Tuesday, July 30, 2013

florida: a road trip.

we road tripped to Florida. From WI. A bunch of us.

7 adults.

8 kiddos. ages 10months to 13years

obviously, I survived to tell this story;)

i would be sad if you missed my niece/goddaughter, Lia's, face photo bombing us - upper right corner. Man. She cracks me up!

jacob wasn't able to go with us to FL. BOO:( He was definitely bummed to miss a great vacation. He loves to travel as much as I do:) But he was very productive while I was gone (I did come home to newly refinished wood floors in the dining room - whooooo hooooo!!! And if that don't get me pregnant...I don't know that anything will;).

he was seriously missed. Him. His extra help with Homer:( 

*single moms (women with shitty husbands/partners) everywhere...you're my hero's. 6 days without Jacob's help was more than enough.*




on the way down, we drove through the night. Leaving WI around 6PM Wednesday evening.

the first night in the van was a bit rough for Homer. We had him facing forward in the car seat, which he enjoyed. But sleeping in the car seat was not so much happening. He fussed or screamed all night off and on:/ Needless to say, everyone - including myself - was begging and pleading and offering things I can't mention in this post;) for a seat in the other van;)

Road Trip Rule #34
when seated next to a 14month old. you drink.

Road Trip Rule #196
if you see any sort of larger than life animal...real or not...you get a picture with that shit!!!

our GA friends were SO kind in letting us all bunk at their place for the night. Like I warned them: we will be comin' in hot, turning your shit upside down and then leaving before it's light out. Even then...they were crazy enough pumped to have us!!!! - tis why we love them so:)

we arrived in GA around 130PM on Thursday afternoon.

did I mention they have a pool?!?! And no. You can't have them;)

Road Trip Rule #941
if they have a pool...you make the stop.

the pool was pretty okay for the burning of the energy;)

and then we swam and drank and visited and tanned and grilled and for a little while we forgot we were even headed to FL;)

homer and his favorite pal, grandpa, hanging out in the wee hours of the morning:) Both sporting some impressive bed head;)

we stayed up pretty late chit chatting with our friends. Getting in as much time as we could before we had to leave again:( My biggest only disappointment is that we missed yet ANOTHER opportunity to snap a photo with our friends! Damn it!:( Next time!!!!:)

by 5AM Friday morning, our alarms were going off and by 6AM...we were loaded and headed to the nearest gas station for energy:)

because the boys rode in our van the first leg of the trip, they switched with the girls for the 2nd part. Obviously, they had no clue what had gone down the first night;) BUT the girls were actually way more entertaining to Homer than the boys...so that really helped:) - this photo in no way proves that they were more entertaining...but believe me...they were;)

Road Trip Rule #65
don't ask. don't tell.

Road Trip Rule #2
just cause it's the same color don't mean it's the right one.

there may have been a time where we lost track of the other van (that my sister and her husband were driving) and realized we were following a stranger...in the opposite direction...who was also driving a maroon van. And then I laughed. And laughed. Andddddd laughed;)

i hate to ruin the surprise...but I bought a huge hippo head while we were in FL:) Yep. Anyone that knows me...knows that there really wasn't a question as to whether I'd get the hippo...more or less whether we'd have to leave a child behind in order to get the hippo home;)

fortunately, it fit in the van! Unfortunately, we were a little tight...so it sat on my lap for a while and then we figured out that it could sit between the seats pretty comfortably. Thank gawwwdddd. Totally worth it!!:)

Road Trip Rule #3
any awesome hippo souvenirs will be purchased without hesitation.

we definitely stopped at some pretty sketchy gas stations along the way. The one in either KY or TN...I can't remember which state because I was too distracted by the hanging plastic and low ceiling we had to go through to get to the bathroom:/ And then there was the one in GA with the bars on all the windows and doors! All for our safety, I'm sure;)

but none of that made me as upset as seeing those arrows, to so many magical places, pointing in the opposite direction of home:( Why is it that WI is no where near most awesome things???! WHY?!?!?;) Even better...why does WI not yet have a Disney World??!;)

Road Trip Rule #88
thou shall not judge the size of thy neighbors bladder;)

the boys did reclaim their van for a short amount of time on our way home! No tears were shed when they had to move back to the other van to let the girls have their turn;)

we did take a bit more time on the return trip. We stopped for some great pizza and enjoyed it on the patio with perfect weather:) On any road trip I'd ever taken as a kid, with my parents and sisters...those random stops always seemed to be the ones that stuck out most in my mind. They were the times you could really just stop and look around and be overcome with happy:)

ready to get in the van to head home vs. 20hrs in the van heading home

i chuckle now at my attitude going into that ride home...before. after. HA!

Road Trip Rule #17
never be ashamed of your hot-mess of a road-trip self.

overall...it was the best! Yep. I'd do it all over again. And we just might! Already thinking up a huge little road trip out to the West Coast come next fall!!! This time my husband will be riding shotgun next to me:) And hopefully, my youngest sister, Mal, and her family will join us!!!:)

there are many many manyyyyyyy more photos to share and I hope to have the 2nd, way more beautiful, part of our trip up in the coming days! In the mean time...for more photos...check out Courts' blog - Buffaloes and Butterflies - for another perspective on our trip!!!:)
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