Brayden really wanted to head back to the ocean but Teagan was ready to leave the sand forever. So daddy, Ellie and Brayden headed to the ocean while me and Teagan took some last minute shots of the view from the concession area.
That is Gary waving in the picture above.
Storm clouds quickly rolled in so the beach visit didn't last too long. Since we were leaving the next morning, we decided to pack up everything except the sleeping tent. That meant no cooking for me so I'll admit, we had subs and pizza. As we were finishing our dinner, a man with his son rolled into the spot next to us. We were quickly drawn to their cute dog despite the rain that was now falling. They mentioned they were going to Dairy Queen and we decided that sounded better than packing in the rain. So Dairy Queen it was.
By then it was getting late so Gary took the kids to the playground so I could pack the car. You have to understand that I love packing. I know, weird huh? I think I missed my calling in life because I love trying to fit those pieces into the car best utilizing every bit of space. I like packing groceries too. In fact I'll avoid stores that don't have self serve simply for that reason. Enough of my weird joys in life and back to our night.
We finished our night like all the rest with writing in our journals. I happily read my book until about 10:30 pm before deciding I was too exhausted to fight sleep anymore. By then, everyone else was already sleeping.
At about 11:30, things took a turn for the worse. I was awoken by what sounded like a freight train running through our tent only to see that the side of the tent where Teagan was lying next to Brayden was being blown off the ground. I leaped out of bed as if I wasn't just entering that deep stage of sleep and held the tent off of Teagan. I quietly called "honey! honey!" with no response so I had to use that "something bad is happening" tone and promptly woke Gary just in time to find the other part of the tent caving in. We both stood there holding the tent as if we were built in tent poles and looked at each other with a "what the heck?" kind of look. It wasn't even raining out but the winds were stronger than any we had previously encountered. Gary looked at the radar on his phone and saw a very large red cell just south of us. Given its size and location, we were certain it was coming our way.
At that point, still exhausted but with adrenaline running high, we made the decision that we couldn't stay in our tent through this storm. We packed up every remaining bit we could without disturbing the kids before lifting them into the car. Brayden and Ellie promptly fell back asleep while Teagan was excited for whatever adventure had awoken her. By then it was midnight and we said our farewell to the ocean.
Now at this point one might think it best to just drive all the way home with sleeping children. Historically though, our children do not sleep well in the car. We discussed all our options of where to go. We really didn't want to incur the cost of another hotel as the campground itself had already changed our planned budget for the trip. We drove for a bit in silence and then we found that red cell. It was a horrible storm of thunder, lightening and torrential down pour. Driving was hard and fatigue quickly set in. It took us two hours to find a hotel en route as we were just passing through small towns with nothing to offer.
Exhausted, we all collapsed in the fluffy white beds and slept soundly. Ellie promptly woke us at 7 am and we were ready to go. We went to the free breakfast offered by the hotel, gathered something for everyone and returned ready to go. The clock just ticked away as Brayden and Teagan slept soundly. Finally at 8:30 we could wait no more and we woke them.
The drive home was slow and long. Our beloved DVD player cord had broke at our arrival the week before and we had planned to replace it right before leaving in the morning. Now there was no where to buy a cord and the whining was worse than ever. About five hours into our drive, we hit a long construction delay for all of 300 feet of construction. Some people just don't know how to merge. Right after that we made finding a cord our priority. At about 7 hours into the drive, we finally found a store to buy our cord. We fueled up, fed everyone and hit the road.
As we closed in on the Kentucky state line with excitement, the traffic suddenly stopped. Not even a crawl, just stopped. We found out there was an accident and the road was closed. It was at this point that we agreed we were done with long drives for a long time. We made it home without any further incidents but boy were we exhausted.
We are still cleaning up the sand that we keep finding from our trip. It was a very eventful trip but with lots of fond memories. The kids constantly talk about their time at the ocean so we know we made that lasting footprint in their memories.
My plan for an intervention with Brayden's eating failed miserably with respect to increasing his hunger. It was a success however in teaching me more about why he can't eat and what we need to do next. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip and I hope to post a few more previously not seen pictures in a future post. Happy Summer everyone!