Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Children are Gremlins...Maybe Not

We have been on the go all summer. The most that we have been home at once was 10 days in a row. We just got back from visiting with family in Boston to celebrate Chris's sister's 25th jubilee of taking her vows to become a nun. This week I only have two kids. Timmy is on Cape Cod with his friend and Shannon stayed in New York. Molly this week is in camp and so I will only have Ryan. In between doing some fun stuff one-on-one with him, I'm going to try to get caught up with documenting our adventures. I wrote this blog last week but never posted it...Part II of our Disney trip.

After our last day of Disney, Chris flew back home to go to work and my mom flew in to do the second part of our trip down south. On our first day, we traveled to Jekyll Island, Georgia. I had read that there was a sea turtle rescue center there and I knew we would need some beach time after days of walking at Disney parks. It was the perfect day. The sun was shining, it wasn't too hot for Georgia in June and the ocean was just what we needed. You see, if you remember from my last post, my kids were driving me crazy in Disney, but the second half of our trip was a bit better, not much, but I'm trying to stay positive here. Well, after we went to the turtle center and then had lunch, we went to the beach. The water always seems to calm my kids. 

Our room wasn't ready yet, but I had pulled the kids' bathing suits and towels aside so that when we arrived, we would be able to get to the beach right away. I know you can't see them in this picture, but they are there, swimming far enough away so that I can pretend that they are all getting along with one another or at the very least, I can't hear them bickering over the crashing of the waves of the ocean. 

After three hours of none stop swimming, they finally came out to play in the sand...nicely, calmly, together. While I was sitting in my chair watching them, the thought of that 1980's movie Gremlins came to mind. Do you remember the rules? Don't feed it after midnight, no bright lights, and never get it wet. If you did any of these things, your cute little creature turned into a monster. I thought of my kids and how water seems to have the opposite effect on them. It really does seem to calm them down.

The next day, we drove for about 6 hours northwest. Our destination was the Biltmore Estate in western North Carolina. We didn't arrive there until about 4:00. We found out that if you enter the property after 4:30, you can use your tickets the next day. It was another perfect day. We walked around the property, explored, walked some trails, and had some dinner.

Timmy just taking in the scenery...look how calm he is looking at the pond.

Where we ate dinner.

Look again, the magical power that water has over my children...all four of them sitting quietly.

 Day three...we woke up early and did the tour of the house and gardens.

Shannon found a little frog.

After a day at the Biltmore Estate, we worked our way west, through the Smoky Mountains and to Tennessee.

After we made it into Tennessee, we went to Wilderness Resort in the Smokies, an indoor water park very much like Great Wolf Lodge. Again, water seems to calm my kids and the bickering seems to subside a bit.

The next morning, the kids went down a few more slides while I packed the car. Once we were ready to go, we headed back into the Smokies for a little more exploring before the long ride home to Virginia. 

So there you have it...part two of the Nealon adventures this summer. We still have 50 days left of summer, anything can still happen.

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