Friday morning - the plan: leave the house by 8:00. The reality - left the house about 10:15.
We loaded up the car and started the long trip to SC. Everyone was in pretty good spirits by the time we got in the car. We did have a bit of a pre-car meltdown from Gabe over putting on "sleepy-pants" (diaper), as he is pretty much potty trained. We explained it was a really long trip, but he did not care. He was peeved.
First stop about 2.5 hours in - lunch. We found an unbelievable good Korean Diner right outside of Natural Bridge, VA. (I think it was called Fancy Hill Korean Diner) We all really enjoyed our food and the couple that runs the place was absolutely wonderful. The food was delicious and the hospitality was outstanding. Everybody took a potty break and everybody was still dry!
Second stop - NC line. Another potty break. Gabe is still dry!
Third stop - dinner. BBQ. Not really very good, but the place was really clean and the lady running it was super nice. Kids ate a good bit, which is what really matters.
Fourth stop - potty break.
Finally arrived - 12 hours later. Gabe stayed dry the entire way. Unbelievable. Grayson didn't make it the whole way. He had one accident.
Once we got into the house and unloaded everyone we worked at getting Reece in bed. He was sooo tired and desperate to be asleep. Gabe continued to amaze us by picking out a bedroom for himself, climbing up on the bed and telling us to turn out the light, he was going to sleep. He has never slept in his own room before, and certainly not in a strange house - but he did both! Grayson, however, fought sleep for hours, woke up often, and would not stay in his room. Needless to say, we ended up tired.
Saturday Morning. The plan - Meet with college president at 8:00am at the Hall, parade at noon, lunch, home for naps, Philo cook out at 6:00.
So Doug made it to the meeting. I didn't. Kids just were not up in time and there was no way to get them ready and make the meeting. So while Doug was at the Hall strong arming the president, I was at the house with the boys. Everyone got up and eventually got fed and dressed. Reece was ready to go back down for his nap at 9:15. While I was putting him down for a nap, Gabe found scissors and cut Grayson's hair.
Doug made it home around 11:00. Reece slept an unprecedented 3 hours - so we barely made it back to Due West in time for the parade. The floats were throwing candy and my boys didn't understand why people were throwing things at them. Since they really never get candy, they didn't even know what the stuff was that was being thrown. Then a handful of college girls gathered up fistfuls and crossed the street and gave it to them. Needless to say, they know about candy now. (Sigh...)
After parade the kids played in the bouncy houses, then we had lunch, then headed back for naps. Reece and Grayson took naps, Gabe refused - so he and Doug went on a walk together. Found all kinds of cool stuff in the woods - mushrooms, caterpillars, sweet gum seeds, etc.
We did make it to the cookout and the kids ran around and played for hours. It was great to reconnect with old friends from school. Back at the house Gabe again went to bed on his own without a hitch - and Grayson, not so much. After everyone was asleep I packed up the car so we could try and get out faster in the morning because I have to go to work on Monday morning and cannot be getting in so late.
AND - Gabe woke up dry! He went all night and stayed dry! Woo Hoo!!
Sunday: plan, get up and GO!
Well, we didn't get out by 8:00, but we did get out by 9:00. We loaded up and headed home. We had a plan to stop at Michele's in Spartanburg for a late breakfast/brunch. We got there about 11:00 and the kids got out and ran around and had some breakfast. After they ate, Doug took all the kids (except Reece) out for a walk through the woods. They came back and jumped on the trampoline then eventually made it back inside. Once more we took potty breaks and loaded them back up and got back on the road.
Stop two - potty break.
Stop three - dinner at Shoney's, not that we really like Shoney's - but kids eat free and we have 3 of them. So we ate and went to the potty (again.) Everybody ate pretty well and we were ready to load up again.
After Shoney's we really pushed through the rest of the drive without stopping. Reece got fussy at one point, but we figured out that it was mostly due to needing a snack. Once he got some apple slices, graham crackers, and milk he was fine. We got home about 7:30 - so we made much better time.
Gabe stayed dry the whole drive again :) This is monumental, really, it is!
At home Reece went to bed, the boys played a while then jammied-up and went to bed. The house was dark by 10:30 for everyone. We survived.
Now we are doing it all over again in November for Thanksgiving.