Our Summer Vacation {part 1}

We’ve needed this trip. We’ve earned it, actually. I planned on having a relaxing summer, which would start out with a coffee and waking the kids so that we could spend the whole day outside. We’d go to the park, the city pool, or just hang outside in our little pool or sprinkler. But, our summer was far from it. Instead, we spent the majority of the summer working on that awesome looking kitchen from my last post. Not that it wasn’t worth it or anything, but since it took up a lot of our time, I wasn’t able to have the relaxing summer that I had longed for after the long winter we had.

We did do a few things, like go to the zoo, and we filled up the pool a few times and threw out the slip and slide. But, during those times we (Dave and I) didn’t relax. It was mainly to distract the kids so that we could paint trim, pull weeds, or do the hundred other things that were on our list to do. I think I managed to put on my bathing suit once or twice this summer. There just wasn’t enough hours in the day.

At first, I wasn’t really looking forward to this trip. First off, we were going to Florida in summer. This trip didn’t make much sense from the start. But, our summer in Wisconsin wasn’t as hot as it normally was so this ended up being not a bad idea. It will be nice to not turn the heat on in the car during the morning hours. Secondly, 22 hours worth of driving with two kids is never my idea of a good time. Last year we made the drive in two days and they were two very long days. You can see my hesitance. But after all the work this summer, I knew we needed it. We decided to make the drive in three days and to stop to do some hiking at a Civil War battlefield and explore a little bit of TN.

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Here, we made a stop in Nashville after a long day of driving to Third Man Records where Madelyn and Asher made a record in the Voice-O-Graph. They were really excited about it. But, now we need to by a record player so that we can hear their beautiful singing. Thankfully, we arrived before it was dark since this place isn’t exactly in the good part of downtown Nashville. Or at least it didn’t seem like it with the bottles of Colt 44 scattered on the street, the shards of glass on the sidewalk, the 50 gallon drum in the middle of an unused lot, and the bars on the windows of the buildings we passed by. But, maybe I was over reacting….

The next day, we headed out for a Civil War battlefield hike and a trip to Lynchburg for some Jack Daniels souvenirs. We planned on doing a 5 mile hike in the northern part of Georgia, but there was some bad weather on the way, so we choose to do a 3 mi hike in TN. Thank heavens we did a 3 mi hike, because one we passed about 100ft, the kids were whining about how l o n g this hike was and how h o t it is outside. Lets just say that Dave and I tried to sprint through this hike just to be done. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any ghost encounters and no orbs were noticed on our pictures. Darn. But, Madelyn did become a junior ranger, so I guess that makes it all worth it. 🙂

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Lynchburg was pretty neat and we had the BEST, and I mean the absolute best barbecue sandwich on the face of this planet. This place looks like a dive, but Dave insisted that we go. I’m so glad that we did. If you ever head over to Lynchburg, you must stop at Barrel House BBQ, you won’t be disappointed. They will even invite the kids to some free “putt-putt”. I had to explain to Madelyn that “putt-putt” was miniature golf. She was so confused.

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On to Florida! After a long drive, we stopped at my aunt and uncles’ house in around Tampa for a couple of days. We had so much fun swimming in the pool and just hanging out with family that we don’t get to see often. {thanks Wally for letting Asher borrow Kyle’s floaties:)}

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After our family visit, we headed to Redington Beach for a few days in the waves.

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We jumped waves. We ran away from waves. We accidentally drank the ocean water. We got said salt water in our eyes. We swam. We built sand castles. We collected seashells. We drank wonderful mojitos on the beach. We chased lizards in hopes of catching them. We relaxed. We got burned even with our reapplication of our SPF 50 sunscreen, which I learned was not a high enough SPF (so we got new sunscreen and wore shirts the next day).

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We loved every minute of each other’s company. It was the perfect beginning to the vacation.

Since this post is getting a bit long, I’ll write a part 2, which is all about the Disney part of the trip. Hopefully, you guys aren’t sick of reading all of this and looking at all these picture because I have more to share!!!

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