obviously didn’t know it was pepper spray, he thought it was a horn. 2.) It is very popular in Florida and sold everywhere. He thinks maybe it was a gift from his mother in law. (bahahaha! )


Jerry said...

If you aren’t going to eat them hot don’t bother. It’s like taking, well any hot product and cooling it off and letting it sit all day. You must eat Krispy Kreme’s while the neon sign glows!

Goose and I totally agree with ya', although my beloved likes them cool, and my crazy teen likes them stale!

Anonymous said...

sonny's is not real barbeque, but it makes the yankees feel like they fit in! oh, sorry! florida is merely an extention of the NE states. i have no desire to live in either!