This year we changed it up a bit, we drove to Virginia for Thanksgiving and will spend Christmas at home. It is always difficult to mentally prepare yourself for a 28 hour (round trip) road trip with two kids.
So I chose the logical solution to get ready…remodel the house the weekend before you leave. Seems like a good solution right?!
We decided to replace the random tile, carpet, hardwood combo area in our house and our kitchen floors with tile. We had someone who was in the bullpen ready to tile the house while we were gone, I just needed to get the old floors up and out.
All day Saturday and Sunday were spent removing flooring and debris. Jenn was going to take the kids out of the house while Pap-Pap and I worked, but Nolin really wanted to help…this could be trouble because we were on a tight deadline and I didn’t want to have to keep stopping to watch Nolin.
Turns out, he was a machine. He took a hammer and a chisel and went to town. He loved every minute of it.
It was also an awesome chance to spend time with him and watch him feel really good about himself and the work he was doing.
Sunday night, I went to be exhausted and set my alarm for 7:30 with plans to leave at 9ish to start our journey. Jenn woke me up at 6:15 and asked if I was planning to get up for our 7am departure…whoops we should have discussed that in advance, but that worked out and we got on the road early.
One thing I have learned about our kids…they are road warriors. Honestly the first 14 hours of the road trip were pretty uneventful, just a few stops at rest areas to let them run and Chic-Filet to play at the playground, but we made it to Virgina around 9pm Monday night.
Tuesday morning we headed over to the aquarium. Aunt ELO had won passes for all of us to attend a personal behind the scenes tour and tickets to the aquarium at a silent auction.
The kids loved it…well Grace wasn’t a huge fan of the dinosaur exhibit but Nolin impressed the tour guide with his knowledge of Baleen plates.
Wednesday we were excited because we had set up time for family pictures. We have not had any family pictures taken since Grace was 3 months old. It was a great day and we were all dressed up and ready to go.
We talked to the kids about how to behave and then we unleashed them in a wooded area with daddy-long-legs, sticks and leaves which all seemed way more fun than sitting for pictures.
It all culminated with Grace and Nolin jumping in puddles of mud…awesome.
Jenn & I decided that if our friend Kat was able to get even one decent picture we would be excited, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
When we got the pictures back a few days later, you would have sworn that our kids were completely cooperative. I don’t know how Kat did it, but she caught all the moments that we seemed to be missing. The pictures look like our kids were posing the whole time.
This was probably the best Christmas present I could have asked for.
Thursday was the big day. Thanksgiving. Everyone was going to be getting together at my Uncle’s house later in the afternoon for dinner.
We started the morning with a (not) short & (not) easy 10K Turkey trot. Of course Jenn placed first in her age group…I however did not. But Erin & I were able to run together and Baby Wayne seat a PR.
While everyone else prepared food (we had it easy…just had to run 6 miles), we headed over early. The kids found a new playground at my Uncle’s house. Nolin found my little cousin’s (well to be fair they are now all in college) arsenal of Nerf guns and Grace created a bobsled track on the driveway through the chairs and fire pit. They had a great time.
Black Friday (we thankfully skipped Walmart this year) and instead headed back over to my Uncle’s house who was having a day after thanksgiving BBQ and Oyster Roast. It was another great time, and this time my cousin’s introduced Nolin to their boxing gloves and boxing gear. Which he seemed to enjoy when he knocked my brother out…thankfully he seems to have forgotten all the wonderful boxing lessons he learned (but I have to admit he had nice right jab).
Saturday morning was the day I had not been overly excited about…14 more hours in the car. I think Grace was excited to get home (although she had not really accounted for the time it would take to actually get home) and Nolin was upset about leaving Uncle Kevin’s house and Ba & Pop.