Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A dream fulfilled with my posse

After traveling through 10 states over the last 11 days with 4 kids I am tired.  I might be a little slap happy.  A little nutty.  A little relieved that it went pretty smoothly, minus the jellyfish attack, which don't worry I am having an allergic reaction to.  A little sad, that it is over.  A little like a roller coaster.
This is how I spent a lot of the vacation.

That was the nickname my brother gave me last week at the beach.  It didn't surprise me, or my husband Tim.  I am a roller coaster.  I like to say that I am very sensitive to people's emotions and feelings, intuitive.  Other people call me "roller coaster."  That's cool, I guess.

My brother nicknamed my kids too.  

Peyton was called Vanilla (or "Nilla" as the kids called him).  Because according to my brother he is quiet, reserved, but smooth.  I agree.

Lucy was called Replay because of her constant retelling of well, everything.  She will replay a show she saw, a book she read or even a comment that she said a minute ago that people (or maybe just she) thought was funny.  "I was like, oh that's funny and then grandpa said yeah it was."  Replay, it fits.

JT was referred to as Crazy Eyes, because he gets a totally freaky, insane look in his eyes when he is overtired and he was overtired for half the trip.

The kids nicknamed my brother too.  The kids decided on Uncle Fun Times.  It fits.

Driving around the country in the custom van with my nicknamed posse I felt like we were on tour.  

Every stop we made was a new discovery--about our vast country and about what was important to us.

Apparently, what is important to my family is violent weapons. Must be why we don't fly.  

The first rest stop my husband and the kids loaded up on Pop Its (those gunpowder in a sack toys).  The next stop, the boys and my husband almost skipped out of the gas station.  They were packing heat with a fake BB gun (with soft gel pellets).  I swear to god, on another stop my husband bought my oldest son a pocket knife.  When I screamed at him he said "every boy should have their own pocket knife."  What? When I expressed concern to my son, Peyton said, "Look mom, it has a nail file too." Seemingly trying to prove the practicality of the purchase I guess.

Feeling a bit in the doghouse, my husband redeemed himself.  Now I have been making the drive from Michigan to Alabama my whole life.  For over 30 years I have wanted to stop at a particular mountain amusement park in Kentucky.  My parents always told me there was no time, Grandma was waiting  or that we had to get home for dad's work.  Stopping for gas I looked up at that same mountain fun park and giggled.  Tim looked my way and said "We're going up.  Kids get ready, we are going somewhere your mother has always wanted to go, Guntown Mountain."

So, Nilla, Replay and Crazy Eyes and I headed up to Guntown Mountain.

Maybe it was because it was a Monday.  Maybe it was the economy.  Maybe it was something else.  Whatever the reason, Guntown Mountain was a ghost town. 

The parking lot was empty.  Signs looked like they hadn't changed since 1968.  Rides outside the store were rusty.  The ride up the mountain was running, with no one on it.

I instantly felt like we were in a Brady Bunch episode, the one where they camp in the Grand Canyon, in a ghost town.  Except there were just a few less of us and we didn't have an Alice (so wish I had an Alice).

We walked into the general store to buy souvenirs.  No one was in the store but my family.  The old southern woman behind the counter was very sweet.  Not sure if I had been watching/listening to too much Scooby Doo in the custom van, but I expected her to give us a clue about the ghost town outside.  Instead she offered me advice about baby Wade's fit, "Sugar, we call those meltdowns."

Even though it was eerie and a bit sad, it was a dream fulfilled.

And don't worry, we found a violent toy to purchase.  A bow and arrow set for JT, which he promptly practiced using in the van on our next leg of our trip.

And hell, if you can't beat them, join them.  Right?
Yes, that is a BB gun I am shooting at a Pepsi can target.

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